Cellardyke … lights and action, but no camera!

I forgot my camera. Again! Doh! Tomorrow: I promise, I promise…

While there was no camera, there most certainly were lights. I installed new overhead spotlights in the kitchen, and in the hallway. What a difference. I know that sounds obvious: gosh what a difference when you can see the room you are in, but the new lights have transformed the kitchen.

We also put together three IKEA uplighters (from the Anthrax-esque ‘Not’ range) which we purchased for a cool £5.50 each! The bulbs (energy saving ones) cost more than the actual light … incredible!

We got a lot done in the house today. After five years of marriage Jane and I have finally worked out how to work well together: we don’t! Instead we work to our strengths, which complement one another. I prepare the walls, remove rawlplugs, fill holes and cracks, sand things down, and Jane paints.

We discovered that one of the radiators isn’t working, at all — it could simply need bled — and another is leaking, at least the floor in front of it is wet. We’ll need to get that seen to before we order carpets; which we were hoping to do tomorrow.

We’re getting there. I’ll post some photos at the weekend — while I’m supposed to be writing a sermon!

Do you come here often?

What an odd experience this morning. There’s nothing like a bit of pressure to perform sexually for the medical laboratories, is there! Into a small clinical pot. My word, these doctors certainly know how to make a man feel sexy!

Anyway, I managed it. With my semen sample safely captured, my medical form duly filled in: date, time, date of last ejaculation and an odd question that asked if my sample was complete!? I wrapped the whole sorry lot up in a (comedy) Virgin megastore plastic bag and tucked it away under my oxter (that’s armpit) to keep it at body temperature, and Jane sped us both down the A720 Edinburgh bypass towards the Royal Infirmary.

There’s nothing like the added pressure of leaving home just that bit too late to be sure that you’ll arrive at the hospital well on time. It seems that semen samples are collected on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 08:15 and 09:30 — you get turned away if you come late, if you’ll excuse the expression, and told to come again next week, as it were. (I was doing so well, too, on the innuendo front!)

Jane dropped me off at the Human Fertility department at 09:27. I strode in through the automatic doors — whoosh! — turned left and arrived at a sign saying “Laboratory Reception”, and on the counter was a large polystyrene container: Semen Samples.

I now wish I’d said one of the following, as I handed over the Virgin bag of magic man’s milk:

  • “Excuse me, erm… I found this in the corridor, I think it belongs here…”
  • “Right… I read that I was to keep this at body temperature, so I just topped it up with boiling water, I hope that’s okay…”
  • Look what I made…!”

But I didn’t. I simply told the kind lady behind the counter that my GP had asked me to bring in a semen sample (and not a ‘sermon sample’, which is what I first typed there) and here it was. I did make mention of my ‘comedy’ Virgin bag. Once the lady had checked that the accompanying form was indeed accompanying it, I handed over my tub of genetic material and returned to the street to search for Jane, who’d nipped off to fill the car with petrol (just the petrol tank, actually).

It felt rather weird, that whole experience. But there you go. My semen is now in the hands of some anonymous laboratory assistant. I’ll find out in about ten days time whether I have stupid sperm that is not getting my wife pregnant, or not. (Of course, as I’ve pointed out to Jane, one way I could find out is just sleep with someone else!! Yeah… not a great idea, is it.) I’ll just wait…

Maybe baby…

Some of you may know that Jane and I have been trying for a baby for a good few years now — since we were snuggly holed up in the Highlands of Scotland, in fact. But so far nothing. Not a hint of a pregnancy.

A few months ago (probably more than I would like to admit) Jane and I went to see one of the GPs at our local practice to enquire about what steps we could take to get ourselves checked out in the baby-making depts. Of course, the process had to begin with me and we left — after our 30 minutes consultation with the doctor — clutching a small, clear plastic pot and an A4 sheet of instructions.

The intructions were as clear as the pot: wait 3 days, deposit a semen sample in the pot (!) and run like the wind to the Royal Infirmary while keeping the pot at body temperature (like HOW!?). Needless to say, I’ve not been yet. (Was ‘been’ the right tense to use there?) For a couple of reasons: first, the last few months haven’t exactly been characterised by perfect health, and second, well, it’s a rather daunting prospect. Having children is something that I always imagined would just happen. Having them, I reckoned would be the easy bit; bringing them up and coping with that I always thought would be where the challenges would lie. I appear to be wrong.

Anyway, tomorrow is Thursday and therefore one of the days that I can take my sample into the hospital (I do hope they are open again after the holidays), and Jane is also on holiday so she is going with me, for moral support and to help me feel a little less self-conscious.

I’m not entirely sure what the process is once we get the results of the sperm sample… my sperm sample. As Jane said to me the other day, it is more likely that the problems lie with her as there is more there to go wrong. But once we start on this path it will be, I imagine, not always be an easy one. Here goes though…

Cellardyke … repairs

Jane and I were in Cellardyke yesterday working on our house. We’re cracking ahead now with the decoration and repairs. Jane tackled the paint work in the conservatory and the living room while I installed some skirting board in the living room and small(er) bedroom. It was the first time I’d installed skirting board (do youinstall it?) and the result was rather good, even though I say so myself. I also had fun removing a built-in wardrobe in that bedroom, with a few well-placed kicks.

It won’t be long now until we have the carpets and linolium laid and can think about buying furniture; we even took a sneaky trip to IKEA yesterday evening, and came away with over £100-worth of lighting, which I’ll install on Thursday.

We’ve tried to go for energy saving lighting throughout the house — our little effort for the environment (and budget). What I couldn’t get in IKEA last night I managed to get in B&Q this morning. (Incidentally, B&Q observed a two minutes silence at midday for the victims of the tsunami in Asia … although it was actually 3 minutes and 26 seconds. Good effort, though!) The lighting at IKEA was impressively cheap, we got three uplighters for £7.90 each (!!) which should look great in the house. One of the problems with the house is that upstairs three of the rooms have no overhead lights, and in the rooms that do have lightswitches by the door, these control wall sockets! It’s like a scene from the film The Money Pit, with a Hollywood effects-crew-inspired wiring plan!

I was on the phone to Mum yesterday, she is going to come up on Friday morning and we’ll drive her up to Cellardyke to see the house. Mum hasn’t seen the interior of the house, as we couldn’t get the keys when she and Char (Anderson) visited in September; that was during the long drawn out episode between putting in an offer in July and finally completing the sale in November!

I keep forgetting to take the digital camera to the house to chart the progress, and perhaps even post a few pics on this blog. I’ll remember tomorrow, I promise…

Last Chance…?!

This morning I received an e-mail from Logos (www.logos.com), I think because I installed some Bible software of theirs and foolishly agreed to receive every newsletter they could throw at me.

Anyway, in this morning’s e-mail I came across the following box-out:

Last Chance – The Encyclopedia of Christianity: Volumes 1-3

Publisher Suggested Retail: $300.00
Logos Bible Software Series X Suggested Retail: $300.00
Prepublication Special: $199.95

Not “last chance sale”; not “last chance opportunity”; not “last chance to buy this at the specially reduced price”. Just “last chance”! “Last chance”?! … do they know something about the forthcoming demise of Christianity that the rest of us don’t?