Anne brought me a knitted cushion cover backed with a tweed fabric, which I had tracked as a work in progress, so I knew in advance that her knitting would be perfect. The pictures don't do the blue-grey justice, or show the close match with one of the shades in my mother's tapestry cushion:
She also brought along some cotton yarn and instructions for a knitting project, and some crochet yarn to teach me how to join different colours. Yes, I'm that much of a crochet beginner; I learn much better by being shown, rather than by reading instruction books.
Anne was a patient teacher, and I understood for the first time the meaning of terms like double or treble crochet. I shall practise; crochet is soothing, and I don't seem to make as many mistakes as when I knit.
Malcolm's mission was to repair the sunken section of the landing floor, which was showing badly under the new carpet. He came equipped with tools, and a new blue boiler suit; I would prefer to think it was to protect him from whatever he found under 107-year old floorboards, and not the ever-present pet hair with which my house is insulated.
We had lunch - pea, courgette and mint soup, home made crusty bread, and salad - then Anne and I crocheted over a cup of tea while
Later, I gave Anne a demonstration of how to make fat, light cheese scones, and Malcolm gave us a demonstration of how to eat two in rapid succession, piping hot from the oven. I didn't take photos, but Anne did; she also showed with her pictures that Malcolm had not laboured alone. No cats were actually photographed getting under the floorboards, but I suspect that as conscientious inspectors, they did their best.
Anne and Malcolm stayed till around 4, then set off on a lengthy journey home. It's hard to believe how kind and helpful these two are; I can't think that a bit of baking is adequate to say thank you for the help they have given me.
And what's just as amazing is that they are coming back soon! Malcolm regards my dishwasher as a challenge, and will not be defeated by it; he has retired to consult online manuals, if such exist, and will return to try again. Lemon drizzle cake and something fruity is on the to-do list for me....
I feel very spoiled. I am very spoiled.