Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Busy day off

Yesterday morning I awoke to darkness.  I thought it was the middle of the night so I got up to use the bathroom and quickly climbed back into bed for my second snooze.  I looked briefly at my phone to check the time and it was 6am!  Dark at 6am!  This will take some getting used to.  I must have fallen over to sleep straight away again only to wake drowsily to the alarm, so I snoozed it.  After the snooze I must have dropped off yet again - I was very tired!  It was light now and I panicked thinking I had overslept for getting the men.  It was 7am, so all was fine thankfully.

I popped in to say hi to Sassy.  She has been a little bit anti-social over the last couple of mornings and she was back to her usual curious self again.

Morning Sassy
Morning Sassy
This was the misty morning sun:

Cloudy start
Cloudy start
I had gone out to put Rambo away before setting off to collect the men and just as I turned the ignition on my Bulgarian phone rang and sure enough, it was Bekir.  "Deneska, neh raboti, A". He did say something else, presumably trying to explain why, but I did not understand.  Bless him, he was practising his English also by repeating it in, I must say, very good English.  So, back to the School for me and Rambo was super excited to be let out so soon.

We were expecting some new workers to arrive to start the drainage works.  It was arranged through our architect, Lubo, who informed the Mr that they would be here on Monday so long as it did not rain.  So, the sun was out and I sat with my morning coffee watching and I waited.  After texting and e-mailing the message came back that the ground was still too soggy to complete any work.  This was frustrating, but fair enough as they will probably need a big machine in to start the clearing of the perimeter.

So, as per last week, my day was eaten into by work so there is nothing to really report other than by the end of the day I was exhausted, again and I decided I would treat myself to dinner in the restaurant by the river, a short drive away.

It was lovely as usual, but always very difficult to order when you are on your own as you inevitably want half the menu but can't have it as it is wasteful.  Here you can see an amazing lamb shank that was perfectly cooked and fell off the bone.  I absolutely did not* order two potato side orders.

A treat
A treat
I woke up this morning to another drab day.  A low level cloud had set in all around us and no sun was to be seen.  This was a shame, but it was due to brighten up.

Low cloud
Low cloud
Last night I promised that after I collected the men I would take Rambo out for another walk.  He loves getting out and although he is becoming more and more active around the land, I wanted to get him out for a while also.  Will do me good as well! Just as I was finishing my coffee and getting prepared to leave for the men, my Bulgarian mobile rang.  It was Bekir.  He spoke very good English initially which surprised me, telling me that they would not today, tomorrow, tomorrow and then something in Bulgarian about a hospital and that he would call me on Monday.  I could not quite make out what exactly had happened, but I do hope that they are both ok or whoever is in hospital has nothing serious!

So I made myself another coffee with a view to heading up the mountain with Rambo afterwards.  It was still very gloomy outside with that low cloud hanging down.  Off we went and as usual, Rambo was super excited and had to be held on a tight lead most of the way through the village as the villagers were letting their livestock out for the day. Here is the neighbours dog, relaxing in the paddock.

Basking
Basking
We headed back to the reed pond where he almost choked himself pulling on the lead in order to get to it (also helping pull me up the last of the hill).  Straight away he was in, paddling around.  I decided I would throw a stick in for him to fetch and as it landed I thought it looked a bit deep and sure enough, he went completely under the water and had to swim to get back out again.  I did not laugh much, honest.  Then he went back in again of his own accord.  He really is a water-dog. We made it back down home without incident and he had worn himself out, or so I thought! We came in and he got a treat for being good and sitting and waiting for me to close and lock the gates (I am a soft touch, me).  The dog is a machine.  Here is is, begging for more interaction, patiently waiting for me to take the Kong and throw it, as if he hadn't had enough exercise, I was beat!

Morning swimmer
Morning swimmer
It rained a misty rain the whole time we were out but it was still quite warm, so when we got back I didn't bother to change straight away and fed the two animals and caught up with the Mr as he got to work.  It was market day today and I had promised myself I would go as I needed a new pair of slippers.  The ones I had bought in the UK were literally falling apart.  After a short chat and a further coffee, I hopped in the shower and change my clothes before setting off. On the way down to town I stopped to pick up the Kmet as he was heading in also and I took my opportunity to moan to him about the lack of water situation.

