It has definitely been a busy week! There wasn't much chance to stop and breathe until Friday evening, either at work or in my leisure time.
We had a good Shostakovich rehearsal – I'm starting to get really excited about the workshop weekend, which is only three weeks away now. It's going to be great fun – the music is already starting to come together, and after a whole weekend of playing, I think that the concert on the Sunday afternoon is going to sound fantastic.
Our Upper Hutt Sci-Fi meeting on Tuesday was really interesting – we had a good discussion on politics in Sci-Fi, which didn't end up in any sort of argument! I really enjoy the chats that we have – they are very wide ranging and cover most different types of SF; books, films, TV and graphic novels, and I'll always come away with ideas for new things which I really ought to get round to reading at some point!
Tae Kwon Do on Wednesday was brilliant. Some of the junior belts are grading this week, so the first hour was putting them through their paces, including a good half hour of fitness (I finally felt out of breath after the warm-up!). The second half, after the juniors left was a huge amount of self defence. The NZ TKD uses self defence a lot more in training than the UK TKD, to the extent that it is tested in grading from almost the start, whereas in the UK it isn't tested at all. So I have a lot to learn with this, and Wednesday's lesson was excellent for that. It was absolutely exhausting – we were doing “take-downs”, which involve using your legs to scissor your opponent, and then the momentum to finish the attack. However, doing that for an hour does put a lot of strain on the leg muscles, particularly the thighs – I've only just been able to walk properly again today!
Hockey on Thursday was ok – however, it would have been nice for the practice to have carried through into today's game, which we lost 3-2. Rather sadly, we were just out-played (and frustratingly by a team which we beat very well last time) – they had three very good break-away runs down the pitch, and they ended up with three on one and two on one in the goal, and there was not very much I could do about it! We spent a lot of time up their end of the pitch, but just couldn't convert to goals (thought to be fair, their goal keeper was very good)
The weekend, by contrast, has been a little bit more relaxing. Aside from food shopping, and hockey this evening, we've managed to keep it very low key. Lots of Dr Who watching (John has been getting plenty of old Whos out of the library), and some real brain de-gunking on silly internet games. Much needed, particularly as the next few weekends are going to be very busy (in a good way, of course!)
We had some sad news this week, too. Our neighbour, Shirley, died after a brief illness. I was a little bit shocked about it, not only because we hadn't realised that she had been ill, but because I had just been thinking that it had been a while since we saw her (the last couple of times we'd popped round to redeliver mail or to check our meter, she'd been asleep, which apparently was a symptom of her illness), and that I ought to pop round for a chat and take her some baking. But at least she had her family with her - her son and daughter-in-law came over from Australia to be at her side.
So, all very sad, but it could have been a lot worse. And it does mean we will be getting new neighbours at some point - Shirley's son has said that they will be selling her house as it would be very difficult for him to be a landlord from Australia. Sadly, we aren't yet in the position to be able to buy, but it will be interesting to see what her house does sell for, as it will give us a better idea of the range that we will be looking at when we do finally get ourselves into the market.