New team member

We’ve been away for the weekend, as Mick turned 50 on Friday.  About the only thing I miss about being 15 minutes on the train to Gatwick is the ability to hop over to Europe for the weekend – doing it from here involves a 3-hour drive to Inverness airport and then either going to Amsterdam or getting a flight to London or Manchester to connect.  So instead I decided to take him somewhere local enough that we didn’t have hours of travelling, but not so local that we couldn’t switch off properly and we ended up at Inver Lodge Hotel.

Do you think I can write it off as a business expense on the grounds that I learned what a 5* bedroom should look like??

Gorgeous hotel, amazing staff, wonderful food, thoroughly recommend it!  Anyway, we got home late morning and I wanted to have a good clean-up down the road, because David had sent me a text on Friday to say he’d be back with us on Monday.  I’d picked up our new team member when I saw him on offer in Homebase, so it was time to assemble him and put him to work.  Say hello to Henry:

Why am I not using my own vacuum cleaner?  Well, about 12 years ago, way before we moved here, I had the living room of my flat replastered after a badly leaking chimney had been repaired.  The plasterer asked to use my vacuum cleaner as his wasn’t working – and basically killed it.  It was a Dyson Animal, so not cheap, but it never worked quite the same afterwards and lasted about another 6 months before there was a horrible burning smell and it went to the household appliance graveyard at the recycling centre.  As I currently have a very powerful Miele Cat & Dog from before the change in the law about maximum wattage, I suspected that plaster dust would clog the filters in five minutes flat and didn’t want to risk it.  The Henry is supposed to be virtually indestructable even under commercial and/or builder use, so we’ll see how it does.  It certainly sucked up everything over both floors of the house without even half-filling a bag, so I’m very happy with it so far.

One of the benefits of today’s clean-up was discovering that even 16 months on the house hadn’t quite given up all its secrets.  While I was doing the little cupboard under the stairs where John Angie used to keep all his fishing stuff, I found this.  Very rusted, but I’d like to see if I can clean it up and get it working.