Worst crossing EVAH!

I was woken up in the wee small hours by the spectral figure of Mirinda, framed in the open cabin door, claiming it was like an oven. She’d given up trying to sleep in it and tried to cool down by going out on deck. This had meant a long search for the only door that was open to the outside. Having found it, she stepped outside. Apparently, it was freezing cold and she quickly came back inside.

Feeling her temperature had fallen to a reasonable level, she’d then returned to our cabin to tell me about it, thinking I’d enjoy sharing her middle of the night news. I grunted and went to the loo.

She’d have been better sitting in the small bathroom for about half an hour. It was much hotter than the cabin. Just a short time in there was enough to make the main cabin feel almost chilly by comparison.

Other than that, the crossing was fine…and then we docked.

A few days ago, I received a text from Brittany Ferries to say that the foot passenger ramp at Portsmouth was broken and wouldn’t be fixed by the time we arrived so it was no surprise when the ferry announcer told us all to wait around and wait for further news. When it eventually arrived, the news was that we would be leaving the ferry via the car ramp.

This means we had to lug everything down to the bottom garage using the (tiny) lifts and wait for a bus. The first bus was packed so we waited for the next one, arriving at customs about half an hour later. I felt really sorry for the new foot passengers leaving today as I figure it would be worse for them.

Anyway, our taxi driver was happily leaning against his cab, smiling and waiting. He’d been fending off prospective passengers as they streamed out of the terminal explaining that yes, he was a taxi but no, he wasn’t for hire.

It was the same driver we had that dropped us off, which is always nice. He was awfully chatty and he and Mirinda kept up a constant stream of dialogue about Birdworld (among other things) while Bob and I snoozed in the back. The only hiccough to our trip home was the sudden appearance of a giant yellow triangle in the middle of the A3, holding traffic up for a few miles. We crawled along for a bit and then, as suddenly as it appeared, the giant yellow triangle vanished and we were moving again.

On reaching the house, Mirinda was sure that the builders hadn’t actually done very much in our absence but I could see big changes. For one thing, the renderers were almost finished, making the back of the house look splendid. (They finished by mid-afternoon.)

That’s one of the renderers on the right…and me in the middle

The decorators had finished the ceilings and the walls (not the final finish, but everything’s painted) and started in the rooms upstairs. The bathroom vanity unit had been (re)built. The wood for the floors upstairs had arrived and should be laid next week. Paul and Clive had demolished part of the terrace to allow for the render to be applied and dug out where the curved steps will be going. And, finally, Mark the tiler arrived and, before the day was out, had the substrate floor laid in half of the extension, ready for the actual tiles.

Ready for the tiles

We had a rather long site meeting with Dave. As he said, it took twice as long with Mirinda ‘helping’. Eventually we finished and she took Bob to the Bush and collected an excited Day-z.

Eventually we packed up Sidney and set off for Bishops Waltham (‘Waltham’ means forest settlement, by the way) for the next week and a half. And what a lovely cottage – actually a terrace house – directly opposite a Londis convenience store. It’s beautifully appointed (the cottage, though the Londis isn’t bad) with a lovely secure garden for Day-z to defoul without my constant supervision. And the most excellent of kitchens. It has a new cooker and new cupboards and…it’s almost like it was installed yesterday. Mind you, the black slate tiles made us really happy about our choice.

The only downside to the house is the busy road outside which seems to be in constant use. I guess it proves there’s no such thing as perfect.

I went shopping in the small market town then we settled in for the night. This means I settled down to watch the second semi-final of the World Cup while Mirinda read then went to bed.

Argentina v Netherlands was nothing like the Germany v Brazil game. Neither team could do much to penetrate each other’s defence. Messi didn’t do an awful lot either, which didn’t help Argentina. In fact, I’d say he was a bit disappointing. Anyway, the game was 0-0 after 90 minutes then still 0-0 after the extra 30 so it went to penalties. And what a disaster that was for the Dutch team. They missed their first two attempts so it was all over pretty quickly with Argentina now to face Germany on Sunday night.

Given the last two games I’ve seen, Germany will win…easily.

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