Friday, 17 January 2020

Friday 17th January - Week End, Week Beginning

I find working out where one week ends and the other begins rather tricky.

When does the 'weekend' begin? When is the weekend?

I think of Friday as being the 'weekend', as it is a non-teaching day, apart from the drumming workshop in the evening which is very informal.

Saturday is NOT a 'weekend' day, as I have a fairly gruelling teaching session taking up all of the morning - eight pupils back-to-back. Saturday afternoon is 'recovery' time.

Sunday - ah yes, another 'weekend' day, especially if I am not down on a church rota. Playing the piano or organ in a church service is definitely 'work' - if I do a whole service then I will play a couple of pieces at the beginning, a couple of pieces while people go up to receive communion, and a short burst of something cheerful at the end. Oh, and three hymns, of anything up to six verses each. That's work.

Then it's Monday again! Just like that!

So, today was a sort of 'weekend' day. Up early, off to my God-mother's house to tidy up, meet the Estate Agent, clean the loo and the fridge, collect up all the unused medicines (three bags full - she'd just had a new prescription delivered), break open a filing cupboard in the garage (pots of old paint and a painter's floor cloth securely locked away from... who? whom?) and return the despised and ignored Zimmer frame to the hospital.

After lunch (fish and chips at the same garden centre as last Friday) we called into an amazing furniture store in Guildford. Our favourite computer chair in the sitting room has a tendency to catch the underside of the desk, lifting it and dropping it onto the cables, so we've swapped it for a better behaved chair from upstairs. However, the fabric is wearing through and it is showing its age (about twenty years).

Here's what we bought, in a darker colour wood. Happily, it is in the sale! We should be getting it in a couple of weeks.


On the way I finished the second slipper, and I'm wearing them both now.

Now I am in between knitting projects - what next?

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Wednesday 15th January - Rain and Wind and Sun

So what have we been up to since Sunday?

It all depended on the weather. Storm Brendan was due, with implications for going to Bracknell to visit my Godmother's house on the Tuesday (strong winds, heavy rain, risk of falling trees and flooded roads).

Image result for storm brendan

The first change of plan was to reschedule the visit for another time, and the second change of plan was to get on with completing the Probate forms, and deliver them to the Probate Registry in Brighton on Monday. Which we did. The forms were nowhere near as complicated as I had feared, and once we had scanned them in, and assembled the necessary supporting paperwork, the job was just about done. The advantages of actually taking them into the office were

Firstly, I got to press the sort of counter bell that goes 'ping'

Ringing Service Bell Hand Servant Service Butler Reception Waiter Shop Counter
from amazon

which is something I've always wanted to do in a real life situation

and secondly, someone answered the bell, went through all the paperwork, checked that everything was present and correct and gave me a receipt. Now we just have to wait.

Tuesday was teaching day. It dawned bright and clear, but Storm Brendan arrived over lunch time and by the end of the school day it was properly and wetly raining. When we went to bed we could hear the wind gusting against the front windows and blustering at the back.

I was unspeakably weary by the end of Tuesday - just waiting around to go to bed - but I did manage to finish knitting the first of a pair of slippers

The sole is dark brown, and the upper a speckly grey

 I need to sew it up. And also, knit up another slipper! I haven't decided whether to make it identical, or use the grey for the sole and the speckly brown for the upper. Need to give it a bit more thought.

We woke up to find a fence panel and a bird feeder from next door (on the windward side) cluttering up the garden, and another panel propped up by a couple of shrubs.

I drove through flooded lanes to my Wednesday school, taught seven pupils (the first four had forgotten their books which would have been more irritating except I've long given up being irritated.) What was rather fun was giving an impromptu djembe lesson to the staff in the staff room - they have a class set of djembes and no-one to teach it anymore. The music curriculum that they are supposed to follow is (in my opinion) dull and (in my opinion) difficult to teach, especially to the older classes. I tried following it one year and abandoned it fairly quickly.

