Al's van has conceded the defeat of old age - it won't pass its MOT and won't even be humiliated by an entry. Al says he doesn't use it much - the Sage also has an elderly van and they can use that for things like fetching Christmas (sorry) trees and for doing the weekly deliveries. Al is using Dilly's bike to get to work and he's not planning to replace the van, at least not until the winter.
I'm just slightly disappointed to find that nothing has really happened here while I was away. The Sage said he's tried to find another gate for the kitchen garden without success, so didn't get the one we have got cleaned off. And nothing has been done to sort out the room which he had assured me was going to be done soon. I'm not going to say anything. He completely forgot and it'll only discourage him. His week has ended better than it began, because he has bought himself a new rifle and hopes to compete at Bisley next year, presumably in a veteran class, at 800 and 1200 yards or whatever the metric equivalents are, because the calculation of allowances for distance and distortion (mirage) are what he enjoys. I hope he does do it, he hasn't shot competitively for years but used to love it.
Wink's internet reception is as bad as ours is here, so it was quite difficult writing posts. The connection usually vanished just when I wanted it. However, I did what I could to keep in touch and hope to visit you in the next few days.