Wednesday, 5 December 2012

This and that.

Weather extremes are getting closer to home. 

There was a knock on our door yesterday. The tenant of the basement flat next door was just checking we weren’t having problems with our basement kitchen. She had woken up to several inches of water in her bathroom. Our houses are built in such a way that you go in through the front door and then go downstairs to what should be a cellar but opens onto the back garden. When we moved in we made the basement area into the kitchen/dining room. When the old lady who lived next door moved out a few years ago the basement was converted into a separate flat. However, the damp proof course they put in appears to have been defective or at least unable to withstand the downpours of recent months and the current tenant has had to move out while things are sorted out. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t suffer a similar fate. 

I talked about downpours but in fact over the last few days we have had some brilliant sunny days in between the grey and wet. It has meant some very cold weather so that on Saturday morning my run almost turned into a skating session. It’s quite disturbing to turn a corner and find yourself running on black ice! Not my idea of fun! 

Then on Sunday we went out with a friend of ours for what was meant to be a shortish walk. Three hours later we got back home, having picked our way over frozen paths and trying hard not to fall over. 

The views were magnificent as usual on such a clear day. And we came across some very odd “standing stones”: rather like a mini version of Carnac in Brittany. 

On Monday the rain returned but we were not bothered. We were off to Manchester for lunch with an old friend. He works for one of the TV news programmes and as we got to the end of our meal he received a phone call asking him to go and present a breaking-news story which he had to decline, having helped us consume a couple of bottles of wine. Besides, I suspect he probably should have been in London to do it. 

The story turned out to be the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge, a story that I’m already heartily fed up of. The prospect of almost eight months of up-dates on her condition, speculation about the gender of the baby and what s/he will look like and numerous articles about the whole business is more than daunting. We’ve already had a lot of hoo-ha about where this tadpole will be in the queue for the throne: so much talk about the fact that a girl could inherit even if she were to have a little brother later that it will almost be a disappointment if we discover that the child is male after all. 

And today came the news that an Australian radio show managed to telephone the hospital where poor Kate is busy being sick and managed to convince someone that the person phone was Her Majesty. (Have they not heard all the reports and discussion of press intrusion down there in the antipodes?) Someone is going to be in trouble on the switchboard of that hospital!! 

That’ll do for now. Time to get back to making those lists of stuff I need to do before the man in the red suits is due to come ho-ho-ho-ing down the chimney.

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