As I drove through town I noticed that there were no stalls in the square and asked the Kmet where they were.  Apparently they had moved them all up to the top end of town, but I am not sure about why.

No stalls
No stalls
I had to pop in to the solicitors to collect some paperwork for the Mr and I shuffled off up to grab the bits I needed.  As I was walking round I grabbed a pair of tracksuit bottoms for working around the School in as well as two pairs of slippers.  It was around 11am and too early for lunch so I parked myself in the usual cafe for a half an hour and was laughing as this little bird could not work out the concept of glass and why he could not come in - bless it. What make and model is it?  Do you know?

New bird
New bird
I packed up, deciding that I would just grab a bite to eat at home and forego the kebab - I know!  But I had much to do and wanted to go and take Lucy to the garage as the oil light had flickered the other day and as she has been sat all winter and is my only mode of transport here for a while, I wanted to take no chances.  I called in to the shop owned by the garage to speak first with Zak who speaks very good English thankfully.  I collected some documents that she had held for us over winter and she rang ahead to the garage telling him what I needed. When I pulled in I spotted them immediately.  Puppies!  Loads of them!  I got straight out of the car and called them from the other side of the drive so as to ascertain how protective the mother was, who was on a chain.  She seemed interested, but not enough to move or get up.  This little chap came bounding over straight away and rolled over at my feet!

Cute!
Cute!
Look at this face!
Look at this face!
 There were six in total and they were all very chilled out puppies lying, or trying to lie, in the shade of the curb.

Five of six
Five of six
Do not even ask me what it took for me to walk away from the little fella once the car was ready, especially as our mechanic told me to take one.  I wanted them ALL! Anyway, I was strong and I left empty handed and with a lump in my throat.

Back home the sun was out and it was really quite warm.  I reckoned it was time I stopped delaying what the Mr has nagged me about since he left and I set to planting out some seeds.  I found the seed box (not knowing at this time that there is another in the garage) and pulled out the ones I wanted.  So, her you can see that we are especially fond of strawberries (me) and parsnips (him).  But I will plant some more of the others in another week or two so as to stagger the harvest.

Seeds sown
Seeds sown
I was appreciating the stretch in the evenings and I took the new garden chair out onto the patio where I sat for twenty minutes in the last of the sun.  It was nice to sit out there again feeling the sun on my skin.  Then a huge black cloud came overhead and I legged it back in to start dinner.

Dinner was a quick curry.  I cheated on this one as I hadn't had time today to prepare one from scratch, but it was very nice and I was able to finish it off by simmering it over the petchka whilst the rice boiled.

Curry on the stove
Curry on the stove
So that was today and what a busy and good day it has been.  I am glad I organised to take a couple of days off this week as work was just horrendous and I felt like I was achieving none of the things I have been wanting to do because of it.  So here am I, signing out and saying goodbye to the day.

Mountains on fire
Mountains on fire

Leka nosht.

A x

* I absolutely did.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Puppies and stuff

Well it is that time again when I return to writing a blog post and tonight I really do not feel the love for having to do this. However I am going to and that is all there is to it. It has been a pretty eventful week all around, what with living every moment of A’s time in BG (and wishing I was doing more than that) and also all the things which are going on over here as well. So without any more waffly boring stuff I’ll go straight to it.
 
Good honest grub
Good honest grub
I really cannot remember much about Sunday however I look through my pictures (the only reason I remember anything is because I get a photograph of it) and see something which reminds me; I did an awesome bacon, cabbage and tatties dinner and it was brilliant. Apart from that, nothing. This week I have slept a little better (other than one night when I woke up at 1am and that was it I was awake for two hours and nothing was getting me back to sleep at all) which is good but I am still waking up really early. Monday was no exception and I was at work again before my alarm went off which is supposed to wake me up in bed.
 
Mummy with the two girls
Mummy with the two girls
I drove to work as Monday after work I was off down to near Stoke to have a look at some puppies. What with the dramas we have had with the rats (I say we but obviously I’ve not really had to deal with any of it) we talked about getting a jack russell puppy for me to bring back to the Old School with the aim of it being a ratter for us next winter. A went onto gumtree and found a few listings and one of them looked good so on the Sunday I had rung and arrange to go view them on Monday after work. It was an easy drive down and I was a little early as per usual but that gave me time to get cash out for a deposit on one puppy, should I think they were suitable. A had sent me a LONG list of questions to ask and things to look for so I was certainly going armed and prepared.
 
