Still here

Mr L made his way home safely and I collected him from the ferry at breakfast time on Saturday. Needless to say – we had a quiet weekend, though not so idle as we may have expected.

Saturday was a day of cuddles, relaxing baths, and welcome home food, And shopping, let’s not forget shopping. I cooked the remaining Elsness fillet steaks from the freezer and made a red wine sauce to go with them. I also wielded the new rolling pin and made a Bakewell Pudding with a difference.  At the shop we had found clotted cream and also some packs of what looked like very nice frozen berry mixes. A brief discussion resulted in purchasing both and I filled the base of the pudding with fruit instead of jam. Very nice it was too (and is, we shall finish it off today). Served warm with clotted cream, it was heavenly.  Should anybody care: I added a considerable amount of Caster sugar – 2 tbsps – and a tablespoon of cornflour, mixing all well before spreading it on the pastry and topping with the almond mix. The cornflour is supposed to catch the juices and thicken them before they soak the pastry. The extra sugar was because we would normally use  jam so it seemed appropriate to balance in that direction. In the event, the overall flavour remained quite sharp. The fruit was Del Monte, summer fruits variety.

Cooling, while I flashed the steaks
Cooling, while I flashed the steaks

I should note at this point that the rolling pin performed superbly.

A long conversation over dinner regarding Mr L’s working future resulted in a backup plan that involves going back to Scotland at some point. Let us hope that it never comes to fruition. For the time being we have agreed that if it comes to it we will do it, and with good grace. He certainly can’t go on making these trips as they are at present – and the worse alternative of going to live within commutable distance of Manc… well that just plain isn’t going to happen. We would rather starve.

Needless to say, a large portion of the weekend involved researching property prices in the designated area. It looks just about doable and we even found a couple of properties we’d quite like to move into. Be nicer if they were here, of course!

It is not to be taken as read though and I do not believe it to be coincidence that we pitched straight into investing in this home yesterday morning.

The sitting room stove has been out of commission for a while as the stove pipe had rusted through and was trying to gas us. Mr L took the stove out and removed the stove pipe. The plan was to measure up for a new one, buy it via the internet, then fit it next weekend.

Yes, “best laid plans”, and all that. As he was removing the stovepipe, he found the chimney liner dropping into his hands, decaying as it did so. So: new stove pipe, new chimney liner needed. Things were beginning to add up.

The chosen dealer will deliver here for just £12 [edit: I asked Mr L to double-check this fact,which now seems very much in doubt]. They have an offer on at present and are giving free stove pipes with new stoves. . .

Hmm. Further discussion ensued, during which some long term plans to re-jig the central heating were mentioned. . .  Thus, by a route that almost certainly only makes sense to us, we arrived at the conclusion that a new stove is now indicated. It will be smaller than the present one, more efficient, and will not have a back boiler.  The old stove has already found a new home and work will begin later today on the “interesting” task of reconfiguring the CH radiators. Some old and leaking pipe runs are coming out. We are burning bridges and will now have to invest in proper repairs to the Rayburn as there will  no longer be any CH in the kitchen!

On the positive side – the sitting room fireplace will no longer look as though it was designed by Heath Robinson! Perhaps we need photographs…

Among all this, I have been progressing my spinning and the roving is now spun and plied. I just need to skein off the second bobbin now.

2 ply
2 ply

I also swatched (!) for the UK-RAK shawl KAL and have settled on my needle size and pattern. Ready to knit! Cast on date is the 4th September.  I’m doing Jane Sowerby’s “A handsome triangle” in Colourmart’s DK Merino, in Forest Green. There may be time to work on a second shawl too.

Believe it or not, a swatch!
Believe it or not, a swatch!

For the rest of my day I shall be pulling ragwort, skeining yarn, carding fleece, and making risotto. Oh, and laundry. Of course.  Gah!