Life can be like a row of dominoes

Just when you think things are settling down a bit something comes along to mess it up.  And sometimes the first thing knocks up against something else – something more – and everything falls over.  Just like a row of dominoes, one problem becomes a heap on the floor!  Our main problem came about because of two long-standing issues.  The electricity is much better now but the regular power cuts have caused havoc with our equipment.  The last one, almost 24 hours, led to the fridge/freezer defrosting again.  Already a bit dodgy due to age and a fluctuating electricity supply, down it went.  That’s our first domino.

We set to and emptied the fridge whilst waiting for the new one to be delivered.  This led to the second domino.  A lot of the frozen stuff was frosted and inedible, but we still have no regular bin service.  As we don’t want any more rats, discarding it in piles in the wood to eventually decompose into compost was not an option.  We contacted the splendid Derek Madden who agreed to take it away to the commercial dump for us.  There was too much for the bin he provides so we bought another – rats again.  Anything in a plastic sack, however “heavy duty”, would not last overnight. We were coming to the end of the hot spell and the collection was not a pleasant job so a big “Thank You” to him.

There’s a very strong recycling policy in Ireland and for a mere 10 Euros the old one could be taken away.  This proved to be a bargain for us but a bit of a nightmare for the poor van drivers.  The weather turned very nasty and kept on raining making the grass soft and treacherous.  Whilst our back door just met the minimum size it was a very tight fit and the whole thing weighed 122 kg.  They managed to get it into the kitchen and then had to get the old monster out.  In the end they managed but when they left we found the back door wouldn’t close properly.  The hinges are bent and the whole thing is out of alignment.  Jacqui managed to move it enough to close and the inner door locks but now we are hunting a door repair service.

The next domino was the drain, the grease trap, to be exact.  This is a regular headache but we have been very careful about putting any fat or food scraps down the sink.  It still blocked up and started to overflow, just as we needed to do an industrial scale wash up of tubs, containers and bottles.  On examination there was remarkable little grease but the whole thing was clogged with grit from the roof.  We’ve had the guttering rerouted but the storms washed a lot of debris in when the roof was being replaced.  John, the ever-reliable drain man came round and cleared it out but highlighted another problem.  Dominoes again!

All the water from the roof goes into the septic tank and the volume will damage the percolation system.  We need a proper soak-away dug and a pipe set from the guttering.  Hopefully he can do this before winter.

We were a bit tired and drained (excuse the pun) with all this but then we had one final domino.  Whilst brushing her we discovered a lump on the back leg of Cynthia, one of our dogs.  This was removed a few days ago and we are trying not to fret as we await the histology report.  Cynthia is being very good and hardly chewing at the stitches at all but it means one of us has to be with her at all times, just in case.  Knowing their ability to dead-leg passers by with the hard collars, Jacqui found a soft blow up one.  She has now worn it for a total of 15 seconds.  This is 5 seconds the first time and 10 the second. I’ll let you know how she is as soon as we have the report.

The final piece of excitement came just after midnight last week.  I ventured out into the hall heading for the bathroom and was dive bombed by what I thought was a bird.  Then I realised it was a bat!  My, they can move fast and make such a noise.  It raced up and down the hall as I dived for the back doors hoping it would somehow fly outside.  It then landed on the fly curtain and I was really worried it would get tangled up but finally it shot out into the darkness.  I’ve never been that close to a bat before and they are strange, hideous and beautiful all at one.  I can see why many people hate them but I was both scared and captivated by this nocturnal visitor. 

It’s not been all bad though.  Jacqui had her first meeting with the local band and is hard at work on the pieces she needs to practise.  And we now have one of those rare specimens – a plumber.  Joseph had been round and looked at the jobs, saying he’s be back when he was next up this way. He rang unexpectedly and asked if he could come on the day we had Cynthia at the vet.  We agreed, of course, and now we have a shower that doesn’t veer between scalding hot and icy cold.  We also have an outside tap in the garden at last.  Jacqui’s chipped tooth is fixed and I’m past the worst of my root canal treatment.  We are resting and feeling lucky we got through all this!

So, thank you for reading.  I hope it’s not too hot wherever you are.  We’ve had rain in various guises for about ten days now but – hey, welcome to Ireland! And here’s to keeping our row of dominoes upright next week.