Thursday, 19 May 2011

I'm back baby!

Well, BT is definitely better than Sky. Not brilliant by any means but their customer service seems to be more reliable and there has been less outright lying than with Sky. The telephone line was meant to be active on Monday 9th May but wasn’t. I was pretty full on at work so didn’t report the fault ‘til Thursday and was told it would be this Wednesday before it could be fixed. Sigh but what can you do? So I was pleasantly surprised to receive a text from Richard on Friday afternoon saying that the BT engineer was there and working on the line. We were all fixed by Friday night and got round to sorting the broadband and mobile phone signal booster over the weekend. We’re back in the 21st century! I’m still bewildered as to why it takes over 5 weeks to activate a phone line though….

It was a quiet but pleasant weekend. We had Rich’s dad and stepmum over to watch the FA Cup final on Saturday and for dinner afterwards so Saturday morning was spent cooking and cleaning while Rich was at work. I quite like it to be honest; it is a spur to get on with sorting out the house which is gradually coming into shape. So by lunchtime the house was full of nice flowers and fresh baking….felt very Martha Stewart.

It’s strange, considering how much I like football, that I can’t remember ever sitting down in a group to watch the FA Cup final. I suppose I lived abroad as a child when it was a big event, then boarding school where it was not really on the agenda in the girls’ boarding houses and then Uni chaos and thereafter living with a man who hated football. So, although I have watched various finals over the years, I have never made an event of it. And I really enjoyed it. 4 people who all enjoy football and follow the game, all supporting Stoke (well, you can’t have everything) and 3 dogs intent on ensuring that we couldn’t concentrate on the game at all!!

Yes, Minty did not cover herself in glory on the hostess front. Poor old Wispa (a lovely natured but slightly wimp-y chocolate lab) could not understand why she hated him so much. Being a dog accustomed to universal love and affection the growling, snapping and barking must have been very painful. Even during a walk in the fields together before the game when she would normally unwind and relax a bit Minty wasn’t having any of his friendly overtures. Hours later you could see him peeking round the corner of the sofa at her with a hopeful smile only to slapped down by a blood curdling growl. Shelagh was gracious but essentially uninterested although she at least participated in the greeting sniffs and administered a couple of wags.

I love cooking for people, especially appreciative eaters. Carolyn was very appreciative in the way that women who generally do all the cooking themselves tend to be. “Yay, a meal I’ve not planned and cooked myself and no washing up!!”. Gordon though is a notoriously picky eater (which probably explains his wiry physique, still the same size as he was in his teens…). Despite that, he went for seconds without being pressed and had dessert which is, apparently, pretty rare. It’s pandering to the male love of comfort foods I think – sausage casserole on a chilly, rainy day with really good quality Lincolnshire sausages from our local Farm Shop and creamy mash followed by spicy apple crumble cake….not exotic but tasty.

No golf on Sunday as my usual playing partners were unavailable so I took the opportunity of finally having a landline and phoned the family for long chats. It is nice to be back in touch from home again. Hopefully I will be seeing more of my parents now that the move is over and I have got the old house under control. A milestone has been reached in that Dad invited Rich over for Sunday lunch in a couple of weekend’s time when my brother will be over from Canada on a flying visit. He has been working up to meeting Rich and I’m glad it’s not been postponed for too much longer. I think he wanted to know that the divorce was all but sorted which has a sort of logic about it. I’m glad I’ve not pushed him although I did find it frustrating a couple of months ago. Rich is thrilled, as you can imagine, to be meeting both my father and brother at the same time!! Ha ha ha I think it’ll be easier though, having more people, less pressure, more conversation.

I also did a couple of hours gardening in the rain (well, very light but persistent misty drizzle). The garden is, as you will see from the “before” photos which I'll get up soon, an absolute wilderness. The landlord has promised to landscape the front, although I’m suspecting he will need some pushing on this front, so I am concentrating on the side garden. We sprayed the weeds but this has only had limited effect and the dead weeds still need to be removed physically. In a 2 hour stint I managed to clear one bed and a strip of what will be the lawn of approximately 3 foot by 10 foot….gulp…. There is a great deal more to do.

So, I’m setting myself small targets – an hour here and there to get the lawn clear; then bring in an expert to lay the turf (too back-breaking for my liking); then the patio to be properly tackled; then some planting of beds. After that little lot there is still the outer wilderness to be thought about (perhaps some veggies?) and the rear yard which is a disgrace. It is going to take ages but I’m going to do it right. I will also be roping Richard into the effort as he has been mostly absent so far…..hmmm. Now that there’s no football on Saturday afternoons for a while I’m earmarking some of those for serious effort…he has been warned. I also need to do some research into suitable planting for shady zones as there are far too many trees for my liking – more nagging of the landlord methinks.

So, all in all, a lovely, loving, home-based weekend. I used to dread a weekend with nothing major planned: if D was home then it would be a weekend spent in the pub; if he was away I would feel lonely and left out. Now I realise that if you’re happy at home you don’t have to be out socialising all the time. I love my big nights out and weekends away but I also love staying at home with Rich, doing stuff during the day then curling up on the sofa watching golf, football, a film or silly comedy and just chilling. Heaven.

And, as this (used to be) a weight loss and fitness blog, I’d better report that, despite my holiday and nights out, I’m still hovering in the same place weight wise. I know I should really get on with actually losing but can’t quite make myself get round to it yet….it’s coming….


Peridot said...

Bf and I actually DID lay my mother's lawn - including stripping the old one out and rotavating. It was indeed back-breaking - although not laying the new one which was actually quite satisfying. We laid one strip down and my mum's chocolate lab came and immediately lay on it - in a sea of dust!

Good luck with the garden - and in recruiting an under-gardener in Rich! Have another lovely weekend.


Claire said...

Good to have you back in the 21st century and sounding so content too! x

Isabelle said...

Sounds good. Who needs excitement?