Cool Britannia (sort of): the British thread 2019



  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Thanks, @Cathscats - trotters are firmly crossed!

    I don't expect to hear anything until at least tomorrow; I know the viewing must have happened, as the door was double-locked when I came home, which I never do, but there was no calling-card.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Yes - the friends who give me a lift stop at a cafe on the way home for breakfast, so I joined them, and asked if I could come and sit in their house afterwards for the duration, and they were most obliging.

    It also meant I got to see their wee dog, who is totally adorable and has been very affectionate to me since D. died - I think she senses that I need a hug from a little friend! :heart:

    So glad that worked out, and I hope it brings some interested buyers for the house.

    Dogs are amazingly intuitive about people's emotions, and are usually happy to provide affection as needed. :smile:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    A flock of estate agents (fifteen of them to be exact) has come and gone, leaving mucky splatters where they took their boots off. I really must invest in a boot tray - with a white kitchen floor (not my choice) it gets very messy.

    They all seemed quite taken with the château, and my own agent said she'd had fairly positive feedback from the viewing yesterday.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Fingers crossed here @Piglet
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Thanks, BroJames! :)
  • A haggle of estate agents, perhaps, rather than a flock?

    Good luck, Piglet!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Never thought of that, BF! :mrgreen:
    It now appears to be chucking down rain (good) but is expected to change to freezing rain (bad). If the ordinary rain lasts long enough it might clear some of the sn*w and ice, which would be very good; my estate agent was worried about prospective buyers falling on the path, but at that point it was frozen so hard I couldn't shift it.

    The forecast for the next few days is daytime temperatures above freezing (but only just), which might help.

  • I have a solid day of marking today. I’m trying to wear my happy face!
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    I have a solid day of marking today. I’m trying to wear my happy face!

    😊😊 - feeling for you, I always found marking somewhat stressful/tedious/wearing, don’t miss it at all!
  • Fingers, paws and toes crossed for a speedy sale of Chateau Piglet for the right amount of money.

    Today is my first day back following surgery (to remove my gallbladder) a month ago. I have got horribly used to rising late and having a little nap in the afternoon....I walked almost a mile to a meeting this morning (and the same distance back - so almost 2 miles in total, yes?) and my little legs are feeling it now. And I live in a very flat part of the Midshires.....

    While I have been lolling around Indoors, it has got much colder. And darker. How did that happen?
  • It's called Ort Erm. It happens every year. I blame Trump.

    Glad you're recovering, though post-op fatigue is to be expected, alas.

  • It's called Ort Erm. It happens every year. I blame Trump.

    He's turned the world into Narnia -- always winter, never Christmas. (The White House
    "Christmas" decorations from two years ago were just a foretaste.)

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Thanks for the good wishes, St. E., and glad to hear you're recovering. Take it easy though - don't be overdoing things!

    I was speaking to the estate agent this morning, and there's to be an open house on Sunday afternoon at the request of one of the agents who came along yesterday. Because I really want to get it sold, I've reduced the price by $5,000; I don't want to, but needs must and all that.

    We had a helpful amount of rain last night (10mm), and the solid ice has turned to messy slush, so I went out this morning and shovelled the deck, the path and a bit of the drive. The forecast for the next few days doesn't look too bad, so with any luck the Almighty might clear the rest before Sunday.
  • Just finished today’s marking marathon, in time to cook tea before teaching an online tutorial later this evening. I now have a week free from marking. Unfortunately I have an essay of my own to submit my Monday...
    It was actually frosty here on Monday, the first of the winter. Feeling much colder this week.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Heavenlyannieland can be very cold - the wind there comes straight from Siberia!

    I've had a quiet sort of day today, although there's a pot of SOUP doing its thing on the stove for supper.
    Things to be thankful for:

    1. The Almighty cleared enough of last night's sn*w from the deck and the path that I didn't have to.

    2. The New Brunswick driving licence department returned the cheque I sent them in payment of a couple of motoring fines that D. got shortly before he died, so that's a few hundred dollars for me rather than them. To be honest, I thought they'd just send me a receipt and pocket the money, but I got a nice letter expressing sympathy and enclosing my cheque.

