It’s a bit slow going at the moment

Well, it looks as if autumn is here despite the almost total lack of summer this year.  We had some fine days though these seemed to coincide with doctor or other unmovable appointments, of course.  Still, we are making some progress though it seems a bit slow going at the moment.  Some of this is the weather – can’t do much outside in the pouring rain.  Some is down to lack of workmen.  There are a number of specialist jobs still outstanding and we can’t always find anyone able or willing to do them.  Sometimes it’s just the system – and people not listening when we say just get on with it!

Our big problem at the moment is the well water.  The excesses of the “summer” mean the water table is high – only 6 feet deep according to professional measurements.  The same day I was merrily writing the last episode there was a lavish application of what smelt like pig slurry in the nearby fields.  Two hours later the heavens opened and it poured for several days.  The next morning our water was yellow.  We took samples and rushed them to the lab and began to use only bottled water for drinking and cooking.  The first results confirmed our cautious approach showing a high level of e-coli. 

We are still waiting for the chemical analysis but are trying to get a full system installed.  Like everything else, it’s a bit slow going at present.  Regardless of the recent analysis we want every possible precaution in place.  After all, we have already had high nitrates in the water and the limescale is off the charts.  Living in a rural area, readings change from one day to the next.  We want to safeguard our water, and do it now.  This however is proving difficult. 

The company we want to use won’t come out or discuss options until all the analysis is in.  It’s a bit like trying to get past our previous doctor’s receptionist.  She won’t (or can’t) answer the questions we have and won’t put us through to someone who can.  First we have to jump through her particular hoops.  We don’t care what the report says, we want everything so this never happens again.  Not so much a bit slow going, more a total impasse.  Meanwhile we are struggling on with bottled water. 

The strange weather patterns seem to have disrupted some of the wildlife.  The geese, for example, are either totally absent or arriving in much larger numbers.  We had a plague of flies in the hot spell and then nothing for several weeks.  Clearing off a windowsill out the back I discovered a strange insect dead in one of the jugs.  It was a fair size, about 3 centimetres, with wings, a hard casing and serrated underside.  Anyone know what it might be?

Jacqui has been working on the Majestic, to make it a usable workshop and also to make room for the new water system when it finally arrives.  It’s been a lot slower than we hoped, for health reasons as well as problems finding reliable workmen for the heavy stuff.  This week she finished the first movable workbench and we can start clearing the centre.  There will be a lot of space with the shelves she’s put up using the roof battens as recycled material and it will be ready for wiring soon. Exciting times!

She also unpacked the metal shelf unit she’d ordered – but this isn’t what she ordered at all.  Alas, it arrived months ago so we are stuck with it.  The frame is flimsy aluminium and it falls apart when stood up so she’s bending the fittings to lock them in.  The instructions are just pictures and so badly illustrated they make little sense.  I hate the picture leaflets – I can’t understand them at all, probably as I’m dyspraxic.  These are so useless they don’t even list the number of parts and the only written section is about using cut-proof gloves.  This, I feel, demonstrates their manufacturing values – rough edges included in the price.

We have a sort of routine now.  Even if we are working in different places we meet for coffee in the middle of the day.  We’ve taken to choosing a TV series and having one episode a day and have gone through a number of favourites, old and new.  Just recently the ever helpful sky box suggested “Schitts Creek” so we tried one episode out of curiosity.  It is a delight!  For once the sky box got it right and we are enjoying it more as the series goes on.  I saw the adverts when it was first broadcast and thought, “Ugh, you’re joking!”  Well, I was totally wrong.

One trip into town this week was to the optician for me.  My glasses get a hard time and I knew I probably needed a new prescription.  I was right and now I should wear glasses when driving, which I was expecting and do anyway.  The visit was very enjoyable, much to my surprise, and my eyes are healthy.  I did the hearing test too whilst waiting for all the forms to be filled in.  It seems my hearing is also very good, especially considering my age.  I can hear almost up to bats squeaking and I put that down to rarely going to live music unless it features an orchestra.  After once trying a rock concert I had to leave after half an hour.  I was a wimp when young but I’m feeling the benefit now.

One of the assistants recognised me as “the writer lady” and asked about some books.  Several others joined in and I handed out bookmarks and talked a bit about the books, both Alex Hastings and Puppy Brain.  It was nice to talk about writing and to find people were still interested in the books.  We also got a message from a friend from the UK.  She sent a screenshot of “The Moth Man” on holiday.  She wanted to know if there were any more and immediately went on line to get a copy of “Smoke and Adders”.  That was a lovely moment.

So, it’s a bit slow going at the moment but we are still moving on.  It rains a lot but the spectacular skies are wonderful this time of year.  And just occasionally there’s a rainbow.

Thank you for reading, take care and I hope to see you again in a few weeks.