Monday, 31 October 2011

Frustrations and joys

I was asked to measure the holes in this area as they are not
part of the study area. This hole with my stick in it
measured 80cm.
This has been a rather frustrating week really. It didn't start off too well when at least one of our dear little puddy cats got onto the sideboard knocking a glass into their water bowl and then proceeding to traipse water everywhere including Ian's computer. Fortunately the glass did not break, but the computer was not happy and sulked to a stop. Ian needless to say was not a happy bunny once again, to see his computer dying on him for the second time, about a year after the last time. He then spent a fruitless day trying to get the wiring fixed on the horse box. I think I forgot to say that the horse box failed its technical inspection when we bought it, but that was only to be expected on an old trailer and it only needed some new tyres after they had started to perish in storage, which was no big deal. Unfortunately on the way home the cover of the rear light came off and Ian could not find it. So although the new wheels were easy to replace the lights were a different matter. Ian had to buy two completely new units, which weren't expensive, and fitted okay. So far! So good! Problem is that somewhere along the line the wiring seemed to have gone awry and on inspection some of the wires were perished and contacts corroded, one of the original units was also wired in wrong. So Tuesday we spent on the land with Ian fixing the wiring and me periodically doing the checks on which lights were working and which were not. We finished the day with no joy, as the units were still not working properly.

And because I don't have enough photos this week that I
can show you, here is the other half of the rainbow from
the other week 
As it was eating out night we decided to check first to see if the hotel had a conference on or not as last week we ended up getting to the bakery just before closing to get a take away. We were in luck this week, no conference and on the way home from checking we saw our new friends who we met last week. Our new friends have to move out of their rented accommodation soon, because the company that owned it went bankrupt, but they were really fortunate to find a flat at the right price. They were so excited about their new home and wanted to show us around. It needs quite a bit of work doing on it, but it's theirs and that mattered much more. After such a frustrating day it was good for our spirits to see the joy on their faces and to realise that our frustrations were minor compared to the threat of not having a roof over their heads. Just for good measure the computer dried out and started working in the evening too. I guess all's well that ends well!

Hopefully safely installed in the greenhouse. At least it is a
bit warmer in there. Just got to make sure the place is
ventilated from time to time so we don't end up with a load
of mould
Ian spent the rest of the week on the trailer and also on Larry the Lada. Our Swedish caped crusader friend came to lend a hand and suggested renewing the wiring on the trailer rather than trying to trace the fault. He helped Ian to sort out the starter motor on the Lada as well, as that was only working when it was not properly fitted, as soon as the bolts were tightened it stopped working. It took an angle grinder to get it sorted - not quite sure what they did but the phrase "if it doesn't fit, make it" springs to mind. I meanwhile toddled around sorting out our plants in the greenhouse and getting them ready for winter or digging up the ones that had finished. I had a shock at one point when I picked up some string and inadvertently picked up a small rodent. Not too sure who got the biggest shock though. I'm not the squeamish sort really, and mice don't freak me out - unless of course I pick one up without realising it and then I kind of jumped and shrieked. Just a little shriek you understand. Larry the Lada took rather longer than anticipated, but at least in the end it was working. We finished off the day by manoeuvring the caravan into the greenhouse to store it over winter (meanwhile praying fervently that the greenhouse does not collapse like last year). That sounds easy but it wasn't. The fit was tight, the ground uneven and slippy and in the end we couldn't use the car to back the caravan into the greenhouse and on our friend's suggestion we got the tractor and pushed it in.

Trying to get a photo of this little one was hard, she is a
bundle of energy
At least we are now a good way on to being prepared for the winter as Ian has got some of the equipment into the barn and I have got most of the plants snuggled under blankets of wood chip. I am trying that instead of conifer branches this year as it is easier to get hold of without cutting the branches off lots of trees. Also means I can leave the wood chip to decay gradually into the ground instead of having to remove the branches somewhere. I will still need to use branches for some shrubs on the land to stop the deer eating them though. I think the next job will be to mark the road way so we can still see it even under snow and then we can relax for the winter! All the planning for next year will then start.

Play time! The kittens using the greenhouse like a climbing
The kittens are doing well and it is funny to see their characters developing. Bella chirrups often, she sound more like a budgie at times than a cat. Sofie, I was shocked to find out by looking at a kitten chart, was seriously underweight for her supposed age, but some good food (yes no more cheap kitten food either after last week's smelly events) and she has put on quite a bit of growth and feels a lot stronger. She now fights back when Bella starts play fighting and can leap about surprisingly well - not quite the calm cat she once was, but she can still be quite timid at times. On Saturday we decided to take the kittens to the greenhouse as we feel sorry for them cooped up in our apartment. It was like taking the kids to one of those indoor amusement play centres and they sure slept well that evening. One reason for taking them is to stop them getting bored with being indoors all the time, there is more space for running around and as it turns out some excellent climbing frames for them, the other reason is the mice or at least small rodents in the greenhouse and we don't want the caravan overrun with them. Sofie did an excellent job, there was a blur of cat and a loud squeaking noise - not sure what it was but there was disgusting smell afterwards that smelt like tom cat, but we think was most likely emanating from a petrified rodent. I couldn't work out whether she actually caught the rodent or it got away in one of the many tunnels they seem to have built in the greenhouse, but at least they might think twice before coming back in.

Sofie hiding in the buckwheat
The finish of the week was no less frustrating for Ian as it would appear the connector from the car to the trailer was also faulty and so he spent another frustrating day locating 7.5 amp fuses - in fact we have probably bought up the whole of the stock in the village now. So rather than sitting in tonight we escaped to a friend's house, as we did not want to be around when trick or treaters called - a fairly recent introduction to Latvia and a very unwelcome one in my estimation. Our evening out, at least was not frustrating, in fact we had a great time with much laughter - always a good tonic for a frustrating week.


  1. Ups and downs - all part of the journey - laughed about you picking up a mouse!


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