    It rather restores your faith in human nature, doesn't it?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Wel that’s nice @Piglet to find some ‘ordinary’ human warmth in a government department.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
  • I'd like to think their UK counterparts would behave in similar fashion but I doubt it: the DSS took only 3 days after I registered the death of my other half to write asking me to return 1 week of Attendance Allowance because, having died on a Saturday, they hadn't qualified for that week's payment.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    That's more than a touch despicable. :angry:
  • That’s quite horrific!
  • Heartless bastids! How do they have the gall!? - Did they get it from St Everild? (To whom we wish speedy recovery indeed!)
  • If they have that much Gall, may they be divided into Three Parts...

    (O the blessings of a classical education, as Michael Flanders once remarked).
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    O Frabjous Day!

    Those who follow things on the TICTH thread may remember the saga of my deficient boiler. Well, I've been holding my breath since my solicitor sent back the "offer" from the maker of my deficient (and how) boiler and pretty well told them to at least triple it, all backed-up with figures from an accountant, etc.

    And in the meantime my heating consultant (ain't I grand!) has been doing his bit because the case interested him and, it transpires, his granny grew up in the village - and oh, are there blessings in it being a small world. He came up with a picture showing my house with a proper flint construction boiler house on the side (with attached privy) just in time for a meeting with the heritage officer to discuss what we wanted to do vis-a-vis heating, positioning of boiler replacement, etc, etc, etc. We had a poke about in the garden and found the foundations - look to be in pretty good nick too.

    Result: boiler house is to be re-built and, because it won't need to accommodate coal heap, will be big enough to house boiler and be a utility room - privy space will house LPG tank. Space in kitchen from getting rid of boiler and other machines means its back to a proper range cooker, which can be sourced second-hand but virtually unused*.

    The offer from the boiler company will pay for virtually all of it, depending on how much I pay for the range.

    * There is a thriving market in second-hand ranges from people who relocate ("escape to the country") not being able to get to grips with cooking on a range: they get the kitchen re-done and install a range at vast cost only to get the range taken out 18-36 months later because they "can't get on with it". My builder took out one that had only been in place for 7 weeks!
  • That sounds like a win, TheOrganist! Will you be able to access the boiler room/utility room from the house, or will you have to put on your wellies and Big Coat to put your washing on?
  • @TheOrganist - Calloo! Callay!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Excellent stuff, @TheOrganist - wishing you health to cook on your new range!

    I had a lovely lunch today courtesy of a couple in the choir - he cooks the main courses and she does the puddings. Today's menu was roast chicken, with curried veggies in coconut and yoghurt, and a delicious lentil dish on the side, followed by a blueberry cheesecake. The other guest was an Indian lady who lives down the road from me, and she's been good enough to say if I ever need to go anywhere for house-viewings, I can go down to hers, which would be just grand.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited November 2019
    We went to a matinee performance of "Nativity! The Musical". Not usually my kind of thing at all, but it was really good and highly professional and I enjoyed it very much. Mind you, I think about half the city's school population were in the theatre with us! We had fish and chips on the way home, now Herself is at Bible Study while I'm trying to catch up on work (a fiddly PowerPoint for Sunday's church parade service).
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    It's a bit early, isn't it? Not even Advent yet ... :mrgreen:
  • Piglet wrote: »
    It's a bit early, isn't it? Not even Advent yet ... :mrgreen:
    Ah but Celtic Advent began on 16th November.

    Frabjous day indeed @Baptist Trainfan - it sounds like a great result.

    Today has been one of those lovely unplanned and unfolding days - in the morning I took a trailer load of allotment waste to the dump and commented on the lovely leaves someone was putting in the skip, which ended up in a visit to her garden to help her rake up a trailer load which is now on the compost heap. A very pleasant afternoon.
  • St Everild wrote: »
    That sounds like a win, TheOrganist! Will you be able to access the boiler room/utility room from the house, or will you have to put on your wellies and Big Coat to put your washing on?

    Should be able to: there's an unnecessary lintel in a wall that we think was a doorway to the old boilerhouse. I'll have to relocate a couple of shelves but other than that it should work.

