We're having a couple of weeks off from our hectic schedule of driving from one end of the country to the other. The caravan site in St Andrews closes its doors for the whole month of February so we can't head to Fife for another three our four weeks and our son is visiting family in LA so we won't be visiting him in Kent for a while. So it's the ideal time for the bump on the new car to be repaired and we drove it down to the Mercedes body shop in Essex on Thursday to have it sorted out.
If it wasn't for the damp patch above the lounge window, everything would be just right for a relaxing few weeks but as I write, the plastering expert Tony is chipping away outside in an attempt to discover the cause and hopefully effect a remedy. The builders made a temporary repair to a crack in the render and since then the wallpaper has dried out and despite some torrential rainfall the water ingress appears to have stopped.
On Friday we had some friends round for a meal. I think it was a success and the smoked salmon with prawns followed by home made chicken pie, chocolate dessert and cheeseboard went down well with them. As did the wine. I felt a little embarrassed to be depositing so many bottles in the bottle bank on Saturday morning. I put a nonchalant "haven't emptied these since Christmas" look on my face as the bottles kept coming and coming. We ended the night well into the small hours.
With no plans for Saturday and Sunday nights we had a marathon session with Series 2 of The Bridge and got through seven episodes before finishing off the final three last night well after midnight. This really is a classy series. The leads Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia are outstanding and their relationship is what makes this such a compelling drama. As with all television crime drama (Silent Witness, Morse,Midsomer ) I have an issue with the number of victims but the beauty of this one is that the motive was unclear right until the excellent finale. If you haven't seen it, you can still catch up on iPlayer and, if you've got a spare ten hours or so to kill, it's a perfect distraction.
I haven't had the chance to get out with the metal detector for a few months now but I had a letter from the Lowestoft Coroner's office yesterday notifying me that the silver brooch I found in the summer has been declared "Treasure" and they will be holding an inquest. It's not a valuable item but it's over seven hundred years old. If the farmer agrees, I will donate it to the Colchester museum who have expressed an interest in acquiring it. But on the subject of the hobby, I saw this advert in The Searcher magazine. It's wrong on so many levels implying that if you go fishing you might catch a fish but if you go detecting you can run away to Las Vegas on the spoils. I've been using a detector for twenty five years and if I sold my finds (which I wouldn't) they would not cover the cost of the detector let alone the fuel and other travel expenses incurred over the years. If people are encouraged to go detecting for financial gain, most of them will be disappointed but, more importantly the damage to our heritage will be enormous with the finite supply of metal artefacts ending up on eBay. Most of the detector users I have met are decent and sensible people but unscrupulous use of these machines is a very very bad thing.
And speaking of eBay, I've not been selling on it for three years now but was asked by one of the family if I could help dispose of an unwanted Christmas present so I've given it a try and, whilst listing the item, decided to try selling an old jug that I found in an Antique Centre near Dundee last summer. I'll see how well those two sales go before deciding whether or not to start selling regularly again although I'm not sure that I can be bothered with all the bookkeeping for the taxman and the packing.
This weeks film is Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg. There aren't very many war movies around these days. When I was growing up there was nothing else (apart from cowboys). So we're off to Cineworld in Ipswich later. I'll let you know what I think.