We might have expected it

It was honestly a surprise when we arrived home after seven months away and everything turned on with no problems. Even the Central Heating boiler fired up first time of asking, as did the car – once we had purchased a new battery. However…

After a week the Central heating packed in. We sent for a new jet, which has now arrived but has failed to solve the problem. We did not miss the heating when the sun was shining but things have turned nippy again over the past couple of days and I am adding layers as time wears on.

This morning I heard a dripping in the bathroom. It transpires that the wash basin mixer tap has failed and is leaking willy nilly. It took ages to persuade it to come apart but finally the  cartridge was extracted. We counted teeth (!) to find that we needed a cartridge with 22 teeth but these are not available. Any other dentition count would be fine. So, we cannot simply send for a replacement cartridge. Mr L tried replacing the O rings but that has not solved the problem. Looks like we need a new tap and in order to fit that we will have to pull boards off walls… He has ventured forth just now in the slight hope of finding that one of the local shops has a tap set in stock. You never know. They do tend to have the most surprising things handy. Overall, I expect to have to get up in the morning and sail off to Jewsons. We are now on summer timetable and Tuesdays are not my favourite day to go to town. Leaving here at 08:30 and not being home until 5pm is not my idea of fun. The boat docks at 11:00 in Kirkwall and leaves at 16:40. I don’t need five and a half hours in order to buy a tap and window shopping is not my thing. What do I do to fill in time?

For now I am looking on the bright side and hoping that Mr comes home, against all probability, with just what we need.

It is a pain, having the water turned off when I am trying to knock the house into shape. Generally speaking we continue to make slow progress. Last night a quantity of model railway bits left the property and there is now some space to move in what was formerly the train room. The big room is also coming to order. The Utility room is slower to conform but I see visible improvement here in the office. I am not sure what to target this week but so long as we have water again, I will tackle the utility room, I think. I would like to make sufficient progress to feel that I have earned some leisure time in which to sit at my spinning wheel before I finally have to part with it.

I have agreed the sale of both my drum carder and my Knitter’s Loom so they can both vacate some space very shortly. I’m a little reserved about letting the loom go but have to be honest with myself and admit that I am not going to find time to play with all the lovely colours and textures that I have been saving for “one day” projects. If I prioritise one craft I think that it may be my spinning. After all, I can take some knitting off to France.

Speaking of France: we now have the three directories that we sent away for and have begun to plan the early days of our trip. We have decided whenabouts we hope to leave here and have identified a route plan down to Folkstone and then beyond for the first two or three days. We went as far as identifying our meal plan for night two!

Language studies have begun, with an audio book that we can spend time with in bed before sleeping. Channel Tunnel tickets have been priced and Tesco vouchers checked but that is on hold until we can book a return passage for March 2018.

All that remains to be done is to sort out our passports and that we hope to do later this month when we go over to the big island for  a few nights. We are taking Vincent to town so that I can go to one of the Folk Festival concerts and see Eddi Reader. We have booked a pitch at the Picky centre for that night and hope to do a couple of nights “wild” as well. We will fit in some Tesco shopping before coming home again.

I think that this will be our first live gig since seeing The Eagles at Sheffield Arena! The Picky is a slightly more intimate venue 🙂


  1. spinninggill
    May 8, 2017

    You could always do the St Magnus tour – it needs to be booked in advance though.

  2. Anna
    May 8, 2017

    Beth – just ring Jewsons/William Wilsons etc. with what you want! They’ll get it to the afternoon boat if you get them before ten in the morning, and then it’ll cost you 4 or 5 quid with Sinclairs. Much cheaper than going in!

    • May 10, 2017

      Now, Anna, I made that very suggestion – only t be met with “that’s no good as they’ll only get it to JBT and then…. blah blah blah” Anyway, we couldn’t find what we needed so I didn’t go. In fact I recall when we first fitted the bathroom we had the same problem of finding a tap set that would work with the bowl that we have and ended up buying more than one set because of that. We probably still have the first one in the garage!.

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