This morning we took a trip by car to the municipal dump which is a short distance away, between home and Lymington. Following our tidy up of the skip pile we took down the back seats of the Modus and loaded it with the dog-sodden carpet (one of the items the previous owners had left for us thinking they might be useful); the rancid toilet seats; a few stale paint pots; bits of lino and other carpet; and a some other small objects, and joyfully tossed them into the various bays in the waste disposal and recycling centre. True to family tradition, we did not go away empty-handed, because Jackie bought four plastic window boxes from the Sales Area.
Flushed with the success of recovering the garden’s irrigation system, Jackie applied herself to the apparent ornament in the form of a sunburst which she thought must be a sprinkler. She rigged it up, attached a hose, turned on the tap, and the sun spiralled spinning arcs of water around an area large enough to keep us leaping for dry land. There must have been a rainbow somewhere, but I couldn’t see one.
Yesterday afternoon I had begun tackling a tangled mass of ancient clematis Montana and brambles, each with stems as thick as small trees, which were pushing the kitchen garden fence onto the lshrubs next door. It wasn’t long before I realised that our neighbours were suffering an invasion such as the lonicera one that beset us on the other side of our property. I needed to discuss with Bev what I planned to do. She was out. I left her a message. She responded a little later than I would have wished to start, so we agreed to meet this morning. Our very friendly neighbour was happy for me to deal with our side and said she would take care of theirs. A young horse chestnut that had no business being there was providing boughs to add to the jumble. That would have to go as well.
On our return from the dump, I got stuck in to the task. And the brambles got stuck into me. Unbelievably, three very old members of the most prolific of clematis specimens had been trained against the fence and never pruned.
During our lunchtime break our phone emitted a squeak and we lost our telephone and broadband connection. We waited a while for it to right itself. It didn’t, so I girded my loins and made the call. On my mobile, of course. BT, like all conglomerates that have outgrown their user friendliness provides a machine to respond to customers. I am sure my readers are all familiar with the rigmarole that I was presented with, so I won’t go into great detail in a rant. I will say, however, that it is no help whatsoever to be given choices of reporting either a problem with the phone or with the broadband when you have problems with both. Eventually I conveyed to the robot’s voice that we had a fault. I was put on hold whilst this was checked. Whilst on hold I was told, repeatedly, that I could go on line and use the self-help facility. The chance would have been a fine thing.
Eventually I received confirmation that we had a fault and an engineer would be arranged. Should the fault lie with our own equipment this would cost £130. If the fault was their fault I presume it would then be repaired free of charge. The problem would be resolved by the end of the day on 7th of this month.
I raged back into the garden to take out my frustration on the clematises. Whilst I was doing this Jackie came out to tell me we were back on line. The BT machine had taken my mobile phone number and promised to keep me updated by text. Or I could follow progress on the website. I wasn’t told how I could do that. I received one text confirming this. No more. Had Jackie not periodically checked, we would have been none the wiser. At no time was I ever given the option to talk to an adviser, which is what they usually call a real person.
I managed to clear two of the clematises, and to remove the offending conker tree. Whoever had trained the plants, had fixed a thick wire network reaching a foot above the six foot fence. When I came to the third tree that should have been a shrub, I found that the weight of the tangled mass had brought the top section of the network forward, so I had that vying with the brambles to take my eye out.
Having burned some more of the cuttings pile I joined Jackie for a delicious meal of her juicy chicken jalfrezi (recipe) which was just the job. Ice cream was to follow. I drank Las Primas Gran Familia tempranillo 2013.