We were going to run the usual DDC game this evening but illness struck among the players so I’ve instead been playing various games on the XBox and chatting with various people online, as you do.
I’d like to say I was productive on the creative front, but housework and prepping for myr s and cub’s visit next week was the priority of the day. The cub has specifically asked for Lady M’s fabled chocolate mousse as a treat when they’re here, so getting the ingredients was reason enough to do a semi-weekly shop.
So yes, nothing exciting today, but a gentle recharge of batteries in our respective ways.
Lady M and I met up with the ex-Lady M, the Charleesi, and J today to visit the Richmond Gin and Food Festival – a last minute decision taken yesterday after the Charleesi spotted an advert.
Being a total extravert, I was champing at the bit to see some life, while Lady M was concerned about being out among people. Despite the nerves though we got to Richmond by bus and had our first real gathering of the clan in the open air setting of the Old Deer Park.
For me, the biggest excitement was that for the first time in over a decade I was able to afford to do more than just window shop. The reason for this is that my first wage from the new job came through this week. Between working full time and a significant uplift in pay grade it is a lot more than I’m used to seeing in my account.
So, rather than batting my eyelashes at Lady M, there was a lot more parity and confidence in being able to indulge in trying and buying the various wares on display. Money has been a major cause of worry over the years, so the knowledge that I had a budget that would give me room to breath was… unusual. As a result there was a lack of underlying tension to the day, at least as far as my brain and gut feelings were concerned.
And oh my, the food and drink were amazing. We have bought a number of new gins for the shelves, and I discovered that I love a good moonshine, or at least the wheat-based ones on sale today as opposed to the usual corn base. All in all, a really good haul, some nice memories, and I was well fed into the bargain.
We managed to get most of the DDC together this afternoon in East Brighton Park to celebrate the birthdays of Mre B and myr s – despite the best efforts of my satnav to take us along every B road between us and there rather than using the motorways.
I chose to treat lightly its choice to direct us through the village of Faygate, or to keep telling us to “stay straight” along the road.
I managed to dissuade Lady M from buying the complete stock of our local Tesco too, as she went into mother hen “feed everybody” mode. I’m not saying that her anxiety was becoming infectious, but I swear I saw people hurrying to buy what we’d left on the shelves like it was toilet paper at the beginning of lockdown.
There was a play park for the cub, a tree to partially shelter from the elements under, and cupcakes and a cupcake cake that ended up being served into cups for distribution. All par for the course really.
We’re home now, tired and glad of having had a quiet time together, enjoying each other’s company without feeling a need to perform or fuss. Nice.
One of the first things Lady M said to me this morning was how tired she was and how she wanted to go back to sleep. Seven hours later, she just did. I did quip about it being a day of rest, which made her blink and say she thought that was the first theological comment I’d made in our time together. I’m pretty sure that’s not true, but there you go.
So we’ve mostly pootled around, played games, and made cuppas today. This evening’s DDC game is just going to be a general natter while I stream doing some art or we play some games or something. Everyone is just a bit tired – but at least Lady M got her signed Liverpool ball inflated at last, so she’s a happy bunny.
In other good news, myr s has got a job offer, the Charleesi has a new project to work on, and her boyfriend is moving in with her at her mum’s house while they job hunt and save to rent somewhere together.
Oh, and my parents have apparently bought a Roomba-style cleaning bot.
What a lovely weekend that was – we finally got round to dropping in again on Lord and Lady P for the first time since we bought our flat from them. The thought had occurred to make mischief talking about how awful our last landlords had been, knowing they’ve known us long enough to join in the joke without hesitation – but we were all having such a good time that I think I only mentioned it in passing in the end.
We’d headed down after I’d finished work on Saturday and got there in time for supper and this led to a gentle evening of chat and admiration of Barney, their adopted retired greyhound – who sleeps for approximately twenty two hours a day and always looks on the verge of tears with his expressive eyebrows. At one point he was moving so little that they thought the GPS tracker on his collar was broken.
