Thursday 15 October 2020

Locked down or Locked up?

 My knuckles are getting rapped by the editor as again I am late filing this piece, while you all swan about in the, er, Swan, or other pub of choice.

I thought past months had been hectic but I don’t remember one quite as busy as these last 30 days. I may have mentioned that we were renting this house in France out for the first time this year and it seems that rental guests aren’t too keen on sharing it with spiders. And there in hangs, literally, a recursive problem. Wendy had tried barrier spray, picking up the beasts and putting them outdoors, shouting at them, but still their web of chaos is back next day. So there was only one thing for it, to borrow a Hoover of such industrial force it takes the books off the shelves. Seriously, this thing would extract a badger from its set! If the spiders can survive a few seconds in its vortex, they can then stay in the sack until they are emptied somewhere 20 miles away to annoy someone else.  But even after weeks of this, I am sure the first person in the house to get a face-full of silk in the morning will be on the phone to us faster than you can say Rentokill.

Anyway, couple that with mending a leak in the pool, roof and tractor, repairing, replacing, building and bodging, and my feet have barely touched the ground as I knock in somewhere around 80 kilometres per week. My Fitbit thinks I have taken to marathon training.

It has been nice to get a couple of days downtime this last weekend though, as my two sons braved the dangers and rudeness of Ryanair and paid us a visit. We all social distanceted (is that actually a word now?) and got well bevvied up on wine and beer in the sunshine, although number two son still had to do his day's work in our open-air office. At just 30 he seems to making his mark on the business world and will be heading back to South America again soon to pick up charge of a rather large construction contract.

By the time this gets to print we intend to be in Scotland at last. The new balustrading around the terrace looks fantastic, well to us and most others anyway. However, the same trio of neighbours who objected to just about everything I have done in the coastal village in the past, kicked up more than a fuss about it, this time even resulting in an arrest! I was not there to witness the event, but expect to be met with flaming pitchforks, as have a few of my holiday guests who were literally told to F-OFF. Why Fifers cannot just 'live and let live' I don’t know but I have had enough now and am ready to fight the fire myself. Watch this space.

Whilst out of our own house, and our Scottish house is also full of holiday makers, we will once more be embarking on tour in Libby, our 20 year old camper van. Please don’t tell her, but she is due to be replaced this summer, after four faultless years, with a swanky newer model, with electric windows, central locking and all those other mod-cons that have been invented in the last 2 decades. We have our eye on a couple of German ones online but the things seem to be flying off the shelves faster than loo-roll in lockdown, since everyone is encouraged to holiday within their own shores this year and the idea of a safe-house on wheels is appealing to a much wider audience. Certainly no chance of getting a 'deal' which always rankles with this farmer.

Right, I need to get back to my tasks here which today include removing 500 miniature whisky bottles from the shelves in case the greedy Frenchmen get a thirst on. We also need to remove breakables from sticky little fingers and cleanse the place of pictures of me with Royalty for fear of a revolt. Hopefully when I write next, the place will still be standing and we may be gearing up for a post-lockdown shindig at the end of the summer.

Have fun in the pubs folks. Let's hope it doesn’t take us back into lock-up.

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