Friday, 18 April 2014

Good-bye, Hello, Hello, Hello!

The Faithful Old Friend--Good-bye
It has been an interesting week here in our little flat.  On Monday, whilst sitting here at my computer, the phone rang.  The young lady on the phone identified herself as an employee of Faulkner’s Plumbing and wanted to know if Tuesday was be a good day for a plumber to come and install a new boiler.   She indicated that it might be a two-day job, as a new radiator was to be installed as well.  On the hope that it would take only one day, I said, that yes, Tuesday (the 15th) was acceptable.
                I wrote in my diary/calendar, “Faulkner—8.00 to 9.00 am—boiler replaced.”  Each morning my alarm goes off at 7.00 am, so I get up and take my morning medications; unfortunately my bad habit is to return to bed for at least another hour.  But Tuesday morning this was not an option.  I got dressed in anticipation of the workman coming.  It was 7:45 am, and I thought, “I’ll lay on the couch and snooze.  I have between 15 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes.”  I had just settled when the buzzer shrieked at me.  It was 7:50 am—forget 15 minutes!  I didn’t even get five! 
                The young man who was at the door was over six feet tall, and solidly built.  After inviting him in I directed him to the kitchen to show him the boiler.  He was so energetic and enthusiastic, I couldn’t help but ask: “Have you always been a morning person?” 
                “Oh yeah.  I’ve been down in the car since 7.30 am, waiting.  But I thought I’d ring the bell and see if it was okay to come up.” 
                “That’s fine.”  I said, secretly wishing I could go back to bed.  “By the way, my name is “Lady Helene”. “
                The young man was bending over, removing cleaning products and laundry detergent from the sink.   He was getting to the stop-cock under the sink.   “My name’s Harry.  They call me Harry Potter.”
                “Would you like coffee, Harry?” 
                “That would be perfect.”
                I poured coffee for him, and for myself.  Harry made short work of the coffee and then made another trip to his vehicle to get equipment. 
                As Harry got to work, I excused myself, telling him I wasn’t feeling well and laid down to doze on the couch.  I hate the trembling, weakness, and weariness that comes over me at times.  But at least I was out of Harry’s way. I dozed about 90 minutes.  When I got up I made some phone calls.  I had learned that indeed I would need to work at home on Wednesday.  That meant a phone call to the Vicar to inform him.  After that I made a couple of other personal calls.
                It was after lunch and I was checking my e-mail in my studio when Harry interrupted me.  “Do you want the bad news first or the good news?”
                I turned the chair to face him.  “Well, Harry, the bad news first.  Always the bad news first.”
                “The bad news is your cooker is disabled.  I found a gas leak. “
                “Great!” I said with droll sarcasm   “What’s the good news?”  I asked a bit disheartened.
                “You need a new cooker (stove & oven).”  He said, philosophically.
                Well, I wasn’t pleased by that news.  It broke my heart to hear that I had to say good-bye to the old stove.  That faithful gas cooker, with the grill at the top, had served me well in the eleven years I’d lived here.  Every time I lit a match to light the burners or oven I was reminded of stove in Grandma’s kitchen.  A new cooker would mean no need for matches; no more lighting memories along with the matches.  Deep sigh.
                Equally, I did not fancy having to spend money on a new major appliance.  “The Maverick” is now seriously training for his 2,300 mile ride to raise awareness of human trafficking and raise support for two anti-slavery organisations.*  He still needs to purchase plane tickets, some specialised bicycling clothes, and have cash for buying food along the way.  The timing is just not good for needing a new cooker. 
*(See “the Maverick’s blog”
                But, “The Maverick” is using some of his limited spare time to search on-line for a new stove/oven/grill.  He is great at doing research. 
                So, good-bye faithful friend.
The New Duvet, awaiting the duvet cover
                Week before last I was at Sainsbury’s, shopping for groceries.  Remembering that Sainsbury’s was the store a friend had bought some tea towels that looked very similar to Cath Kidston designs,(  I went down the house wares aisle.   I didn’t find the tea towels.  But I DID find a beautiful duvet set—luscious yellow background, with red roses and peonies.   It was £20, very reasonably priced.  The last time I’d bought duvet covers was 2003 in South Africa.  We were due!  So, I bought it!  Say hello new Duvet cover.
                The duvet on our bed was on “The Maverick’s” bed long before I ever arrived here in England.  It was old, stained, and getting flimsy.  I refused to put the new duvet cover on the skanky old duvet.   This time I asked “The Maverick” if our budget could afford a new duvet.  While it was possible to get one for about £20, I wanted to invest in a high quality duvet.   I found what I wanted on clearance price at Soak and Sleep, an on-line store.  ( 
A Fresh Bed!
Thursday I changed the sheets—putting on new sheets.  I’d bought the yellow sheets a couple of years ago whilst in Florida.  But I’d never opened the package.  So all the bedding was new—sheets, duvet, duvet cover and pillow cases.    How lovely to sleep in such a fresh bed!
                So, good-bye stove, hello, duvet set, and new duvet.  Now, I’m just waiting for hello new cooker!
Serving Jesus, Author of our faith
“Lady Helene”

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

This mornings giggles...

I was sitting on the edge of the bed this morning getting dressed for work.  

The Maverick comes in and says: "It's so nice to have warm feet!  Now, where did I leave them?"

"What, your warm feet?" I counter.

"No, my trousers.  Stop being obstreperous."  :-)