The blind man

The second blind man came yesterday. He was supposed to be fitting six blinds. He ended up fitting three.
One was the wrong size.
One was the wrong colour.
One wasn’t there at all.

3 out of 6.
one half.
50%.

Not really what we had expected from a local company with an excellent reputation…

It turns out the first blind man who came a fortnight ago was a new agent. He seemed very affable at the time, if a bit scatty – but we trusted his ability to read numbers from a tape measure and write down the colour we had chosen on his form. It seems our trust was misplaced.

So a third blind man is coming on Monday to fit the remaining blinds.

Mind you it isn’t all bad. The blinds which were fitted look really good. They give the kitchen a whole different feel – more cosy and welcoming somehow…

Chris & Andy

Chris & Andy have been working really hard today. They are a couple of Polish builders / joiners we were introduced to through our next door neighbours.

They repaired and replaced all the wood in our neighbour’s front bay gable end on Monday and Tuesday, and did a fantastic job… so we asked them to overhaul the canopy over our front door.

They don’t have much English, but enough to get by – so with a mix of sign language, pointing and some poor German/Polish/English phrases (That is kaput, da?), we managed to communicate what we wanted done…

They have been working since 8 this morning with hardly a break… and the results are impressive – the detail is brilliant, and they cleaned up too! And at £8 per hour each, you can’treally go wrong!

They’re both going back to Poland for Easter, but we’ll definitely be having them back to fix the leaks and rotten beams in the utility room!

‘Auf Wiedersehen, pet’ in reverse?

Summer has arrived

It’s official – summer is here…

…the flymo has been dusted off; the grass has had its first cut of the season; the early spring weeds have been weeded; the garage has been tidied…

The birds are fatter than ever, full of eggs and singing their little hearts out…

The sun has shone all day, prompting brave motorists to drive around with their windows wound down….

And it’s light till 8 o’clock in the evening… summer has indeed arrived!

Dursley RFC

Having spent Thursday night in a Swindon hotel in readiness for a meeting yesterday, I was looking forward to getting home as I drove into the hire car return area at Bristol airport at around 4.30pm yesterday afternoon…

I had already checked in on-line (one of the marvels of modern technology allowing one to bypass the check-in queues as long as one only has hand luggage…) Making sure I had put all my liquids, gels and pastes into the small resealable plastic bag purchased especially for the trip the day before (I’m not entirely sure why all gels, pastes and liquids have to be packed in such a way, or why the limit is 10 containers of 100ml each, but I am told it is to reduce the terrorist threat (?!)), I went straight through to the security check…

And at that point I knew that the next 3 hours were going to be tough… for there, just in front of me in the security queue, was what must have been the entire membership of the Dursley Rugby Football Club… each one dressed in team shirt and tie…. each one donning a different type of silly head-dress, and each one having already consumed a large quantity of alcoholic beverage. My heart sank. My co-travellers’ hearts sank. We turned to each other and tried to give encouragement… ‘they won’t be going to Newcastle’ we said… ‘they must be going to Benidorm / Ibiza / Dublin’ we hoped….

Hopes were dashed almost immediately, when the collective DRFC started chanting…. ‘Shearer, Shearer, Shearer….’ We knew they would be on our flight… One lovely American lady, en route to see a cousin in Durham, commented that she hoped she would escape being covered in vomit.

The wait in departures was long – what was actually only 50 minutes seemed like an eternity… DRFC continued drinking in the bar, and then proceeded to announce, to the entire departure lounge, who was sharing which room with whom when they arrived in Newcastle… in case you were wondering, Jonno is sharing with Dave, despite his demonstrations to swap with Matty…

When we finally boarded the flight, we were all relieved to see that DRFC sat together at the back of the plane… at least we were out of vomit range…. but not out of range of the paper aeroplanes which periodically winged their way down the cabin, landing on the laps of unsuspecting passengers at the front…

This, coupled with the constant queue of DRFC members at the toilet (standing just too close to the aeoplane exit door and fiddling just a little too much with the buttons next to said door for our liking) and the non-stop singing of ‘Swing low sweet chariot’ and ‘Bread of Heaven’, interspersed with chants of ‘Shearer… Shearer…’ made for what could be described as an interesting flight!

The cabin crew did their best – stopping the safety demonstration twice to chastise the merry DRFC for not listening properly, and threating them with the Captain’s wrath should they not do as they were told…

But is was with some relief that it was all nearly over, when we touched down at Newcastle (to the applause and cheers of DRFC and more ‘Shearer’ chanting…)

Home at last!

The bonny bonny banks

We had a lovely relaxing few days on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond… the hotel was gorgeous, with a view of the loch from our window. It was lovely to be able to sleep with the curtains open (no street lights!) and wake to the view over the water each morning…

The room was huge (it even had its own sauna, would you believe, although we didn’t use it), and the staff were very welcoming. The food was out of this world, as was the setting of the restaurant, with uninterupted views over the water (well, at breakfast anyway… it was dark at dinner time!)

All in all, a well-timed few days away, with time to reflect, seek God and generally get things in a bit of perspective…