Monday, January 28, 2008
So, the room is complete. The finishing touches are not. McColleague and I are poised with all the little extras that make a volunteer/staff room so appealing. We have all the usual tea making paraphernalia along with a noticeboard, a clock, a comfy chair, some nice pictures for the wall and so on. The one thing we didn't have was a table. Not to worry though. Lovely Warden was making one."Now before I show it to you," said Lovely Warden, about to open the door of the warden's shed to display his handiwork, "the correct response is 'that's a beautiful table'".
McColleague and I nodded dutifully as he looked at us, then exchanged meaningful glances as he turned away.
As expected it was very large and made of wood.
"That's never going to get through the door!" exclaimed McColleague.
"It's very big," I said. "Oh, and beautiful, " I added, hastily.
"It'll be fine," said Lovely Warden. "I'll bring it down tomorrow, on the trailer. I can't fit it in my van."
As predicted, it was too big to fit through the door. The top of the table had to be removed and reassembled once inside.
It takes up quite a lot of the room. It is so big that McColleague was able to wax and buff it usuing the electric floor polisher we use in the house. Lovely Warden is unrepentent. He says it is such a lovely table he wants it to be the focal point of the room. And it is.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This is Lovely Warden's latest creation. McColleague and I discovered it in the bird hide. It is a massive, hand crafted wooden mallet. I do not know why Lovely Warden has made it and am reluctant to ask (it takes all the fun out of guessing, for a start).
Is it for giant games of croquet? Dealing with the squirrels who steal the nuts meant for the birds? What uses can there be for a giant wooden mallet in a bird hide?
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Whenever the subject of mains water was raised I was informed that we couldn't just change over because of the difference in pressure. Our spring water system just wouldn't cope with mains water. All the ballcocks and pipes would need replacing first. It made sense to me.
So imagine my surprise when my water supply was changed from spring to mains a month or two ago.
"Don't we need to change the pipes first?" I asked, in some concern.
"It'll be all right," said my Boss.
"Right," I said.
So imagine my surprise when, on my way to bed at midnight, I discovered a river of water running through the house.
The water pipe outside my kitchen window had burst and was fountaining gallons of water up through the drain cover and subsequently into my kitchen. I phoned my Boss who duly arrived with his brother-in-law, Colin, our resident plumber and builder. We all stood outside, in our wellies, torchlight reflecting off the bubbling water.
"Nothing we can do tonight," said Colin. "I'll just turn off the water supply for now and be back first thing in the morning".
When you've spent the night having to fetch buckets of water from the courtyard to flush the loo, it is a wonderful thing to see a yellow digger outside the kitchen window. It gives you hope.
"I reckon it was the change in water pressure that did it," mused Colin.
"Oh yes. It'll be all right now."
Imagine my surprise a few days later when I discovered the overflow from the cold water tank in the roof space pouring out water just outside my back door. To exit the house you had to go through a small waterfall. Colin came to investigate.
"It's the ballcock. It's not designed for this kind of mains pressure. I'll fit a new one."
"Will it be ok now?"
I am already imagining my next surprise.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
"Blimey," I muttered. "Fred's a bit scary, isn't he?"
Our instructor went on to tell us that while Annie is modelled on a petite woman, Fred reflects a more modern trend and is based on a 19 stone man. He was therefore a lot more demanding on the arm muscles when performing CPR.
My knees felt the strain too. Two days of crawling around on industrial nylon carpet, applying bandages and the kiss of life meant I was sporting a couple of impressive carpet burns, despite the jeans I wore.
I passed the exam at the end of day two and went away with a renewed qualification and the beginnings of the flu bug that knocked me out over Christmas. I am convinced someone breathed their germs into the chest cavity of Fred or Annie and I subsequently breathed them in. The medicated wipes used to clean the doll between each use only sterilise the surface. I am convinced Fred gave me flu.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
"Hello! Photographing my knitted people, are you?"
Eek! It was Olive! I was caught.
"Yes," I replied. "I always take a picture to show my friends. We love your knitting."
"Are you local?"
Olive asks me this every time she meets me. I explained again that, yes, I only live up the road at the manor house.
"Would you like to see more of my knitted figures?"
"Um....well I'm a bit pushed for time."
"I've got loads more in the back of my shop, come and look."
It was hard to refuse. The shop was right there and I had been caught showing an interest. Olive ushered me through, into the dark recesses beyond the counter. The bell above the door jangled as someone else came into the shop. "I'll leave you to it," she said.
And so I found myself alone in a room surrounded by life-sized knitted figures. Apart from what I think was a knitted mayor. He was half the size of all the others. I don't know why.I wondered how long was the politely correct amount of time to spend on my own among the knitted people. My cameraphone pictures weren't doing them justice, my hands were far too shaky with the excitement of it all.I texted McColleague. "I am in the back of Olive's wool shop! If I appear in knitted form in a shop window in a few days time you will know I fell to the House of Wool." And I sent an accompanying picture to illustrate my predicament.After a while I decided to venture back out again. Olive was serving some customers in the front of the shop so I was able to call out a cheery "Well, thanks for that, I've some lovely pics now to show everyone!" as I made for the door without slowing or making eye contact.I must return the favour when the house re-opens and invite Olive along to see our Nursery Rhyme Trail. I've a feeling she'd really like it.