Thursday 6th. March, 2014 – The staircase is completed 

It is quite difficult to photograph a staircase – but here it is: complete. Now we have access from the ground floor to the first floor and refurbishment can continue more easily than before

Woke and walked Mix with Rachel and Rowan. We made our way down to the bridge and back again. Breakfasted in the farm house and, around nine, Tom and Dorothy arrived; Dorothy to go with Rachel to Berwick for their stained glass class, me to accompany Tom to Duns where he was to leave his car and I was to drive him back to Mount Pleasant. While we were at the garage we learned that the Bongo needed a new radiator but that as Bongos are grey imports the garage didn’t know where to purchase a radiator. We asked them to remove the old radiator and to fit a new one once we had sourced it for them.

Back at Mount Pleasant nothing was going to stand in the way of our completing the staircase. There were risers to be screwed to the steps, and tidying up to be done at the top of the stairs. It took us a couple of hours but now we have a very fine staircase. We went for coffee with Mum to celebrate and then we came out to the summer house where we accessed a number of Bongo sites through which we succeeded in buying a new radiator for Rachel’s camper van.

Flushed with the success of our staircase, Tom and I went off to Pearson’s for lunch (vegetable soup followed by macaroni cheese). By the time we had completed lunch Tom’s car was ready so we returned to Mount Pleasant and spent a while in the hen house putting up plaster-board in the library. Then we gave everything up and had coffee in the Granary and put the world to rights, Tom sitting on a seat by the window and playing my accordion – a kind of tribute to our new staircase!

Tom sits by the window in the Granary and plays the curly-headed shepherd – perhaps it was relief that the staircase had been completed so successfully

Dorothy and Rachel returned and Tom and Dorothy set off for home. Rachel and I walked Mix and Rowan down to the bridge – we are going to make the most of this eight weeks during which the road has become our private dog-walking path – and we saw that progress is being made, not least because now a huge scaffold has been erected in front of the bridge.

A view of the scaffolding in front of the bridge – taken as we walked the dogs this afternoon

Back home I changed and Rachel, Mum, Digger and I set off for Berwick to attend War Horse at the Maltings. Mum, Rachel and I went for a meal in the theatre while Digger went to the station to collect Olive. (I ate Cullen Skink and Scotch egg salad with fried potatoes). The theatre production was a National Theatre production streamed throughout many theatre in the world. The puppetry was superb as were the production and the performances. The story contains an inevitable amount of sentimentality (we find ourselves lamenting the death of a horse while all around men are being mown down in their hundreds) but there are real morals in the story – it is the things which the hero did for Joey which saved his life (even the forcing him to pull the plough to win a bet) and the haunting song reminding us that we will be remembered for what we do. Life is full of coincidences (if you believe in them) and if you try to achieve the impossible, just sometimes you will achieve it. It was a good evening.

We drove home and were glad of the warm welcome waiting for us from Mix and Rowan (who have become such very good friends). We walked the dogs and retired to bed.


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