Well – when I posted the final photo yesterday I called it One Last View, but I think today may be a Reprise of Croft Ends Reprise.
So far I am still here. Packing everything up last night ready for a good early start this morning I couldn't get the scooter lift to lift. The motor would allow it to go down endlessly (if I had permitted that) but as soon as the hoist started to raise the platform off the ground the motor cut out. I checked to see that nothing could be fouling anything – and of course tried switching it off and switching it on again in every possible combination I could think of, but it remained adamant that the highest it wanted to go from the ground was half an inch
There was nothing to be done so I left it till the morning
On the internet last night there was some very sad news in that the nice young guy who had delivered Thebus just after Christmas, and had been so very helpful whilst I was staying at Signature has passed away. When I read about it I thought perhaps it was his father who I knew had been involved with the business, and had intended to write expressing my sympathy. But when I realised it was Tom himself I could not take the information on board somehow. He was so vibrant and alive and so full of plans for the future, and I never saw him without a smile on his face. One of the really kind people of this world. I am including the photo I took of the offices a Signature, as to me, that will always be how I remember him. Tom Durkin is on the left closest to the camera.
RIP Tom – I will always remember you with sadness and affection.
With what had happened I decided to phone the scooter hoist builders rather than Signature, as they would have probably only had to speak to him themselves, and then get back to me to ask questions. And I thought it would be easier for me to stand beside it as I spoke with him. I won't go into the ins and outs, or should I say ups and downs of it all, but basically if the hoist is lowered beneath a certain point it fails, and if it is stopped when it reaches that point it is not possible to load the scooter.
You can see from the photo above how far the scooter rack will come down before it reaches what should be its failsafe level, though of course its failsafe happens to be a handpainted red line! I would need to be a trick mobility scooter rider to be able to get it onto that. Even Evil Knievil's skills might have been challenged using the machine I have!
In my mind I decided to remove the whole lot, scooter included, jettison it at the farm here, drive on and worry about it when I have got to Orkney or even Shetland. The Andrew and Val, the owners here are so kind and helpful, when I popped down to the farmhouse to explain I wasn't leaving as planned and why, Andrew came straight up to have a look and see if he could help at all in removing it. With that in mind I phoned Dave at Signature who said to leave it with him, and a short while later phoned to say someone was coming out. Annoyingly I have been here for several days now, and it could maybe have been fixed in the interim, whereas now I am losing a most beautiful day to travel, but I must relax and remember to let life take me where it leads me. Perhaps tomorrow will be an even better day to travel.
But today the sky is clear blue with lots of fluffy clouds – it has snowed in the night up on the hills and so the whole of the tops are blindingly white in the sunlight. I would go out and take more pictures but I expect you have seen enough of them now and I can enjoy the view in my minds eye. The wind has dropped to a tiny breeze, and I am sitting here in the sun typing, with the door open and Phoebe on a sheepskin rug watching the day go by from the top of the steps, I even saw a fly lazily pass the door.
Phoebe is so much more relaxed, and had a good dancing run about first thing this morning, but has now decided the fenced area must be ours and is taking guarding duties to heart, baying at anyone seen moving in the distance round the farmyard. We have had a talk about this and I am trying to explain that guarding is good when anyone gets too close to Thebus, but they are entitled to be in other places. Its hard for her, but I am hoping she will get the hang of things
As I say I was intending it to be an early start, so for the second time since arriving here everything was neatly packed away – ship shape and Bristol fashion. I am sure most of you know this already, but the saying arises because where the ships tied up at Bristol was subject to strong tidal water fluctuations. So if you moored up, by the next morning the water could have disappeared leaving you quite literally 'stuck in the mud' with the ship pitched hard to one side. Therefore to be ship shape Bristol fashion meant anything capable of moving was neatly stowed away or tied down.
And because of wanting to start early and it only being three hours or so driving I had no breakfast thinking to have a late brunch when I arrived. So now got the frying pan out while I was waiting for something to happen. I am doing a taste test between Tebay's Cumbrian Dry Cured Bacon and Waitrose Dry Cured Smoked Back They are both around the same price, Waitrose is thinner and there is obviously more sugar in the cure. Tebay's is a bit saltier but when you fry it together with mushrooms it makes the them taste the way I remember as a tiny tot
I can see my grandfather, having bought some of those big flat field mushrooms, only available in season in those days. The ones which go shiny black when you fry them, and after meticuloulsy wiping, peeling and preparing, cooking them with some bacon for our breakfasts. Sitting at the kitchen table in the early morning sun with the door open and him carefully spooning the mushrooms from the pan onto the toast, as I wouldn't eat the bacon. The instant has remained fixed in my mind. I wonder if it was a new taste sensation for me which acted as the trigger for filing the memory. Anyway after that mushrooms on toast was a firm favourite with me and still is, though currently sans toast.
Sometimes I wish they hadn’t tried to tempt my appetite so much. I can remember the Minadex vitamin and mineral supplement to stimulate my appetite. It certainly worked to look at me now. It was ok when I was working hard with the animals and garden, but since I have been so achy my appetite for hard work is gone, but my other appetite remains at its fully titivated strength
I had assumed Signature had contacted a local dealership or firm of engineers, but no they sent Chris all the way up from Wolverhampton – Phoebe was delighted to see him as he is one of her favourites, so that was another plus to the day. She really is looking almost back to her old self at present. Chris reckons he has fixed it and drinking just one swift coffee to sustain him headed for home. It was long since dark.
So lets hope tomorrow won't be a reprise of today's reprise, and that my heart truly will be in the Highlands.
There are a few last photos from Croft Ends below
Phoebe and the Flying Scooter Lift
Murton Pike catching the afternoon light
Looking through old rookery beeches to Croft Ends farmhouse from the pitches
Thebus Under the Rainbow
It's not very clear but if you just look closely at the dark cloud above Thebus
you can see the rainbow.
I think it just ends on on the cab!