Denise: The couple staying at Carrick called round this evening, complaining of an unpleasant ‘drains’ smell in the house. Was it coming from the utility? No. So not the trap of the floor drain dried out again (simple remedy – pour in some water). Smell generally everywhere – seems to be coming from the ventilation. Oh dear! This was reported by another guest back in spring, but only briefly. This couple seem a bit more put out by it. The problem seems to occur only when the weather is very still, and the when the temperature is falling, so that warm air from the soil vent doesn’t rise, but falls back and drifts around the roof. – the intake of the ventilation system sucks it back in. Jonathan has been investigating it and has a remedy in hand (somethiing to do with air-admittance valves), but not complete. Now needs to be completed when he’s home in a couple of weeks. Meantime, the only remedy I could give was to turn up the ventilation system and open the windows (with care). I went round later and the smell had certainly cleared. But that’s risky if the weather turns wet and especially if its windy. That said, if its windy the odour problem should not occur. Oh the joys of letting property! How on earth do owners manage when they don’t live anywhere nearby – they are totally dependent on their local help!
Denise: Tilly is unquestionably a very bright and loving dog. But she also has her problems. Mainly it’s that she doesn’t like being separated from me even for a few moments. if I put her out behind the house (with makeshift barricades until Jonathan comes home and makes something better) and I walk up the garden to serve a customer: if she hears me talking she’ll bully her way out and race up the garden to join me, sometimes alarmig the customer! Or if I leave her in the house, then she’ll wet on the hall carpet – even though she’s just been let out a few mintues ago. I go into the bathroom to use the loo, and I come out to find …. yest you’ve guessed. And yet she’ll go through the night without any problem. Jonathan says that it’s to do with her experience with her previous owner: she was left all day in a residential caravan whilst her owner was out of work, and the sense of both abandonment during the daytime and heightened dependency on humans when they are present has resulted in this pattern of behaviour. There were similar problems with Dusky (our black cat) earlier in the year, and Jonathan’s analysys and advice proved spot on then, so hopefully we’ll find a solution for Tilly, too. I hope so, ‘cos at the moment this is stretching my patience!
Jonathan: Becky – our eldest daughter – is 31 today. She’s a lovely girl. A highlight of her birthday, she tells me, was the annual Aberystwyth Food and Drink Festival (sounds good to me!) on the streets of her home town. She told me of a young woman selling ‘food from the wild’, such as samphire cakes, crab apple jelly and the such-like. I can’t tell you how proud I feel to know that Becky values – is excited by – such things.: for not only does it say something powerful about her values, it also it says these values can be passed on two generations from mother to son, father to daughter, even though Denise and I have been conscientious in leaving Becky to find her own way in life, discover or forge her own values. This is not merely about what interests one – it is far more profound! It is about recognizing and rejoicing in the wonders of our planet, and the fruits of the earth which are there to feed us and supply our every need, both physical and spiritual. Autumn fruits are not just about food, but about receiving and giving, sorrow and sadness, death and re-birth.