Tuesday 28th. January, 2014 – A thoroughly good day 

The boxing-in is now beginning to look very good indeed

I’m sitting writing this in my summerhouse. It is dark outside and I can hear the rain pelting down on the roof. It is all very cosy and beside me Mix is sound asleep on his huge new cushion.

The day started with Mix’s walk – it was blustery but not too wet and I love all the waves from the folk who have got to know me as they drive in and out to work each day. By half past eight I had breakfasted and was driving Olive into Berwick to the station. She has only one lecture today – to law students and later I drove back to Berwick just before supper time to pick her up again.

In between we were busy. After dropping Olive off I went to Halfords to buy a new lamp bulb for one of the front headlights; I also bought a little kit so that now I am equipped whenever a bulb blows (maybe a case of shutting the stable door or perhaps, better, learning from experience). Should say that in Halfords I met a man who was doing exactly what I was, buying a bulb because he had discovered last night that his had broken. The girl at the cash desk told me that every morning there are people in the store for exactly the same purpose and that bulbs were among their best selling items. From Halfords I went to HomeBase to purchase parana pine facings for the boxing-in of the water and waste pipes in Mum’s morning room – or Garden Room as she has now decreed that it is to be called. I also got some ‘no more nails’ and some blanking boxes for the electrics in the Garden Room.

Back home, Tom arrived. The light bulb was changed and the facings fitted to the boxed-in pipes. It all looks very good but we shall have to return to it once the glue has all set. We’ll need to have a bit of a sanding down and one or two other bits and pieces to make it all perfect. Tomorrow we start on the skirting boards and maybe look at the beams in the Hen House. It was a lovely gentle morning, we stopped for coffee and wagon wheels – still glorious but much smaller than I remember. Tom went home at lunch time, he has duties to perform at home and also Dorothy to collect from Berwick.

I had some lunch – rolls and cheese – and then I came across to the summer house and prepared the music for Arrochar and sent that and the music for Luss by email. By now the rain had started but Mix and I went out for our afternoon walk, each of us humouring the other (several folk wanted to know if the black and white dog was all right. I was able to tell them that she was. In fact she was away to Berwick (don’t we go to Berwick a lot?) to walk on the beach around the golf coursel. Rachel was a bit evasive when I asked if Rowan had behaved any better today. But she thought a little progress was being made.

I had intended to look for some more book boxes and to unpack them but the afternoon had run away with itself and in any case carrying cardboard boxes around in the rain is not best practice. So I puddled around in the summer house until it was time to drive to Berwick (again) to collect Olive (this time with a beautiful view of the road as it was illuminated by my new headlight).

Once we had returned to Mount Pleasant we all ate together and then, in front of our stove which I had lit for the evening as soon as I got home, we watched Death in Paradise and enjoyed the thought that there was nothing to do tomorrow but what we wanted to do. For me that’s continuing with the project to get Mount Pleasant into the place we want it to be, rehearsing my ukulele, revising my Italian and opening some more boxes. For Rachel it is continuing Rowan’s education process. I think I have the easier task.

When I retired I had planned to spend quite a bit of time in Italy and I still hope to do so but what has made it different is my dog, Mix. He has become such a super dog since I retired and have had time to spend with him (in fact he is with me every moment of the day) and I don’t think that it would be fair to leave him and go off abroad. However, nowadays dogs can have passports too and perhaps when Rowan has grown up a little we will see if we can drive to Italy and take them with us. The other part of my retirement plan was to spend time on Rachel’s canal boat. Other things being equal, we’ll travel down to see how it is on Monday – just a short visit this time in preparation for a longer cruise when the weather improves (and, of course, that this something in which the dogs can join as well).

It was already well past bed-time when Mix and I walked around the policies and made our way to bed. It has been a very good day.


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