    Now I need to see when my builder can do the work.
  • Much good news there! Rejoiceability! :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited November 2019
    "Rejoiceability" sounds like a church quango dedicated to making churches accessible to people in wheelchairs. :mrgreen:

    @daisydaisy - I hadn't thought of that - and BT does live in part of what certain members of the Cathedral Organists' Association used to call the Celtic fringe!
  • Piglet wrote: »
    "Rejoiceability" sounds like a church quango dedicated to making churches accessible to people in wheelchairs.
    I always get amused when I see signs to "Accessible Toilets". Of course I know what they mean and recognise their necessity - but I don't think anyone would deliberately install inaccessible ones (at the top of a climbing wall perhaps, or through a corridor only a foot wide ...). Mind you, the ones on the ancient but delightful paddle steamer "Kingswear Castle" on the River Dart perhaps qualify: - those steps are steep!

  • Oooh, I don't know about that BT. The Parsonages Board of one diocese managed to approve and have built a new house with a cloakroom so badly laid out that the only way to use the loo and shut the inner door (privacy is useful, after all) was to either be slim enough to squeeze through a 9 inch gap between the door and the wall or to climb onto the cistern. The outer cloakroom, on the other hand, had but 3 hooks in the middle of a vast expanse of wall facing a tiny basin in a work-top over 4 feet long but with no cupboards or other useful attributes ... :grimace:
  • Well, there's no accounting for Anglicans ...
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I'm amused by reject ranges. I'm sure I was 5 before I lived in a house with an electric cooker (new build bungalow - and even then it led a secondary existence in the scullery: the main living room/kitchen had a Raeburn).

    All grandparents of course had proper cast iron ones. To this day I can still hear the sound of the grate being riddled for ashes, or the clunk as the door was shut on the fire. And there was always a kettle sighing at the back.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    edited November 2019
    The house I grew up in had an oil stove (which also heated the water and a radiator in the hall) until I was about 12, but as I recall, there was an electric one as well, as the oil one made the kitchen too hot in summer. It was taken out when my dad installed oil-fired central heating in the early 70s. And yes - there was indeed a sighing kettle.

    My relatives in the smaller islands all had coal-fired stoves in their kitchens; one lot had a couple of West Highland terriers who would sneak in behind it and appear out of nowhere and scare the cripes out of me!*

    I'm just back from having coffee with the chap who's looking after thr Cathedral music pro tem. I may not like some of the music he's doing (I've been singing for D. for so long I'm a bit set in my ways), but he's a total gent, and always makes me feel much more accomplished than I really am!

    * They didn't put me off though - Westies are my favourite breed of dogs
  • I remember that when I was shown round a manse in Orkney (Hoy, we were thinking of it when I was first ordained) there were two cookers, one electric for normal use, and one gas (bottled) for power cuts. I got the I got the impression that the Hoy folk thought this was a normally equipped kitchen.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'm not sure whether that was the logic behind the one in our house - it was in Kirkwall, so we had mains electricity and power cuts were relatively rare.

    The relatives' ones, on the smaller islands, were an absolute necessity though, as they didn't have mains electricity until (IIRC) the mid-to-late 70s, and electricity was provided by diesel generators.
  • A nice, though chilly Sunday, autumnal, as it should be now in this 'ere neck of the Continental Woods; somewhat overcast in the morning, but clearing up later. I can hear the odd plane or two taking off from a nearby airfield, which is always a sign the visibility up on high is good, and worth a flight.

    On Saturday, I went swimming in the refurbished local indoor pool, which looks rather better than before, more spacious and airy, and it has a nice new cafe. It feels welcoming and I reckon I may be back!

    Yesterday, I also finished John Le Carré's latest novel, 'Agent Running In The Field', which is about spy activities in times of Trump and Brexit. A book I can recommend, and which I read in one go! Of course, there is also a lot of humour in there, but some of the background stories Le Carré creates could actually be true, and are really spine-chilling - which makes you want to go and put the kettle on... , be it on a leccie or gas or other-fired cooker! :)
  • It was really foggy this morning, so we went "the long way" (via the Heads of the Valleys road to get to church. We've burned our bridges to some extent, and have put ourselves on the electoral roll of our new church ...
    The cloud base had lifted coming home, though there were odd tendrils of cloud following the contours of some of the hills.
    Sunday lunch was at a local country park on the site of the coal pit where my father worked as a young man, the cafe is now hoping to be open all year round and does basic food at very good prices - £13 for a large and a "small" all day breakfast, two drinks and a huge piece of bread pudding which we shared!
  • We had a lovely Skype call with my son’s new little family yesterday and are expecting another in about an hour. My other son is home for the weekend, so super, memorable times.

