The phone is not repaired, but this is not the fault of the repair man, a cheerful chap named Mitchell. It was very lucky, because I should have been out all day but I'd received several phone calls on my mobile for the Sage (which I wasn't able to take) and so I popped home at lunchtime to tell him about them and ask him to ring back. He wasn't there, but while I was, the BT van arrived and I was able to let Mitchell in the house. As I didn't have long to spare, I went next door to ask Al if he could come through, ready to lock up when the job was done. I was quite surprised to arrive home again a couple of hours later to find him still there.
It turns out that the box inside the house needs to be replaced, which he's done, the line across the field is in poor condition and there is also a fault on the junction box in the lane the other side of the field. He will have to come back tomorrow with ladders and more equipment to finish the repair. The Sage is taking me to Norwich but will be back before 8 o'clock, so that's all right, and he won't need to work inside the house much of the time anyway.
The internet has been up and down again, but so it has been at the school two miles away, so I doubt we're the only ones.
I've had a lovely time tonight, but I'll tell you about that tomorrow because it's late and I'm going to bed in a minute. What I will tell you is our other good news, that I mentioned a week or two back as a possibility and a hope - that we have a gardener. This is someone we have very much wanted to work for us for a long time, but it relied on him deciding to become self-employed. He mentioned the likelihood a couple of weeks ago and we immediately offered him two days a week. He will probably want to do some winter seasonal work, but that's okay with us - we'd honour the two days all year round, but don't really need it all winter. This will be an enormous help to us, the garden and grounds are far more than we can manage and he doesn't mind what he turns his hand to and will do any odd jobs or anything we need. It's brilliant, and he's a really good friend too. We've been to each other's birthday parties, he and his wife were guests at Weeza's wedding, and he's someone we would turn to if in trouble. Most recently, it was he we asked to help us dig Tilly's grave. That sort of true and practical friend.
So darlings, when you come here in less than four weeks' time, you won't actually have to hack your way through brambles.