Friday, 10th June, 2022

[Day 816]

Today started off with an interesting knock at the door from a team from BT OpenReach who had come along to see what could be done about the blockage in the ducting that they had identified which means that we cannot yet install some superfast broadband via a fibre cable. Three large vans turned up but eventually they got to work at the site around the corner next to our neighbour’s garden fence where the blockage had been identified. After an initial lack of success they identified the source of the problem. This is a common problem with which they have to cope most of the time. When a fence post is being erected, whatever digging tool is being used may well damage the ducting. There is generally a telecommunications cable of some kind within this but when the concrete for the fence post is inserted into the hole, it enters the ducting and then blocks it off. Having got the problem identified, they managed to rectify it and put a rope through it (so they said) so that when the installation comes along in a week or so’s time, all they have to do is to attach the cable to the end of the rope and then pull it through. Then it will go as far as the access point outside our house, be taken inside the house and then the engineer will install the new fibre cable into a router that they will supply and then, if all goes well, we ought to have superfast broadband. When Meg started our walk down into the park, the men were still working away but had just completed their work (successfully) upon our return. We bumped into our Italian friend just down the road and then in the park met up with our University of Birmingham friend. He had phoned me up earlier in the morning asking if he could borrow again some ‘Teach yourself Spanish’ books which I had lent to him before but now he wanted to extend his knowledge. I also had a couple of travel guides (the kind copiously illustrated with photos of interesting things to see in whatever region of Spain you visit) so our friend could delight in leafing through these as well. We also met up with Seasoned World Traveller who hunted us out and we continued our discussions of what makes people tick – unusually, we did not broach the subject of politics in any shape or form today. Once we returned home, we had a meal of fish to which we often treat ourselves on a Friday which is seabass cooked for three minutes on one side, two minutes on the other (with some capers) and then served directly onto a small bed of crispy salad.

After lunch, we knew that it was lawn cutting day again but at least we had a wonderfully fine afternoon. Once the lawncutting had been completed, Meg and I treated ourselves to a little bit of afternoon tea in the garden. Then I had a recently purchased sweet pea to plant and fortunately, I already have the trellis in place by the side of the house. Then I needed to tie back a rose in the front garden that was in danger of falling over in the high winds but I suspect given the age of the rose, I will need a much longer stake in time. I also gave my recently planted clematis plants a bit of support and hope to train them to occupy the space previously occupied by a much older plant, now deceased. Whilst at the front of the house, I saw our neighbour and invited him and his wife around for tea late on Monday afternoon. What I want to do is to show them the email correspondence I have recently had with the vendor’s solicitors for the vacant house across our communal green area. As the solicitors are in Guildford,Surry and the house was sold through the Purple Bricks agency we are speculating whether the purchaser has used the internal photographs of the house but has not actually seen the garden and the environs of the house. An ‘old fashioned’ estate agent would have shown people around and answered a lot of questions but I have every indication that this is not what has happened on this occasion.

During the day I have been in email correspondence with one of my ex-University of Winchester friends who has recently retired. She has visited the house before and gave me a lot of practical and useful advice and support when I was ill some four years ago now. So she accepted a long standing invitation to come and stay with us for a day or so, so having booked her cat into a cattery all is now organised for her to visit in about two weeks time. Although we have been in regular email contact over the years, it is so much nicer to have a face-to-face so that we can catch upon all of the news that we wish to impart to each other.