Well, it has been a busy few days here. Having been let down by the plumber who originally came out to quote for the bathroom refit, on Friday we had the "Quote from Hell" when a plumber came out to quote and was here for FOUR HOURS. He kept going on and on and drawing diagrams and trying to impress us. He told us the toilet we had bought for the shower room couldn't be fitted and even phoned the company to get it returned. At first he seemed to be being helpful, but then he literally assumed he'd been given the job and was very manipulative. It reminded me of those Time-share interviews when people said they just couldn't get away and would have agreed to be shot at dawn just to escape! We probably sound gullible and a pushover but he appeared to be very helpful etc. . . until we had time to think it over!
Fortunately after THAT experience, we found the sheet of paper left by the people that used to live here and it had the phone number of a good plumber they'd used on it. He came out on Saturday, and whilst we have to wait a couple of weeks for his quote as he is so busy and has a week's holiday booked, he knew our house and our water supply and was very helpful and we could work with him. He has also suggested going on the mains which goes up the lane - it would mean getting someone (local farmer probably, who lives further up our track) to dig the trench for us, but then it appears to be not too much of an arm and a leg for the actual Waterboard connection. So, that's on today's list of things to do.
Before it got too wet to do it, I have been cutting back the grass on the bank where I planted 3 David Austin roses back in March. A job for the shears as I couldn't face trying to use the strimmer (dust from dry grass etc). Progress has been made and I also weeded and cleared another corner bed of sorts which had been totally overwhelmed with wild strawberries, which love it here. Much as I enjoy eating them I really don't need half an acre of them! I shall get some fresh bulbs to plant in there this week. I got a lovely Autumn crocus bulb to plant in a corner but then discovered every bit was toxic so when that goes back I shall replace with non-toxic bulbs. The main bank really loans itself to having bulbs there so indeed it shall.
On Saturday Keith went for a wander round the 2nd hand shop in town whilst I walked up to the shops (couldn't park anywhere nearer). When I came back I found he had negotiated for a Smoker's Bow Windsor chair with a cane seat (which could do with replacing - a job I can do). Then we got home, and whilst checking values on similar chairs, I came across an absolute bargain Smoker's Bow, on a buy-it-now listing and bought that, to replace a little kitchen chair we had, so yesterday we drove to Ross-on-Wye. This also doubled up with a long-overdue visit to my friend J, to take her a rose from our last home which had been languishing, very pot bound, for the last 4 years or so and lots of Aquilegia seeds. In a swopsy, I got a baby from the Japanese wineberry I gave her years ago. Hers thrived and the last one I had died on me. I have a good size one and a small one - they tip root easily, so I will make sure I do that with the bigger plant. We had a lovely chat - just wished we could have stayed longer but I knew that Keith wanted to go to the car boot sale at Madley on the way back. We weren't tempted by the masses of unwanted china and children's toys, clothing, CDs etc on offer, and just bought Discovery apples (my favourites, along with Russets), Morello cherries and huge blueberries (all locally grown).
Now I need to make a fresh loaf of Granary bread and some soup - not the warmest of days as there's a Northerly wind and it feels quite autumnal. Where's that heat-wave they promised us? (Which I could do without heat-wise, but some more sun wouldn't go amiss before autumn does properly arrive.)