Wednesday 14th. May, 2014 – A Curate’s Egg kind of a day 

This afternoon Rachel and Tom went into housing development, erecting half a dozen new homes for swallows under the eaves of our buildings, four on the Granary and two on the farmhouse, to compensate for the fact that the barns are no longer available for nesting swallows. We have another four units in reserve. It is planned that two of these will go under the eaves on the summer house – but we will have to wait until the shingles have been fitted to the roof. There is a great deal of swallow activity at the present time and it will be interesting to see if these new homes are considered a good alternative to the swallow-made homes presently under construction

Got up an hour earlier than usual and walked Mix before going into Duns for an early morning appointment with my doctor for a consultation about my back which has been causing me problems (perhaps as a result of all of my new activity as an apprentice joiner, perhaps because of all the boxes I have been moving). My doctor took blood samples and sent me off for an x-ray.

Returned home and Rachel drove me to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose where I was x-rayed – all very efficient. Now I just have to wait for the results.

We popped in to see Tom and Dorothy on the way home. They are car-less because their vehicle is being serviced so I arranged to pick Tom up in the afternoon and take him to collect his car. Back home we all had coffee and then I came across to the summer house to prepare the music files for Arrochar for Sunday.

Then it was off to pick up Tom and take him to collect his car. I decided to leave my car at the garage so that it too could be serviced – I’ll get it back tomorrow evening. Tom drove me home and then he and Rachel erected homes for destitute swallows while I dealt with a couple of phone calls. When Tom set off for home, I cleared the tools out of the Stables which is now really taking shape. Then it was time to take Mix for a walk before Rachel and I set off for Berwick to attend the Maltings Theatre where the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Henry IV part one was being streamed.

Rachel and I had a meal in a little bistro very close to the theatre and then we joined the rest of the audience for an enthralling production of one of the plays which some folk claim is Shakespeare’s best. Well, it was superb. A wonderful company with several superb performances. Antony Cher was stupendous as Falstaff. All I can say is that if you ever get the opportunity to see him in the role, you should grab it with both hands. Truly wonderful.

But the two Hals were good as well, both very different, Alex Hassell as Prince Hal and Trevor White as Hotspur. Some might have raised an eyebrow at the direction which emphasised the excitability of Hotspur, but given that interpretation, the performance was great. And, of course, the sword fighting was immense. I also enjoyed Jasper Britton as Henry IV, a part which is often seen as a bit of a dead-end part but which I thought was made quite significant. And there were other great performances too many to mention, it was quite simply a terrific evening.

Back home we spoke with the family before walking the dogs and retiring to bed. How fortunate we are to have such opportunities on our doorstep.


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