Sunday, 27 December 2015

life in the freezer

What a glorious day today. 
We saw it coming and Mary had warned me it was going to be an early start. Then she slept in. I think the fall out from 3 days of driving, running and binge eating/drinking. Nice as that was, it is better to be back in a house empty of chocolates, whisky and temptation. And I did my best to finish off the remnants of some wine that was kicking about; just to get it out the house. Although the return to normal diet starts here and now, you have to go slowly and wean yourself off the toxins gradually. There is no point in going cold turkey. 

We checked and Falko's is closed until 9th January. Ffs. I reckoned the Village Coffee House would be rubbing their hands, and open. They were. I like their flavoured coffees. Mainly because I am not a coffee connoisseur. I enjoy the stimulation of a caffeine drink but it could just as well be a Red Bull or equivalent. Mary is more of a coffee fan. And also a champion of polite and charming service. I think the owner dude in the VCH has a similar condition to Saga in The Bridge. No charm or apparent humanity. Not rude really but so brusque and kind of bossy he would be more suited to leading a charge of the light brigade than handfeeding a bird with a broken wing.

Anyway I won because I got a delicious caramel coffee (£2.25 and only a little mild gruffness) and Mary's flask of homemade coffee curdled the soy milk and quite a lot of it was deposited on Gullane High St. Oh and George Salmond ran past somewhere in all of this. Merry Christmas!

After 2 days of thou-shalt-not we were pretty frazzled. God knows how folk manage 2 weeks of this. As an example of just how wrecked Mary was, she missed the (Tranent) turn off from the A1 (not like we've been along here much!) and we had to take the one past Macmerry. Mind you, I was talking and that never helps. We had thought about going to the Lammermuirs but neither of us were fighting for it. 

The coffee in Gullane failed to give us the usual lift and only brought us up to slightly below par. However the day was beautiful so we drove to the beach, parked there and after a bit of fannying about and a visit to the loos, set off back into Gullane and through the golf course to Aberlady where there were possibly more vehicles parked up than ever before. Right enough the weather was spectacular and everyone is looking for a redemptive jolly outdoors before getting wired into the next evening's drinking. By this time the run was going so nicely we had stopped squabbling and were starting to enjoy it.

There was a lot of standing water and we stood in a lot of it.

giving and receiving the evil eye

As something of a punishment exercise we opted for some intervals. Since we weren't totally in great shape we settled on quite short blasts and only five and only in the same direction as the wind. Which isn't really too taxing at all, but just in case, Mary did a medicinal dance (above) and cleansed my aura. I had spilled coffee on my jacket earlier but this was more of a spiritual wipe and less of anything with a measurable outcome. After each set of 100 steps at full tilt I'd jog back to Mary if I had the energy and we'd set off again. 

Thanks to Mary for taking this photo.
(I was just wondering where my camera was; d'oh.)

So, to what does today's title refer? (It's been quite mild for December surely?) Well continuing the theme of regret, repentance and redemption, Mary (later in the day) decided to defrost the freezer. It was becoming apparent that unlike the Tardis, in fact exactly opposite of the Tardis, there was a disproportionately small volume of usable space in the freezer. That if you could chisel a drawer open, you would find much less room than you would imagine. How to set wrongs to right? How to find the ice cube tray lost many years ago to glacial assimilation? Perhaps the smartypantses on youTube would have some easy fix that didn't involve a biblical flood in the kitchen?

When Mary and I tackle a fix like this it is almost always herself who instigates the action although once I engage in the process I may often finesse it. Or put the last coat of varnish on afterwards. But it is Mary who gets the ball rolling. Or the ice broken. Alas there seemed no short cuts to just switching the freezer off, putting down old towels on the kitchen floor, and an open container of hot water inside the freezer if access is still possible. Having done the ground work Mary retired early and I took shifts of squirting hot water out a plant spray, water pistol style, then allowing to sit for a long while, regularly mopping inside the freezer and kitchen floor as slowly the drawers came out from bottom to top and the local ice caps went through their own global warming. Every hour or so I would return and occasionally, if it looked safe, use a flat knife to chisel off a frozen cliff face. With all the satisfaction of removing a (childhood) loose tooth I would wiggle and ease out a crevasse of ice. (Highly not recommended, watch those wires!)

There was ice from before 9/11. There was ice from before Lady Di died, or Lady Gaga-ed. As I dug deeper we went back in time to woolly mammoths and cave paintings, to a time when fish had fingers. Boiling kettles to fill dishes, slowly several tons of ice were removed and the true dimensions of the freezer became apparent. I became bolder with the knife and together with a bit of canny skooshing of the hot water, cut slabs of ice from the sides of the top shelf; the last to release it's wintry grip. With the sink heaving under the weight of ice (about the same as a small family car) I finally got my hands on the holy grail, the ice cube tray, locked in the freezer's grip like an alpinist dead in a glacier and slowly moving to the snout where he will be deposited a decade hence. I wiped out the last of the moisture and left the door open. Mary can do the honours of switching it back on tomorrow, ready for another 20 years.  

Where the path normally went at Gullane Point there was a small waterfall and a new loch forming which was not very welcome.

The Sea Buckthorn bushes are doing their winter orange berry thing.
They really are that orange in the sunshine.


  1. excellent, but where are the photos of the freezer, the dead fish finger emerging from the glacier snout? we need to see that, but too late now, I suppose.

  2. I nearly started taking photos of the lovely "new" freezer then thought "get a grip; it's a freezer". Photos of Gullane much nicer.