Sometimes I wander

And never more so now that I’ve started playing Poke Mongo (oh alright, Pokémon Go if you’re going to be boring about it). Today for example I’ve walked some 18000 steps straight after my weekly yoga/Pilates/body balance class and it’s only the intake of large glasses of gin that I’ve just finished that has me not caring too much about how tirehoI suddenly am. 

For your information, a couple of fingers of Hendricks Gin, with three or four fingers of Robinson’s Apple and Pear Fruit and Barley, a generous top up of Tesco tonic water with cucumber and a plug or two of coconut water in a tall glass makes a lovely Sunday post-exercise antidote. All credit goes to Lady M for the recipe.

I’ll save the moody introspection that’s rattling around my brain for later posts. For now, go enjoy your Sunday and try mixing it up with your gin if that’s something that appeals…

Not Dead Yet

Despite it being hot enough that I swear I saw a pigeon melt earlier today, I haven’t disappeared into the ether. Life’s just been hectic between work and personal stuff. Proper blogging will continue to happen, especially now I have a bit of time off.

On the work side of things I’ve been busy setting up the library for this year’s Big Friendly Read – which is inspired by the work of Roald Dahl. I’ve assembled a number of displays to encourage children to read six books over the summer break. Photos will follow, probably next week. I’ve also been leveraging my old business analysis skills to help out with a wide ranging review of the restructure review that the library service went through recently. For the most part I’ve been engaged in deriving quantified data from the reams of interviews and survey questions answered by staff. Not a lot I can say on that front, but it’s been a fascinating exercise even if there are few surprises.

The gaming sessions are continuing, despite a spate of tech issues and the occasional week where real life has intervened. I shall get the game write-ups completed sooner or later…

Oh, and then there’s this strange game where we poke Mongo. He seems not to mind, and Lady M and I have enjoyed some late night walks recently in the cooling night air. We’ve met and grinned at an interesting selection of people of all ages, and it’s not doing our general health any harm. Next week sees my diabetic review, so I’m in hope that the enhanced fitness regime will be reflected in the results.

Other than that, we’re just bumbling along, flirting and teasing a few people, checking in on those who are close to us, missing others who have grown apart, redecorating the flat and trying to be kind to each other. Here’s to a good summer now it’s here.

Fiction Fragment: Dawn Chorus

A quiet morning was broken by the sound of the church clock exploding again. No one was entirely sure why this kept happening, but as yet no one had the heart to just give up on replacing it. Sometimes it melted, just for a bit of variety, and on one memorable occasion it had turned briefly into a sundial before launching itself at the duck pond.

Today was pretty restrained by those standards – a short shower of sparks erupted from the central mechanism and a brief gout of flame scorched the clock face with a dull boom. Bits of ironwork and masonry sprayed across the carpark in front of the church shortly afterwards. Fortunately it was empty at the time, mostly because it wouldn’t be time for the school run for another couple of hours. A skip hired from the council for just these sort of occasions was the only casualty, taking a direct hit from a high velocity iron number three that punched a hole in the side.

There was a few stunned moments of silence, and then the dawn chorus piped up, guaranteeing that the now wide awake vicar had no chance of getting back to sleep. He briefly wondered if someone, somewhere, was trying to send him a message. If so, he hoped they could learn a less oblique way of doing it soon.

Groggy Morning

We had a grand adventure yesterday – a last-minute expedition with the Charleesi and two out of the three Ladies M to visit the Magnum pop-up store just off Bond Street. We managed to converge in the right place despite the best efforts of the rail network, which saw platforms 1-14 out of action at Waterloo for much of the day. 

Unlike last year, when the pop-up had been in Covent Garden, the venue is in a quieter side street. This meant we were able to walk straight in without queuing. It was the first time that the ex-Lady M and Lady G had been to one, so the Charleesi and I quickly educated them and we soon had the confections pictured here before us: as delicious as the company one might say.

With our sugar fix sorted for the day we then started a long ramble through London, taking in Foyles, Forbidden Planet, and perhaps the occasional drink along the way to keep refreshed. By mid afternoon we started to go our separate ways, as the Charleesi started to flag, so Lady G and I went in search of a nice gin bar pop-up we’d seen back in Covent Garden before we did battle with public transport again.

We eventually got back to Maidment Towers, to find Lady M more recovered from her horrendous migraine attack, and so over pizza we nattered away into the small hours.

I’ve had to be up early to open the library this morning, but despite only four hour’s sleep it feels totally worth it. A grand adventure in good company. What more can you ask for?

Come Along Darlings

There are many things that I cherish about #Tuesdays, and mostly they are to do with the mix of irregulars who make the evenings what they are.

We’re all, as I may have mentioned, a little eccentric, but even more importantly we’re all reasonably secure in ourselves, each other, and the web of different relationships that connect us. Our banter ranges from teasing and flirty, through silliness and support, geeky, nerdy and aspiring – often all in the first ten minutes.

I think that goes some way to explain the contentment and comfort last night while trying to wind things up at the end of the night. I could happily call out:”Come along darlings!” as a general summons to the stragglers I was driving home and know it would be appreciated. 

It didn’t matter who it was: if they were a wife or ex-wife, friends, partners past or potential, relatives or casual hangers on, I had the confidence I would be greeted with smiles and a lurch towards the door. In the event, Lady M and Lord S laughed, tore themselves away from the bar staff and away we went.

The landlord has long since stopped looking bemused at our antics. Maybe it’s the cakes and brownies we keep feeding him.

On the University Open Day Trail

One of my brothers helped immeasurably last week by loaning me the use of his visitor parking permit while the Charleesi and I made a lightning visit. These last few weeks have seen the ex-Lady M and I splitting out the duties of escorting the Charleesi to a number of university open days around the country. 

Last week was Durham and Cambridge, with Exeter, York and Bristol having previously featured in what must feel like an erratically plotted band tour itinerary. We’ve collectively managed to keep our spirits up through the travel fatigue despite the best efforts of public transport, but driving to Cambridge did feel like a luxurious option, it must be said.

The Charleesi has certainly taken a lot on, and has now started to complete her UCAS form and practice her personal statements. Her tutors have been pushing her towards Oxbridge options most if the year, but I was proud to hear her put her foot down and say she wasn’t applying for anything until she’s seen it. She was heard to ruefully mutter that she’d hoped not to like Cambridge after our visit, so I think another stretch goal has been added to her personal targets this week.

At least her AS levels are complete now, so some of the pressures she’s taken on have eased for a while and she can contemplate some form of summer. Hopefully there will be some work in there so she keeps busy, but it’s nice to see the sunshine begin to reemerge from behind the clouds of stress.

So, another week; let’s see what’s in store now…