Barbara ~ my noble helper !

I do hope Richard and Jack turn up today to install willow obelish under lilac tree where masses of clematis vines are drooping all over the place ~ as a temporary measure I shoved a handful of canes up against the tree trunk and sure enough most of the tendrils are already clinging on but the obelisk will work wonders.   Cloudy this morning and again very cold but maybe it is just me ~ it is surely a bit late in the year to put the heating on ~ I am sitting here in poncho and still feel freezing ~ old age, I guess.

I am so happy at the prospect of new carpet in the kitchen ~ somehow it has only now struck me what a blooming hotch-potch it is ~ all those cheap mats in so many different colours and designs ~ stripes, patterned, plain and all scruffy !!

Well, blow me !!    Because of the steps in this yard we still use old fashioned dust bins, right ~ this week the green bags the bin men left to line our bins are smaller, narrower, and will not stretch around the top of the bin ~ 9.30 this morning I phoned Scarborough about this, not complaing exactly, but pointing out how awkward it was making things ~ 10.15 and a knock at the door and here is Keith our lovely Road Man (always so friendly and helpful) with a handful of green bags for me, LARGE green bags !   I was totally gobsmacked ~ it seems the girl I spoke to in Scarborough phoned the Whitby Depot who phoned Keith asking him to come to my aid !!!    We are all of us always groaning about local council inefficiency etc but can you beat this for service ~ I rang Scarborough to thank and congratulate them, and have just sent a letter to the Gazette too ~ wonders never cease !

Saturday 2.30pm : Ellen thinks I may have been an idiot, and she may be right !  Yesterday after my flop when I came up to sort out various admin chores I found the computer screen was covered with warning messages ~ and then "Phone MAYAS services for help" which I did ~ having checked, Olivia William out in California assured me I had been hacked into and I must not even try to access any file until the problem was sorted ~ she talked me through the initial stages of operation and then took over my computer ~ I could see the cursor darting all over the screen ~ she then transferred me to the MAYAS Technical Department in Germany ~ in turn, they told me the recovery process would take between an hour and an hour-and-a-half, and meanwhile to leave the computer on and touch nothing ~ I went down and did the ironing but checked on computer two or three times and there was always activity on the screen ~ eventually I had a phone call to say all was well, problems had been fixed or removed ~ the cost for this service was £59 + vat but for that amount I can in future get help at any time FREE OF CHARGE ~ the fee was a once-off ~ there are now four different MAYAS icons on the screen : cleaning, help, etc ~ it was quite a lot to pay out, especially on top of £156 for new carpet and the £129 that BT charged for the engineer's visit recently ~ but thanks to my wonderfully improved circumstances I am able to pay.   When I told Ellen all this she was horrified, feeling certain the chaos on the screen had been deliberately created to frighten me into accepting the help of this MAYAS lot ~ oh dear, I hope to God she's wrong !   We've got a £5 bet on it ~ so far no unexpected activity shows up on my online bank statement ~ we'll just have to wait and see.

From my bedroom window I see a couple of large pink clematis flowers have appeared at the top of the lilac tree ~ gorgeous !   Still haven't got the obelisk installed ~ don't think I'm capable of doing it myself, not with so many stems involved.  The far wall is covered with honeysuckle at the minute, deep red ~ on that wall is jasmine too, and masses of periwinkle !  

Chris and Jane are here again, at number One and so friendly ~ it was Chris who last Sunday tea time re-set the pressure guage for the boiler in the shed ~ they are coming in for coffee in the morning ~ I'd like to get to know them properly ~ while I was waiting for the hip op they looked out for me most Saturday mornings and fetched the Guardian from Anderson's for me ~ I seem to be surrounded by kindness on all fronts !

I'm never sure whether or not I've sent a blog to Google or Facebook so with this freshly started one I shall add a star to the title to remind me that I have done this ~ in case you wonder what all these jolly stars signify.

