I feel a little like I've just bowled from one "This Weekend" to another this week, such has been the franticness (franticity? Francosity?) of the week. Still, here we are again ...
1) A rare thing. A Thursday night with no quiz. Calamity!! But it means that I can accept a request from the lovely Amelia to babysit for her little boy for a couple of hours. I collect him from a mutual friend's house, where he and her husband are perched on the sofa, wrapped in a game of Super Mario. Unable to distract either of them, I settle in the armchair to wait, and realise after a while that I'm equally absorbed. "Try spin jumping on that box," I suggest, and realise that I've become one of them!
2) Having wrestled Small Boy away from the Wii controls, and home, I successfully cajole him into his pyjamas and then into bed. When his mother gets home, we are snuggled in bed together whilst he reads me a story about talking crocodiles. I'm not sure who's more surprised by the scene of calm - her or me!
3) After a good gossip with Amelia (we specialise, when together, at setting the world to rights in record time), I run home to meet gorgeous Gillian to talk over a new crafting project that she's got in mind for us. A quick yak-yak-yak, and we settle to the job in hand, and quickly agree a rough format, some early promotional activities, and points of action. (Nothing more on this for now, but watch this space!) How lovely to work on a project with someone of the same no-nonsense attitude as me!
4) Last week was a fairly busy one, and made more tiring by having started the week on a terrible Sunday night's sleep. Normally Friday mornings have a strict getting-up time, but this weekend I treat myself to a lie in. What luxury to wake up after normal work start time, and be able to dig down under the duvet for an extra mini-doze. When I finally haul myself out of bed I feel fully rested for the first time in a week. Bliss!
5) After a quick breakfast with a friend and her husband, we discover that we all need a trip to the local DIY and garden centre, so I offer them a lift. My car, a Figaro, is technically a four seater, but the back seat is really little more than a shelf. The trip there is cosy. The trip home however is nothing short of farcical - three tall people, three sacks of compost, one large potted begonia, five empty plant pots, one pair of long-handled tree loppers, and assorted other goodies all get stacked, in strict order, in my tiny car, to the huge amusement of others in the car park.
6) As soon as I'm home, I pull on my mucky old jeans and a floppy t-shirt, and hit the garden. With the radio on, the time flies, and weeding seems like no kind of chore before the more interesting digging, potting, planting starts. I now have four tomato plants, two pepper, five beans and four strawberries in pots and beds, ready to be coaxed into baring fruit. Plans for fruit trees and raspberry canes next year abound! Has anyone ever been truly self sufficient from a terrace house garden, I wonder? Would a couple of chickens be a bridge too far?
7) Early Saturday morning I head south for a weekend with fab friends in Arundel. Last week was my dearest friend's birthday, so a trip has long been on the cards. It's a familiar journey on a route that the car can almost do for itself, and it strikes me on the way that going to visit them is almost as much like coming home as going to my own family's home.
8) The planned birthday celebration is a trip to the Drive In. Yes ... you read correctly. Plumpton Racecourse, for one night only, is turned into the All American drive in, with a showing of Grease being the main attraction. Five girls pack into the car to watch a film that we've seen 100 times before, and we chat amiably as we watch. Once in a while someone sings a few bars, or comments on fashions, or the fact that a school of 17 year olds all look around our age. After a time, H. observes, "this is definitely the most random thing I've ever done." All parties agree.
9) For the first time in all my trips to West Sussex, this morning we head for Arundel Castle. My friend's husband explains, "these days, the family only live in that wing," indicating a building which my whole house would comfortably fit inside about thirty times over. "They had to scale down," he says, with no hint of humour. We speculate on whether we could cope with a life living in a castle ourselves, and whether we can recreate the image of the dining hall in our own dining rooms. The idea of this building having been a home for nearly 1000 years is wonderfully overwhelming.
10) The first open meeting for this year's Wandsworth Artist's Open House took place this evening, largely to drum up support and participants, but also to gauge feeling about more promotion of local events this year. Three new attendees got the buzz going - how lovely to have found new people in our wee community to take part in such a lovely event (and selfishly, how lovely to have found three new potential friends!) and enthusiasm for this year's even abounds. I've found myself wondering this evening how to tone down the enthusiasm for a couple of weeks yet (the event isn't until October) but also that having too many ideas is a fairly lovely problem to have!
late season camping
2 weeks ago