Wednesday, 14 September 2011

the smell of Jeyes Fluid in the morning

blackbirds in the holly, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

I'm working on another book with Geraldine, and here's the first pic for it; the holly tree in her garden has a bit of a population explosion on the blackbirds front. The holly reminds me that I've seen the first Christmas things in the shops; rows of chocolate Santas in Sainsbury's, yesterday. Ick.

Closer to home, the roof started leaking in the heavy rain and wind we had yesterday. Very musique concrète, it was, the drops from the ceiling plinking into the buckets. I think I might make it a permanent installation.

I found a note on the stairs, from the landlady, thanking me for replacing the time-delay light switches..... We used to have three pneumatic time delay switches in the stairwell. They were useless, frequently jamming in the ON position, so that I was regularly stripping them down and cleaning them up so they'd work again. Anyway; I found some electronic time delay switches; press the button, and the time delay is done by circuitry rather than a spring pushing against a piston. Far less to go wrong. I installed them. Problem solved. Then landlady calls in electricians, and they take them out and replace them with old type mechanical switches. Which start to jam on after a week. "I am going to call A*****lectrics again", she says, after lamenting the failure of the lights again. I explain as best I can what the problem is. And order three more electronic switches (the professional electricians took the old new ones away). And yesterday I installed them. Always exciting working with live circuitry; the little wires sparking cheerily, and trying to weld themselves together..... there's a note saying thank you, and a cheque for the cost of the switches. And a bottle of Liebfraumilch, LIDL's finest. Very kind, though Jeyes Fluid is better for cleaning the drains. But probably more expensive.

Still, the lights work.


  1. I'm sure there's a recipe somewhere for a delicious meal involving marinading in Liebfraumilch. Maybe not! I do love reading your posts.

  2. Oooh, you are spoilt - Liebfraumilch! ;) I love the illustration, you have such a lyrical way with composition.

  3. Not sure which wants to make me scream louder, the landlady who does not have a clue or the cowboy criminal electricians who clearly should be in jail!

    Liebfrau... Such a distant memory. Sweet Germanic wines went out of fashion when they were found to be topping them up with anti freeze twenty years ago.

  4. What is it with electricians? - or plumbers or builders?

    Another book with Geraldine - just a bit late for my birthday this year...

  5. PS. Careful Dru, she'll have you up mending the roof next.

  6. I suspect that cooking cabbage in the Liebfraumilch might be the way to go, Delia. With some caraway seeds thrown in, of course.

    Thank you, Gretel! You're very kind to say so.

    I remember introducing my then-partner to my big brother, Caroline; we'd stopped in Leyland on our way north, because I'd said that I knew the best chip shop evaaaah. (It had changed hands, it was rubbish). We popped into the pub, and there was BB, propping up bar and drinking Blue Nun. Which was, he explained at length, not bad for drinking. I wonder if he could be right? He made an impression, anyway.

    Some of them are OK, Anji. I keep telling myself. It's the ones who suck air in through their teeth before ignoring what you say that let the side down. Only 99%, then.

  7. Blue Nun becomes palatable when nicely chilled: if you can get it within a few degrees of absolute zero you'll be laughing. It needs a plate of fortissimo curry or a Serbian licorice and onion soup, with a side of pepper-pickled gherkins, to really do justice to Dear-lady-milk. Prost :-)

    The original blue nun? She cheered up.

  8. There is a picture somewhere of me drinking Liebfraumilch at the IoW beach BBQ my wife and I had in lieu of stag/hen do. Something to do with poorly stocked village shops.

    I've received too many unintended volts over the years to be happy doing stuff like that live.