Monday, February 13, 2006

Here we are again. It was a good week. The weather was bright, and bitter cold. The earth was frozen solid. I was all the happier that I had been able to turn a few spadesful when we were there in January.

The illustrations show (a) snowdrops on the front lawn and (b) what we achieved last week – the inside of our new garden shed faux-creosoted, the new shelving from Ikea likewise, and the shelving assembled. My husband did the first two of those things, the assembly took both of us. It will never look so tidy again.

I got the second sleeve of Rachel’s striped Koigu finished and attached, the neck placket done, and the collar about half done. So I need a new Kirkmichael project now. Picture and further thoughts soon.

A funny thing happened as we were leaving here last Tuesday – I discovered a television crew on our doorstep.

We had been asked a couple of weeks ago whether our doorstep might figure in a television drama. A taxi would pull up, and actor would leap out and run up the steps and into the house. We would be paid a “location fee”. We thought about it and said no.

So I assumed that these were those people, who had just turned up anyway, and I addressed them in fairly hostile mode: what-are-you-doing-on-my-doorstep? There was a sort of embarrassed silence, in which I got the impression that they were very busy people who didn’t have time to talk about doorsteps with a shabby old woman. Maybe they hadn’t budgeted for a location fee. Eventually the youngest of the group, a pleasant girl, explained that they were making a program about the Scottish Enlightenment and our doorstep had been chosen for Andrew Marr to stand on while he delivered some thoughts on the subject.

Somewhat mollified, I told them to go ahead, and withdrew.

British readers will recognise the name. He was until recently the BBC’s Chief Political Correspondent. I don’t know exactly what he does now – clearly he’s branched out into culture. He writes a column for the Waffy which I read and enjoy.

We never actually saw him, although we stood behind the door and listened to his familiar voice talking about the Scottish Enlightenment. He kept having to start over again.

A new crisis now loomed. I had finished all the indoor pre-departure chores and any minute now I was going to have to open the door and push through them, not once but several times, carrying things out to the car. There is only one way in and out of our house, and I had no idea how long they planned to be there.

Mercifully, just when the crisis could no longer be postponed, they disappeared as mysteriously as they had come.

So we will have to watch the television schedules. It was a bizarre episode.

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