Well it’s all Ben’s fault. He said we should visit on our way to Winchester from Scotland, or on the return journey. The route back seemed the best bet. 
Although Bristol is a little off the straight line. (Well quite a lot really, but I think the roads must be faster because it doesn’t add much time) It’s always been a good place to chill, catch up with the family gossip, and drink a bit, though not too much of course. 
Did you know there are at least four roads called “Moorland” in Bristol? My satnav found all of them. When we eventually got there, the Ben was AWOL so we popped into Mina’s to see how she was doing. I could tell there was something wrong with my sense of direction because I was sure she lived the other side of Ben’s house, and there she wasn’t. Mind you, that’s not unusual, if I follow my instincts I always find new and interesting places to be. Or get completely lost, as the rest of the world puts it. That’s why I got a satnav, now I can get lost faster and having done so can find myself again. 
Anyway, we had an excellent chat and Fiona sequestered a few more clothes from Mina’s collection, I hadn’t taken much notice because there was a leaking door that needed fixing.
It wasn’t till we got home that I realized that the new clothing was actually a large bag full, and our wardrobe was going to explode if we put it all in.  This turned out to be a “Tipping Point” as it meant a reconstruction of the bedroom for a start. 
Phase one. The purchase and construction of two wardrobes (three doors and four drawer each) and a sort of “over the bed” cupboardy thing plus a new matching chest of drawers.
The manufacturer’s instructions suggest I can assemble a wardrobe in two hours.  That might be true for a professional carpenter, but it took me a fair bit longer. I do admit to gluing more of the joints and adding a few more screws than they thought to be necessary, but I want it to stay assembled when I’ve finished.  
Inevitably, the exposed ceiling floor and walls, (when the old built-in wardrobes came out,) means a new carpet and underlay, and, if I can’t match the paint and paper, then redecoration as well. I’m just glad Fiona’s not the kind of person who asks for continuous rolling redecoration, and I would admit if, pressed, that the carpet has passed it’s “sell by” date.
Phase two. Several old bits of furniture and equipment have to come out of the bedroom and exercise room when the new storage units for the overspill go in. That’ll mean I have to tidy up the garage so that I can store that, secondary, overspill while I find new homes or recycling facilities, and that means a new ladder into the garage roof space. 
Incidentally one knock-on effect will probably be an increased cat-hug demand rate, as Maggie gets worried if a lot of stuff moves around in a distressing manner (because we might be leaving or going on holiday or something). She can be very persistent if she doesn’t get her hug when she feels it is needed, and can get quite noisy. It can slow things up, and causes me to forget what I came up here for*.

Phase three. I will probably have to expand the garage, as there’s now too much stuff in it to be able to operate the machinery easily and not enough room to build the woodworking area. That, in turn, will require a cat-flap into the garage because they get locked in, finding out what I’m doing, or just nosing about.  If I go in and out more often, they’ll get trapped more often so I might as well get that done first.
You’ll have noticed that a closed door is something that a cat will always be on the wrong side of, but that an open or opening door is of no interest at all. That’s why they stop half way through. I would really like to build a Star-Trek type automatic door for cats, but I have a sort of pre-cognition that she would find the precise spot to cause it to open and shut until the motor broke. 
I’ve seen patients do that, standing outside the Hospital doors, usually smoking, and completely unaware of the continuous opening and shutting behind them. Bit like those people who drive for miles with the rear wiper running on a dry day.
So, for the immediate future, life involves a lot of flat-pack furniture building, the reconstruction of one end of the garage and of the bedroom for what I thought it was just a few blouses and a sparkly dress. Perhaps I should have just thrown out some of my older clothes, and moved over a bit, but that way I’d end up like Mahatma Gandhi and it could get bit chilly round these parts. If you see what I mean. Anyway, its exponential, like the gravitational well produced by a pair of shoes producing a requirement for more shoes which in turn….. and so on.  It can work with Land-Rovers too.

*Longer space journeys will mean older spacemen. Some day you may hear “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant step for…….Now what did I come down here for?”

Jim 23/11/07