Saturday, 2 December 2017

Bramall Lane gets a new roof...

Oh my good god the weather has suddenly turned wintery up here in the hills with this morning's temperature outside less than 10 degrees - this is cold by any stretch of the imagination and did not augur well for our early morning dip.

Our final personal challenge is to swim in the pool up until the point it has reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the year when John reached the big 5-0.  It has hovered in the mid 50s for some time now and we have even wondered whether the pool thermometer that we inherited from Diana was, in fact, faulty!

It was with some trepidation that I fished said thermometer out of the pool, thinking that I might have to break some ice in order to do so.  The temperature has moved in a downwards direction but not quite far enough to call it a day.  Today we reached the heady heights of 52 degrees but it was reasonably sunny outside so that temperature didn't phase us too much and once again we resolutely donned our swimmers for an early morning dip before Bassam pitched up to put the new roof on Brammall Lane.

Here is the evidence - we did it, a short sharp sortie into the pool before donning 'scruffers' in readiness for the working day ahead.  Bassam arrived as promised just before 9.00am and he and John shot off down to the woodyard in Polis to get all the bits that were required to make our covered way (Brammall Lane) more waterproof than it had been.  If it is raining people will now just get wet running from the road down the path to our gate, then have a dry stretch before legging it to the front door!

So this is Brammall Lane stripped of its original covering (note the exceptionally beautiful blue sky) ready for Bassam to do his stuff.  There is something rather scary about Bassam wielding his man-made blow torch machine near wood, near my plants and near our relatively new fencing.  The waterproof covering needs melting into place and Bassam was a regular boy with a toy and a gung-ho attitude to match!  John went and fetched the hose 'just in case' and I kept an eye on my beloved wisteria (actually given to me by Bassam a couple of years ago) for fear that it was going to end up a shriveled mess!  In the end nothing was too badly affected thank goodness and Bassam laughed at my reactions!  The next job we have for him will not require the use of any sort of flame thrower - for which I will be extremely grateful.  You will note the pile of stones that has reappeared in the garden having been stored somewhere else for a while, this is to remind John that something needs doing with them - apparently he has some ideas!

The last time we were at Mum and Dad's we retrieved the winter throws from where we keep them stored and looking at the temperatures we will be glad that we have done so.  They may not look so great but they are warm and snuggly and both we and the cats appreciate them!  We have yet to light the woodburner although it is all ready - so far we have managed with the gas fire for a short period just to lift the temperature of the room but I reckon I am benefiting from being a woman of a certain age as I have yet to feel cold when I would normally do so.

We have been on a bit of a tidy-up around the house.  John and I are by no means minimalist, nor can we agree on what should go or what should stay, so it normally gets to the point where I have shoved as much into a cupboard that I can reach as can possibly go in there and then John decides enough is enough and we have a clear out.  The food cupboards got the treatment today as we have inherited quite a bit of store cupboard food from various visitors who were self catering and there is a load of stuff in there which needs to be used - shamefully I found an unopened bottle of something which we must have brought over with us as it had a sell-by date of sometime in 2007!

With beautiful clear cupboards and a bag of lemons from Sheila and a bag of oranges from Mum's I set about making some lemon pickle (with a small jar for the Bobster when he needs it) and some marmalade.  Initially I couldn't seem to get the marmalade to set so I reboiled it and now think it is so adhered to the glass jar it may never come out let alone spread!

Cooking done I spent the remainder of the warm daylight hours out in the garden and once Bassam had left John and I tackled the woodstore/workbench area outside the kitchen and rebuilt it so it houses the rubbish bin and the recycling boxes making it much more aesthetically pleasing!

Fridge surprise tea tonight was a sort of arabiata inspired pasta dish with a packet of linguine which came from someone as I have never bought this and some leftover chicken, pastourma, chorizo and halloumi - it was fab!

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