I thought it might be a mistake to leave a large glass door leaning against the wall, next to our bedroom door. We got away with it but still, while I was out, Shane did feel he should get on with fitting it. It was very heavy but he had done most of the work by the time I got back. It was on one of the very hot days but our flat was much cooler than outside, so it was a good time to be working inside.
The moment of truth would be getting it on to its hinges and that was a two person job. That seemed to be okay but no joy with closing the door with a good seal against the strip mounted on the opposite wall. It was mounted slightly squint for one thing, so that would need refitted, but also the door seemed to be too wide for the seal strips to meet. Shane wondered if the dimensions on the website were wrong. I thought the whole thing was going to be impossible but Shane did manage to find a solution, cutting the seal strip all the way down so it didn’t stick out so far and that has worked perfectly. No more flooded floors!
Getting invites to friends continued and at one I offered to bring something and got nominated to bring a dessert. I realised some of my favourite recipes were in a book on the boat, not so handy so I was perusing books and trying new recipes. I embarked on a coffee walnut pavlova. All strength to the whipping arm required! With the meringue base in the oven I was beating some cream and realised that one of the ingredients was not mentioned at all in the directions. Too late I guessed the chopped nuts should really have gone in with the meringue mix then it could be covered with coffee cream. No way to fix this so I just had to add them slightly roasted after. It all went down the same and very yummy it was too. The back-up brownies were in fact less successful, in my opinion. We all had a lovely evening with more delicious food than we could possibly eat.
On a cooler day, when one of my potential social visits fell through, we went to Dr Neil’s Garden again as I had so enjoyed it last time. It was beautiful, but quiet. We continue to be surprised at how peaceful it is. We had picked a day when the cafe was closed and I had no snacks or drinks with me. This could explain why it was so quiet, but there was a notice saying the taps around the garden were all drinking water so a slight quenching was possible and we enjoyed watching a cormorant fishing and of course admiring the flowers. Sprinklers made sure they were not short of water.
Last week we got the news that a neighbour had died. In conversation with another neighbour we decided to attend the funeral together. It wasn’t in Edinburgh so I was glad of the offer of a lift, and she was glad of a navigator on a strange route. She is knowledgeable about pets in the area and I hoped she might help me with the rainbow jacket conundrum but she couldn’t think of who the owner might be. On the morning of the funeral I saw a man in a nearby garden with a small dog and went to ask him if his dog was missing a rainbow coat. No it wasn’t theirs but then he remembered that someone with a cat had said they had mislaid a coat and he knew where she lived, so took it off me. I am very pleased they are to be reunited, and it now makes more sense that, while I had assumed it was a dog’s coat, it seemed to have cat hairs on it. I am hoping she is able to repair the damage, since he thinks she had made it herself. She will have time as no coat will be needed for a while in this weather.
Meanwhile Nye had suggested coming to Edinburgh. He hoped to get a train on Monday. The heat however meant trains were cancelled three days in a row. He had hoped to join me at the funeral and got the earliest possible train on Thursday at 6.30 a.m. Still trains were disrupted and he arrived hours after the original due time and too late to join us. Our drive to West Lothian for the funeral went very smoothly, to the relief of the neighbour giving me a lift.
I am glad we have managed to see Nye. However, we have overstayed our official time at the side of the canal (2 weeks) though the rail cancellations in the heatwave, were a good excuse. We haven’t received any warning emails but thought we should move a bit before our next medical appointment.
But what a week to be travelling! We set off this morning. Our train arrived half an hour late. A man from Columbia asked for help understanding his ticket and how to find his seat. We had plenty time for a conversation with him. Then the large family group asked me to take a photo. One man at the end of the group came to playfully remonstrate with me that I had cut him off the end. I do hope he was in some of the several I took….and that they found their seats.We found ours but later the train became overcrowded due to other cancelled trains and many people had to stand. Everyone remained good-humoured though. An announcement suggested people going to Milton Keynes could change at Crewe to a quieter and faster train so we did that, allowing a family with young children who had been moving around seat to seat, to all get seated together and allowing Shane to get a coffee and in the next train we were indeed in a practically empty coach to Milton Keynes. We stepped straight on to a bus with a very friendly driver.
We are happily esconced back aboard and having left Bartimaeus in splendid isolation, there are now several boats surrounding us and a passing boat said “Lovely Spot!”