Here is Hugo, coming downstairs now, pad, pad, pad, on his little paws, almost being trodden on by Kieran at every step. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs and when he reaches the bottom, he’s in the hall and ready to take a stroll around the garden. But today the front door is shut, so he sits by it to wait patiently.
Unbeknown to Hugo, Adrian has arrived for a visit, bringing with him Oscar and Bramble, his trusty, canine companions. It’s been decided that a meeting between Hugo and Bramble would not be a good idea, so Hugo will stay in the house today while Oscar and Bramble will be given the run of the garden; but Bramble can smell cat and sits quietly waiting just the other side of the door.
Carol, our visitor, is helping take food for a barbecue out to the garden. She opens the front door, just a crack. But it’s enough to let Bramble shoot through the door like greased lightning, and up the hall, after Hugo, who dashes as fast as he can – into the dead end of the bathroom. Adrian is now moving faster than I’ve ever seen him move before, to prevent a very unpleasant incident. He catches up with Bramble in the nick of time, swooping her away from Hugo, perched on the loo seat; where he stands, back arched, hissing at anyone who approaches. Catastrophe averted – phew! That was close!
* Apologies to A A Milne!
Apart from the brief, exciting interlude and the very enjoyable barbecue, we’ve spent a great deal of time recently digging a trench to take cables from the hangar to the house. It was meant to be a fairly quick job that I could do; but that wasn’t taking into account the rock-like nature of the garden at the moment. It hasn’t rained properly for months and our soil is clay, which is now as hard as iron. The trench needed to be 80-100cm deep, but on the first day, when we all took turns at digger driving as the temperature was 30ºC in the shade and heaven only knows how hot in the greenhouse-like cab in the full sun, after several hours work we’d barely made an impression. Nick valiantly wielded his pick axe in the hope of breaking up the soil, but to no avail. So eventually we gave up, watered the indentation we’d made, drank beer and left it to soak overnight. Another two days hard diggering, with Kieran standing the digger on its toes in an attempt to sink the bucket into the ground, and the trench was deemed acceptable. They put in the conduit for the cable and we pushed the soil back into the hole.
Anyone who regularly reads this will realise that sealing showers with that squirty silicon stuff doesn’t appear on any list of my greatest achievements. I hope, therefore, that I’m not tempting fate when I say that since the lads dismantled the shower for me to reseal it a few weeks ago, it hasn’t leaked!!!!! It may not be the tidiest of sealing jobs, but I don’t care!