Thelma and Louise... rat killers
Thelma and Louise... rat killers
I was greeted at the door by a friendly lady and a barking mother dog but, first good sign, she stopped barking really quickly and was then just interested in me and said hello; I do not like yappy dogs so if the mother isn’t yappy that is good. I asked my questions, confirmed that apparently the puppies have ratting in their blood, and was introduced. I was told that the middle-coloured one had already been sold and so there was only the lightest and the darkest left. Funnily enough those were the two which we had been discussing as to which we preferred. As I was in there playing with them, and talking to Bulgaria on whatsapp with pictures and discussions, it became clear that I would buy both. I asked if it was OK to just pay the deposit I had brought but put it for two and they said it was fine. So meet Thelma (the lighter, older, sister) and Louise. I will be picking them up in a few weeks time and I so very excited!
 
Celebration pint and mixed grill
Celebration pint and mixed grill
On the way home after this I was driving past the pub and then thought “sod it” and swung in. This was a good choice. My neighbour was there, who had said hello to us before we left, and he said hi as I came in. I had a couple of pints and the mixed grill which was excellent and then decided to head home before I had a third pint and had to leave the car there. It really is a very good pub, that place; very friendly and the food is pretty good. I’m not going to it too often but it is nice to have it there should cooking for myself prove too much hassle for an evening, or indeed to celebrate the purchse of two cute puppies.
 
Pulled pork burger; also a success
Pulled pork burger; also a success
Tuesday didn’t happen, as far as I’m aware. I think it just involved working a lot (with A not here I’ve been staying in the office late as well as getting there early) going home to eat and then sleeping for a bit. Wednesday was more of the same however it is good at work at the moment and the challenges are fun so I’m not complaining too much. After work on Wednesday my boss suggested we go out for a pint and some food and, having said I’m not at the pub that much, there I was again and once again my neighbour was there and said hi. Food was good but we didn’t stop long as he had to be off (and there was some karaoke being set up which wasn’t really my idea of fun) but after my boss had left I stood at the bar for ten minutes or so with my neighbour and met some other locals. It’s a good place, as I said. I walked home after this and read for a bit then went to bed not too early but that was the night when I woke up and that was it. I hate that and the next morning I was so dozy I even laid in a little bit.
 
If I never see another scaffold again in my life....
If I never see another scaffold again in my life....
All week I have been worrying about the scaffold as the chap I bought it off said he would buy it back however it had not happened yet. I rang him a couple of times and this did put my mind mainly at rest. I was concerned that he had been taking the piss and not being serious when he said he’d give me back what I had paid for it but eventually I had a call from his office and the pick up was arranged. I asked for two hours notice so I had time to get back and bring it all round so it would be ready for the driver however when he rang me he said he was twenty minutes away. I ran from the office all the way home and, having quickly got changed, set to carrying the boards out onto the drive. I had almost got them all stacked out front by the time he arrived and when I explained about the request for more warning he laughed and said he was used to it. To be fair it didn’t take that long and I had some help from the driver for some of the metal work however when he finally drove off, having passed it all up to him stood on the back of the lorry, I really felt like I had had a work out. At least it is gone and I don’t have to worry about that any more and I got a fair price for it back as well.
 
It looks like the parents are still here
It looks like the parents are still here
One little aside; as I was collecting together the boards I noticed that there were LOADS of frogs in the pond. Now the spawn hasn’t hatched yet so it seems the parents are still around. There were at least eight of the little creatures swimming around however when I went to get a better picture outside, having snapped this through the window, they all disappeared and I’ve not seen them since.
 
Mmmm Rice and Three!!!!!
Mmmm Rice and Three!!!!!
And so it was Friday and a busy day indeed was planned. I worked from home as usual and was up early and got a lot done before I had to get in the car for my first appointment. I had been in touch with my old curry friends from my last place of work and arranged that we would go and have a Rice n Three at my old favourite venue. I drove in and was in time to catch up with another colleague for a few minutes who isn’t so into the curries and that was really nice but then the crowd arrived and it was off up the road. How I have missed these and it was just as good as I remembered though I’m glad in one sense I can’t have them as often; I was so full when I left to walk back to the car.
 
