Douglas Adams once wrote “I love Deadlines – I like the whooshing sound as they fly by”. I’m starting to think the same way about weekends. Since finishing work on Friday evening the entire weekend seems to have been a marathon.
Saturday saw me accompany our middle girl to London for the day – a reward for doing well at school, and to cheer her up after the “no awards for girls rugby” scandal at her school sports awards evening. We set off early in the morning, and after connecting a number of trains, arrived in the heart of London a couple of hours later. Miss 15 busied herself with the Harry Potter game on her phone – catching no-end of baddies along the way. I read a book – the first time I have had to sit and read in weeks.
We visited “The Clink” (the famous London prison who’s name became slang for all prisons), the London Police museum, Forbidden Planet (the biggest comic book shop in the country), and M&M World. Along the way we also managed to fit in a “cheeky Nando’s” – if Nando’s doesn’t exist in your part of the world it’s a faux-south-american chain that serves expensive chicken and chips in a variety of dressed up arrangements. I had a chicken burger, and Miss 15 had wings. To be honest I was just glad we stumbled upon somewhere that had ANYTHING gluten free on the menu – while in Paddington station in the morning we searched for a snack in three cafes and two chain stores, and came up with nothing. Every substatial food-stuff they had was either based on wheat, or a wheat derivative.
We got home yesterday evening after logging something like twenty thousand steps during the day, and of course I walked into a wall of chores – because that’s what happens in a busy family – or at least mine.
This morning I was back up at 7, and shouted to my eldest. I had a shower, then put some coffee and bacon on, while waiting for her to appear. We bought tickets some time ago to visit “Hyper Japan” in the centre of London – an exhibition of food, music, culture, art, and everything else to do with Japan. I think this year marks the fourth time we have visited.
My other half dropped us at a nearby railway station in order to “life hack” an hour off the journey, and we found ourselves walking towards the entrance of Kensington Olympia by mid-morning. The next four hours were filled with an assault of on the senses – J-Pop, cosplayers, food, tourism promotions, sake (rice wine), more food, more J-Pop, Tokyo fashions, ridiculous toys, and anything else you might dream up.
After finally extracting Miss 18 (who had something of a strop because I’m not a billionaire, and neither is she), we trudged back towards the railway station, and I did my best to turn her mood around by filling her face with sushi. It sort of worked.
The train journey home was quiet. I checked my phone – another fifteen thousand steps. While 18 pretended to sleep to avoid talking to me, I checked my phone – and discovered a girl I used to work with had been at HyperJapan too. I kicked myself – she is one of the few people I’ve worked with over the years that I genuinely missed after she left.
Arriving home, I discovered the entirely predictable scene you might expect if a 14 and 15 year old have been left in charge all day (my other half went to visit her Mum). The washing machine had been on at some point, and left full of wet clothes. Another tub – of it’s previous contents – was left in the garden. An assorted collection of cups, glasses, and plates were littered around the kitchen worktops, even though the dishwasher was empty.
After hanging the washing out, and while crashing around in the kitchen, the kids arrived home – they had been to the garage to buy food for themselves – or rather, complete and utter junk. It’s amazing how children devolve the moment there is no parental input. They will wonder why their skin has erupted in spots tomorrow.
I’m looking at the clock, and figuring I have perhaps three hours of weekend left before work starts again. I’m trying not to think about work, given the vertical climb we face over the next few weeks. The bottle of sake I bought from HyperJapan may go some way towards helping with that.