A half-successful week

Well I’m back in Aber (and the Internet has been shored back up. Again.) Had a busy week back in Shropshire, and bits of it were unexpectedly successful.

Got back on Wednesday, and the washing machine finally and unexpectedly gave up the ghost, and started pouring water all over the floor. Fair play to the thing, though, it’s lasted thirteen years, and spent the last two with the door held in place with duck tape and a tent-peg since the hinges rusted through, so it’s not as if it just got bored of doing the washing and broke itself. Still, that did lead to an interesting Thursday game of “hunt the sack truck” so I could actually move it out of the kitchen having disconnected it from the pipes.

However, Tyler’s Gas and Electrical up in St. Mary’s Street were nice and helpful (actually told me what to look for, and which makes to avoid, which I wouldn’t really have known) and were able to deliver a new machine on Saturday and take the old one away again (which saved me having to ring the council to come and collect it, which was good).

Discovered that, if you’re chucking out a washing machine, a couple of minutes with a penknife will give you not only the obvious spare plug, but also a handy plastic bowl (formerly the window in the door) which you can turn into a plant-pot, or salad bowl for taking camping, or something. And, of course, you gain an extra four screws, although we’ve got boxes and boxes of screws at Newport, so we just dumped them in the cellar.

Also discovered that washing machines, whilst fairly easy to plumb in, have ceased to take water from both the hot and cold pipes, and you thus need to cap the hot pipe junction, which involved crawling about under the worksurface with an adjustable spanner, and banging my head. Gah. Still, there’s a new one, now, with an actual energy rating, and everything.

I live in hope that the long-term savings proffered by the new washing machine might convince my mother that a fridge somewhat newer than the current MidElec 50 (I’m genuinely not sure, but I think that might be MidElec as in ‘Midlands Electricity Board,’ which leads me to have some strong suspicions that it’s not, in fact, likely to qualify for any level of energy efficiency rating at all. Also it’s down one shelf, since the students broke the glass one, and periodically the bars which form the milk shelf on the inside of the door snap loose and drop things everywhere. Still, one thing at a time, I suppose.

Anyway, that was a success, as was stopping by school to say hello to Mrs. K in the Library, which was fun, and Thursday evening in the Bridge, where I was able to catch up with actually quite a lot of people; I didn’t realise so many people were still within shooting distance of Newport, although the number of us geared to become actual professionals is something I find rather alarming!

Less successful was my expedition to see Mr. Banks, who wasn’t in (and whose phone number, along with most other numbers, I lost when my mobile got nicked).

Also something of a fail was my construction of a new PC for my mother, which went fine right up until Sunday evening, when, just as I’d finished installing things and copying over new files, and so on, died on it’s arse. Not sure what’s given out; it’s either the motherboard or the tower/PSU (the two of them came together) but either way it’s very annoying. Have had to arrange a return with Dabs, and will have to go back to Newport to re-build the damn thing at some point presently, although it ought to take less time now I don’t need to install huge swathes of stuff to the new drive…

O, and I completely forgot about having to take it all to bits again until we were about to leave the house on Monday morning, so I had a fun time stripping a case down and disconnecting everything against the clock. Did it in about seven minutes, which I think is not too bad, since I wanted the bulk of the components to actually survive (and I really hope they have; it’ll be such a pain if they haven’t.

Didn’t manage to go to Meeting on Sunday, because it was the last Sunday of the month, so it was actually happening at Coalbrookedale, which we’d forgotten. However we did get a very nice pub lunch at the Navigation Inn in Gnosall which I reckon I’d reccommend, and then we had a wander along the Shropshire Union, and met a fairly cheerful guy who talked to us for an hour, mostly about his boat, which he was taking up the Norbury Junction for a festival/fundraiser for the guys trying to restore the canal down to Newport (which, though I admit to bias from two entirely seperate directions) I reckon would be a huge boost for the place, since it would give people a reason to go there which they’ll be hard pushed to find from any other source…

Anyway, he was also fairly keen to tell us helpful things such as would be handy when buying a boat, so that was good too, and we didn’t get caught in a storm, although we only just managed that, so it might not count!

And then we came home on Monday; we got an actual train which took us all the way back to Aber, which was amazing, and, also, ran into Rosemary, with whom I’d wanted to speak at Meeting (which we didn’t get to) in the Town Centre, which was very useful. And I bought a fairly good photo of the Wrekin in winter (which would be ‘very good’ if only there wasn’t a conspicuous bird alighting on a tree a couple of inches to the left of the Wrekin itself; screws up the focal point, which I reckon spoils it, although as a documentary item I’m sure it’s very flash.)

Still, back now. Here we go again…

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