The old blogging has been taking a bit of a back seat of late (not a good situation) and so to rectify that lapse, I present herewith "War and Peace". So titled because not unlike Mr Tolstoy's effort, it's huge but sadly, that is where the similarity ends. Apologies in advance.
To give you some semblance of what's been happening, here's the story so far.... or at least since the last entry of any detail. Last friday was Gold Cup day, and Mrs G and I made an appearance. We weren't racing or riding but we were watching. You can read about that elsewhere.
Since then there's been the rest of a weekend and almost a whole week for stuff to have happened in.
Saturday was filled with a trip to town. It's daughter's 21st birthday next week and Mrs G has settled on what she's having. I'm a little disappointed as I had other plans for her "special gift" but Mrs G has insisted that these go on hold. Given the tough time daughter's had over the last 12 months, I suppose she's right.... oh and if she's reading this - of course, she's absolutely correct and I agree whole heartedly with her decision. I've put the idea on the back burner and if finances permit then perhaps daughter will get a nice surprise later in the year. The mission to collect the said gift was made all that much harder by the fact that daughter decided to join us on our visit to the city - and so there was to-ing and fro-ing and ducking and diving so that the item was secreted away without daughters knowledge. No mean feat, and MI5 would be proud.
RE: The gift. Just to be clear.... this isn't it:
Saturday night was a fine Jamie O lasagne. It tasted great, but rather fell apart on dissection. I suspect the sauce needed further reduction before the baking process - but what do I know about cooking? other than how to read the book.
Sunday being the day where stuff gets done around the house lent itself beautifully to a good sort out of the garden. The weather was fine and dandy and actually felt like the proper first day of Spring. Bright sunshine allowed me to get the mower out and wave it about the lawn. It's a flymo, so rather than the coiffered cut of a Briggs & Stratton, it's more like an all over number two - short and cropped and tidy if not elegant.
This is then followed by the beard trimmer and nasal hair remover of all lawn machinery - the strimmer - to go round the edges. It's a natty little Black & Decker with a self feeding strimmer line that extends itself as it inevitably gets worn away. On this occasion it over extended itself and has in point of fact worn away completely. Being past 4pm at this stage of the game, a trip to B&Q (other DIY outlets are available) was out of the question - and so the nasal grass remains until I can crowbar in a retail opportunity.
Monday found me whizzing cross country in the roller skate to meet my mate the badman and another member of the crew to push forward the enormous boulder we're hefting uphill. Picture the dung beetle and there you have it. It was a pleasure to spend time with the pair of them and they were both very generous and shared gifts with me. The badman had some of his finest free range eggs from his very own chickens. An interesting mix of whites and blues and the odd very dark red / brown. This reminds me - I must ask him what he's been feeding them on... presumably chalk, brick dust and something blue...
Our other colleague, Brenda, (I can't apologise enough for want of a better name), treated me to a cold & flu, which has been slowly chipping away at my energy resources ever since. This, in part, is some of the reason the blog hasn't been happening. I'm just too damn ughhhgdfg. A head full of mucus is no way to think, let alone be creative and write something that you won't want to read.
I try not to talk about work too much in here, but as it's a new role for me and as it's particularly taxing at the moment I'm allowing myself a little lapse on the basis that a problem shared is a problem halved. Not that it's particularly a problem, as the badman pointed out, he and I are stood with our necks aching looking up an extremely steep and high learning curve. Those that are slightly longer in the tooth at this game have an opportunity to take full advantage of our naivety and on occasion one or two of them try to do just that. You got to get up early in the morning to catch us country boys out though :-)
Tuesday changed the perspective of the whole week though. Work was fine - we moved things forward and played with the spreadsheet from hell. What wasn't so good was a phone call from Mrs G senior and news from the around Bradford (not the one up north, the one on the Avon canal). I have cousins out that way one of whom is married with the regulatory 2.4 kids and until the last couple of years all was well in their world. Sadly his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and even though she'd fought it and had an all clear, it made a most unwelcome reappearance. On Tuesday evening she lost her battle and my heart broke for them.
The rest of the week paled into insignificance.
It's Friday morning now though, and I do feel like I've turned a corner. Loaded up on Lemsip (other cold & flu remedies are available) I'm ready for another crack at hard work safe in the knowledge that I've got 3 days off next week. Two to celebrate daughter's big day and one to celebrate my cousin's wife's life.
Obviously mixed emotions.
Stay safe and tell your loved one's you love them.
This post originally appeared here: Posterous