The day remained bright and sunny all day, though a few cumulus clouds crept across the sky at midday. It’s actually quite warm in the hotel.
Early supper at The Outsider. This restaurant is on the George IV Bridge and has a good view of Edinburgh Castle. It’s a recommended eating establishment in the Easyjet on-board reading material. I wonder how much it costs to get a placement in the magazine.
Started off with grilled swordfish topped with a salad of mango slices, broad beans and beetroot leaves. I had some olive oil flavoured mash potato on the side. Rosemary would be impressed, or I expect she considers it normal, the beans were all double podded. It was very nice though, the difference in temperature of the hot fish and the chilled mango slices took one by surprise.
Next I had a cheesecake. Pile of cheesecake filling on a pastry biscuit topped with a strawberry and surrounded with a raspberry coulis.
I forgot to say I am staying at the Apex International hotel on Grassmarket. The hotel management must have taken notice of one of my comment forms from a year or so ago. Their Internet access is now free. Not only is their Internet access free, but local phone calls are free, and the cost of National phone calls are not outrageous as well. Have you ever heard of a UK hotel giving away free phone calls!!!
Thought I would also mention that today (Wednesday) the sun is out, there is not a cloud in the sky, it is warm and the women are beautiful.
Tuesday started off with a slight precipitation and overcast skies, ended the day with the sun coming out. At the Petit Paris I managed to get a table before 7.00pm and ate their cheap Plat de Jour, there were even people sitting at the tables outside. Summer is here in Edinburgh.
What a difference several hundred miles make. Rosemary rang several times during the day with panic stories about the floods that were about to engulf our home. The water was within 10 millimeters of coming in through the front door. She was unable to get to the DFAS meeting at Westcott where the road she had to pass through had water halfway up the nearby garden walls. Those who did get through had to walk through inches of water to get into the lecture hall and had to contend with a collapsing ceiling. In her words:
I was in work this morning and then had the dentist in Winslow at lunchtime. I was staggered at the water during the slightly scary drive back along the back roads. But I was in Westcott for DFAS just gone 14:00 and it was so flooded (especially at the turnoff just after the derestricted sign) that the van driver ahead suggested I shouldn’t attempt it and we all turned around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen everywhere so flooded. I was a bit worried about our front and the sitting room cos the front garden was very flooded. I was also worried over the 10 day old lamb in our field. I couldn’t see him anywhere and feared he had fallen in a ditch and drowned. Risking the elements and suitably garbed, I went out in search of his tiny corpse. Scattering sheep to all sides and struggling against the suction of the waterlogged land on my wellies, I found him snoozing in a patch of long grass.
Meanwhile DFAS’s Lecture Secretary says she “had to get the lecturer there! It was certainly bad in Westcott but the car is reasonably high. However, the front entrance was totally flooded and everyone had to go in via the fire exit through 2-3″ water, necessitating a number of people having to take off shoes, and quite a number turned for home. The hall was flooded down one side, a piece of ceiling fallen in near the entrance and we had the lecture in the room past the kitchen! It will certainly be memorable.”
Back to reality and the Petit Paris, good starter of Cray Fish Tail salad and salad potatoes, followed by a Salad Nicoise and then the Creme Brulee all washed down with a binge of red wine.
Ed’s update on floods: The next day, all visible water has gone from around the house and the sun has shone. The local rabbits all seem to have survived and I bet the wretched ants have too.
Another early start for the flight up to Edinburgh. Not sure how long EasyJet will keep the 6.55 flight going. It cannot have been more than one third full. As I left home it was a pleasant morning with roosting pigeons on the A41. By the time I reached the Chilterns it had turned foggy. Despite this the flight got away on time and I was in work before 9.00am.
Not a lot to report, other that a nice meal in the Mussel and Steak where I ate their soup of a day, a bean and tomato soup, followed by two fillets of sea bass cooked with a coating of sesame seeds on a salad base.
Rosemary had another man in to look at the Esse. It had been causing us some serious problems, not least the cost of running it with today’s high oil price. Today he was in to cure the smoking problems, he adjusted the flows, tested the flue and lit the cooker. Alas several hours later the same problems came back, smokes and the temperature drops to nothing. The next day he rang with a quote to replace the fuel regulator and put a flue balance in. Over £800. I am afraid the cooker is going to be scrapped and we are going green (?) with a wood burning stove. But how much will it cost to remove the thing? Anyone want an oil-fired Esse – buyer collects?