Tuesday 22 September 2020

When Two and Two Don't Add Up

 The doorbell gave a soft "Ting" sound, so Toby gave his deep rumbly bark and raced outside to see who had dared to ring it.    I reluctantly followed and walked down to the front gate, only to find the man who sold us a lovely old country cottage, some two decades ago.    He and his wife were in the area and had decided to call in.

We hadn't seen or heard from them in several years, so it was something of a surprise, but we hid it well, I think!   We chatted away, caught up on their family news, gave them ours.

Then the real reason for the surprise visit came out, they had read a newspaper notice to the effect that I had died.   The cutting gave my name and my husband's name, they were upset to think that I had gone.

That's the trouble with names, Elaine was quite popular, back in the fifties - same with my husband's name.  Our surname is also a local one, even though my husband's family are actually from the Newcastle area.   

I am glad to say that two and two didn't make four in this case!

My sympathies to the other family, of course.

Thursday 3 September 2020

What I Did in the Summer Holidays

It is many years since I was faced with having to write an essay on that particular theme, but I have been away from Blogland for so long that I almost feel I should do so today.    Trouble is, I don't have anything of interest to relate.

Life here has rumbled along pretty much as normal.

Fruit and vegetables have been grown, harvested and eaten and the lawns have been mowed.   Meals have been cooked and eaten, bread baked and shared.

The septic tank has been emptied.  The old septic tank man retired, we had to find a new one.  He arrived early so I raced around closing all the windows, waiting for the usual stench to pervade the house... nothing.   The new man did the job, swiftly and efficiently, leaving the air around the cottage smelling of nothing out of the ordinary.   

That was, perhaps, the highlight of the holidays.   😉

Moving swiftly on - life in a small village does have some pleasant surprises.   Doorstep finds being one of them.

During the last week I have found a large bag of succulent plums left by a neighbour who is desperately trying to empty her plum trees to be rid of a wasp invasion.    Another gift of a huge bag of Pink Lady Apples, even the grandchildren enjoy those.   The most unexpected surprise was to find a large bag of library books had been left for me.

Now that the mobile library no longer calls at our village I have been moved onto their 'Click and Pick' van, which means that I can go online and order books and they will deliver them, once a month.  If I don't order any, they will simply make the selection for me.   They will also take away the books I have read.

Of course the lockdown meant that library services were suspended for many months and as I hadn't received any notification that things were about to get going again, this was quite unexpected, but a very nice surprise.     I have managed to find their new timetable, so I will be ready and waiting for them next time.

Much of my time seems to have been spent trying out various mask patterns, trying to find the most comfortable ones, as well as the easiest ones to sew.    The grandchildren have to wear masks on the school bus, and the oldest one must wear his at school, so it was important to get it right.

I spent several hours up at the A&E Dept of the hospital in Louth, waiting to see a doctor because I was suffering from an extremely painful back spasm - it was the weekend, of course.   GP's can rarely been seen anyway and you can forget it if you have a problem over the weekend.     Trying to be seen by someone involved several telephone conversations and much waiting for permission to see an out of hours GP at the hospital.

Buzz into the foyer, answer more questions, temperature taken, wear a mask, sanitise hands, enter the next door.   Wait in the room which had about six very socially distanced chairs.   Wait, wait, wait.  The wait became two hours, the terrible pain diminished with every minute as the stress levels increased.      Eventually I was called through. 

More questions, including where does it hurt?   I had to admit that the pain had completely gone, driven away by the raging stress hormones.   Luckily the doctor believed me and I left clutching a prescription for strong painkillers and muscle relaxants.   I am glad to say that my back is back to normal now - not great, but I can live with it.

Long dog walks have featured, as they always do, but Toby is showing his age now and I have to tailor the walks according to how he is on any given day.      The cats continue to catch rodents, but only the cute little ones which I feel sorry for.  The job they are paid to do is catch rats but they don't seem to do that any more.    Now that the farmer is harvesting the barley field around our house, perhaps we will find a few on the doorstep.   That would help to justify all the expensive cat food which they enjoy so much.

To sum up - I haven't really done much of anything.   I seem to have wafted around in a fairly enjoyable way but non productive way, nothing to do with the strong painkillers, truly!

Now that the grandchildren are back at school it is time that I took myself in hand.  Get back to normal life. 

I hope you haven't found yourselves wasting as much time, or if you have, I hope you enjoyed it.