A Day Out?

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.

A Small Box Mountain

I got home today after an over-enthusiastic 40 minute walk back from work in the blazing sun to find a full mailbox and a stack of deliveries outside our door, all addressed to Lady M.

I may have quietly made some uncharitable noises while carting them all indoors before stripping off for a shower, even though they weren’t particularly heavy.

When Lady M got home, and we’d compared stories of wilting in the heat, and showered, she started opening them to find that they were rewards from an online conference that she had attended a while back – so there were some nice little things like new pillows, a favourite fragrance, some sunglasses, things like that.

All on all, a nice surprise at the end of a day of feeling grimy. Oh, and our XBox had finally given up the ghost in playing physical discs – not bad for a Day One XBox – so we managed to find a second hand replacement in an XBox One X. Favoured games are now being reinstalled…

Hello There Weekend

Nice weather on a Friday? Oh good, that made for a nice lunchbreak, and then as good an excuse as any to go check in on one if the other sites that was having a few problems with their heating.

All’s well that ends the second week of the new job. There’s been more of a sense of moving with purpose and a team starting to cohere – with only the usual number of roadbumps along the way.

I also had a chance to check in on how my parents are doing by way of a conveniently timed phonecall – even with Tuesday’s news they’re in good spirits, and I was able to cheer my mum up with some anecdotes about current challenges. That was a nice interlude.

And now to the weekend. I’m on call so can’t do anything particularly outrageous tomorrow, but at least I can enjoy the sun on my balcony.

Numb Surprise

I had a text first thing this morning to let me know that my uncle died about 1am and so today has come and gone in a bit of a numb haze. I only heard on Sunday that he was unwell so it’s been a rapid set of mental adjustments to take it all in.

So that’s been my day. I’m still a bit out of it but I’ll go back to work tomorrow and get on with things as a distraction

Moving Day

The Charleesi and her partner got the keys to their flat yesterday, but only set up their kitchen. This afternoon I helped her move another car-load after her mum had helped her move bedding in the morning. J is visiting his family this weekend, so we’ve enjoyed pitching in.

I’m so proud of her, she’s worked hard to find and secure this flat. There’s a quietly confident glow to her, but it hasn’t been smooth going.

We spent a good few hours unpacking and putting things in various temporary places while she planned their final placements. It’s their first flat so for now it’s all pretty bare, but tomorrow sees her waking for the first time in her own place. I remember doing the same in my first place when I left home, and hope she cherishes the memory.

Not-so-small Visitors

Taking advantage of rapid testing and eased meeting restrictions we played host to Lady M’s neice and nephew this afternoon to finally swap Christmas presents. If you’re spotting a theme to recent meetings, then well done, it’s entirely deliberate.

Unsurprisingly, they’ve grown in the year since we last saw them. They’re just on the cusp of overtaking Lady M in the height stakes – as you might expect from a 12 and 13 year old. There’s starting to be hints of the adults they’ll grow to be, but the excitement of getting delayed presents doesn’t bypass anyone, and so the air was pleasantly full of chatter and the ripping of paper while it lasted.

We mostly got them books and dice for D&D along with a plush dicebag monster each for those interested.

And now they’re off and away home, and I’ve got a bit time to check all’s ready for tonight’s game which will be streamed on www.twitch.tv/princessleah1980 as usual. See you there.

Together Again

At long last we’ve been able to get all together. I took advantage of the good weather and a gap in my rota to call out for us to gather. Christmas presents needed exchanging for one thing

And I’m so glad we did all get together. We met in one of the local parks and the relief and happiness all round has been just what we all needed.

It’s a shame we couldn’t stay down there, but we do at least have the game tomorrow to look forward to.

And Now… The Weekend

I was working today, and exhausted yesterday, but at last it’s the Easter Weekend and I have plans.

Tomorrow we have a special guest for our live stream for the DDC as it is Lady B’s birthday weekend. The stream is in support of Chrysalis, and I even have a plot lined up.

Then on Monday we’ll be catching up with the ex-Lady M and the Charleesi (plus boyfriend) for an open air catchup for the first time since before Christmas. I can’t wait, it feels like years rather than months since I’ve seen them.

So that’s the plan.

Happy Memory

I was having a brief online chat with my daughter this evening, where she was recounting a work drama with her usual dry wit – and she mentioned how her hope for the summer is to be able to drag her boyfriend to Thorpe Park.

Long-time readers and family friends will of course recall our many visits there over the years, supported by Merlin Passes and a love of being flung around complex rollercoasters. She then ruminate that now she’s earning full-time she has every intention of finishing the day loaded down with merchandise.

Pretty much simultaneously we then opined that a return to Alton Towers should happen again, and with that came memories of our staying there for the weekend of her 16th birthday – which still ranks as one of our favourite memories ever

We hadn’t told her we were going there, and it was late on a Friday when we got there, and I’ll never forget the look on her face as we arrived, or when we got to our room to find a cake and a Teddy bear waiting for her.

It was me, Lady M, and the Charleesi, staying on-site and just making the absolute most of absolutely everything. From food to early access on each day I think we hit nearly every ride several times and had glorious sunshine the whole weekend.

Even just writing these words has put a smile on my face – a wonderful antidote to the discomfort of the last 24 hours or so