Continued Preparation

A fortnight ago, noticing that our fuel oil was rather low, I ordered a refill and was promised one before today. Overnight the tank was emptied and we had no heating this morning.

Opening with a plea of age and infirmity I rang the supplier early this morning. I then slipped into my trademark firm, quietly seething, tones which I am told can be quite scary. Further promises were made. I said I didn’t want promises. I wanted our fuel oil. Today.

It may, of course, be pure coincidence, but two hours later a tanker drew up outside and unloaded our oil. In fairness, I must acknowledge that all our previous service from WP Group has been exemplary. The next problem was resetting the boiler which had naturally stopped firing. With much trepidation The Maintenance Department set about this task. Soon she was able to cry: “I done it”.

Jackie continued decorating the house while I printed two more cropped copies of

her recent photograph of Nugget which we made into a couple of cards that didn’t need posting.

One was for Mum which we took to her today with a present. She had just been prescribed further antibiotics for a persistent chest infection.

It was past twilight when we left to visit Elizabeth to alert her to Mum’s condition. She was not at home so we took a diversion to Portmore to see if the residents had decorated the tree on the village green. They had, but as no electricity had been employed

we will need to return in daylight.

A murder of crows occupied high branches of other trees, but by the time I was poised with camera all but one straggler had flown off.

Later I phoned Elizabeth who was aware of Mum’s condition.

Back at home Jackie made her own photographs of her decorations.

This evening we dined on cream fish pie, green Brussels sprouts, orange carrots, and white cauliflower with which I finished the red Fleurie and Jacki drank more of the golden Sauvignon Blanc.

Avian Warfare

After a brief panic on the part of the deliveryman, we received a full tank of oil today. The operator couldn’t initially get his machine to work,

Oil delivery

so he spent some time, whilst we trembled in trepidation, tinkering with dials.

Before the rain set in, I cut the grass and Jackie carried on clearing and tidying the rest of the garden.

Netting on eaves

Having spotted that a number of birds have been tearing strips off our roofing insulation for nest building, she has netted up the entrances in continuing the avian warfare begun yesterday against the greenfinches.

Blocking starling nest

Whilst she was at it, she also blocked the route to last year’s starling nest.


She cleaned out the Waterboy feature and set it going again.

Back inside, as feared, we found the boiler wasn’t working. This, we discovered, seemed to be because Jackie had turned the living room wall thermostat to zero when we ran out of fuel. She turned it up. The light came on on the reset button. When it was depressed, as the instruction book suggested, we had lift-off. We will be having the device serviced anyway, just to be on the safe side.

This afternoon the rain desisted and we continued weeding and tidying.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken; sweet potatoes; and sautéed leeks, mushrooms, broccoli, and bacon; followed by apple strudel and custard. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.