Finding myself wide awake about three hours earlier than I had hoped I got up and made brekkie. Peering into the Internet it would seem I was up rather late (half past six) compared to many people who had been posting about going to boot fairs a couple of hours earlier. I’ve quite liked the few boot fairs that I’ve been to, but why do they start so early?
Ironically only a few hours later my cousin posted to Facebook from a boot fair saying: “People smoking in my face and sheep shit” so perhaps I hadn’t missed much.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that at the last Bank Holiday I discovered that B&Q keep their regular hours, so I was round there at seven o’clock this morning to get my bits and pieces; the ingredients for a new water feature and a tub of magnolia. Yesterday I mentioned that not-so-nice-next-door was ranting about the colour of a strip of wall that she can only see by leaning over the fence. Faced with the choice of keeping her sweet or telling her to get knotted I’ve opted to keeping her sweet. For now.
I came home, and as er indoors TM” set about defrosting the freezer I got the first coat of magnolia onto the wall, then mowed the lawn, pulled weeds out of shingle, and cleaned out the fish pond’s filter. As I have said before the fish pond filter is a job best done regularly; the temptation is to let it ride and suddenly (with no warning) you find yourself faced with a half-empty pond where the filter has blocked up. In the past I’ve cleaned the filter only to block the bath with fish poo, but nowadays I bodge a huge flowerpot over the drains, upend the contents of the filter into that huge flowerpot and hose the whole lot down. This way I am only up to my wrists in Koi poo and not (as I used to be) up to my elbows in the stuff.
Pausing only briefly to wash off the Koi poo I put a second coat of paint on the wall. er indoors TM” took a break from the freezer, and we had a lunch of bread rolls that she had found encrusted in permafrost.
Having pondered my plans for the new water feature I realised I hadn’t got enough timber, so I popped to B&Q for more. There was a minor altercation kicking off as one of the normal people wanted some postcrete, but there is a national shortage of the stuff. In a very helpful (!) way a passing normal person told the one wanting postcrete that if he wanted postcrete he shouldn’t have voted for Brexit. Is there a connection? There is with quite a bit of stuff, but I don’t think there is in this case. Is there? I left them squabbling, and armed with the timber I needed I then went round to B&M Bargains for the decorative trellis that B&Q had sold out of.
B&M Bargains had the stuff I wanted, but they also had itinerant half-wits too. One was at the tills, loudly telling everyone that she “shouldn’t have said that”. I have no idea what it was that she shouldn’t have said, and neither I nor anyone else cared. But it didn’t stop her rattling on like a stuck record. She took serious offence when the chap in the queue told her to shut up and get a move on.
I came home and had a look at the far end of the garden. Not-so-nice-next-door had ranted about that yesterday as well. The fence panel that runs alongside her shed fell apart years ago. Over the winter it finally fell into a thousand rotten sodden bits. Once I’d cleared the wreckage I found two doors propped against her shed. One fell apart into a thousand rotten sodden bits as soon as I looked at it. The other was in a sorry state but was covering up a hole in the shed big enough to climb through. I had cleared the mess and bodged the remaining door in place with a trellis, but yesterday she ordered me to move it off of her land. I explained that what I’d done was doing her a favour, but she wasn’t having any of it. She told me she would rather have the shed collapse than accept my help.
I ran some battens from my fence to the little cupboard by the pond, used them to secure the old trellis, and put up the new one over the top. The new one has plastic ivy on it. It looks a bit tacky, but it looks far better than seeing the sight of her rotting shed. Ironically as I was doing this job I saw that her fence had seriously damaged the felting on the roof of the little cupboard by the pond. Fortunately I had the stuff to repair it with; the fix only took me half an hour.
It was at this point that my arms started cramping so (after ten hours working) I packed away all the odds and sods and came indoors where er indoors TM” was still fighting with the freezer’s glaciers. My diary doesn’t record freezer defrosts but judging by the expiry dates of what was recovered from the permafrost we think the thing was last defrosted about four years ago.
I’m left in something of a thoughtful mood today. Having carried out not-so-nice-next-door’s orders I wonder what will come next. She has been in the garden on and off today. I know she’s inspected the paintwork; I wonder if she’s seen how I’ve disguised her shed. Have I passed inspection? Hope so. If not…
As I typed this up so she started clanging the piano. I’ve said before that if I’d been playing the piano for so long and not having made any improvement whatsoever I would pack it all up. But…
I cyber-stalked her and found her LinkedIn profile. Can you believe she claims to be a professional organist and offers piano lessons? I can’t help but be reminded of the old maxim: “those who can do; those who can't teach”. Am I being petty… possibly. But what do you do with a neighbour who is determined to be difficult, has spent twenty years being deliberately rude? I had hoped that her starting speaking was a good thing. I think I prefer being blanked.
er indoors TM” has formally declared the freezer defrosted. Hopefully that means our dinner I defrosted too. I think I’ve deserved dinner today. I shall be going to work for a rest tomorrow.
And in closing today can I offer an apology to my loyal readers. I didn’t realise that this blog appears differently on mobile devices as opposed to on laptops and PCs. I’ve tweaked backgrounds and fonts and hopefully it should be a little more readable now…