Monday, 20 October 2008

It is written! And sent off!

Thank goodness for that. Now I wait.

This weekend has been one of ups and downs. HWSNBN escaped to Foreign Parts again, in order that he might be lonely in a hotel room and do Technical Things to foreign computers. He appears to be approximately as happy with this as I would expect him to be, although I cannot rule out a degree of measurement error, insofar as expecting him to have a level of happiness may make me more likely to believe that he is that happy.

I had planned to buy birthday presents for Anne on Saturday, but had to cut my shopping trip short because I wasn't feeling well. Every time I tensed my abdominal muscles (which happens more often than I realised) it hurt. Walking fast uses abdominal muscles, so I slouched around for a while, trying to find the umbrella shop (defunct) or a pretty umbrella (was unsuccessful), before being escorted back to the car by Serena. I then went to sleep on the back seat while she went shopping. I must say, the Jazz is far more comfortable for this type of activity than the Seicento (my previous car) would have been. In fact, should I find myself homeless at any point, let's just say that there are worse cars I could have (i.e. most other cars which are not camper vans).

After my sleep I felt far more human, and we returned to Serena's house for dinner. After dinner, much to my surprise, I felt well enough to go to a party to which we had been invited.

I had not exactly been looking forward to this party; I was a little worried that it would be awkward, and that there would be no crisps that I could eat. Having already eaten dinner, the latter was not likely to be too much of a problem, but the former could make it a waste of an evening. However, I had promised to bring some fire lighting supplies for the back yard, and thought that I should at least make the effort.

Upon arrival, we made our way to the back yard, to be presented with a choice of a barbecue or a dustbin as a vessel for the fire. I expressed my doubts as to the suitability of the dustbin for lighting fires, as I was worried a fire was likely to suffocate itself without holes in the side, but I was overruled. I lined the dustbin with cardboard, put kindling (kindly donated by my next door neighbour) on top, then poured a small bottle of old cooking oil and salad dressing (with a little old garlic and vinegar - for that lovely sharp flavour, rather than because I failed to decant accurately, of course) over the lot, before putting some of the damp branches which made up the majority of the fuel over the top so that they would dry out then hopefully catch light. This was finished off with some alcohol offered to my by one of the hosts.

My first attempt at lighting it did not go well, and extinguished itself after a short while. The second time I tried, I must have approached it from a more advantageous angle, because a small inferno quickly ensued. I get the impression that I started a chip pan fire in this dustbin, and can heartily recommend this method to future pyromaniacs. We could hear the water in the damp wood boiling off, and it all dried out a treat, and burned as though it was created for such an event.

When this had been achieved, I went and got a drink, and was delighted to note that one of the hosts had made gluten-free pizza and brownies. Naturally, I couldn't let this go to waste, and forced some down, despite already having eaten.*

Alas, the evening was over** all too soon. I did not sleep well; I woke up two hours earlier than necessary, which did not please me.

Funnily enough, I was a little tired on Sunday. Church went well from the point of view of everyone who did not particularly want to use a data projector. Alas, I had promised to visit the Parents and Anne for a few hours in the evening, for Anne's birthday celebration. This entails three hours of driving (1 1/2 hours in each direction); not a good idea when overtired and feeling slightly ill. I also needed to go shopping in Liverpool on the way, in order to pick up some actual presents for Anne.

The journey was good, as was Liverpool. It really has improved of late; there are a couple of new, rather upmarket, malls*** containing many wonderful shops. I was able to buy a mug, some socks and an umbrella for Anne, to go with her Death Kitty hoodie. When I gave these to her, she seemed to appreciate the lot of them. It makes me a little sad to be writing this on the Internet, but my twelve-year-old sister is a freak who likes socks and household items, and deems them to be suitable, even exciting, birthday presents. I dread to think what she will appreciate when she is forty. I also hope that her friends do not pick up on this to the extent that she gets a lovely set of designer jars for her 21st birthday from them. Not that I would know about that. Anyway, I have never been particularly interested in socks.

Unfortunately, my parents decided that I was not well enough to drive myself home that evening, and there was nobody else who was going to do it. Fortunately, Louise is still away at University, so I got her bed. I lay across it diagonally, which is my favourite sleeping position, and was most disappointed to be awoken by the alarm clock. I made my way downstairs, said happy birthday to Anne (who was just preparing to go to Alton Towers for the day, with Robert), and had breakfast. Nana then came into the kitchen, so I chatted to her for a little bit. She pretends to understand more than she actually understands (I think it's partly a hearing issue, combined with not wanting to make people repeat things), and is getting more forgetful and vague, but it was great to see her.

Then I went to work, and stayed particularly late. Then I failed do some organ practice. Next, Postgrad group, then home, perhaps washing up, washing and bed.

Still not feeling right, but at least the headache's gone.

Happy birthday, Anne!

*Yes, forced. I am not a greedy, hungry person who can eat dinner and still have room for the same again. Honest. Stop looking at me like that!

**i.e. I was told it was time to return home

***What are these in English, rather than American? I feel a little stupid now.


Elizabeth McClung said...

shopping centres instead of malls? Dunno - sounded very nice and family and like something I would watch on TV, particularly the Sister who is into sock. I say TV simply becuase my family dynamics are sort of different and that is a creepy compliment which says I wish I could have been there - perhaps looking in from the veranda.

A lot of things use abdominal muscles (like taking a dump) so yes, major pain for many things.

You also speak a great deal of your sleep, which means a) it is probably very important to you and b) You seem to remember it, whether good or bad far more than things like...meals.

Abi said...

Oh yes, shopping centres. That would be it. Perhaps I speak of sleep so much because I need more of it, so that I can find appropriate words to use for everyday concepts. I plainly do not need to eat more!

I'm not convinced the sister would make good TV - I think she might be a little bland, and probably not very believable. I think that you would have enjoyed being there, and that being outside looking in would have worked for you, as it was 25C when the meal started, in order to ensure Nana was warm enough. You and Nana would not co-exist peacefully.

Using the pedals in the car also uses abdominal muscles, as does turning over in bed. They are very important, apparently.