Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Candles, Cats & Cawl

Well, it's been an eventful few days since my last post.

On Monday, the senior citizens' lunch club that I work with went out to the local pub for cawl, a traditional Welsh broth/casserole of slow cooked beef or lamb with vegetables, served with bread and cheese. It's often eaten at this time of year to celebrate St David's Day (1st March), St David being the patron saint of Wales.

That evening gales were forecast and they arrived with a vengeance, knocking out our electricity supply just as we were about to cook dinner. We are well prepared for such events, so we passed a not uncomfortable evening thanks to candles, torches, a battery-powered low energy light and our woodburning stove with a kettle singing on top of it! I tend to think we are fairly sparing in our use of electricity, yet being without any for the night really highlighted how much we actually do use and take for granted. We couldn't watch TV, videos or DVDs, listen to music or check our emails, (not that we'd do all of those at once, but it's nice to have options!), we couldn't cook the meal we'd planned (we had to change to something we could heat on the woodburner), put on our electric blanket when we went to bed or use the central heating (which is oil-fired, but has an electrical control panel) etc etc. Plus there was concern about the food in the freezer defrosting, and the mains-powered fire alarm kept 'pipp'-ing to tell us the electricity was off. All of this we normally take for granted.

The next morning we were still without power, so we rang the Electricity company. To their credit, they were round within an hour and soon had the fault (power lines shorting out on tree branches) sorted out.

I spent the afternoon clearing stuff away in preparation for the building work we're having done. In the evening I went out for... cawl! This time with the WI, which I joined a couple of months ago as part of my resolution to get properly involved with the local community. I'm not sure the WI is really my 'thang', but for now I'm persevering - and it was a good evening.

This morning I was up at the crack of dawn to get all the animals fed & watered early so I could take our cat Tigger to the vet for an X-ray. She was diagnosed with asthma a while back but has been wheezier than usual just recently and the vet wanted to check her over properly. I stopped on the way home for some shopping, and to my embarrassment when I got back Harry & Andy (who are doing our building work), were waiting on the drive! Most of the rest of the day was spent in a haze of brick-dust, but by the end of the day the good news was that the wall between kitchen & dining room has come down and we are well on the way to our new kitchen-diner!

The bad news was that Tigger has some kind of growth in her chest cavity, most likely a tumour. We should know the full results in a week.

Tonight I'm tired, feeling a bit brain-dead. More building work tomorrow.

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