Battening down the hatches

Mid-August sees us looking down the wrong end of Winter’s loaded gun, and with no central heating…

Ah – you may scoff, but there is Orcadian folk wisdom that says “County Show, and then it is Winter.” Well, the weather on County Show day was proof enough that Summer is on her last legs – and we don’t really do Autumn up here. The Equinoctial gales will be upon us soon enough and then we shall be bunkered in until next April. The weather was pretty grim for the  Sanday Show too. Oddly though, both days were followed by perfectly splendid ones.

While we were at the Sanday Show a neighbour asked us of we needed our central heating boiler servicing this year (he arranges a schedule for a visiting fitter to attend to.) Mr L said that no, we did not. I gave him a sideways look that he failed to notice. We walked on for a moment. I could not hold it in…

“Are you not concerned about that noisy bearing?”

“Oh, I had forgotten about that!”

“Are you going to catch him up and tell him yes, then?”

“No. I can sort that out myself.”


Aware then that good days will be fewer and further apart now, we elected to take advantage of the beautiful day yesterday. Mr L tackled the boiler first. It transpired that the once-noisy bearings have now become fully-seized. It also transpired that Mr L did not have the correct tools for the job, and thus the injudicious usage of a screwdriver resulted in a sequence of shouts, swearing, blood and first aid measures.

(So, what is it about men that makes them go off half-cocked at a DIY project and then require one to act as nurse when the dust settles? eh? EH? Are they really the same species as we more measured mortals?)

There is now a boiler burner on the garage floor. Bearings and tools have been ordered and, just for once, a man was persuaded to leave the job alone until in a better mood and with proper armoury to hand.

The chooks had a deep clean in the morning and then I did some more work on my little spinning garden in the afternoon. SpinningGill brought me a lovely present round and we all stopped for a cuppa. Then I made Pork Stroganoff…

After dinner we took the dogs out into the bay, where the late sun proved to be overwhelmingly warm for me. Summer may be fleeing, but she is not yet pronounced lifeless.

We have another fine day today and I am making the most of it by catching up on some laundry. Once the main wash is cleared I shall be needing to wash a lot of pet bedding over the next couple of weeks, as there will be no chance to do so over the back-end months – it simply will not dry.

The UFO list remains under review. Today I really must concentrate on getting the house into some semblance of order. I shall firm the knitting plans up this evening, if all goes well.

UPDATE: three loads of washing done so far; Dyson deployed; washing up done after dishwasher failed to operate; and for those who doubted the onset of Winter – the mice have moved in to the utility room already! I’m about to cook lunch, freeze some eggs, and then block a shawl.

If you need me this afternoon, you will find me vacuuming cupboards and laying bait. I shall have to tip out the bags of dyeing fleece too and ensure that the little beggars haven’t set up home in my Shetland!

I’d rather be knitting…


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