I was upstairs mopping the floors mid-morning today, when the doorbell rang.
I wasn't expecting anyone, I hurried down the stairs to open it, hoping I didn't look too hot and dishevelled! Perhaps, I thought, it was someone coming to borrow books. Or, as often happens, somebody looking for someone I'd never heard of.
It was a young man, with a clipboard. He asked if Richard lives here. I said that he does, and a slight look of resignation passed over the guy's face. 'I get box', he said with a sigh, and went down our outside staircase to the street.
I didn't think we were expecting any boxes, but waited at the door. When the young man appeared again, I could see why he checked first that it was the correct house, before bringing the parcel up. He struggled to balance it in his arms as he came up again, and it was evidently not light. He put it down in some relief just inside our front door, and I signed for it.
I glanced at the label, which was indeed addressed to Richard. From, as far as I could gather, somewhere in Italy.
It's the mock-up of the engine for King Malu, something which he and his sailing buddy have been waiting for for over a year now.
I didn't attempt to move it. It's really quite big:
Cleo, who has always loved cardboard boxes, investigated immediately and quickly realised that she couldn't get inside. But she likes sitting on top of things too. And, by Cleo standards, seems very relaxed and comfortable:
I'm not entirely sure how she'll feel when the box is taken to the boat... but I can't say it adds to the ambience of the room to have a large and rather ugly cardboard box there, even if Cleo has taken to it in a big way.