At last!! Well-greased with tallow and doused liberally with champagne, the Good Ship Jasper travels down the slipway, hits the water, and sets sail once again. WHAT a tumultuous time it has been of late - denying me the company of my precious blog.
My partner and I are now very settled in our new home and are warming to our new domestic routines. Well, to be more honest, we have been living here since the beginning of March but only started warming to anything three days ago. For a shoddy boiler inspection prior to our arrival deemed our small home to be habitable for such a one as me, whereas in reality this was not the case. It is a long story and, believe me, you do not want to hear all of it. These are the salient points: my partner's innovative temporary repairs lasted all of 48 hours; the house grew extremely cold; we had little or no hot water; the house grew progressively colder; we had to put at least £50 more than we had budgeted for into our electricity meter to power some freestanding heaters to try and warm us up; we were very cold; we used two packs of candles in an effort to be warm and save on electricity; we were very, very cold.
And all this while repeatedly contacting our housing people and begging them to send a repair man. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but we really were very cold indeed.
After a cursory inspection lasting all of five minutes, the inspector pronounced that the boiler "had not worked for a number of years", which is what we had been saying from the beginning. The last inspection sticker on the boiler said "19/5/98". Now, I've known a few old boilers in my time, but none so decrepit as this. And so, on Friday last, scaffolding was erected around my house and some nice chaps arrived to rip out the old heating system and install a completely new one. It took them two full days and apparently was the talk of the company. Never, they said, had they seen a domestic heating system in such a state. Their colleagues visited to see if it was really as bad as claimed. The supervisor actually laughed when he saw it. I was tempted to put a stop to his laughter, but my partner begged me to let him live until the heating was repaired.
And, AT LAST, we have a completely new, wonderful, and WORKING heating system. When the hot tap is turned, heated water issues forth. And just in time for the start of summer, too. Oh yes.
But do not assume, dear reader, that this the only thing that has kept us apart. Oh no. The fall-out from my car accident has not been insignificant. Happily, my partner procured for us a new chariot at a very reasonable cost; we went for the Renault Megane. It is most comfortable and I approve of her choice. The Peugeot option was just proving a little too dodgy in the end - each time we contacted the seller, he mentioned something new that was wrong with the car. Hmmm. We know we made the correct choice and love our new, not-so-little, teal Megane. I am happy to report that there is a permanent record of our accident on the road, however. A narrow white wheal in the tarmac surface pays testament to the life and times of our late, lamented, Little Green Corsa and the day it almost became our shared coffin.
You will notice that there is no Ewan's World of Cheese yet again. I told him he had to try harder with his research and he is having trouble verifying all the things about cheese that he thinks are true. I am informed by Fizzy that his next submission is almost complete. Oh, "goodie".
My partner has a new young gentleman friend. His initials are WS and he makes her smile. I've met him. He seems most pleasant; his most redeeming feature being, of course, that he is not BC. Most definitely not. Which barks highly in his favour. That barked, if he makes a move on my partner I will have no option but to kill him. Which would be a great pity, because I do quite like him.
I must not finish this entry without sending many, many HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to our friend from Michigan, Lance. Lance - we are sorry we forgot your special day. We will make it up to you next time you visit the land of Jasper.
Have to dash out now. My partner's mother has been to put some plants in our little border and I must hasten to dig them all up and eat the leaves. Those beady eyes are STILL watching me from behind the fence, you know. They are beginning to make me nervous.