I spent Sunday snuggled on a chair in the bay window with a woolly blanket tucked around my knees (like a proper granny, which I am so I'm allowed!) and my embroidery on my lap. I was on a mission to make five soft slips to create a line of riverbank behind my kingfisher, which meant sewing approximately 3 million French knots using a single strand of cotton from a six stranded floss. Three shades of green involved, too. Why make life easy when you can make it bloomin' impossible,eh? Another Floss - Flora Bijou Mybug - burrowed her way underneath my tucked-in blanket, draped herself across my feet and promptly fell asleep. I daren't move from the chair because Flossie is a bit handy with her teeth and claws if met with sudden movement of feet. And I value my toes.
Besides, I was feeling a bit lacking in energy and therefore not up to any activity more strenuous than needlework. Yes, the willow arch needed cutting back. Yes, the upstairs shower screen needed a jolly good descaling. Yes, I should have been recruiting my core in my scheduled hour of Pilates, but I tell you this my friends - they weren't happening on Sunday. I'm not sleeping very well at the moment - don't know why as I have always been a pretty good sleeper. I am feeling a bit fretful of late, plus the hot flushes, although they are easing off, are still popping up once a night to disturb my night. Well, whatever...Sunday was a sewing day and it was good!
The Plumber came yesterday to inspect ancient boiler. How it has managed to continue pumping out hot water for the last 4 weeks I do not know, especially as it has been making a noise like a jumbo jet taking off, but anyway, the upshot of the inspection was, as we suspected, that our boiler is a walking dead zombie boiler and therefore needs replacing. 'I'll text later,' said The Plumber, 'and let you know the damage. And the earliest I can fit it will be 5th November.'
I think our Plumber was more excited about our prospective new boiler than we were. We like our Plumber. He's been sorting out our occasional plumbing needs for several years now and he is cheerful, polite, reliable and reasonable. Still, despite his enthusiasm for cheaper gas bills and WiFi controlled thermostats, I couldn't help but feel slightly anxious for the rest of the day about how much this darn boiler replacement was going to cost. A colleague of mine paid over £4,000 with British Gas and that was a few years ago. Andy and I did a few internet searches. Suggested costs seem to indicate a bill somewhere between £2000 and £3000. 'You'd like a new boiler for your birthday, wouldn't you?' joked Andy.
To distract myself I went into the garden to de-leaf and chop up the cuttings from the willow arch that Andy had tackled earlier in the day, before succumbing to the heebie-jeebies brought on by a mass of giant willow aphids dropping on his head. They are hideous creatures, giant willow aphids. The thought of them makes us both itch more than the thought of head lice. Eurgh!
Anyway, the willow arch cuttings have now been reduced to kindling wood size and are drying out in the now cleared greenhouse. There's enough to last us several weeks. And the log delivery is coming on Sunday, so we'll be warm until the new boiler cometh.
The Text of Doom duly arrived. Andy said,'So, do you want to know how much it's going to cost?' He was trying to be serious of face, but the corners of his mouth were twitching so I knew the news was not as bad as we were anticipating.
Just under £1500! Phew!! I slept better last night!
We've been lucky with the weather this last week or so. Lovely bits of sunshine, not too chilly. There have been warnings that this coming Winter is going to be a harsh one. Mind you, this has been said about the last two Winters and they have been quite mild. However, if the forecasts are true, what with the new triple glazing and the new boiler we should be well snugged-up against it.
Right, time to cook dinner, make a quick cake, light the fire, put the hens to bed and see if I can tempt Tybalt to a smidgeon of smoked haddock. He is still with us and still ticking along, although his appetite still isn't great. Meanwhile, Flora is growing rapidly to the size of a house as she has taken it upon herself to be hooverer-upperer of Tybalt's leftovers. She, dear chums, is growing her own personal insulating system for this Winter. Just in case.