Wednesday 24 December 2015
Mild with sudden showers 12 degrees Suffolk UK
Spent the night on a very narrow sofa but at least a reasonable distance from the snoring. WF took the opportunity of nabbing the spare bedroom for a night avant the arrival of the next wave of guests. At over 6 feet long with massive feet which hang out of any normal duvet, sofas are not the ideal sleeping surface for him.
There was a nasty small in the laundry room and a pool of water on the floor. BIL groaned and said it was the septic tank and it was overflowing. Lovely. They have nine people in the house, all of whom will be eating vast amounts of food, and it looked like we would be having to dig a Christmas latrine in the garden. We were all banned from using the loo and BIL got onto the telephone, where, amazingly the poo truck man agreed to come out within the hour and flush out the whole system. A real Christmas miracle! The whole system was completely backed up and apparently it is a problem with angles and flow but that is not probably what you want to be reading about, dear faithful followers....
We hung around and eventually, an hour later than arranged, a technician arrived to look at our car. Oh went out into the stiff breeze, presumably to tell him how to do his job. He came back in ten minutes later and announced that the man was an idiot, had said the car was too new for his diagnostics machine and also he couldn't find the battery. He had the manual in his hands - all in French - and asked what was the word for battery. 'batterie' I suggested, and he went back out. The technician disconnected and reconnected the battery and the warning light still didn't go away and so OH and WF and I went into Bury St Edmunds Renault to see what they thought. A man came out to look at it and we waited in an area with tea, coffee, free WIFI and the offer of a PS III in case one's child freaked out at the idea of spending an hour without being plugged into a machine. Apparently it was a fuel heating fault which couldn't get fixed before the New Year so we decided what the hell and we would carry on driving it in the Christmas hope that the orange warning light wouldn't turn red which would mean stop, do not pass go, on pain of having the warranty annulled.
Went to delightful shops in BSE. Left OH to drag WF around some shoe shops and escaped to buy beautiful dragon fly golden pattern material, bondaweb, ravishing pink and blue glitters and some fab dried exotic skeleton tree leaves.
BSE has some lovely little boutiques as well as larger interesting ones such as the Range, Waterstones, Waggamamma, Boots and Smiths. A stand sold roasted caramelised nuts and they smelled heavenly. Laura Ashley full of divine fabrics but the clothes were very dull coloured and huge and old fashioned. Debenhams lurked in a strange curved space ship hub type building. Paperchase and Accessorize. Eateries everywhere. Tiny sweet shops, gentleman's outfitters, fine old shoe sellers with boots standing to attention in their oak framed windows. Americans from the air bases.
An hour later met OH and WF and WF had bought some jumpers but had held out against buying any shoes. When he was little, he was a nightmare. RJ would choose shoes in about ten minutes but WF had to look at every shoe in the place before reluctantly trying on just a couple of pairs. Went to a fish and chip shop where they had more food than I have ever seen on a plate and I pinched bits off the side and had two cups of tea.
Round two in the shop shops. I couldn't find a pair of boots which I could zip up all the way to the top - my calves are chunky but not excessively so. Why on earth are all boots so narrow???? WF was refusing to try on leather or synthetic material shoes and said he just likes canvas deck shoes. OH was so frustrated, he bought a pair of shoes for himself and a flat cap. I diverted into Monsoon and watched people whizzing around on the pop up skating rink. Went to pub on way back and a small border collie helped itself to beer mats off the table and insisted we threw it for her to bring back.
Back to SIL house and found that SIL son (GJ) and his wife JJ and their four year old EV had arrived. EV was in a state of wild excitement. Had sausage and mash for tea. Ages since we have seen GJ. Now 40years old, he is still the same guy as he has always been; easygoing and smiling. Looks like he is not quite sure how he ended up with a doctorate, mortgage, wife and child. JG miscarried many times before producing EV and she is now the centre of her world. JG and EV were parked in front of the telly for most of the night and there were animated films, played at great volume, which made general conversation impossible. Everyone was tired so we went to bed early, OH to the strange lumpy camp bed, WF to the long narrow sofa and me to the short and fat one.