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Right Said Fred – 20 November 2017

Woke to a light grey Scottish sky. Light in colour but heavy with rain which they were proudly pouring down on us and it continued to pour down all day.

The big job this morning was the decanting of the the three-seater settee to the front garden for uplift tomorrow by the cooncil van. With typical NLC efficiency they had confirmed that the uplift would be some time between 7.30am and 6pm. However they forgot to confirm the day, so all we have is the word of the person on the other end of the phone last week. We tried twisting and turning the settee every which way, but it simply wouldn’t go through the door. The door had to come off. Still we needed that extra 20mm or so. The feet had to come off too. with that done, we now had the settee in the hall where it could be maneuvered more easily. Now we just had to get it through the front door. Again we twisted it and turned it, but it wouldn’t go. I did think about taking the door off, but that meant using a set of Allen Keys and they were in a cupboard that was blocked by the settee. Then I had the eureka moment. I didn’t need to take the whole door off, just removing the handles would be enough. So that is what I did and with a push and a shove a grunt or two and a few muttered sweary words the settee landed in the front garden, where it now resides until its uplift by the cooncil, some time between 7.30am and 6pm, hopefully tomorrow. Now we just need to go through the same procedure on Friday when the two-seater gets uplifted by a furniture charity, but we’ll leave the professionals to bring in the new settee next Monday. If you get a chance, look up “Right Said Fred” by Bernard Cribbins on Spotify. You’ll understand how this furniture removal thing works!

After we’d tidied up the living room and the hall, it was time for Gems to arrive although the sopranos were sitting were sitting on dining room chairs and the altos were on the two-seater. I didn’t wait to hear the comments, I headed to the leisure centre for a swim (hopefully), a sauna (probably) and a shot in the steam room (definitely). As it happened, I managed all three, although there were a lot of people in the pool for a while. I came away feeling a lot better than when I’d gone in. The heat and gentle exercise seemed to relax my poor battered, stretched and twisted body. I’m getting too old for this furniture moving lark.

Came home and it was time for dinner (chilli for me. Baked potato for Scamp) before we drove in to Glasgow for our Monday double dose of salsa. We hadn’t been to any class above level two for two weeks and it showed in our dancing, well, in mine at least. However we enjoyed the moves we learned which were Eva, Disco, Iadonovan and Puerto. I’d never have remembered them, but Jamie G demonstrated them at the end of the class and encouraged us to video them. Evalina from the 6.30 class also told us that there is a private WhatsApp group for sharing salsa videos from class. That would be useful. It was while we were in class that I realised I hadn’t put kidney beans into the chilli. Funny the things you think about at the most inappropriate times!

I grabbed a few shots after the removal was done, but before Gems arrived. Just a few shots in the garden taken despite the rain. The raindrops won PoD.

We had planned to go to Perth tomorrow, but now we’re not so sure. It looks like it will be Wet, Wet, Wet. Without Marti Pellow!

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What’s Cookin’ – 27 October 2017

Almost from first thing this morning somebody was cooking, because Crawford and Nancy were coming to dinner.

Scamp started early on her desserts, later I was baking bread and later she was on the main course, closely followed by me doing my mise en place or to put it another way, Getting Stuff Ready for the starter. So, we were a bit backward today, starting with the desserts and finishing with the starter. In between time Scamp went for messages and, later, so did I. Wow, that was about it! Now the puddings are done Giant Jaffa Cake & Grown up Banoffee Pie. Main is nearly ready and it’s Chicken with Tarragon and Leeks. As soon as I get this finished the Mini Quiche starters will be going into the oven (how mini, just one each).  In between times I managed to get my new iPhone (named See Saw) connected and working.  Isn’t it wonderful to have a phone that can hold two days worth of music and still have room to spare.  Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice a few of my favourite apps because they won’t work on the new OS.  Oh well, nothing lasts forever.

Five hours later:
Well that went down well. The starters were consumed as was the main. The overall impression from us pair was that the Giant Jaffa Cake was too dry and the Grown up Banoffee Pie was too heavy. Scamp thought it was too chocolatey, but nothing can be too chocolatey, can it? Otherwise it was a great night with memories, stories told and jokes laughed at. What more can you ask for. Even the alcohol-free beer got a thumbs up from Crawford.

I only grabbed two shots today the best of which is above. No sketch done yet, but I’ve got a note from the boss to say I’m excused as long as I promise to catch up tomorrow.

The dishwasher’s on and sleepy time beckons at 12:20AM. G’ night.

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iPhone Day? – 23 October 2017

Well, today should be iPhone day, but then, so should last Monday and look what happened there … and since!

It’s usual when you have a parcel being delivered by DPD to get a text or an email giving you a one hour time slot. Today, nothing. I waited until after eleven and checked on the DPD site and found that my parcel would be delivered between 6.00am and 10pm today. By my reckoning that’s slightly more than an hour. However, at least it did say ‘today’. Later I phoned the depot and got a voice message to the effect that it would be delivered between 5.20pm and 6.20pm today. A bit more helpful, but nothing in writing and as I’ve found, that’s what you need these days. I’ll wait, not patiently, but I’ll wait.

Other than that, I didn’t do much today. Installed a ‘free’ version of Acronis on the Linx just as Windows 10 decided it wanted to install updates and restart. That’s another computer whose access to the internet I need to restrict. This is becoming an epidemic. Operating systems that seem to think they own the computer. They didn’t pay for the computer, I did. It’s getting to the stage that the only OS worth installing is going to be Linux. At least for now, you are in control of updates.

Drove to The Fort to try to get a white gel pen. Fred phoned me while I was there to see if I was up for a coffee. I told him I wasn’t, but he did point me in the general direction of some cheap artists paint. Found the white gel pens, but at £3 a shot, declined the offer. Just to cheer myself up, on the way back I switched from Eco mode to Sport and zoomed past some traffic! It goes like stink in Sport mode, but I did manage to stay within the speed limit … just.

By the time I got back the Gems were packing up, so for once that was good timing. Salsa tonight and we have to try to remember last week’s moves. Off to try that now.

Well, the phone did arrive and it became today’s Inktober sketch, that is, its box did. “Take the money or open the box?” That was a line from an old TV show starring Michael Miles if I’m not mistaken. This box contains my new iPhone SE. I’ve had so much trouble getting it from Vodafone that I’m not sure now if I want to stay with them. So, do I take the money, ie cancel my contract? Or do I open the box and in so doing accept the contract? I think I’ll sleep on it tonight. I’ve waited over a week now for the resolution, so another day won’t matter.

Salsa tonight was much less stressful than last week, mainly because we took some time in the afternoon for a quick practise and that paid back a hundredfold when we came to dance the moves in class.

Today’s photo is of the last of the roses and the last of the sweetpeas. The rose is Alec’s Red which still grows strongly in the front garden, despite being over 40 years old.

Tomorrow we follow the yellow brick road through IKEA. Scamp is looking for a new lamp and I’m looking for a large frame for my pastel painting. Oh yes, and some Swedish Meatballs too.