Is This The Blind Leading The Blind?

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November 19th 2011
Published: November 25th 2011
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Sorry for the delay in publishing this blog but we've been (and still are) experiencing some technical problems. Hopefully they will be resolved soon.

We were both up very early on Thursday 17th November, me because I’d set the alarm and Graham because I needed the bedsheets and pillow cases to wash and dry before we left. Unfortunately, because of all the building works that had been going on at the house, there was no washing line. So Graham had bought and erected a temporary one suspended from the rafters of the side verandah which would get the sun later in the morning.The line didn’t look very elegant but it served its purpose well and, even without the direct sun, the warm breeze had blown everything dry in seemingly no time at all.We were all packed up and ready to leave by about 10:30am.Other people were due in today so we didn’t have to turn everything off.Reluctantly we drifted away and bade a fond farewell to Peterborough and headed for Timboon on our way to Colac.It was well sign-posted and we made excellent time before reaching the Prince’s Highway for the last few kilometres before Colac.We had enjoyed a nice restaurant meal here on our way to Peterborough but today I had prepared sandwiches for lunch.In the centre of Colac we spotted a sign for the Botanical Gardens and Lake Colac so we drove the short distance there and enjoyed our picnic lunch in a beautiful spot overlooking the lake.Back on the road we covered the distance back to the outskirts of Melbourne very easily and soon found ourselves going over the Westgate Bridge and along the city centre freeway towards Camberwell.It’s difficult to believe that we travelled through the heart of Melbourne to within a few kilometres of Daphne’s house without stopping.It’s a brilliant road network, albeit toll roads, which makes travelling almost anywhere in the Melbourne area extremely easy.

We reached Daphne’s at about mid-afternoon and arrived during a mini-crisis but one which we had anticipated. Daphne was to be the hostess of a group of friends and acquaintances, all successful ladies, which meet several times every year and have been doing so for about 30 years. They take it in turns to be hostess and tonight was to be Daphne’s turn.There are a lot of members of the group, called Amity, but the average number of attendees is usually about a dozen and the actual attendees can vary from time to time so you’re never sure who will turn up.Most people take “offerings” to the meetings but, of course, you don’t know what it will be until it appears!! Daphne was panicking a bit and wasn’t sure what to prepare.She was short of a few things so we took her to a nearby shopping centre to stock up on likely requirements.She and I then set about preparing for the evenings events while Graham entertained mad Micky the kitten.Although I say so myself, we did a pretty good job of providing a goodly supply of a wide variety of goodies.The guests began to arrive at about 7:30pm and, sure enough, some came with sweets and other things.The first few to arrive also pitched in to help with arrangements so I bid a hasty retreat to the back lounge and joined Graham in front of the telly for the rest of the evening.Eventually, when all the jollity had subsided, I snook into the kitchen and pinched some left-overs for Graham and I together with some delicious chocolate pudding.Unfortunately there was loads of washing up to be done so we had a bit of a late night while we broke the back of it, leaving the rest for the morning.All in all, the dozen people had a really good time and Daphne was smugly pleased with her efforts.

Friday morning dawned a bit late for us – Graham and I slept in although Daphne was up and about quite early. We finished off the washing up from the night before and then identified a few things that might help tidy up Daphne’s garden and second lounge in time for Christmas. Graham had already repaired the washing line which was beginning to dis-integrate and thought he could do a similar job on one of the lounge blinds and also the fly screen on the outer door to the garden.Unfortunately the blind was beyond repair so we trundled of to the nearby Bunnings hardware store to see what we could find.The mesh for the fly screen and some suitable fixing screws were easy to obtain but the blind needed a bit more thought.At least we were able to identify a range of blinds that might be suitable but we’ll need more accurate measurements before we decide to buy.Daphne couldn’t resist buying a few things from the Bunnings Garden Centre but afterwards we drove out to Wantirna where the caravan would be over Christmas.With David throwing a wedding into the mix towards the end of January, we needed to make sure we could return from Tassie and re-site our caravan at Wantirna until after the wedding.We made the necessary adjustments to our booking so we are now happy that our on-going accommodation arrangements for Christmas, Tassie and The Wedding are all in place. All we have to do is to remember to bring the caravan from Mansfield to Wantirna before 21st December!!On our way back we were able to call in at a Post Office and also to get some discount diesel from Coles so it had been quite a successful morning.

After lunch, Graham strolled to what he thought was a nearby garage to arrange for PIE to be serviced again before we take her to Tassie. Ironically, the garage had been recommended by a lady we had met in a café in Yea, 100kilometers away, over a week ago and we had passed it on our way through Camberwell, not far from Daphne’s. Graham’s walk, although not more than a round trip of 4 kilometers, was at the hottest time of the day and he came back very weary.However, he had managed to secure a date for the car to be serviced and, by sheer coincidence it is the very day that the lady from Yea is having her car serviced. We pottered in the garden for a bit and started on cleaning the patio area but a sudden storm, which had been forecast, disturbed us and we had to abandon our tasks without finishing what we had started.The forecast for tomorrow is not very good so it may be a while before we can complete our garden tidy up. The highlight of the evening was being able to talk with Barb and Tony on Skype.It’s Barb’s birthday today so Happy Birthday Barb - they had a few celebrations lined up so we hope they had a lovely day.We finished off the evening watching an episode of Midsomer Murders – is there anyone still alive in Midsomer?

Saturday 19th November started with heavy rain and dark skies. Our plans to continue tidying up the garden had to be put on hold and even Daphne’s usual trip to the Saturday morning market in Camberwell looked in jeopardy for a while. But we ladies decided to brave the poor weather and visited the market on the tram leaving Graham to look after the kitten and to ponder whether it was possible to fit the new fly screen to the back door.The mesh needed to be trimmed to size before fitting – much better done outside in dry weather – so, like the gardening, it was put on hold for the time being. The trip to the market proved to be a bit soggy.We got a good load of stuff, especially fruit, but we got soaked into the bargain. Daphne remembered something important she meant to get so dashed off to the shops again.We didn’t know how long she’d be so we took the opportunity to go back to Bunnings and to purchase a blind that we thought would be suitable to replace the damaged one in the back lounge.Graham wasn’t too keen on trying to fit it straightaway but eventually, after a bit of nagging from me, he decided to take the old one down.That proved to be quite easy but the batten which held the old one in place and which he wanted to transfer from the old blind to the new one was firmly secured to the old one.His fear was that, once the old one was removed, he couldn’t fit the new one and sure enough, the new fixing batten was completely different and would have to be drilled.Fortunately, Bertie was able to come to the rescue and soon the new hooks were in place and the blind was erected with Graham adding a couple of additional screws to add to the stability.The old blinds were top quality and well fitted but this new one is a bit flimsy by comparison.It needed a bit more security to make sure that an over active kitten, that likes swinging on the blinds, didn’t drag it to the floor. The blind is needed primarily as a sun shade and the finished product looked perfect.Time will tell if it can withstand Micky’s attention but, for the time being at least, it looks far better than the old one that was falling to pieces.After our evening meal we sat in front of the TV watching, first, the latest episode of Doc Martin and then a Miss Marple programme.


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