Monday evening : So far, no MAYAS problems, no funds stolen from my account, so by the look of it Ellen owes me a fiver !!    It was only Jane who came in yesterday morning ~ he was painting doors or something ~  but we had a wonderful morning ~ she kept me rivetted for two full hours with her life story involving horses, a disappearing father, a haiunted house, various mistakes before Chris came into the picture ~ they've been married 32 years and have one child, a recently graduated son.    What fascinating lives people have, almost everybody !   Somehow I needed a good flop after such an exhilerating morning, and then it was Sunday evening TV and the day had gone.  

Monday evening: Yesterday discovered the washer has conked out again but rang Keith Bedlington and he'll be here first thing tomorrow, bless him !    One damn thing after another, as they say.   Because of this, instead of sending bedding to the laundry, sent all that should have been washed yesterday, and it came back after lunch ready to be ironed so laundry is up to date in spite of break down.  It was Sue's morning and she always makes bathrooms, landings and stairs look a treat ~ no point doing the kitchen this week as carpet will be taken up on Wednesday and most of the mats chucked out, so between us we unpacked the elegant willow obelisk which I will get Richard to set up when he shows up next.   The plug for the kitchen sink had disappeared (though it turned up eventually with the laundry) and thinking I must have thrown it away by mistake, I went down to Whitby Wood Workers in Grape Lane for a replacement, but the one I got was too small and had to retrace my steps for a larger one !   Meanwhile the plants I had ordered from Thompson & Morgan had arrived but instead of the TWO I was expecting FOUR came, glossy leaved and with flower buds already visible ~ one for Ellen, one for Georgie, one for me and the other one I took along to Chris Dove ~ although I only meant to hand plant over, they insisted I went in and had coffee and lively chat, though I'm afraid I'm getting like Mother and talk my head off ~ anyway Chris was able to identify the plant (I've forgotten the name of it already) ~ his garden is absolutely immaculate ~ they are both pleased that Brother Bill agrees that they can read his book and I'll pass it on to them shortly.

It was another beautiful day but tonight it is fairly bucketing down !   People keep bringing me books that I must read, right ~ and at Bill's suggestion I got a copy of" Marriage Material" by  Sathnam Sanghera and with it Arnold Bennett's "The Old Wivws Tale" on which the other is based ~ I had read this and most of Arnold Beennet but so long ago I decided I'd better re-read if before the other ~ both were second hand (or USED as they put it on Amazon) and cost only a few pence each plus postage, but soon I won't be able to move for books !

This afternoon my friend Lucy turned up for cupa and chat and I was pleased to see her as I'd given her such a telling-off last time she popped in about her deadly INDECISION ~ but who am I to criticise anybody !  And all seems well between us, so that's good.

Tuesday evening: a hectic day which I'll tell you about tomorrow but tonight moving all clutter from kitchen table and top of chest of drawers ready for carpet layer tomorrow ~ Barbara is coming to help first thing and with any luck, and judging from forecast, we can put most of the remaining stuff ~ stools, tubs, tarot table, ironing board, step ladder etc ~ out on the yard while the work is done ~ and this time tomorrow I will have a beautiful freshly carpeted kitchen ~ yippee !

Wednesday evening : see photo album for day's activities ~ the new carpet looks super and all old mats have gone ~ the original carpet had mostly rotted away to yellow dust !!   I have Barbara to thank who was round here by 9.0am and soon got us organised with every damned thing out on the yard ~ mostly on Vicky's patio ~ Richard and James then arrived to work on my garden and numbers 4 and 7's too, but in addition, they came back after lunch and spent two solid hours bringing everything back in for me to sort out and decide where it was all to go ~ without these three friends I could not have coped ~ I'd probably still be sitting out on the steps weeping !!    Carl the beefy young fitter worked jolly hard, sweeping up all the horrid yellow dust (all that remained of the old carpet), and shifting furniture around including the 4' square scrubbed table and the fridge-freezer ~ the result is splendid, and all for little over £200 ~ and what kind friends I have ~ I frequently count my blessings, but tonight more than ever !   Too tired for more tonight but a thoroughly satisfying day !

the lovely new carpet