Two of my oldest friends
Two of my oldest friends
After this it was over to John’s to work from his for the afternoon. When we were at school there was a band called Gun who we really liked and I had found they were gigging in Manchester so had bought tickets for me, him, Cjc and a friend whom none of us had seen since school, 17 years previously. Cjc was working a bit late and so arranged to meet us at the venue but Andrew arrived nice and on time and just after the working day had finished so we sat around with a whisky before walking over to the gig. We met up with Cjc fine and settled to have a beer and here they both are, catching up and it is as if we never had any break at all.
 
A singer with straightened hair
A singer with straightened hair
We finished our pints and found our way to the actual venue to find that a band was already warming up. They were pretty good but very young and I wasn’t really prepared for them to only do a couple of songs after we got there and then stop so there are no pictures at all. After a little while longer the lights went down again and a band came on stage which divided opinion in our group. They were basically a cheesy heavy rock band and we all agreed that the rhythm section was outstanding however some of us thought the guitarist was terrible and ruined it completely while I was happily able to ignore that and just enjoy how tight the actual band was. Either way, they were a good warm up act and when we saw the drummer afterwards we were honestly able to tell him how much we had enjoyed it.
 
GUN doing their thing and doing it really well
GUN doing their thing and doing it really well
Pretty soon the lights went down again and the main act came on stage and it was very clear very quickly that when we had loved this band all those years ago we had been onto something; they were absolutely amazing. I lost my voice within the first two songs, singing along with them at the top of my voice, and spent the entire night singing and jumping and bouncing and loving every second, even the new stuff for their new album. As I type this I still have a slightly sore stomach from all the jumping around I did and that is definitely the sign of an excellent gig. I loved it. Did I make that clear yet? If you haven’t listened to them go and check out their first three albums, and maybe even their newest as the songs they played were very good. Ignore the album which is a telephone number for its name; that is rubbish. Check themout. Gun. Do IT!
 
Some really nice book ends in the breakfast cafe
Some really nice book ends in the breakfast cafe
Gig done we staggered outside and found a takeaway open where I got cheesy chips and was laughed at by the staff because I shook the mayo bottle but the lid was off; whoops. We went back to John’s and watched some crazy music cartoon before it was finally time to go to sleep at about 3am. I was on my fold out mattress thing with Cjc folded up onto a small two seater but I think we both slept well enough though we were up at 8am on the dot again the next day. After a bit of sitting around and drinking brews (Andrew joined us very shortly after 8 as well) I dropped heavy enough hints to get John and his young lady out the door and we were off for breakfast. The first cafĂ© was shut but we found another and it was really rather a good feed, thought at £1 for a cuppa after we had eaten we went back to the flat for more brews.

Puppy stuff ready for their arrival
Puppy stuff ready for their arrival
After a little more time it was time for us to part and we did, promising not to leave it 17 years again before the next reunion. I dropped Cjc at the station and then went home and got out all the stuff I had bought at B and M the day before; lots of stuff for the puppies. I’m not a softy at all. I was pretty tired so after a cuppa I headed to bed and slept like a baby for an hour or two; I woke up feeling a lot better.
 
I needed to tidy the front room a bit
I needed to tidy the front room a bit
Saturday was pretty much a write off with lots of computer games being played and not much else (other than I did get my books much more up to date which is something I have been putting off) so when I woke up this morning I was determined that I would actually achieve something and tidy the front room which has been a mess ever since I got back. It did not take me long, not even as long as it took to drink my first cup of tea, and I didn’t just sort this room but cleaned up and swept in the kitchen as well. I haven’t hoovered but I will probably do that later in the week as I work through the house gathering things and even starting to pack stuff up that I know I won’t need.
 
Sewing up the hole in the dog bed
Sewing up the hole in the dog bed
I played more of my game after this and then with my stomach rumbling decided I should walk to the shop to get some bread and milk and things. I also had spotted that my new dog bed had a tear so I was hoping to find a sewing kit. The trip was a success with said sewing kit located on the third circuit round the shop looking but there was some excitement as the burglar alarm or fire alarm went off while I was checking out and almost deafened me. No matter I was served fine and walked home, down the middle of the road for some of it as the incessant rain had caused some flooding on the pavement, and then set myself to make brunch (frozen breadstick things in the oven with tuna mayo and onion filling; gorgeous) then got the sewing kit out to find out if I remembered how to do it still. It turns out I do and while it isn’t the neatest job it has done the trick.

