White Lines

We have now got a date for surgery, as soon as the plastic surgeon is back from his holidays so here’s hoping he isn’t jet lagged. Shane has a pre op appointment tomorrow and I am feeling slightly sniffly so doing a test to check I haven’t got COVID as he won’t be allowed to go to the hospital, even for pre-admission checks if someone in his household tests positive.

Shane has been pretty busy. He has fitted the interlinked smoke alarms, that are now required, to comply with new Scottish legislation, mounted on the ladder drilling holes in the ceiling to screw them in. I am not a major power tool user, while Shane delights in them. He did have to go outside using a rather odd gait to try to avoid spilling the plaster dust around the house , that had landed in white lines across his trousers. He gave himself a good shake outside to get rid of it. A power tool up a ladder is even less to my taste, but lately I have been trying to extend my experience of traditionally distributed tasks and Shane came to discuss how the alarms work and I was delighted it has a remote control, so no ladders or long sticks to switch off half a dozen simultaneous alarms. It turns out there are sticky pads supplied, so a power tool wasn’t essential either. It looks like I would have managed that just fine and it looks much easier than drilling holes and using screws. The boat is only one room and anyway the English legislation does not require interlinked ones, so this isn’t needed on Bartimaeus, but I am assured by Rob at Ortomarine that Bartimaeus complies with all the fire regulations.

I have been in contact with with the marina about the intruder alerts on Bartimaeus and they have no suspicious reports. Still we are booked in for another month and they know to expect Rob to fit the joystick…the day before surgery, as it happens. We may well need a third month, but we are keen to return as soon as possible, and Shane remains optimistic of a fast recovery. Indeed an optimistic outlook has been proven scientifically to significantly improve post operative recovery rate.

Shane continues to amuse himself with jobs and tools and bought another new tool that he thinks will help on Bartimaeus, but also had an issue that needed resolved here. Our bath is out of action as the tap was problematic before we left for Bartimaeus. Long bike rides are making a bath appealing but alas unavailable and Shane has been researching new taps and ordered a cordless multi tool for removing grout which could also be used for sanding Bartimaeus without feeding cables through the windows – what’s not to like? What’s more it is red!

A few things are in different places so adding an extra adventure to cooking to guess where the utensil or bowl or ingredient and some we haven’t found at all yet but we also have extra cooking ingredients in the house left by Rab and Gail. There were Swedish meatballs and I researched the recipe earlier in the week for sauce and really enjoyed the resulting meal. The flour is still in the same place so no-one to blame for the accident I had making a different meal (vegetable stew with dumplings) while Shane was fixing the alarms to the ceiling or grinding at the grout. Returning the bag of flour to a cupboard above the cooker, the bag slipped and landed on a pot and exploded flour everywhere -into the pot that I already felt had too much flour, but now the whole kitchen…floor, table, worktop, cooker had a heavy or light dusting…and, of course, me. My turn to head off to the garden to shake myself off and get the dustpan out. I felt I remained quite calm as no screaming was heard and Shane was glad the gas flame hadn’t ignited the flour. That might have tested the new alarms.

Luckily for me the meal was fine and a friend called to take me on an evening stroll with her dog while Shane wiped down the surfaces in the kitchen. When I returned there was only the occasional bit of tell tale white powder in a few distant spots.

This week I had no choir and no Dundee trip and we are avoiding going to pubs so have had less contact with groups but have had an active social calendar with walks, a gallery and couple meals. We had Cath and Michael round to return their hospitality (and have a good time). Cath is an excellent cook and gave us an impressive tropical pavlova when we visited them a few weeks ago. Shane decided to make a dessert that we had done years ago. The recipe, if we have one is on Bartimaeus. It is very similar and shares ingredients with pavlova except for the lack of the meringue,which is the trickiest part really. I was trying a nut roast for which I couldn’t find the recipe! I think I put in too much egg as it didn’t turn out right….it tasted okay, but despite loosening all round and using a greased non-stick loaf tin, it still stuck to the base and crumbled…so it literally didn’t turn out right. All goes down the same way! Another enjoyable night was spent in their company. I made sure to hide the marmalade as it is about the only thing Cath does not like.

We were invited again for dinner by Helena the next night, another enjoyable night was spent in their company also, and then today we are expecting friends from Aberdeen, Roland and Margaret, for dinner. As I had started to feel under the weather Shane has offered to cook. Apparently one in 15 people have COVID right now, but despite the (minor) sneezing and sniffles I don’t appear to be one of them as my test line stays resolutely white. We will sit far apart anyway.

Just one red line again