    I am now very pleased with new technology in a way I’ve never been before!

    Take away curry last night. Pasta bake tonight. :mrgreen:
  • Spent the afternoon with cb planting 100 bulbs around her bungalow. The council have recently cut back the shrubbery that surrounded them so we did guerrilla (sp?) gardening. The soil is so thick and wet we could have made pots with it.
  • A Tree Bee in the Guer(r)illa's Bonnet! I love it! (Hopefully the council isn't going to rip them out, coz' against some sort of council rule!)

    Well done, you! :)
  • Spent over 3 hours this afternoon doing the referencing for my essay, then Skyped my son at uni before editing and tidying the essay up and doing the feedback bit. All finished and submitted about 10pm. Now I have a lovely light week ahead with no marking or writing essays. I might even take a day off.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I've had a busy-ish day. Instead of the usual three services, we had one with the choir and the band, so the church was well filled, and afterwards there was lunch of SOUP and bread, which was v. nice.

    The Dean announced at the service who D's successor is to be - a chap in his 40s from Ontario who I'm Facebook friends with, and who came to give a recital in the summer while we were away, and covered for D. on the Sunday. Although we've never met, I'm very pleased for him, and hope he'll love it here as much as we did.

    In the afternoon an estate agent was doing an open house at the château, and said she got three couples, all of whom were first-time buyers who are currently renting, which could bode quite well - and they might even want some furniture ...

    I'm also making plans to go to Edinburgh for Christmas and New Year; the choir (bless them!) presented me with an early Christmas present of a generous cheque towards my fare, so I'm planning to book my flights in the next day or two. As I still haven't sold the house, I'm going to come back in mid-January, but with any luck I won't have to stay long (crosses trotters).
  • @Piglet what a lovely early Christmas present - I was wondering where you’d be for Christmas and New Year and am so pleased you’ll be with family.

    Daisy stems crossed too for these 3 buyers.

    I have a day ahead of me at my laptop, carrying on with bringing an orchestra into the 21st century - the members approved the new constitution last month so now I’m getting on with the masses of “stuff” that follows. It should have been done years ago but the Chairs before me were passive, just chairing meetings and introducing concerts. On the whole I get a feeling of achievement but could do without constant arguments from the previous Chair, under whom we nearly lost the orchestra and who is still a Trustee. Grrr. As a treat I have my eyes set on a glass of Ginger Wine this evening.
  • @Piglet, I hope all three of your viewers liked the chateau and you have a bit of a bidding war. Lovely to get such as useful present too.
    I had a nice weekend. Husband and I went to the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A, where another lady and I had a discussion about how you couldn't get tights outside of London in the 1960s. We then did some Christmas present buying in their shop and the Science Museums one. Yesterday was a catch up with a couple of friends I haven't seen since March, which was good fun too.
    Back to everyday life today. I've just scrubbed the kitchen floor and I'm off to see my brother in hospital this afternoon. I do have Tai Chi to look forward to this evening though.
  • I was wearing tights well before 1965. Living in Birmingham, and then Bristol, during those years, and had no trouble finding them.
  • Episcopal Digits duly crossed for a quick and satisfactory sale of Chateau Piglet.

    A grey, grisful day here, with drizzle etc. etc. as the year weeps to an end. Some Cheerful Workmen are installing nice new guttering to the south aisle roof of Our Place, replacing the previous guttering, put up in a hurry after the original cast iron stuff fell down a few years ago!

    The really heavy rain which seems to be the norm these days is too much for the temporary guttering, and the resultant overspilling has caused damp patches on the inside wall of the church, which Will Not Do. Fortunately, we have a supply of the special white paint, approved by the Diocese, with which to 'touch up' the wall when it's dried out.

    We have, in the past year or so, had to have the Hall kitchen refitted, the WCs retiled, a new boiler for the Church heating, and the trees pollarded/trimmed. After the guttering's done, we then have to repair the flat roofs of the Vestry, and the lobby between Hall and Church, after which (hopefully) no more major work will be needed for a while!

    We are blessed by (a) having enough £££ prudently set aside for such work, and (b) local tradespeople who do a Good Job.
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