After this I played more of my game then got bored so went to read in bed and finally woke up to check on some trailers which I have been watching. I have found two; one is a bit more than I expected to spend but is also pretty much brand new and looks mint, the other is almost exactly what I expected but looks a bit more battered. I tried to ring about the first one but got no answer and then I had a rush on to cook and eat as Gandalf had arrived near and wanted to meet up for a beer which we had discussed but I didn’t know was happening. I did the spicy pork pasta again and made myself cry with the heat; it was amazing, then I was in the car and walking along the canal and found Valhalla moored up. They are only a few minutes away which is really nice. We found a very strange pub with almost no beers on and no people in it (and no lights on in the toilets) and had a couple of pints then I came back to write this before bed. I hope that next time we meet up I can get them up to my local; it is much nicer.


So there it is; the update for the week and I am now going to go and sleep before this next week begins. It should be another good week as I have a few things planned but all I’m thinking about at the moment is first picking the girls up and second getting back home so this period is being a bit of a weird one for me. I am really not the sort of person who just puts himself into a waiting pattern and wishes time away but it is very hard to avoid doing that at the moment. It won’t be long, huh….

Sunday, 29 March 2015

On strike

Today began with me hitting the laptop straight away, before the kettle had even boiled.  I did this because the work that I was doing was taking much longer than I expected it to. I sat myself down and kicked on with some work and had a coffee.  I decided that I would feed Rambo later this morning to see if this would help him get back into his old routine again.

Work was not going well, so I took my coffee down to see Rambo and here you can see him lounging on the porch after pulling his bed out there for more comfort obviously.

Chilling
Chilling
I took a coffee break on the table and sat and had a chat with Tommy.  He didn't seem himself and looked a bit under the weather and had a bit of an ulcer on his head.  Poor Tommy.

Poorly!
Poorly!
I realised that I was getting nowhere with the file that I had been working on.  25 minutes of a 74 minute file in and I realised that it was absolutely pointless.  It was a badly recorded file and the audio was completely incomprehensible on the most part.  So, I did the one thing I don't like to do and I gave up and sent it back with what had been completed for it to be passed on to somewhere else or sent back to the client with an explanation and a request for a better quality file.  I went on strike.

I decided that as I have been working all week like a trojan that I was going to have a day of rest and this was exactly what I did.  I watched rubbish on TV, filled the wood bucket up and lit the fire and I sat and read.  Perfect.

Later, I went outside and played with Rambo for a while.  He loves that Kong and every time you go out he runs off and grabs it. We threw Kong for a while and We wrestled and I chased him.  He actually doesn't have my hand in his mouth here, although it does look like it.

Hand eater!
Hand eater!

I also decided to practise my levitation.  Almost there.

Levitating
Levitating
We took a walk around the garden and I noticed a little bit of colour has started to come through in the garden.  Spring is certainly in the wind.

Daffs!
Daffs!
Spring
Spring
Flowering
Flowering
So an update on the rat situation then:  Well, so far, no more signs of them. This is both good and bad.  Are they hiding better? Have they left? Who knows.  I found an abandoned nest, so where have they gone and let's remember, it is breeding season.

So my traps look like this:
No rats
No rats
And my 20 sachets of poison, all unnibbled!

No nibbles
No nibbles
I also went in to see how Sassy was doing.  She is a funny rabbit.  Most of the time she will come over and investigate why you are sat on the floor.  Not today. Today, she gave me the evil stare from her cage!

Sassy Bum
Sassy Bum
She has been a busy girl in the room since she came back home and already is trying to dig her way out. She is such a destructive little thing!

Trench
Trench
And so night fell, an hour later than it used to, so I retreated to Room 13 and popped open a beer and sat down to watch Black Books - what a great comedy.

Leka nosht x

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Double Bubble

I didn't blog yesterday, not for any good reason, merely because I was just exhausted and I didn't want to.  Plus, I really hadn't very much to type about as my own work has been so chaotic.

