Today i'm supposed to be 'celebrating' my 71st birthday, though, so far, it's been rather strange. I spent three and a half hours this morning, standing and shivering, in a freezing, frosty garden with fog all around, holding a ladder whilst an electrician fitted three new security lamps to the top edge of our house. I'm now starting to feel the onset of a cold or something as I haven't really been able to get warm since.
At the end of our lane a car had skidded off the road and ended up on its side in a ditch. There was no sign of the driver. Dangerous conditions.
We were due to travel to Wakefield this afternoon to visit my mother in the rehabilitation centre, as we do every day, but when the time came for us to drive to Wakefield, the fog hadn't lifted so we decided not to risk the journey, particularly as my degenerated eyesight finds driving in such conditions extremely precarious and Emi is not a confident driver either. So I called my mother, (who has a phone by her bedside,) and apologised that we couldn't get there today. She was obviously disappointed, (as was I,) that I couldn't get to see her on my birthday. We were planning to take a day off from the daily visits tomorrow so that we could attempt to catch up with some desperately needed Christmas shopping, but I've promised mum we'll try to visit her instead to make up for today's postponement.
It looks like she will be in the rehabilitation centre until sometime in January when there's a chance that she will finally be able to go back home, though carers will need to be put in place and a bed brought downstairs as there is no way she could get upstairs to bed, even with the stairlift that is already in place. She is very much bedridden, I'm afraid.
The other disappointment today came when a new guitar arrived from the Thomann retail outlet in Germany. Last week I decided to treat myself to an ISANA BLACK PEARL archtop guitar as a combined birthday and Christmas present. I thought it was a good time to order as the UK will be leaving the EU soon and, once that happens, the price of the guitar will probably go up and import duty will definitely have to be paid.
Anyway, the guitar arrived today via UPS delivery. It was packaged inside a strong, plush lined hard case which was itself inside an inner and outer strong cardboard box. After removing the two cardboard boxes and opening the guitar's case I was shocked to see a large split or crack at the join of the headstock and neck of the instrument. (I've attached a photo' to this journal entry so that you can see the damage.) Actually, it's much worse than it looks in the photo as the wood has raised up above the crack and made the guitar unplayable.
I can't imagine that this has been done in transit as it was well packaged. I suspect that the guitar has been sitting in its case in the Thomann warehouse where the damage may have been done, either there or at the actual manufacturers. Whatever, it's terribly disappointing...
I've emailed Thomann with photo's of the damage and I'm awaiting a reply and a remedy. The guitar is packed up, ready to send back to Germany in the hope that it can be replaced. It certainly would be difficult to repair, and I wouldn't be happy with a repair anyway.
So, that's been my birthday so far. It's now 6:35 pm and rain has started, lifting the fog. Emi and I have a table booked for 8pm at one of our favourite restaurants, so that will be the first relaxing moment of the day and a chance to enjoy each other's company and 'de-stress' for a couple of hours.
Tomorrow it's back to the madness...
Bill at a Retro Fair, earlier this year. Hot Rod Racer!
The broken neck of the ISANA BLACK PEARL guitar.