Wednesday, 10 August 2016

I am absurdly delighted about a car in a garage

View of mansion across lake
Compton Verney, July 2016
A few events stand out over the past couple of weeks - my birthday has been and gone without too much fuss, although the presents I was given by Lola II and Mr M are outstanding. I received six different packets of Polish soup, four different nut butters, decaffeinated Darjeeling tea, the piano music for the song 'Let It Go' from the film 'Frozen', and a pack of letters that I wrote to my family in the early 1990's. I've read about half of them, and it's been quite a tense experience. I'm hoping that there might be some suitable material to reproduce in a blog post, but not so far.

Lola II came to visit (and to deliver my presents) and we wandered around Leamington and tried a new lunch venue - a pub called The Drawing Board recently taken over by the same manager who used to run the Red Lion at Hunningham. I'd go again. Lola II went to the optician and we browsed in various shops and ate large slabs of cake before coming back and watching a DVD.

On Sunday we visited Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park and enjoyed most of the collection. We were guided through the Folk Objects and Folk Art, which I think I liked the most - objects and art created by ordinary people rather than professional artists. I am most scornful of a 'sculpture' on the lawn entitled 'Untitled Boulder' which is... a boulder. It isn't even a very interesting-looking boulder. The most that the 'artist' contributed to this 'art' was to decide which way up it should go; he couldn't even be bothered to give it a name. But the rest of the visit was fine.

Room with collection of folk objects
Compton Verney Folk Objects collection
After Lola departed I mowed the lawn and chopped down even more of the garden, and managed to take some of the debris to the tip on Tuesday. And Olf (the garage man) finally completed the work on the garage! The door to the street now has a working lock, and I can now use it as a practical garage. In fact, I have now put the car in it! This is seriously exciting. There is a yellow sign that suggests the road is going to be dug up and resurfaced next week, so parking is likely to be disrupted and having a working garage may be handy.

Car in garage
I cannot begin to explain how exciting this is
Since that happened I've had a bit of a busy spell, not least when I forgot about some patient education I was supposed to be delivering and received a phone call asking where I was. Very embarrassing, and not an experience that I care to repeat. Entirely my fault, too, because it was clearly in my diary. I was only a quarter of an hour late, but still.

And then I went to Carlisle via Manchester where I visited H+B who are as well as can be expected (and thank you very much for lunch and hospitality). I was hosted in Carlisle by H+G whose converted barn is being re-thatched, so I have learned a bit about what that entails (4 weeks, 4 Polish workers, a LOT of money).

Thankfully the weekend weather was glorious, and we walked dogs and went into town to eat at a new Italian restaurant which had been recommended as 'authentic' by a number of people. It was not what we were expecting - in the basement of a converted church, it was a surprise to find it carpeted, with waitresses in smart black outfits and white gloves to deliver the food, which was very tasty. But still, white gloves? Then we danced the night away to Alabama 3 at the most sweaty gig I can remember - Carlisle not being known for its sultry summer weather, the venue really had no way of making things any cooler.

Me and Bill the dachshund asleep on a chair
We'd both walked quite a long way
Then back home via Tebay motorway services (the best in the country) where I bought far too much artisanal goods (meat pie, cheese, crackers, sausage, brownie) and then to Ikea to have a look at their kitchens. And finally on Tuesday a trip to the car dealership so they could diagnose the problem with the air conditioning in my car, which they declared to be terminal. I have made an appointment to get a second opinion from my local garage, but it's not looking good. Thank goodness we only get one or two hot days a year in this country.

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