Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Christmas Wonderland

The Almondsbury Garden Centre is already open for Christmas business - we lunched there today.

'Jane Austin' (sic)
I was taken by this black fur hat, which reminded me of the cat, so persuaded my mother to hold it up so that its label was clear. I imagine that Jane Austen would have spit in their eyes.

Just like we had in the States?
When we were in Virginia, we played kitsch by having an illuminated reindeer family in our front garden. I emailed Clare this photo and asked her whether she thought I should buy it. She emailed back: "No dear."

Santas and Beryl
Here's a bonus shot of my mother with the santas.

On our way back as we crossed the Mendips, close to the Castle of Comfort pub there was an almighty bang and the car pitched to the side. I stopped the car in the pub forecourt and Adrian and myself discovered that the driver's side front tyre was flat.

In the gathering gloom we searched for the jack (and eventually found it) and then were stymied by the locking wheel nut until we eventually found the tool for that. Thirty minutes later we had successfully changed the tyre and a few moments later Clare pulled up in the Saxo. We'd summoned her at the onset, when we weren't sure whether we'd be able to fix it, but our insurance policy wasn't needed in the end .

What heroism though! Clare had ransacked the house and shed looking for a jack (and failed), then she'd reversed down the drive in the dark without hitting the walls (big success). She thoroughly deserved the two chocolate bars we brought back for her and the two insect-and-berry bird food slabs!

Update Wednesday morning

I'm now £85 poorer but the tyre has been fixed by the excellent Wells Tyre Service. The problem was a tear in the sidewall, about half an inch from the tread. "Pothole," the man said, "Your wheel sank into a pothole and the rough edge punctured the tyre." Says something about the back roads across the Mendips.

After I came back I had my own 'Gorillas in the Mist' moment, as I precariously climbed the tree in the front garden to attach Clare's new 'insect and berry' suet-block feeder. It says on the packet, 'not for human consumption' and to be fair, the odour is a bit off ... must be the berries.