Monday, February 4, 2013

Flies In The Ointment

When we arrived at Shoestring Cottage and got out of the car I could hear the sound of running water, most perplexing as we are in a drought situation now.  After some investigation we discovered that a water pipe under the cottage was leaking, which meant we had to turn off the water overnight until things could be remedied.    Mr Shoestring began to look harassed as he struggled to put the water situation to rights but eventually it was fixed to his satisfaction and the water could be turned on again.  Alas and alack he had an even worse setback to deal with.  He found that when he poured the concrete for the new pond there were a couple of places where it hadn’t completely filled the boxing, and consequently there were a couple of sizable holes in his masterpiece!  After some research (and a further increase in vocabulary) he decided that there was a product which would remedy the situation.  Only time will tell, here’s hoping that will be the case. 
 This is something like what I had in mind for the pond - languid fish swimming leisurely through the murky depths.  But it may be that they are struggling to stay within the confines of the pond and not shoot out through the large holes!

I don’t know if it was the desire to impose his will on something after these setbacks, but Mr Shoestring did something next which was very startling.  He took his chainsaw and made a couple of sizeable holes in the walls of the front porch.  Having done this he came to find me and show them to me proudly much like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat – ta da!  
Here is the original hole in the front porch, seen from inside.

To begin with I was uncertain what remark would be appropriate but when he explained that he was going to put the stained glass windows in these new window frames in no time flat I was slightly mollified.  This teeny tiny detail hasn’t been accomplished as yet but all in good time, all in good time.   

 Seen from the outside and with the scriber and surrounds finished, things don't look quite so bad.
The birds had continued with their plan to destroy the garden, but the fight has quite gone out of me now and I just tossed my head and laughed a hollow defeated kind of laugh at their depredations.  (I wasn’t going to let them see how badly affected I was by their latest onslaught and who knows how many of them were watching me inspect the latest results of their destructive behaviour.)
 At the bottom centre you can see one of the dessicated seedlings my avian friends have plucked from the earth with their cruel beaks.  The path is covered with debris and the two survivors are very fortunate - perhaps they will be not so lucky next time. 

So all in all it wasn’t one of our best weekends, but a very interesting one all the same. 

On Sunday night we were lucky enough to be invited to a kind of competition, which involved the curing of bacon and judging which of four different methods had created the most succulent and palatable rashers.  It was a difficult task but somebody had to attempt it and I think I can truthfully say that all of us present gave of our best and were equal to the task.  When it was voting time there was no clear winner, though two entrants came out as roughly equal favourites.  The bacon makers have clear ideas now as to how to go about creating the perfect rasher and they will have no shortage of helpers when next they go head to head after creating their new improved recipes.  Bacon is rather salty though and we did need some liquid refreshments to help us with the task.  

The first of the zinnias and asters are out now - and very obliging they are too, they seem impervious to dry conditions and scorching sun.