Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another visiting Australian

I had occasion to take the train home last Thursday afternoon and realised how very much I have come to take for granted the comfort, the peace, the restfulness and the free wifi that is offered by the X17 bus.  It might take 40 to 50 minutes to get me from work to the Chesterfield Coach Station, but it is a very pleasant way to travel.  The train, on the other hand, is noisy, uncomfortable, crowded and definitely not restful.  It only takes 15 minutes or so to get from station to station, but it is nothing like as pleasant - plus it is more expensive and you have to pay for the wifi.  I returned to the X17 for my daily commute on Monday with great relief!

So why was I on the train on Thursday?  Simply because it is very much quicker. And I wanted to be at home in good time because Irene, our Aussie/Scottish friend who we met in Richmond a little while ago, was coming to stay the night fresh from the successful completion of her Coast to Coast walking adventure.  I quite fancied being at home in good time, ready to greet her in an unflustered manner, and with dinner well and truly under way.  In fact, I had put together a slow-cooked beef bourguignon the previous evening, which had been happily simmering in the slow cooker all day. But I wanted to finish it in the oven, plus, of course, we needed potatoes and veg to go with it.

We had a lovely evening (well, I did; I hope The Builder and Irene did as well).  We had lots of food, plenty of wine and much chatter.  Then on Friday morning Irene caught an early-ish train to Glasgow, near where her sister lives, and The Builder and I had a relatively lazy start to the day - for I had taken the Day Off!  We stirred ourselves, as the day progressed, to go to the Peak Fireplace shop in Clay Cross, where we have set in train the purchase and installation of a wood burner to replace the hole in our lounge room wall that we made about a year ago when our curiosity about what was behind the tiles where the fireplace used to be got the better of us.

Saturday saw us at Bishops' House. It was a Heritage Weekend in Sheffield and lots of places that aren't usually open, or which have very restricted public access were open to people on Saturday and Sunday. That meant that lots of people were out and about doing Historical Things.  We had loads more visitors than we usually would have on a Saturday morning.  On a typical Saturday morning that was as wet as last Saturday was, we might expect precisely no visitors!  Amongst our visitors was an actual real live bishop!  A real one!  Accompanied by the local vicar and a few acolytes. I'm not sure where he is bishop of - I didn't think to ask him.  Not Sheffield, I think. He definitely seemed to be a visitor.

And the rest of the weekend passed fairly lazily.  Even fairly sunnily.  We were a bit surprised when the fitter from the fireplace shop dropped by on Sunday morning to measure the chimney breast. We were even more surprised when I went down to take advantage of the sun and hang the washing out, and The Builder went down with me to do something in the poultry run, to find Marlo sitting on the water tank by the shed, enjoying the sunshine.  Our surprise was because we didn't think he could get up there now that his back legs don't jump very well.  I also wondered how he was going to get back down, and planned to go and lift him down when I had finished with the washing.  I have no idea how he did get down, but all of a sudden he was sat by my feet!

The new fireplace isn't coming until mid-October.  I want it NOWWWW!!
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