No more sightings of my under-sink rat lately, but I did end up blocking the hole he was coming up through (incidentally, I’m not sure why I tend to assume any animals I encounter are male). Not because I’ve got anything against the rat – I quite like the rat – but because it turns out having an open gap under your sink that leads out to the drains means that sometimes unpleasant smells find their way into the kitchen. Who knew? I need to get a replacement for the rubber pipe coupling that’s been chewed through, but for now I’ve just stuffed it up with an old tea towel.
I finally took the plunge this week and ordered the fancy new espresso machine I’d been drooling over on the internet for ages, along with a couple of extra accoutrements. I’m also upgrading my grinder, but there’s a bit of a waiting list for that so I’m stuck with the old one for now. Still, after a bit of practice I feel like I’m reliably turning out decent coffee. Which I sometimes did with the old lever machine, but it was always a bit of a lottery with so many variables. I was expecting to take a while to learn to froth milk with the more powerful steam wand, but surprised myself by making a pretty decent flat white the first time I tried it. To be honest it felt a bit odd spending so much money on a luxury item when half the country is struggling to make ends meet, but I don’t treat myself often, and I sent some money to the Trussel Trust to assuage a bit of my middle class guilt. Plus there’s the fact that I didn’t vote for the Tories, of course.
Thursday got off to a good start when I dropped my phone in the loo. I’d put it on the cistern, and as I flushed it slid off. It would probably have been fine because the toilet lid was in the process of closing, but I instinctively tried to catch it to avoid it hitting the tiled floor, and after a brief amount of half-awake fumbling heard a splash as it bounced through the now-tiny gap between the almost fully-down seat and the bowl. Soft-close seats have their drawbacks, I guess. Fortunately it didn’t immediately die, and after leaving it in a 40° oven for a few hours the only remaining issue was condensation in the camera lens. Since then I’ve been leaving it in a zip-lock bag with some silica gel when I got a chance, and it seems more or less back to normal. I’m glad I’m not going to have to put up with all my photos from now on having a cheesy soft-focus dream effect.
Running-wise, the Week of Doom is finally over, having completed the Ipswich Summer 5k Series opener (Tuesday) and Sudbury Friday 5 (Friday, duh, but miles not km) hot on the heels of last week’s Kirton Friday 5 and the Stephen Williams 10k on Sunday. I even managed a half-decent parkrun yesterday, but I’m finally having a proper rest day today (also it’s raining). Somewhat amusingly, thanks to a lot of speedy old people not being there on Tuesday (turnout was sparse in general – I think they may be charging a bit much this year for what’s basically a parkrun with chip timing and jaffa cakes), I ended up winning my age category!
I finally finished reading The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. It’s an interesting view of the kind of low-wage, zero contract, high wealth gap, corruptly governed economy that was keeping working people in poverty a century ago (but which they kept voting to perpetuate). Or it might have been Jacob Rees-Mogg’s manifesto, I’m not sure. It’s an extremely long book though, which is less obvious when you start reading something on a Kindle rather than in physical form.