30 December 2008


I started to write this to be published on Christmas Day, however, somehow I was sidetracked and it has taken me until now to catch up.
Christmas Day was reasonably quiet; Annette, Clive & the dogs have been staying with us for the whole of the holiday although Clive had to spend a lot of time at work as was the case on Christmas morning. Having opened presents, Clive went off to work for the morning and the rest of us went to Watergate Bay for some fresh air and to exercise the dogs. Here we are posing for the obligatory photo:

Clive finished work in time for dinner to be served at about 5 pm after which we spent a quiet evening relaxing in front of the TV.

During the preparations for Christmas Dinner, Maria noticed that some of the potatoes, which are kept in the garage, had large chunks missing. On closer investigation, we discovered mouse droppings and holes in various items of dog food and old paint sheets. We decided to set our traps (humane) that we bought last year and one that Clive came home with. The mice seemed to be able to pinch the bait without tripping the trap until we found one comfortably ensconced in Clive's trap. The following video will only be relevant if you can move it on frame by frame and even then the mouse is a blur as he/she makes a dash for freedom in the brambles in the top field.

Since this release, we have caught and relocated another one. This was in one of the smaller traps and it was so fat that it had to be shaken out; it then ran around my back pursued by Tia. It safely made the brambles eventually.

The weather has been cold and dry with a good amount of sun so we have taken the opportunity to climb our local mountain a couple of times so that we could pose with the recently erected (Christmas Day) Cornish Flag. A couple of photos show us up there being blown about by the wind:

14 December 2008

Twice in One Year - Snow Joke brings up the 100

After a rather late night watching X Factor etc, and perhaps consuming one Grouse too many, I woke up late this morning and, on opening up the black-out blind, I was met with the following scene:

Now snow doesn't usually last very long in Cornwall so there I was outside in slippers, tracksuit bottoms and a sweater to record our second fall of snow in one year, the last being in April.

It is quite pretty as long as you don't have to travel in it; I wonder what the person making the following tracks thought about it?

Just in case you haven't thought about the title, this is post number 100, so I am up there with Amy again!

10 December 2008

Calendar Girls

Yesterday we decided to combine some shopping in Plymouth with a visit to the theatre. We set off early-ish and called in at Trago Mills on the way, where we wanted to buy a new "runner" for the kitchen and some spare bulbs for the Christmas Lights. The runner cost £14 and they didn't have spare bulbs so how come we came out of there with a bill for nearly £80?
I had booked on-line for Calendar Girls, starring Linda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge, Sian Phillips, Gaynor Faye, Brigit Forsyth, Julia Hills and Elaine C Smith, but could only get seats in the Upper Circle. Once we had parked, we went to the theatre and asked whether we could get better seats and were pleasantly surprised to get a couple of seats in the middle of Row H in the stalls.

We went off and did some more shopping and had some lunch before getting back to the theatre in time for a cup of tea before the show started. I guess that most people will know the story of the Women's Institute Calendar Girls who have so far raised nearly £2,000,000 for Leukaemia Research so I won't bother with the story. Suffice to say that it was a tremendous afternoon's entertainment, alternatively very very funny and then touching. It was mostly funny and lest anyone thinks the show is for voyeurs of naked middle aged women, then think again. Yes they did take their clothes off, especially Linda Bellingham, but nobody could possibly take offence, as the scenes with the nakedness were very tastefully and cleverly done. Thoroughly recommended, even for an afternoon performance.

06 December 2008

Three times trouble

It all seems a little quiet since the wall was completed; Clive kindly came along and tidied up the top with just a little help from me and I took out one and a half barrow loads of rocks and rubbish from the ground at the side of the road, which has made the whole thing look more presentable.

On to the troubles as in the title of the Post.


About two weeks ago, I came down in the morning to find that the dishes were cold and not very clean. After blaming Maria for pressing the wrong buttons, I had to grovel an apology when we found out that something was not working properly. I found a code E9 fault displayed so went to the book for help; guess what, the fault codes go as far as E6! OK, so ring for help. Help. we were told would arrive in nine days time. On the ninth day, nothing and, on ringing back, the help line was "temporarily out of use". The penny dropped when we heard that MFI was in administration; guess who had installed the kitchen? No prizes there. On the same day, Maria heard someone delivering mail so went to pick it up, only to find that it was a letter for the previous occupants of the house. She rushed out to find that it wasn't the postman but a lady to whose house the letter had first been delivered. (stay with me here) They got chatting about this and that and she came back in with the suggestion that we should contact a local firm, F&K. Having made contact, they arranged for an engineer to visit the following morning. After dismantling the kitchen and then the dishwasher, he fixed it by cleaning out the water input supply and charged me £51 for doing it. I thought this was good value for nearly 2 hours work and much better than the call-out fee of MFI's service which was somewhere near £90.

Central Heating.

For some time, I have been puzzling about how the various components of the underfloor heating work and, as we have been here over a year now, I rang my contact plumber to ask his advice and get him to service the boiler. Unfortunately, he is not registered to work on LPG gas so he said he would contact someone for us. Sure enough a day or so later we had a phone call to arrange a time for a visit from CN Heating Ltd. On the due day Carl turned up and spent the next 2 hours servicing the boiler and explaining and carrying out small adjustments on the various parts of the system. Carl comes originally from Bradford and was very chatty and extremely helpful. As a result of his visit, we now have heat in the Boot Room, for the first time in memory, and hopefully a more efficient system. One more very useful contact. We also know where the pump is for Bedroom 1! His bill came to £69, which we thought was really good value.

Problem 3 - SKY.

Yesterday when we switched on the TV, the Sky channels were not working so I thought that the satellite must be down. Not so, as the fault continued all day. In the end I rang Sky and went through about half an hour of setting up, disconnecting, switching off and reconnecting so that finally we got the services back just in time for the Celebrity Jungle final. Apparently I had "static" in the line. Not sure about that but it is working now so all is well and, as everyone knows that problems come in threes, we should have no more hiccouphs for a while, not that I am in the slightest bit superstitious.