As usual the week started with housework and with the sun shining I decided to clean the windows again (excluding the side windows that are so difficult to access), so it was a case of ladders up and down the stairs again – should keep me fit with three flights of stairs. That took most of the morning and only allowed me to vacuum the dinning room suite and the stairs. I also decided to have a go at the chrome door handles outside of the patio and balcony doors – they have corroded quite badly in the salt air over winter and are pitted and rough. My solution to this problem is an old “recipe” for cleaning chrome and is well documented elsewhere – rubbing down with aluminium foil – this worked reasonably well, there are still some pit marks after one go at rubbing down, but there is more shine and it feels smoother to the hand.
This week the t20 Internationals were concluded between England and West Indies. I have to say i was unimpressed by the way England batted and watching someone (Hales), who was world-ranked No. 1, going back to all spin and always playing across the line did not suggest to me someone that is world class. In fact, within the top four there are no players willing to play straight to spin! I think there is still a management problem with England, which relates to their unwillingness to change tactics, and it really is time for them to explore the concept of form dictating position in the batting order. They could also learn a lot from the West indies bowling methods, especially accurate yorkers and the key is the word accurate – I am surprised how frequently professional bowlers completely miss the length they should be bowling and England are very bad at this. Mind you, I also feel criticism of The West indies is justified; although they played well overall I think that sometimes they are a little lazy – the bowler getting back to the stumps for a run out, or backing up throws.
Toward the end of the week we had to call DynoRod to solve a blocked toilet, if it is not one thing it is another, they were very good. it turned out the main drain pipe from the toilet was jammed solid, which I got to see on their camera, and this had to be “moved” with a high pressure hose. Now we have to get the plumber to adjust the flush volume as that is probably where the problem began! So much for being green!
The fine weather meant that I was also able to start oiling the patio furniture, which has survived the wettest winter in living memory remarkably well. This also got me around to oiling the wooden step at the patio and balcony doors. they look at lot better now, but the room got a bit smelly – more solvent abuse! It was good to be able to unwrap the patio furniture and “air” the umbrella. It is also good to be able to talk about warm weather!
Another job involved a second bracket for the satellite dish, which had moved in the gales around Christmas and the bracket and some washers I needed to complete this job arrived. It was just a little too windy to get up there, so maybe next week.
At the week-end I baked some soda bread as something of an experiment. it came out okay, I was surprised. I tried a very simple recipe of just plain flour, self-raising wholemeal flour, salt, baking powder and a yoghurt-milk mix (buttermilk substitute). I didn’t want any sugar in the bread and I wanted wholemeal. We ate it with pate and it was tasty.