So yesterday the men worked really hard, mostly in the rain.  It really was shocking weather.  I also had a lot of work going on and looming deadlines which meant I was going to have to work over the weekend also.  This was not pleasing to me and will therefore not provide for a very good or informative blog, but the simple matter is that I really have not done a whole lot other than work, so apologies.

As I said, the men worked hard, as always and I saw some fantastic process when I dragged myself away from work to go up and see if they wanted a coffee.  Bekir had knocked the chimney down a little after some charades being played and him explaining that if it was too high we would lose the view from inside the double doors - which is where we plan to have some comfortable chairs to chill and maybe read on, so I agreed with him and we brought it down another brick or so.  It made sense - they really do think about our needs and the end use for everything.  Her he is unblocking the chimney with a wire rod.  He was really going for it here.

Chimney cleanng
Chimney cleanng
Sally was finishing off on the wall with the cement.  They really are doing a great job and the satisfaction I felt when I went up there and saw roughly how it would all look and the space we will have is just great!

Cementing
Cementing
So lunch time came and I had worked really hard all morning, barely moving from my desk as the lack of photos will testify to.  I talked myself into going up to the attic and clearing or at least investigating the rats nest further.  I had to consider this a lot before I actually did it, not least because I have cuts and things on my hands and arms and rats really are dirty.  So I found my gardening gloves and decided to go for it, fully expecting to find more dead ones.  This has turned out to be quite a large nest and it does make me wonder where they are if they are not here.  I didn't even find any poison in there either.  This is what I removed and there was as much again all wedged into little pockets of wood that I just gave up on to be honest.

Rats Nest
Rats Nest
More work ensued, playing Kong with Rambo so as he has some company throughout the day and an afternoon coffee break arrived.  I took my camera to see how the men were doing and I caught Bekir as I topped the stairs cutting some metal to extend the chimney pipes.  I love how they pay no regard to H&S and just cut away, sparks flying all over loose bits of wood and sawdust.  Hah.

Cutting metal
Cutting metal
It was mid-afternoon at this point and the rain had really started to come down so I offered them to go early and they refused saying they had a bit more to do.  They carried on, as did I with my own work.

As 5.30 was approaching I went up to fill my buckets with wood while it was still light and also to get a shot of the finished work for the day.  They have done so well and next week I hope the weather holds for long enough for them to make further progress.

Finishing off
Finishing off
As we left to drive the men back to their village, the heavens opened!  I had forgotten just how much rain falls here at times and a storm was setting in.  A very slow journey was made and an even slower one back as I had almost aqua-planed a couple of times on the way there.  Just as I pulled into our village the rain eased, which was great as I had gotten soaked as I left!  Rambo was oblivious to the rain and was soaking wet and standing looking insistent that I played "throw the kong".  Bang out of luck on this occasion, Rambo!

The evening was uneventful with the exception of a storm that passed by briefly but had provided a lightning strike right outside on the patio.  I check on Rambo and saw he was a bit shaken so I stayed down with him for a while and then I had a few beers and a couple of ports and headed to bed.

Today was mostly work I'm afraid.  I managed in between to collect firewood, spend some time with Rambo and Sassy and bake a cake.  The neighbours are always bringing us gifts and food etc so I thought it might be nice if I baked a cake for them.  In between typing this morning I managed to get one made and was so glad to have got my mixer out again.  There is something very therapeutic about baking and cooking, I love it.

Cake!
Cake!
As you can see, I had to taste the cake to make sure it was ok.  Alas, when I went to deliver it there seemed to be visitors next door, so I have resigned myself to the fact that there won't be enough of it left to give to them and I will bake them another, tomorrow maybe.

I really haven't done much more today than work and spend time outside with Rambo.  I hate that he might be lonely out there and hopefully when Thelma and Louise arrive he won't be.

I am going to sign off and watch a film this evening, so until tomorrow, leka nosht!




Thursday, 26 March 2015

Poised to fight

I was up extra early today as I needed to get petrol for Lucy before I collected the men.

I fed Rambo again on the porch this morning as I wa sin a hurry and did not have time to  sit with him while he ate.  It turns out he ate pretty well and I was greeted with such a happy dog!


Morning Mum!
Morning Mum!
So I set off into town and practised what I needed to ask for the whole way down the road.  It's the only thing that will make me remember - I have such a terrible memory!  Successfully putting 50 leva into the tank, I headed off up the main road and collected them.

