Beyond Rancid

The blackbird was bashing at the office window again this morning. Jackie has a theory that it is the mating season and our friend sees his own reflection and attacks it.

It will be some time before we can tackle the joys of the garden. At the moment we satisfy ourselves with watching what is emerging, such as cowslips and honesty.
Today I took my share of deep cleaning. We don’t use the family bathroom, but the smell as we pass it has been getting to us. I believe the heyday of wooden seats was in the 1980s. The one in this room has probably been receiving its incrustation since that time. Plasticine, whatever its original colours, always ends up brown. I like to think that the various materials adhering to the wood and the fixtures did once have a range of hues. Otherwise it is best not to contemplate what I spent the morning chipping away at. I eventually applied a hacksaw to the fixture. Kneeling with your head closer than you would like to the source of the aromas, and sliding the blade under the plates around the bolts in order to perform this task is probably best avoided. I didn’t really have that option. I then gave the porcelain a thorough scraping and polishing.
Flushed with success as I added the toilet seat to the skip pile, I decided to clean the bath.

This was a more straightforward task, although the sleepy spider I aroused, unused to being disturbed, found the unaccustomed smooth surface of the side of its home rather slippery.
Finally, we could not leave the washbasin unattended. Water left in there refused to budge at all. Jackie eventually baled it out and tackled it, to no avail, with a flexible plastic coated net-curtain rail. We then shifted the cupboard from around it and prised the pedestal from under the basin, whereupon I unscrewed the U-bend. This was blocked solid. And I do mean solid. It was as if someone had poured gravel mixed with liquid glue into it and allowed it to coagulate. I chipped and scraped away first with a straightened wire coat hanger, and finally with a steak knife. By the time I had finished, the gleaming U-bend put its surroundings to shame. So I had to give them a thorough going-over too. The cold tap produces no water, but that is a minor detail.
In the cupboard I found the missing plug from the bath, and gleefully slipped it into place. I then turned the circular plug adjuster. It was ineffective. I knew from The Gite From Hell experience that without the adjuster the bath could not be emptied, so I helped it out with the steak knife.
Then we had lunch. Jackie was impressed with the health and efficiency of the Neff hob as she used it for the first time to heat up an excellent mulligatawny soup from Tesco.

The kitchen is beginning to look quite homely now, especially with the addition of Luci and Wolf’s flower card and Shelly’s daffodils.
It has to be said that the bathroom featured above was beyond rancid, although that word word probably be adequate for the cobbled cupboard in the hall that Jackie cleaned this afternoon, whilst I weeded out papers that should have been scrapped years ago. This was all with the aim of getting some order into the office.
We had intended to dine this evening at Zaika in Milford on Sea, and drove there to do so. This was not possible because we had hit the town’s food week, for which each restaurant was required to do something different. Zaika was fully booked for their serve-yourself at the trough banquet. We therefore went on to New Milton to try Bombay Night which proved to be an excellent choice. The food was superb and the service friendly and efficient. We drank Kingfisher, and went home satisfied.


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