Saturday, 28 January 2017

House hunting in the dark

I had most of today free, as Rhiannon was out socialising with her friends, and was invited for a pizza supper. It meant I was free to take a long walk into the countryside, across Abbey Fields and beyond the castle, further along on the Millennium footpath we took for our Christmas family outing. On the way I took some photos of little gulls and moorhens contending with the ice at one end of the lake, and got a good close up of the heron on guard in the same position as I snapped it seven weeks ago. 

On the return leg, I followed a metalled country lane back to the edge of Kenilworth. In a couple of places the periodic sound of gunshot issue from woodland, but particularly on the approach to the main road, as there are several coppices overlooking a ponds. Beaters with gun dogs were at work, with a few hunters pursuing wildfowl. One dog was dragging a Canada Goose away to cover, with a young handler struggling to wrestle away the dead bird. So strange, all this within a couple of hundred metres of suburban houses. 

I had some shopping to do before returning and walked into town. Altogether I walked five and a half miles. My knee was fine, but my ankle hurt more than expected. Recovering from the one seems to have highlighted a problem with the other. I cooked and ate lunch eventually at four. At five, Kath rang to say they were on their way back from Stockton on Tees and should arrive by eight. She accepted my offer to prepare a meal for them, so I cooked again.

At six I had a message summoning me to collect Rhiannon. I found the street without difficulty, but then found it hard to identify the house, if they had house numbers. The number sequence, seemed erratic. I called Rhiannon to explain, but she didn't answer. Then Kath rang, worried because Rhiannon texted her to say I hadn't arrived. After explaining to Kath, I texted Rhiannon to explain. She sent a message describing where the house was, but her identifying landmark feature wasn't visible in the dark. Then she phoned me and I spoke to her friend's Dad. 

Fortunately, I'd stopped just 50m down, over the road from the house, within range of the postcode indicator on Google maps. Despite street lights, it was in shadow. By this time, her friend's dad saw my car stopped, but couldn't initially identify it from afar, as orange sodium street lamps mask some colours. He walked her across the road and were soon on our way home, half an hour late. If only street name panels with numbers and direction indicators were the norm here in the UK, as they are in some European countries. 

Kath and Anto were fortunate to have a clear home run and arrived earlier than  expected. After a bad night in a Premier Inn with faulty heating unit noises all night and scarcity of towels, both were tired and went to bed early, just after Rhiannon.

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