What we all enjoyed however was going in the morning in to Worthing and a children’s showing of Onward at The Dome – if you get the opportunity to go to a showing of anything there, do so – its a beautiful building and certainly for me a pleasant nostalgia-fest of old-school cinematic experience and surroundings.
A relaxed grazing session of lunch followed and then a winding journey home along the A-roads rather than motorways so I could get used to driving an automatic for the first time. Lady M has been given a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid to replace the BMW 2 Series, so its a markedly different driving experience – but one that will be good practice for our trip to Florida later in the year.
It’s been ages since the libatious librarians got together. All plans for celebrating birthdays and Christmas and New Year got scuppered by people’s holidays, or being ill, or just plain bad timing. The end of January (at last!) was the perfect excuse therefore to catch up, and to celebrate various people’s career moves and successes.
There was a lot of drinking. A fair amount of eating. Nachos were sent back and refunded for being pitifully small for a so-called sharing plate. Silliness, commiserations, and teasing happened in equal measure – and yes there were even tears and hair holding in the toilets.
And everyone has checked in this morning on the group chat in fine spirits and with reasonably clear heads. A successful mission I feel.
We had a lovely time at my cousin’s wedding on Saturday at a grand gathering of family. Readings were delivered by actors, music by string quartets, and the food was stunning. After the wedding, the day was spent celebrating at Hoghton Tower – and it was one of the grandest celebrations it has been my pleasure to attend.
It was also the Charleesi’s chance to introduce everyone to her boyfriend, Sir B and, you know what? He did well. They survived being plied with many many drinks without going over their limits, and given they’d had very little sleep due to train disruption that had got them in to Preston at about 1am, they were reasonably clued up and alert.
Being full time students in their third year, I’d expect nothing less.
It was good to see them properly as a couple too, rather than the hurried crossing of paths we’d had back in May at Comiccon. They’re good together, they’ve my nod of approval. It’s so easy to see how much they care for each other and are comfortable with themselves and each other at the same time. A true delight to observe.
Sunday we drove back home, dropping the kids back at university on the way, and today we just chilled until a few hours ago when we headed down to catch up with lady s.
I seem to have missed most of today, collapsed on my bed. Ive not been unwell, just exhausted I think.
I woke briefly when Lady M got up this morning full of beans and energy, and then slipped back into sleep cuddling soft toys she’d thoughtfully provided. I got up so we could watch some tv and have a brunch, but then I was just overcome with a deep lassitude.
I suspect its just a result of living off stress and caffeine the last few days and my body and brain getting tired of giving me subtle hints that slowing down for a bit might be a good idea – so my strings were cut and that was that for most of my Sunday.
I must still be running on low batteries as I can hear my bed calling me back even after all that rest – so self-care mode is duly initiated
Lady M and I visited the D-Day Museum in Southsea yesterday while lady s was at work, and I found it just as powerful and human as I did the last time I visited. It tells a rounded story of local people, the preparation, the fears, and the events and aftermath of the D-Day assault without indulging in jingoism, cliche, or fantasy.
The exhibits are carefully curated and laid out in a highly efficient use of the space available, and the whole place just feels…loved.
I can’t recommend it enough, and the cafeteria is friendly and full of tasty things too.
My rota pattern changed recently so I’m now adjusting to the new days, including the swapping of the weekends where I work. This wouldn’t normally be too complex, but I’ve also got various weekends and days swapped round to accommodate colleagues or allow for various holidays. The general effect therefore is one of having to consciously remind myself several times per day where I am, what hours I’m doing, and whether I need to make further course corrections to avoid having to be in two places at once.
Its all a bit exhausting. Fortunately this weekend we’re off to go see lady s as its her birthday tomorrow so that will be a nice escape from the grind. For at least a couple of days I’ll be able to forget buildings that are generally porous to the weather, or that have been shaken by nearby construction. I’ll instead be able to delight in giving presents and sharing a breakfast tomorrow before being a bit touristy in Portsmouth.
We’re all pretty run down, so it’s not going to be a grand explosion of frolics and silliness (well maybe a bit of silliness) – but just being in each others company will help I think.