Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
by admin - 07:43 on 04 August 2011
The bad news, when I examined Kawasaki San after taking off his cover yesterday morning for the first time in nearly a month, was that his rear tyre held only 8psi pressure instead of 42psi.
The good news was that the pressure held after pumping it up, so Richard and I were able to have our planned run out; Matchgirl had to work again. Shame.
Because I didn't want to tempt fate we stayed on the Black Isle all day, at the end of which we'd covered well over a hundred miles yet ridden over few of its roads more than once. For such a small peninsula, that's impressive.
Equally impressive was the weather, despite the forecast, particularly as dark clouds surrounded the Isle. It was miserable for much of the day in nearby Inverness, we learned later. We, however, had sunshine (and some sea mist) to enjoy the huge variety of scenery crammed into the Black Isle's few square miles: forest, woodland, farmland, heath, tidal marsh, seashore... there's a very good book out that chronicles it all.
Two returns to The Rural Retreat, to top up Kawasaki San's rear tyre (by now the offending nail had been found), allowed us to chat with Mr Painter, who spent the day sanding down and applying the first undercoat to our exterior woodwork – something the previous cowboy had neglected to do. Mr Painter was professionally outraged.
Close questioning revealed that the only insecure tiles are on the ridge,where fresh cement is required, and that the only rotten wood doesn't extend very far and is easily remedied, so the cost should not be the squillions that Matchgirl feared.
This is just as well, for Mr Renderer called in the evening, filled with evangelical zeal, to extol the benefits of the new lime-based product that's all the rage in France and of which he's one of the few UK-based licence-holders. It's much better than old render, of course, yet only slightly more expensive. He baffled us with technicalities for fifteen minutes, while Richard the expert earwigged discreetly, then told us where we could see a finished job and a work in progress.
Richard's conclusion was that his product sounded good; Matchgirl will throw herself into internet research as soon as possible.
A flying visit from Mr Gardener informed us that more of his special organic weedkiller will have to be applied before the rotavator is brought into play. That ground elder's a persistent blighter, not to mention the knotweed.
After this flurry of tradesmen we ended the day at The Anderson in Fortrose – a restaurant we'd never visited despite glowing reviews. The food was good and Richard found the beer very acceptable. We'll be back.
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