Every Sunday morning, after I have dealt with the batch of emails that came in overnight (most of them being spam or garbage that needs no action beyond deleting), I scan my images directory, my outgoing email, facebook, myfitnesspal (the app I use for recording food and exercise, in support of my weight loss efforts) and my diary, to pick up all the events of the week, ready to select those that I think may be of interest for this blog. This week I found – nothing. No photographs, no emails, nothing on facebook, and but a single comment I posted on myfitnesspal. Here it is, suitably expanded.
Whilst taking the hellhounds for their regular three mile walk last Sunday we heard, in the distance, what sounded like frantic revving of a car, although it was difficult to be certain what, or where, it was. We quite quickly decided that, whatever the sound was, it was what Ford Prefect would describe as Someone Else’s Problem and, as such, it rapidly faded from our consciousness. Once we leave the roads and get onto what is effectively farm tracks, the dogs are generally running free, and we trust them to come back when called. There are so many interesting things to chase and to shout at, if you are a small dog with a penchant for flushing small birds (or rodents, or lizards, or anything small that moves) from wherever they happen to be (or where they might possibly be), or if you are a slightly larger dog who likes to follow his companion in case there is anything to justify the excitement (usually not). We have a couple of gathering points, where we call the dogs in, to keep them in sight. When we reach the top of the fishing lake – the exact spot where we saw the Night Heron in the spring [link] – we generally stop to regroup; both dogs know that a call of “family meeting” means there is food to be had. On this occasion, on reaching the top of the lake, we came across a young man whose car was badly bogged in deep, soggy mud in the track beside the fishing lake. It looked as though he had been trying to drive up the slope, had lost traction and slipped back such that the right rear wheel of his car was against the base of a mound. He then tried, for some time, judging by the sounds we had been hearing for between fifteen and twenty minutes, to drive out of there. The ground was seriously soggy, and his only success was in excavating a pair of beds for his front wheels. The car needed some serious pushing – uphill! It took a while, because the driver was still revving like a lunatic and digging in further! Eventually, we managed to persuade him to be a little more gentle on his accelerator pedal and, once we had successfully pushed him forward for a couple of metres, to straighten his wheels and drive, ever so gently, in reverse. That did the trick, and he drove off with a cheery wave – still driving as though his right foot were made of lead, and amazing us that he didn’t bog down again. Only when he had gone did we realise that, in all this time – probably around fifteen minutes – we had totally lost sight of the fact that we had a couple of dogs with us. Miraculously, they were both within a dozen metres of us, and behaving impeccably. On a positive note, we would probably not have had the stamina to do all that pushing (uphill, through icky, sticky mud) this time last year!
In other news, the photographer’s web site on which I have been working – hamishsmithphotography.co.uk – is now fully live and being populated. We are quite pleased with the result, which Hamish designed, and I implemented.
The bedroom TV has been playing up a bit. The symptoms were consistent with a very weak signal from the satellite dish. On inspection, we found that there was some damage to a small section of the cable from the dish, so that was cut out and the cable joined with a couple of male ends and a female/female junction. That made no difference, so we replaced the decoder with a spare one that was in the study (an old one that we had replaced with a FreeSat box). So far, it seems to be working OK. I suppose that, after seven and a half years here, it is not unreasonable that some of the things we brought with us, and that were hardly new when we came here, should start showing signs of age. I know we are!
The only other event of note is the arrival of a pair of telephones to replace the ones we have been using for a few years. We had noticed that the phones were frequently failing to ring when people called. On numerous occasions, we have been working on our PCs, less than a metre from the phone, when I have received an email telling me that we had just missed a call. We plugged in a very old and simple wired handset and, over a three-week period, not a single call was missed. We could only assume, therefore, that the base station of the DECT phones had developed a fault. The three Alcatel phones we did have, are now replaced by a pair of Phillips phones – we don’t need three, anyway, but that was the best deal at the time.
Winter is drawing on, and Clare is moving her craft workshop out of the annex, and back into the main study. It is always much warmer up here.
À la prochaine