Thursday, 10 May 2007

Bank Holiday weekend

When the long weekend stretches in front of you, you envisage all of the things that you can get done with the extra 24 hours of freedom. The reality always seems to be that the extra time is spent in bed, or faffing, or generally just slobbing.

However, this Bank Holiday, we actually managed to fill it quite satisfactorily. On Friday night, I opened up our freezer and discovered that it was practically empty. Thus the decision was made to go to Farrington Farm Shop, where we get the majority of our meats. Normally we end up going completely overboard, the credit card takes a hammering, and I then spend half an hour whilst meat defrosts all over the kitchen floor trying to work out how to fit it all into the freezer. Not this time! We arrived at Farrington in time for lunch, had a glorious meal in their café (Enchiladas and tortillas – surprisingly filling, and a huge plate, with summer pudding to follow), and watched the clock tick round for an hour (the clock in the café is a cuckoo clock. With a cow instead of the cuckoo… We heard it go ‘Moo’ as we sat down, but missed the cow popping out. On the realisation that we had nearly been there an hour, we started obsessively watching the second hand tick round in order to be able to catch the elusive bovine! Rather bizarrely, it popped out with 20 seconds to go…) Completely stuffed, we then headed round the farm shop, where I discovered the bonus of investing £10 on my stomach – usually when I shop I am hungry and spend ages working out the exact meal that I’ll make with each piece of meat. This time, however, I was full, and even the thought of cooking made me feel slightly queasy! Net result – I spent approximately half what I would normally spend, and, when we got home, it all fit very snugly into the freezer.

Saturday evening was spent with the normal Who watching rituals. A surprisingly good episode, from what had looked like being filler material. A further introduction to Martha’s family (and the mother is irritating me already far more than Jackie ever did, which is saying something!) The monster was interesting – with more explicable pseudo-science than the Dalek episodes of the last couple of weeks – even if the conclusion seems to be that, had humanity gone down a different branch of evolution, we would have all been 10 ft high scorpions, with the ability to squeeze through 6ft high doors, to dislocate our jaws and to suck the life energy out of people… Mark Gatiss also reminds me far too much of Peter Davidson – not just the sweep of blond hair, but the raising of the eyebrows and the posture. Still – he did make an excellent villain. (although surprisingly bloodless – even if the monster had been killed from the fall from the belltower, it should have gone kersplat as it hit the floor…) Obviously, though, the most exciting thing was the post-episode trailer for the rest of the season – I was on the edge of my seat until I twigged that this wasn’t *just* going to be next week’s episode!

Sunday morning was spent getting up earlier than I should have to go to Bristol Southmead for my second attempt at platelet donation. Rather sadly, even with my platelet count being sky high, my veins just don’t seem to want to let them go. The needle goes in, the samples are taken off, and then, as soon as I’m connected to the machine, all the alarms go haywire. I just don’t seem to have the pressure to get the blood out (which is, on the one hand, a reassuring thing – at least I know that if I do cut myself, I should heal very quickly, but is also frustrating when I want to be able to donate). As this was the second time this has happened, the nurse stopped the attempt without too much digging around in my veins (so at least I’ve not got a mega bruise), and has put me back on the normal blood donation register.

So, back home earlier than expected, I did then spend a good chunk of Sunday afternoon slobbing and playing The Sims. I know I shouldn’t get so addicted to a computer game, but it is far too easy to let the hours slip away! I did, however, find the time to do the Sainsbury’s shop with John and to bake a quiche for Monday. And to head out to Tae-Kwon Do in the evening for the hour’s work out. We did a good session on the pads, which is a fantastic release of tension – my knuckles always come away red and a bit sore, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

And then… Monday… The day off…. In which we took a trip into the darkest wilds of Wales (ok – Cosmeston, just outside Cardiff and Penarth…). Sarah came up to ours, and we trundled off, following the AA directions (and, despite a query over exactly how long 2 miles was, they got us there very well). We did spend a short while doing a tour of the car park, as Karen and Dave had already arrived, and John wanted to park next to them – unfortunately, the car park was a one way system, so we circled all round their car, without actually being able to get to it! The weather was grey and grimbly – perfect conditions for giving the cloak that I had bought at Joust an airing… The medieval fair that we were going to was not very big (particularly in comparison to something like Joust), and the talks and demos weren’t particularly well announced (we missed the start of the ‘Medieval Surgery’ talk because we were waiting by the archery area (as stated in the leaflet), and it was actually round the corner. However, the battle was good fun – a bit more of a commentary would have been good for those of us who couldn’t see a huge amount. But the main reason for us going, was to meet Cherry of Shadowlight Designs, who is making my wedding dress for me. She has made up a ‘prototype’ in a cheap fabric, so that I could see what it would look like, how it would hang, and whether, after all of our discussions, what we were asking for was feasible! To say that I was pleased is an understatement. The Dress, despite being slightly large on the top (I’ve lost two inches since I was measured…) feels glorious to wear, and looks almost perfect. She’s had to make some slight adjustments (the original idea for the sleeves would have torn the fabric), and the top and arms need to be tightened a little, but otherwise, we are happy, and she is going to make the real thing, ready for me to try on at Joust.

So the next stage in the wedding saga is coming to a close – we are now heading into the final moments (the invites will be sent out in the next couple of weeks, we will be making the rings at the beginning of June, and then the slippery slope to the 1st Sept really begins!)

Alas – Monday came to an end all too soon, and now I’m back at work, having had an all afternoon Sales Meeting yesterday. Only a 3 day week for me, though, as on Friday, I’ll be heading back into Wales with this lot – John has declined to join me – camping isn’t really his thing! (I don’t actually know if it is my thing, either – I’ve had a few very bad camping experiences. Hopefully this will not be one of them!)

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