Home Again

I do have to say that this weekend has been the best set of journeys up and down the M1 I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if that is down to the new(ish) car – an automatic Ioniq – or people just not being incredibly odd for a change. There were also far less roadworks, which is an added bonus.

I’m not a wizard, I just look like one sometimes

Its good to be home though. Lady M has tweaked her back a bit so we’re chilling out with pizza and the second episode of Critical Role – punctuated occasionally by her muttering, or my wincing as I catch where I’ve gashed my hand.

Walking wounded? Us? Well, its about par for the course. As nice as it was to get out of London and some fresh air into our lungs, there’s no bed like home

Tall Ship Day

Lady M has been trying to drag me round the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Hartlepool for a couple of years now – and in particular to visit the HMS Trincomalee¬† which is berthed there following its restoration. Lady M’s sister had been among the Guide groups that had washed the decks during that work, so there’s a personal connection to a museum that is well regarded in the town.

As we had a few spare hours, today was the day to give in, so after breakfast she booked tickets online and we plodded round the marina to greet the ship who’d overlooked our breakfast view.

Its very good, recreating depictions of life on a fighting ship and portraying all sorts of aspects of port and naval life and their interdependencies.

Even with covid-related restrictions, we had free rein to wander and explore, while a well planned one way system on the Trincomalee itself ensured we visited more of the decks than we otherwise might have done.

So with all the good grace I can muster I’ll admit Lady M was right to pester me and this is well worth a visit – and good value for money too.

No, I’m not being paid by anyone, it really is that interesting.

We may have enquired about arranging a pirate-themed cosplay shoot there some day…

Oh that’s better…

It is so much cooler today. There’s been a bit of rain over the last couple of days, but the temperature didn’t really break until this morning. Much more comfortable. My body promptly decided enough was enough and I slept most of this afternoon. I suspect the sleepless nights were finally catching up.

We were due to be flying off to Disney today in that parallel universe where Covid didn’t rampage round the world. Instead today brought the news that we can’t really do much with the time available at the moment because Lady M’s staff member has their new arrival at last.

Well, its a week to payday, so I will have to have a quiet few days and then try and organise things to do when there’s some money in the bank. Slowing down is probably something I need to do if this afternoon’s catnapping is any indication.

At least there’s dungeons and dragons lined up over the next few days, so thats a good distraction.

Not As Planned

Well, we had planned to head North to spend time with a photographer, but issues with their health and of course the flooding in the Midlands, we changed our plans. We went to the cinema instead – but having booked online we were somewhat surprised to find the entire place locked up and empty.

A sympathetic security guard had wandered over to see why so many people were annoyed, I did feel sorry for him. He did at least contact the office and arrange for us not to be charged parking – which was a good move.

So I may have wandered into a bookshop to buy things with some of the money very generously gifted me yesterday. Book three of Locke & Key, a signed copy of False Value, and a hardbound edition of DCeased have therefore made their way home with me and I’ve been a happy little bookworm.

Oh, and I finally got round to starting on my Jack Crawford cosplay for the Red Dragon Con next month. This has mostly got to the point of trying out different shades of purple shirt and ties as it really is a very simple costume.

So, not the day planned, but nothing like a bit of flexibility to make the day whizz past.

Back Home

We came home early from up North as plague – or at least heavy colds – descended on the Maidment households. Feeling it was better to recuperate in our own beds, we fled back South on Boxing Day, joining the thousands on the roads travelling between their own branches of families over the Festive period.

Surprisingly, the traffic actually flowed well despite being so heavy so we made good time and collapsed with pizza and presents we hadn’t taken with us to console us.

Today we therefore had a lie in rather than spending it all on the roads. We even dared travel in to Kingston in search of a book of pattern-making for Lady M, and ended up buying… well, rather a lot of books really

We don’t have a book problem. We have lots of books. It’s no problem

I do need to remember that getting rid of older books is not an automatic prompt to replace them. Oh well

On The Road

Lady M and I are on our grand tour round the UK to drop off gifts and spend time with family. Like so many other people, we’re on the road in an escape from the day-to-day and Christmas podcasts are currently filling the car.

Our first leg was the longest, a six hour trip from London to Hartlepool. I handled the driving duties with a single break as Lady M was feeling a bit under the weather. Lady M’s sister lives in Hartlepool, and it’s where she grew up so it brought up a lot of memories.

Hartlepool Marina this morning

Hartlepool is receding behind us now as we head towards the West coast. We’ve been lucky so far in that yesterday’s traffic was heavy but generally moved along with only minor stopping and starting in the M1. This morning with Lady M driving seems so far to only be light traffic, so that’s a bonus.

There you go, boring journey updates logged. I suspect the next few days’ blog posts may be filtered through Christmas cheer.

A Few Days Off

And…. Relax…

I’m visiting lady s for a few days as I had more leave to book this year than Lady M. After a long week, it’s been good to switch off. Lady M and I drove down on Sunday afternoon and dropped off presents for the household, then I stayed on – much to the cub’s bemusement.

The stress levels have been slowly dropping as we’ve watched films and YouTube clips. In between, we’ve been having a tidy up before Christmassing and generally taking it easy.

Tomorrow we’ll be seeing the cub at his school Christmas play, before Lady M returns and whisks me away so we can finish packing to go visit family next week.

Amusingly, Lady M had forgotten that I was going away at one point as she was hoping I might pick her up from drinking with colleagues this week – I mention this to forestall any visions you may have of Lady M somehow languishing like Rapunzel in her tower. One of our many strengths is that each of us are equally comfortable and in need of time alone as in being with each other (as wonderful as that is)

Winding Down

I’ve done so much covering for other people with my leave that I basically have to take all of the rest of the year off after this week.

Oh no, however will I cope.

We were already planning to see my parents for Christmas, but as I have an extra week on top of what Lady M can take, I’m going to spend a few days down with lady s. As she is heavily engaged in creating a dress, much of my time is likely to be spent providing beverages, reminding her to pause for rests, and providing supportive cuddles when things don’t go to plan. It’s not unlike my routine when Lady M is making a dress to be honest.

I plan to take sketchpads, notebooks and a plethora of pens. Writing may even be perpetrated…

Anxiety Day

We’re up and around the Cleveleys/Cumbria region at the moment, and while we had a great time exploring the amazing bookshop in Carnforth, my brain has not been cooperating today.

It was bad enough we had to make our excuses after lunch with my parents to go back to the hotel to collapse, shower, and attempt self-care.

That said, if you do get a chance to see this place then do – 14 rooms of new and second hand books, plus general gifts – and wonderfully friendly staff. I found a couple of little things, and we did some Christmas shopping into the bargain.

I’m brighter now, but do feel like I’ve cast a pall on the day. Sigh. At least I’m up to date with Inktober, and will post the final three tomorrow.