BACK AT THE BUS DEPOT
Phoebe was much happier this morning, I think this is the closest place to 'home' she knows at present. She watched all the guys coming in for work and as they went past us recognised each one and was pleased to see them. She even had a bounce around the yard a bit – wherever else we have travelled she has been very wary and careful. And she recognised the two-tone horn of the 'Post Van' and politely joined the queue instead of trying to push to the front as she did on her first visit to the hot sausage roll emporium.
I had a lovely surprise today in that an ethernet friend who knew we were headed back to Wolverhampton and who lives nearby popped in to meet us both, well us three if you count Thebus.
The workshop guys were busy replacing the cover on the awning – no that wasn't me, it was done before I even looked round Thebus - but we both went inside and shared a cup of coffee, though as neither of my shopping orders had arrived I couldn't offer cake or biscuits. Kerrie didn't mind and we had a lovely natter about this and than. She keeps chickens and also has a motorhome which she and the family use for travel and holidays and as they had lived in various parts of Europe they have friends from all over that they can visit. Whilst we were chatting there was a knock at the door and it was my Waitrose delivery. Quite funny really parked up on the workshop apron with three mechanics working on Thebus while Waitrose delivered.
I wanted to get some oddments to take with me, though most of the food will be bought as we travel. The other delivery was from Asda and was mainly for Phoebe. Lots of minced beef and chicken thighs to fill my little freezer, plus a big bag of dry dog nibbles. I also got a few packets of those chocolate teacakes as they were on offer – fourteen for a pound. Phoebe has never had them before, but someone kindly gave me a tin of Marks and Spencer’s Chocolate Teacakes as a little leaving gift. I must admit I didn't really even know what they were called till then, though I have eaten them often over the years. Anyway Phoebe's treats for when she is especially good, or as has happened lately, especially frightened, ran out more quickly than expected so she had some of the Marks and Spencer's teacakes, and of course loved them. (I know – but I have always fed my dogs chocolate – I come from the generation that didn't know it was poisonous to dogs and who's dogs generally survived regardless) So I thought these budget ones from Asda would be ideal as a little treat, and guess what – she won't touch them. She looks at them then walks away, and if I insist she takes one, she lifts it gingerly with her mouth, trying not to let her tongue and lips get the flavour and then puts in in her dog bed and tries to bury it with her nose. Talk about a high maintenance dog!
I was hoping the scooter lift and the electric water heater would be finished in a single day, but things are never done as quickly as one might like. Actually it was quite good that it did take that bit longer, as all my post had been forwarded on including Thebus' documents. I knew his first MOT was due in March, but somehow thought it was the end of March. On reading through it turns out is is the beginning of March, which would only give about three weeks before needing to travel back to Wolverhampton again! In the event I decided to forgo the extra month to save travelling back from Scotland yet again, so with part of the work not finished till Tuesday morning, then the MOT to take care of that took us to about twoish – once again it was raining heavily so it hardly seemed worthwhile starting out in the rain with over half the day gone. Plus Sally and Niner, who hadn’t be able to visit Sunday or Monday thought they could squeeze in a visit on Tuesday night and it was worth staying just to meet up with them again.
Before I go off the subject of post I must just mention that I had asked Julie to send on various bits, plus I had ordered oddments for my travels, so by the time I returned to Signature there was quite a little mound of parcels waiting for me. But imagine my horror when I walked into the room and saw in the middle of the heap.... another washing machine! It was identical to the one just fitted in Thebus and I wondered for a minute if I had pressed the 'buy' button twice somehow. But thank goodness it was to be fitted in someone else's RV, Presumably they were impressed with my choice and ordered another. ~Whew! - Panic Over!!
Sally and Niner both looked absolutely exhausted when they turned up, though Sally was as pretty as ever. They worked out that they were averaging around four or five hours sleep a night. Sally organises the drivers at the family firm and of course many are driving at night and any problems get forwarded on to her, plus she helps out with driving when they are short-handed, then there is the smallholding to look after.
When I first met them they had just bought their first two weaners, white commercial crosses. I casually mentioned that in my opinion Berkshires were the nicest breed to keep and gave good meat as well. That sort of off the cuff remark is red rag to a bull with Sally. When I met up with them again a couple of weeks later she had bought another ten Berkshire weaners. I have been pleading with them ever since to sell them on or at least get rid of some of them, as keeping pigs outdoors in this sort of weather is hard enough for full timers let alone someone visiting in the dark before and after work. I think she may have seen the light this week when she was nearly knocked over in the mud and rain and dark. But as I say the work is taking its toll with both of them. They got to me at about eight thirty having just finished the animals, and we popped out for another steak – thanks Niner – then back to Thebus for port and cheese. They both insisted they didn't do 'smelly' cheese but I started them off on Dolcelatte and they are now converts. My first taste of it was in a little Italian Cafe/Restauant just off Bond Street back in the sixties. The staff were all Italian, and very Italian, though they could speak enough English to get by. I asked the girls which cheese they liked best and without hesitation they all said Dolcelatte. Its been one of my favourites ever since.
The dominoes were bought out as a threat but we let Niner off.
The first night the two of them stopped over they insisted the sofa bed was comfy, though I had my doubts as it seemed to be covered with some sort of plasticy blanket thing. I couldn’t imagine quite why, but on reading through all the instruction manuals it turns out it is an inflatable mattress with an electric pump. I was quite excited about trying out this new gizmo, but in the event it still had its American 120 volt connection and we could find nowhere to plug it in so they had to manage as best they could again. I think the port that was drunk added to the comfort of the bed.
Sally had a phone call from work at ten to five, but they needed to be gone not long after six anyway. Everyone looked and felt a bit bleary-eyed. I certainly had a thick head presumably from the port though I don't thing I drank that much.
Sally wasn't keen on getting out from under the duvet till I told Phoebe she could get on the bed as well where she lay right on top of Sally, after putting a paw in the middle of Niner while stepping over him.
That woke them both up a bit!