Off to my afternoon school, where I teach a whole class of 7-year-old children to play guitar (no, I'm not a guitar player or teacher... it's a long story, don't ask) was plagued by a faulty fire alarm system so, after two fire alarms in succession (the first happened just before I got there, the second just after the children had all been allowed back in), the head teacher stationed me beside the alarm panel with instructions to press the 'mute' button if it sounded again, and, clutching a hammer, disappeared round the back of the school to...

well, the alarm didn't go off again, and a message was sent round to say that if there was a fire, someone would Ring The Bell.

Amazingly the children settled quickly, and I was able to teach them a new chord.
Unfortunately I taught the new chord incorrectly, but had just enough time to admit my mistake and re-teach. What did I say about being a guitar teacher?

Home, to find N and next-door lifting manhole covers and trying to clear the drains. Again. The blockage from Christmas time hadn't actually Gone Away, just Moved On Down The Drain.

I shut the door to the kitchen to keep the heat on, and carried on teaching piano lessons through the chaos.

Dynarod came and eventually cleared it; they'd had a terrible day and the Dynarod man was ready to say that it was the Water Authority's turn, but N charmed him into one last effort which seemed to have done the trick.

Image result for clearing a drain
not our drain

IN among all this, I dealt with a call from the home prescription deliver service, and N dealt with two requests for taxis. The taxi telephone calls don't bode well; there is a firm with almost the same telephone number as is, but their last digit is an 8. They used to have cards in fancy curly script, and everyone needing a taxi used to get the number wrong, especially late at night. We used to give them the number of a rival firm. Eventually I found out why we were getting the calls, rang the taxi firm and explained why we had been inadvertently sending their customers elsewhere. I think they must have hastily reprinted their cards, because the called stopped. Or else they went bust through lack of custom?

Asien Push and Go Pull Back Vehicles Friction Powered Cars Inertial Car Toys for Toddlers (Taxi)
from amazon

Is it still Wednesday? I think it may be - it feels as though we've had a week already.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Sunday 12th January 2020 - Do Nothing Day

Almost nothing.

I brought up breakfast in bed of cereals and coffee, he served up a second breakfast later on of Croissants and coffee. That's quite a good way of arranging things - saves filling the bed with crumbs.

There were several loads put through the washing machine and hung up to dry,

There was cleaning of the bathroom,

The sun came out, and there nearly was Going for a Walk, but there were also huge black clouds, so we did planting of anenomes (two) and moving of flower pots (what seemed like thousands) instead.

There was examination of the probate forms to see if we were in a position to complete them and be ready to send them on their way (we think we are). 

There was catching up with writing quotations, collected over several weeks, into my commonplace book (posh name for notebook!)

There was paying some bills and so forth.

There was baking; my 2020 Almanac has several recipes for each month; the lentil one I did last week, and the roasted rhubarb one I tried today. Also very good, if you like rhubarb. Which I do. And he doesn't, so it's all be mine, all mine!

(cut the rhubarb into useful lengths, toss in orange juice and honey (I used maple syrup) and star anise (I left that out, not my favourite flavour) and roast at 180 fan oven for 20 minutes. I'm pleased that I lined the roasting dish..., although the rhubarb didn't stick, and the maple syrup didn't burn onto the pan.

There was spare rhubarb, so I made puff pastry rhubarb crumble tarts (also all mine).

Then there was spare puff pastry, so I made cheese straws. Not so successful - more cheese would have improved them.

Recipes, from the internet

 Like I said - an almost nothing day, compared to previous days;

Friday - checking my godmother's house, talking to her neighbours, talking to various offices in connection with the house, buying lunch at a garden centre (and flowers for friends, and anenomes for me), calling in at the funeral director to tie up loose ends... and leading the drumming workshop when we got home

Saturday - teaching all morning, now that it is term time again. Eight pupils, back to back. That was a bit of a shock to the system, sitting around in a semi-catatonic state all afternoon and evening...

Ah well. Half term in five weeks time...

Now there is to be Eating of Supper provided by my nearest and dearest - yum yum!