Any idea why short weeks feel so long and long weekends feel so short?... No, me neither, but that doesn't stop the whole situation from being so annoying.
At any rate, here I am at Monday - well, it's Tuesday actually, but for me it's a Monday (this all feels very familiar -Ed). The crack of dawn and up for the train to the city for another few days of entertaining slogging. With a long weekend being so short it's amazing how much we managed to pack into it, but we had a good try and did pretty well all things considered.
Friday saw Mrs G and I enjoying a very rare day off together trying not to do an awful lot, but still getting quite a bit done. Now we're living in a hotel (what with the kids having flown the nest) we've been in need of either a settee for the (other) spare room, or a bed... Or of course both. I favoured a day bed, but Mrs G (who for the sake of marital bliss should naturally be obeyed on such subjects) had decided on a futon. Being experienced in matters futon from my youth, I didn't object too strenuously, and being relatively experienced in matters matrimonial, I agreed whole heartedly and so a futon was selected and ordered to arrive later this week.
Having recently completed the decoration of daughters new nest, decorating has become the normal default setting when not at work it seems. And so a trip to the dreaded Eye-Key-Ah had been planned and so we shot off to Bristol. I also had to pick up Mrs G's birthday present (long overdue due to the nest building shenanigans) so we spent and enjoyable hour or two in Cabot's Circus, followed by lunch in "Giraffe" and then off to the big blue self assembly Swedish hell, which on a weekday when everyone's at work is a far more pleasant experience than usual.
One thing I didn't expect to buying in ikea was a suitcase/travel bag/laptop case. Bizarrely this is just the thing I've been looking for in all sorts of places and failing miserably to find. It's pretty much exactly the gizmo for the sort of 4 or 5 days travelling to work that I've been doing so much of lately. In future, ill be considering B&Q, Wickes and any of the major tool hire companies to fulfil my luggage requirements before visiting Samsonite et al.
Shopping done and car packed to bursting point, a jaunt home followed by home cooked dinner with Aunty S. Not just any home cooked dinner though, oh no. This recipe came from The Stoke Chef, and bloody marvellous it was to. If you're a fan of the Olive Oil, especially "extra virgin" (eh, eh, know what I mean?, say no more, eh?) then you really should have a go at some of his recommendations on http://for-forks-sake.blogspot.co.uk - Well worth the effort.
Saturday rolled round feeling like it should be a Sunday and we had a list of little jobs to do that was as long as your arm. Obviously there was the installation of some of the Ikea acquisitions to consider as well, although these have to wait until the painting is complete. Other jobs involved opticians, carpet fitters and the like. Daughter joined us for a jaunt into the city and a good time was had be all. Paint wasn't selected but tester pots were and whilst in B&Q (which incidentally stands for Block & Quayle - Richard and David the founders back in 1969 - at least you've learnt one thing here) shelves for one of daughters kitchen cupboards were selected from the off cuts pile, cut to size and sold to us for a whopping 10p each - a veritable bargain and a perfect fit.
Sunday - started far too early with daughter arriving at 7am. A stupid time on a Sunday, and I'm hard pressed to even understand why it exists other than to sleep through. Still, an adventurous time was ahead of us, so we loaded up the car with all the rubbish we'd accumulated during the nest re-arranging and headed off to Cheltenham race course to join in the the great british tradition of a "car boot sale". For our American guests, this has nothing to do with selling footwear designed for driving in, or For our American cousins who can speak a little english, it also has nothing to do with selling the back end of your automobile. Nope - your equivalent is - as I understand it - a garage sale (which apparently has nothing to do with the sale of garages). Think of a field full of cars, with "trunks" full of junk for sale and you've got the picture.
You get all sorts turning up to these things, and people haggling over 10p. Now admittedly I was chuffed with our bargain shelves from Block & Quayle, but when your looking at a red candle holder who cares if its 50p or 40p (you know who you are strange lady with a dog in a pushchair)... a very odd bunch if ever there were. All the same, they were mostly happy to part with their cash for the junk we would have almost certainly had to take to the tip.
One particular bargain was an analogue pocket portable TV (£99 back in 1990) that I can personally guarantee has no hope in hell of ever working. "Does it work?" said the exceptionally burly looking bloke with tattoos and a permanent position of bouncer (assuming he's stood by a door). "I have no idea" says I, "but I'd be surprised. It doesn't have any batteries so there's no way of knowing for sure - but you can try it for 2 quid" ... Puzzlement crossed his face and he put it down, only to be instantly picked up by a skinny shifty looking bloke in a track suit with a roll up hanging out of his mouth... "£1.50?" ... Sold - to the lunatic. Ayyy Thannk You! - If you do the maths, at a cost to me of £4.50 per year of ownership, he just bought 4 months worth of depreciation. What a hero.
By midday we'd packed up and were trundling home with a lot less crap that we'd started out with and sixty quid in our pockets. Hot pot for dinner, which wafted up the stairs as I started prepping and painting the master bedroom.
Sunday night, Mrs G and I finally got back into "The Bridge" which is another Nordic cop thriller with subtitles. I think it's great, but Mrs G (who's not really a fan of anything that's about an hour long - unless it's a book) isn't convinced yet. We've got all 10 episodes to get through - so I could end up explaining the last 5 at this rate... :-). Time will tell.
Monday - Was to have been a trip to Wiltshire to see the the eldest ball (92 and going strong) but really needed to get that painting finished before Tuesday rolls round. We've made a plan to see her in a fortnight (thats two weeks for the non-brits) and she's pleased with that. This also meant that we didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn, so we actually did manage to get a decent nights sleep. Hoorah!
However, there's no rest for the wicked (which can only mean I must have been particularly evil in a previous life) so up and at 'em to get the painting finished. Second coat and cutting in. All done. Looks great. Very happy with it. Lawn mowed, train tickets bought, bag packed, birthday cards delivered, Hing Tai special chips for dinner - special treat as we're on holiday - bed, one chapter, sleep, weekend gone.
No time to enjoy it all though - its my Monday now (now being Tuesday).
Until next time....
This post originally appeared here: Posterous