I’ve had an excellent week.

First, I got my sight back. All of it; perfect. I can, again, see every detail of the world from near to far. In the years since I first got spectacles, I and the opticians have ignored my long sight while trying to make reading and computing work better. Mainly to make driving less tiring, I finally asked for a long-sight prescription, with a medium-distance bifocal below. The result is magical and has made me very happy. I sometimes forget that I can see, wincing and frowning at the world, as has become my habit. Then the new specs are remembered and the world is pulled into sharp focus. It’s like I’m seeing the farm for the first time.

Next, the truck has gotten all better. The door locks have been giving me trouble: ghostly forces were locking and unlocking the doors at inopportune moments. Jake, who borrows it to deliver firewood, got locked out with the engine running and had to call a breakdown service. The difficulty, you see, is that there was never a spare key and the one I have is too worn to cut from; plus, I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to insist on getting the key number when I bought it. After a month of ineffective replacement locks and frustration, I called to collect it after being told the fault could not be traced, nor fixed beyond replacing all the locks for hundreds of pounds. I found an older, experienced mechanic in the middle of working on it, not reassembling it as I expected. He had found the problem—a misplaced spring—and needed the evening to fix it. When I called the next day, the problem was gone and he’d discovered enough about the lock to programme a remote control for it. So now I have a second way to get into the cab plus remote control, if I need it, both of which are bonuses beyond the ghosts being driven out of the locks. I love it when thing grow in their usefulness to me.

Thirdly, I did a good job of fixing my workshop floor. No-one else would think this a source of unusual happiness but I could so easily have messed it up. I put the table saw in its designed location and it seemed fine although I knew the floor hadn’t been designed to support a half-ton machine. Then I built a neighbouring mitre saw bed, flat and level, that should have formed an outrigger for the table saw but I discovered that the latter was leaning quite a bit. I sort of expected such a thing and to have to locally strengthen the floor so I slid underneath and banged in some supports. Now, the saw was level but the floor around it had started to bow and buckle in odd places. The pleasing part of this story, for me, is that I didn’t just accept the botch but got back under the uncomfortable, cramped floor for a good look, to discover that four joists had been left almost unsupported. All around the saw, the floor wasn’t held in place and wouldn’t be straightened by adding more piers. Like a tin tray with a heavy weight on it, it had to buckle. In addition, any messing under the floor threatened to bring that heavy, cast-iron machine down upon me if a small failure started a chain reaction. So, I amazed myself by rigging up the engine hoist once more, getting the saw onto some wheels and out of the danger zone, and assessing the true nature of the floor’s problems. I was rewarded by the floor returning to being flat and true. All I had to do was spend three days crawling in and out, carefully measuring the height of the joists and slope of the floor at each station missing a stump then accurately cutting and then fixing the supports in place. No fun and nothing to see for my efforts but the floor is still flat and true while losing all of its prior bounce. Anyone with an ounce of nouse would have done exactly this but, for me, this was a much better outcome than I would normally accept.

So I’m happy, even though I’m now getting a cold. I’m now going to rouse the fire and soothe my throat with more of Monica’s damson gin. Simple happiness.

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