Saturday, November 12, 2016

That Was The Week That Was

Last Saturday we all ambled into Ballarat to run a series of errands.  Library, post office, shops, Bridge Mall Market, that sort of thing.  At one point Ian or Lindsey said:  Right; shall we do Bunnings (think B&Q) or Oscar's next?  Jim and I almost in unison said:  Oscar's! though we had no idea what Oscar's might be.  Turns out it's a restaurant where I lunched on a magnificent chicken pie with almost the best mashed potato I think I have ever eaten.  We did Bunnings after that :-)

On Sunday I put some leftovers out on the front lawn for the delectation of the magpies and crows. They were noisily and belligerently enthusiastic about this.  Suddenly it went very quiet.  I wandered over to the kitchen window to see what they were doing.  And there they weren't.  Instead there was an elderly and very, very nervous fox munching on the rejected cheese biscuits.  Nibble a bit of biscuit, then look apprehensively about.  Another bit of biscuit, another apprehensive glance.  So apprehensive was he that he disappeared like a shot when I gently put my hand in my pocket to get out my phone to take his portrait.  We knew there was at least one fox around.  We've seen it in the paddocks.  But we need to make the new chicken run Alcatraz-like before we introduce the new chooks.  Lindsey doesn't want her new acquisitions to turn into fox food!!

Monday was enlivened by Ian's car.  The tyre had been going flat for a little while and on Saturday was noticeably down.  He has Run Flat tyres on his car so no spare.  On Monday morning he, in his car and Lindsey, in hers were making their way to the new tyre shop, thence to the car hire place.  They hadn't got very far when Ian's poorly tyre blew :-S  He had to wait over an hour for a tow truck to come and rescue him.  Lindsey came back to the house.  Eventually it was all sorted out and Lindsey, Jim and I were on time for our meeting with Bethan.  We were booked to meet her mid-afternoon and take Sam to a new Dog Walking park (well, new to Sam and to us - not actually new and not new to Bethan either; that's how we found out about it). We had a lovely time in the park and Sam thoroughly enjoyed meeting puppies, other dogs and other people, all except for the Jack Russell that rather injudiciously decided to come and snap around his ankles.  Mind you - Sam just turned round and glared at the little dog and it ran away. Sam doesn't like it when small dogs come and snap around his ankles!

On Tuesday I actually went to work.  And again on Wednesday. Two days in a row.  I am slowly getting on top of the mountain of scanning.

Ordinarily we go back to Ballarat on Wednesday evenings.  On this occasion, however, Jim and I stayed in town.  For on Thursday we were meeting Friend Robert for lunch in Lygon Street.  Somehow, we have managed to be here for oh-so-nearly three months without either going to Lygon Street or meeting up with Robert.  This seemed unlikely to me, but it was very definitely the case.  We have rectified that now. We came back to Ballarat later that afternoon on the train. I must say I am enjoying the public transport system, despite the fact that our train was delayed at Southern Cross Station when the doors refused to close.  I have a Senior's travel card so I get half price travel.  Jim can't have one yet (he isn't an Australian resident) so he pays full fare but even so it isn't very expensive by British standards.  Fortunately Lindsey met us at the station.  We could have gone by bus our to Mount Helen. There is one which runs out to the University.  But the University is down in the valley and Lindsey and Ian's place is half way up the hill and there is a VERY steep driveway to contend with.  Coming back in the car was a much better option.

Yesterday was a (local) public holiday in Ballarat.  Lindsey and Ian were both working in Melbourne.  Jim and I stayed at the house.  I roasted and pureed and sieved most of a big box of tomatoes that we had bought at Wilson's on Thursday on our way past.  Jim set to and began digging a new bed to put potatoes in.  It was pleasantly warm yesterday.  It is very nearly time to plant the potatoes and there was nowhere ready to put them. It was quite a productive day, to say that it was a local holiday.
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