Humpday

Humpday

How is it already Wednesday? How are there only twenty minutes left until the end of Wednesday ? Where the hell has my week off gone ? So many questions. They all have perfectly logical answers of course, but I’ll try and ignore that as best I can.

It’s late on Wednesday night at the time of writing. I’ve just put the rubbish bins out, the dishwasher is running, there’s an empty tea cup sitting next to the laptop, and a plate full of crumbs that used to be attached to a slice of my other half’s birthday cake – a fruit cake that seems to be lasting forever. I’m sitting at the table in the lounge, because I’ve finally lost the junk room – something I predicted some time ago. The junk room is now festooned with old knitting projects, brick-a-brack, pattern books, and bags of material.

I don’t really mind using this laptop. It was originally bought as a christmas present for our eldest daughter, but she never used it – she inherited my old Chromebook, and much prefers Chrome OS over Windows – not that it has Windows installed on it. It’s currently running ElementaryOS – a Linux variant that seems to run well on old hardware, and looks and works wonderfully.

Oh – nearly forgot – I canned the second blog yesterday. I need to stop tinkering with things, and focus on doing one thing – if I’m going to get back into writing, surely it’s better to have one place to share things (here) instead of several places. You may have noticed I changed my blog theme a few days ago too – this is where I hold my hands up, and admit to discovering a way of installing themes on wordpress.com that are no longer available through the design menus.

Anyway.

It’s getting late, and I really don’t have a lot to share – other than an endless churn of chores, and ferrying little people from this place to that. We spent much of this morning sitting in a trampoline park, watching our youngest and her friends bounce around like lunatics.

Maybe tomorrow morning I’ll get a chance to sneak into town for a coffee, and an hour of peace and quiet. Maybe I’ll take the laptop. Saying that, if I get up with our eldest, I know the first hour of the day will be my own anyway – and significantly cheaper than Starbucks. Sitting at home doesn’t afford you passing strangers to describe though. Decisions, decisions.

Time to go to bed.

Disconnecting

Disconnecting

We leave in a few hours, and won’t be back until Monday afternoon. After posting so frequently to the blog for so long, it’s going to feel strange storing the thoughts and memories away for a few days instead of posting them to the internet.

I just picked up a book from the shelf and threw it in my bag – “The Summer Book”, by Tove Jansson. I’ve been meaning to read it for a LONG time, and being away from everything for a few days seems like the perfect opportunity.

We don’t know if there will be a mobile signal on-site, let alone WiFi. When the children discovered there would be no television, there was a moment of silent shock – they seem to be acclimatising well though, sitting around the kitchen table at the moment with their noses in puzzle books.

A Few Days Off

A Few Days Off

After cycling home from work this evening, buying pizzas for everybody from the supermarket and cooking them, I opened a bottle of fizzy wine and downed two glasses back-to-back. I’m off work now for 10 days. I don’t return until after the Easter bank holiday. I haven’t really had any serious time off since the end of last summer.

Although this weekend is spoken for, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with the rest of the time off. I expect most of it will be spent hiding at home – cutting the grass, helping re-arrange rooms, and so on. A part of me is tempted to go to Starbucks every morning and quietly empty my head into the blog – but that would also involve paying exorbitant prices for coffee.

Before any of that happens I have to survive a weekend away with our middle daughter’s rugby team – staying in a chalet (read: shed with bunk beds), washing in a communal toilet block, and and stamping my feet at the side of rugby pitches while trying to make conversation with fellow parents.

I’m not good at social events – I never have been. Of course you would never know, because I’m good at faking it. An old friend figured me out some time ago – realising that if I start a conversation, it’s typically engineered in such a way that everybody tells me their life story, and I get to listen. Either that or I start a conversation about a contentious topic, then sit back to admire my own handiwork as everybody else start to raise their voices.

Something else I’ve noticed recently – that I’ve become increasingly aware of – is general knowledge. I’m not sure if I know more useless rubbish than most, or if people generally know less than they used to. I guess we all think of certain stories or subjects as being “common knowledge”, and presume other people know about them too.

While out with friends in London a couple of weeks ago the story behind Gin being such a popular drink in London came up, and I was the only one that knew the back-story. It’s a good story too – about the laws being relaxed on Gin production because of a monopoly, meaning everybody that had previously been making beer switched over to making Gin – with predictable results. The drunken “gin riots” were the one and only time the “riot act” has ever been read. I remember when I was young there was a common phrase indicating that a final warning was being give – “they read them the riot act” – in real terms, it means the police and/or the army can be called to prevent a group of people from causing trouble by any punitive means available.

I sometimes wonder what other people have in their heads instead of the useless trivia I seem to have filled mine with. They probably have sensible knowledge, wisdom, and thoughts about everyday things that are actually useful to know – like how to set the clock on the microwave, or how on earth Snapchat works (what do you mean, you swipe left on this screen, up on that screen, and right on that screen?).

Anyway. Time is marching on. I’m heading to bed – I have a bag to pack in the morning, and an inevitable panic shopping trip to buy supplies for the weekend away (wine! lots of wine!).

I’m not sure I’ll have the opportunity to write anything over the weekend, so this might be the last post until late on Sunday night. I guess we’ll see.

Winding Down

Winding Down

Tomorrow will be my last day in the office for a week or so. We’re headed away on Friday for a “rugby tour” with our middle daughter’s rugby team, and then next week I have the week off – the first holiday days I have used in some time.

The rugby tour will take us to a holiday park near Tewkesbury – between Worcester and Gloucester (pronounced “wooster”, and “gloster” for friends elsewhere in the world – don’t ask me why they are spelled the way they are). My Dad is originally from Gloucester – or rather, from a small village just outside Gloucester called Hucclecoat. If you look on a map, Hucclecoat has now been swallowed up by the city.

The last time I visited Gloucester was some years ago now – we had a project at work with a company near Hucclecoat working on future nuclear power development in the UK. I think the government has now pulled the plug on the entire project (or rather, the ministers that would need to sign the cheques didn’t dare, because of public perception of nuclear power). In some ways I’m glad the project never went anywhere, because surely the world has seen it’s fair share of nuclear disasters already ?

Anyway. I’m not going to launch into a thousand words about the short-sightedness of the capitalists that think nuclear power is a great idea. It’s tempting, believe me.

We leave for the rugby tour on Friday lunchtime. We’re leaving our eldest daughter to fend for herself for the weekend – for the first time. I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fine – we’re going to stock the fridge with ready meals, and the cupboard with snacks. I’m sure a weekend eating rubbish and watching Netflix uninterrupted is some sort of bliss for a teenage girl.

Anyway. It’s getting late, and I haven’t put the garbage out for collection yet. We don’t want a repeat of me running down the road after the refuse collection lorry in my boxer shorts tomorrow morning – and yes, that really has happened in the past – more than once.