I had a terrible end to the weekend. After watching the cricket from Brisbane until it was obvious England were safe and well in front, I went to bed only to be woken about an hour later by a dripping noise. I hate dripping noises!
On investigation, it turned out to be water dripping through Shaun’s ceiling. Not good, as Shaun’s room isn’t even at the top of the house. I put a couple of buckets on the floor to catch the drips, then went upstairs to see where the water was coming from.
It turned out that snow and ice had accumulated in the roof gutter at the back of the house. This gutter is actually part of the roof, so with more snow falling and the snow on the roof beginning to melt a little, water was draining into the gutter but was not able to get into the down pipe which was blocked with ice, and so was finding it’s way into the eves and then down into Shaun’s room.
So, for the entire night, every half hour, I had to lean out of the dormer window and scoop water and ice out of the gutter and throw it into the back garden. I tried the longest implement I could find to clear the ice from the gutter, but couldn’t reach the down pipe. I tried some kettles of water, which didn’t work either. It was only at first light that I could really see the entire problem, and then got four buckets of hot water and a floor mop and poured the water whilst encouraging a wave with the mop to wash down the gutter and eventually clear the two inches of hard ice from the six feet of gutter closest to the down pipe. All the time throughout the night, more snow was landing on me as I hung out the window 50ft up.
The offending gutter
I didn’t realise that some of the snow and ice I was throwing into the back garden was landing on the roof of my study which projects a little out the back, and this eventually help to cause a similar problem in the ceiling of the study, which I didn’t discover until later. Then, I had to get a ladder and clean out the gutter above the study.
So, we’ll need some gutter repairs once the snow clears.
Yesterday morning we went to the Ramsay Cornish silver & jewelry auction, to watch the sale of some heirlooms. Very sad to see these items being sold, but we’ve no space to store them, so it’s best that someone else can use them. The auction was busy, and we had to sit on an old polar bear skin at the back of the room.
The auction went very fast, but most of the prices seemed to be at the upper end of the estimates. Some silver spoons (not ours) went for a very high price.
Towards the end of the sale there was a power failure, which they couldn’t seem to fix, so the last items were sold outside in the cold.
Jamie was back home for a gig, and by coincidence he’d recently had an economics lecture on auctions. He told us about Dutch auctions.
There was more snow last night.
View from my study
We went to the launch of a new Edinburgh band last night called The Wee Small Hours. This is a super band – very tight and versatile, good female and male vocals, and they play all kinds of music, including rock and cèilidh. They’re a party band – you can contact them for bookings for parties, weddings or other events from their website.
The Wee Small Hours
The Wee Small Hours
They were playing at The Three Sisters in the Cowgate, a massive place that’s very popular at the weekends for stag and hen parties. Here’s the entry in the Edinburgh Pub Guide.
At the Three Sisters, you can buy strange drinks. I’ll have to ask Fat Mac what a sand bucket is – he’s sure to have tried them. He’s probably a secret Pimms drinker as well.
The Three Sisters has various vaulted rooms, like many old buildings in that area of Edinburgh.
Ran round the New Town with Fat Mac this afternoon. It was slow going. He’s looking increasingly like a potato on sticks, what with the weight gain and the shaved head. Now that another one of his teeth has fallen out it’s impossible to tell what he’s talking about. To cheer him up, I told him that I’d buy him a pint for each Test that England wins in The Ashes.
I need to switch to the night shift from today, so that I can watch it on TV.
I have it on good authority that, due to the fact that she’s in Australia, Gillian McKeith is under consideration for taking Ricky Ponting’s place as captain of the Aussie team for the Second Test when they lose the first one. It will either be her, or Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
Yesterday afternoon, we went to see Simon King at the Lennoxlove Book Festival. The place was packed, with several hundred people in the Festival Marquee, and everyone enjoyed the talk and slideshow, which was mainly about Simon’s time in Shetland but also included some reminiscences from Kenya.
After the show, Lindsey bought a couple of signed copies, for Christmas presents.
Simon King signing a copy for Lindsey
Fat Mac was supposed to have attended, but he was too busy drinking beer. Much of the Edinburgh literati seemed to be there.
Lennoxlove is an impressive castle near Haddington. The Book Festival features many well-known authors.
The food tent
Yesterday, the weather was really nice and Lindsey and I ran along Porty beach for our morning exercise.
There was some surf, and there were actually two people swimming in the Forth. You can just about make them out in the photo below.
Last night we went to see Andy Kitkpatrick speak at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy. The title of the show was “Off the wall“.
Andy is a climber who specialises in big-walls, vertical climbs of over 1,000 metres such as El Capitan in Yosemite. Metro magazine claims that he “makes Ray Mears look like Paris Hilton.” He is extremely entertaining and funny, plus a bit mental, and it was a very different kind of evening.
Off the wall
He tweets @psychovertical
Those who have seen the show will appreciate Captain Kirk is climbing the mountain, why is he climbing the mountain? (YouTube).
Here are two more photos from the dinner party mentioned in the previous post.
Meal in 1982
Meal in 1982
After three weeks, the painting of the outside windows and doors of the house has been completed, and I’m once again able to get out and about, rather than waiting on the painters, etc.
Yesterday I met the TAK for morning coffee, or to be more exact, morning hot chocolate. We went to Brown Sugar, on the corner of Queen St and Frederick St. One reason for meeting there was that they sell Catherine’s wonderful cakes.
Hot chocolate and one of Catherine's wonderful cakes
Catherine bakes them in the kitchens downstairs from Brown Sugar. Delicious! Can thoroughly recommend them.
TAK outside Brown Sugar
So, I had a good chin-wag with the TAK, and also Catherine, who appeared from downstairs to deliver some cakes. Some older photos of TAK are below.
However, before them, I’d like to say that the only sweet things that approach Catherine’s cakes for taste are Solidarnosc Plums in Chocolate. We brought some back from Krakow, but they seem to be available from Sainsbury’s. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried these.
Far right, TAK in 1982
At the same meal in 1982, Catherine, who makes the cakes, in red
TAK and me, on a walk to Kirk Yetholm, 1978
NSP and TAK in the Jedburgh Youth Hostel, when it was situated in a castle
An Australian team sponsor has pledged to buy a beer for every adult in the country should the home side beat England in the upcoming Ashes series. Not much chance of that happening, then.
However, for the real stories as they happen, see the non-PC Cricket with Balls blog, e.g. Australia name entire country in Ashes squad.
I enjoyed listening to Dave Podmore’s History Of The Ashes In 100 Objects, yesterday.