Once in and everyone was settled, I took ten minutes to spend with Rambo in the garden.  He loves company and I hate to leave him down there all alone all day.  I have noticed (even last year) that these little critters are absolutely EVERYWHERE on the land.  They seem to cling to anything damp - wood, branches, humanure, water taps.  There are absolutely thousands and thousands of them and I have no idea what they are.  Obviously a beetle of sorts?

Little critters
Little critters
Whilst outside, I heard the men bantering away and laughing.  They do seem happy to be back and we are both glad that they are.  It's hard to find people you can trust to do this sort of work, even in the UK where you acn speak the lingo, but here especially - we are very lucky.

Working happily
Working happily
I had lots of paid work today again and this morning, despite getting outside for a little while, I was feeling a little bit down in the dumps, mostly exaggerated by tiredness I think.  I went upstairs mid morning to collect some more wood for the petchka and was happily filling the buckets when I came across a wedge of straw.  It took me a second, but then I realised what it could be.  We have only straw in the outbuilding, but as I dug further in I let out a squeal - it was another nest.  Sally came over and dug further into the nest for me, seeing that I was a bit shaken again, but found no trace of dead rats, mice or discarded poison pouches.

Yet another nest
Yet another nest
I am not sure if this nest was still in use.  I have seen some dropping up in the attic, but not a huge amount.  I took my wood and went downstairs again feeling absolutely dejected.  On one hand, it is good that I fond another nest - that is three so far - on the other hand, there were no dead ones, no poison and it just means that there are possibly so many more around the house than I originally feared.  I know that there will be at least another few nests too in the rooms that aren't used much which are dark and damp at the moment.  I just felt horrible.

I had a right old moan up to the Mr on Skype, which in hindsight is really not fair because it just makes him feel bad, but I didn't think.  So I got stuck into some more work and then took myself back upstairs to get some shots of what the men were doing.  They seemed to have everything in place and were ready to pour the concrete.  Progress!

Morning status
Morning status
And once the concrete was poured:

Afternoon status
Afternoon status
Lunchtime came and went with tuna sandwiches, more work and another break with Rambo.  Bless him, he really has never grown up and still thinks he is a puppy!  He has got considerably unfit though and after only one throw of the Kong he seems to be knackered!  I played with him n the garden for a while just to stretch my legs and get some air as my workload has been fairly intense the last few days.

Throw it!
Throw it!
I threw the Kong, he fetched,  Then we had to play the game of giving it back to me, which is technically a snatch and grab on my part.  Here he is mid dash:

Got it!
Got it!
Also, here is the pulley in action.  They are so efficient here it is ridiculous. They even sit on the table outside and pull it up in the sun, with the coffee I made them.  Brilliant.

Pulley in action
Pulley in action
So, I was expecting a lot of rain today because of the forecast and I decided last night not to wash any clothes.  I have lots of things I want to get washed and dried, mostly bedclothes and towels but there are also the clothes from around the rats nest that the Mr found that will need about six washes before I allow him to wear them again.  Look at the torrential rain!

The forecasted rain
The forecasted rain
I couldn't understand why each time I went down to check on Rambo that his water bowl was completely dry.  I again was starting to worry about that rat he had caught and any poison it had in it.  Then I discovered that the little git had bitten his bowl and there was a tiny crack in it.  He chucks his bowl around to let you know it is empty and by the end of the afternoon I walked out onto the porch and found this -

Another casulty
Another casulty
I think it is a bit broken now.

And so to the last couple of hours.  I have decided that (today) instead of feeling sorry for myself I was not going to let these rats ruin every day for me.  I went to battle.

If you remember, I bought 7 traps.  Five of them are now set.  The latch on the other two are missing.  I set them last night but sadly there has been no results as of yet.  So this evening I took the box of poison and emptied it.  There is poison in most rooms in the house now, except for Sassy's room.  I went around and must have left 20 sachets of poison anywhere near to where I have seen droppings.  It is do or die.  I do hope they die and preferably outside.  Tomorrow, I buy more poison.  No rat will live in this house.  I am on it!

Let's do battle!
Let's do battle!

Just had my dinner, so now I am going to take an hour to myself and chill out with a beer by the fire.

Leka nosht!

A xxx