What a busy weekend this has been. I went into hyperdrive on Saturday and accomplished a huge number of jobs which felt good. I started the day packaging things for the post office and writing a letter. Then I dropped some used carbon dioxide cylinders off at the corner store to return to the manufacturer for refilling.
Elizabeth had highland dance around midday. It lasts 50 minutes and I usually run errands in town while she’s at dance. This week was an unusually long to-do list. I dashed first to drop some clothing off at the charity shop, then to the Coop supermarket for their Hermes collection point – I was returning an item I had bought online – but I wasted a considerable amount of time here trying to get the machine to scan my QR code only to be told eventually that it doesn’t accept packageless items. One of the employees told me to try the Tesco further down the road.
Next was the post office but they had a long queue so I left intending to try again on the way back. Then I picked Elizabeth’s kilt and jacket from the dry cleaners, tried the Hermes scanner at Tesco but it also wouldn’t accept my package, then went to Nature’s Larder for my favourite vegan yoghurt.
At this point, it was getting close to Elizabeth’s pickup time so I dashed back to the post office and there was still a long queue! I joined it anyway and fretted. Snails in my back garden move faster than the queue did. According to Google Maps, it was a 7-minute walk from the post office to the dance studio. I made it to the front of the queue and eventually left the shop with only 4 minutes to spare so Daniel and I had to run back – poor Daniel had come with me not expecting a mad dash around town.
Daniel complained while we were running and I replied that I was never late for him either to which he said there was one time when he was in grade 1 when I was late picking him up from school and he got very upset. I have no recollection of this so I pointed out that given he still remembers it he must have been traumatised. We made it back to Elizabeth about 30 seconds before she came out the door.
Back at home I filled the car with kitchen rubbish and took it to the refuse tip. It was mostly Ikea cardboard boxes but also a couple of bags of waste material. You have to get rid of all the waste yourself with an Ikea kitchen but I guess that’s partly why they’re so cheap.
The refuse tip here is amazing and completely free. In New Zealand, they weigh your car on the way in and then again on the way out and you pay for the weight of rubbish dumped. Here it’s free. Did I say that already? I guess it’s included in our council tax so we do pay albeit indirectly. The employees at the tip are always really helpful too. They help you unload the car and direct you to the right places to dump stuff since they try to recycle as much as possible.
On my way home I tried a third place to return my parcel via Hermes and was successful! It was just two bags of pegs. We lost everything in our laundry fire and I accidentally bought four bags of pegs to replace the ones we lost but I only meant to buy one bag so I returned two and decided to keep two.
By this time the car was filthy from all the kitchen waste. One of the rubbish bags leaked sawdust all over the place so I vacuumed everything then gave the car a wash. Then I assembled a popup cover to put over the kale in the backyard as the pigeons have been eating it. I feed them birdseed so they don’t really need my kale and I would rather have the kale for our meals.
All our new smoke alarms arrived yesterday so I also linked them all up which was quite easy. You have to press a button on each of them while they’re sitting next to each other to radio link them. You can tell a new one has been added because they all start flashing to the count of the number of connected devices. We got six – four smoke alarms, a CO alarm, and a heat sensor. They all flashed six times for about 30 minutes. Then I screwed the upstairs ones in but the ceilings downstairs are 3m high and our ladder was at the allotment.
Today I got the ladder from the allotment and installed the rest of the alarms. Thank goodness for an electric drill! I also cleaned out the greenhouse to make it ready for tomatoes although it may be some time before ours are ready now as we lost those in the fire too. I also washed the sofa covers, vacuumed the house, and did some crochet.
Here’s the greenhouse. The pots on the right will be my tomatoes.
Here are some lovely things I’m crocheting right now. The white item on the left is a 1960s dress pattern. I have no idea how it will turn out but the pattern is lovely. The item on the right is a cardigan but I’ve run out of yarn for now and am waiting for more to arrive.
To help us reach the very high cupboards in our kitchen I bought this ingenious step stool second-hand. I painted it last week as it was quite scratched and worn. It was made in the 1950s or 1960s and has two little steps that pull out so you can walk up it like a ladder. When the steps are tucked away it acts like a stool. It’s 60cm high, very sturdy, and perfect for reaching the top cupboards.
I wonder why they don’t make useful step stools like this now? The only ones I could find new are much lower, about 40cm, which isn’t high enough. Maybe it’s the fear of being sued if someone topples over and breaks a leg? I like second-hand things anyway so I don’t mind and this is solid wood and will hopefully last another 50 years. Now the weekend is over and it’s back to another busy week of work tomorrow.
Like everyone in the world right now I’m dismayed by the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine because of Russia’s invasion. Putin will go down in history alongside Hitler. I realise now we overlooked Russia’s involvement in Syria and the atrocities committed by Putin there. We should have implemented all the sanctions against Russia back then that we have now. What a mistake it was to turn a blind eye and to continue to trade with such a monster. We shouldn’t be buying anything at all from Russia, including oil. I would rather be cold in the winter than give money to that tyrant.