Saturday, 30 May 2015

Doing nothing special...

Yesterday afternoon I received a whatsapp message from our foreign correspondent asking:

Done anything fun this week?

Initially I replied in the negative, probably because at the time I was metaphorically knee deep in trying to understand what was available in a new system. But then I realised I was talking out of my proverbial derrière. So since I last wrote...

Well firstly there was a WI meeting where we had people from Dragon's Hall to talk about tech to the ladies. I have to say it was probably one of the most successful evenings we've had an ages as almost everyone had looks of wonder on their faces as they tried the new toys.

And the best thing? Well as it's rather my day job I could just zone out and natter which was good as my batteries were beginning to fail after a very busy week!

Saturday morning heralded the arrival of the offspring who were dropped off for the weekend. I half expected the elder offspring to agree to join the littlest offspring and I on a trip to Mudchute Farm which, as its name implies, is in Mudchute on the Isle of Dogs. Near Canary Wharf. Yes, there.

I've been meaning to go for ages and having a small boy in tow seemed the perfect excuse to have a nose around! And I'll say if you fancy a wander in a little bit of countryside in the big bad city I can't recommend it highly enough. Especially as the wildlife were so tame that when I squealed squirrel they
didn't even flinch the teeniest bit.

And it was free. Which is always a win.

Back home in Contrary Towers I was persuaded to try flying the kite and as I couldn't really bring myself to wander to the park we went on the roof and flew one from there. If nothing else it's very windy...

Sunday brought the threat of a trip to the Natural History Museum. Now I live in London. Which means day to day I have to suffer a) tourists and b) the underground. Not necessarily in that order. So the idea of heading to one of the most tourist infested places in the capital on a bank holiday weekend wasn't exactly high on my list of things to make me sing with joy.

To paraphrase, I'd rather eat my foot with a spoon.

But the littlest offspring wanted to go so I packed a small packed lunch to keep him going, threw the sun block in my go-bag and after confirming that the eldest was not going to be joining us we set off to the DLR as Mile End was utterly closed.

Of course it was.

The miracle though came when we arrived in South Kensington... There wasn't a queue at the entrance. THERE WASN'T A QUEUE. Crikey. So off we wandered and saw fossils, volcanoes and rode an earthquake simulator. And this kept us entertained for an hour or two until it was offspring refueling time.

Needless to say having stopped, eaten, had an ice cream and a general natter we decided not to go back in as the queue had appeared so after the call was made that somebody needed to go to the loo we headed to the V&A where I managed to persuade the littlest offspring to actually look at some displays...

Sunday evening brought a visit by my lovely friend Stef to eat, drink and make merry. That and I needed some adult conversation.

Monday was... well let's not say too much about that. The big thing today was that the littlest offspring wanted to try flying the kite again. Which pretty much comes down to me running around, skirts flying trying to find a breath of air to make the thing take off. Which it did. For a bit. And then crashed down.

The trouble is this was the kite we found at the surfline of Scarborough beach last year. It was cheap, poorly made and after a life afloat was a little knackered. Also it had clearly flown away from its previous owner so is known to be uncooperative.

But isn't there something magical about a serendipitous kite?

A few modifications were needed so it was out with my sewing machine to repair the seams, lock the structural rods in place and attach a longer tail which I fashioned from a length of wrapping ribbon.

But we never got to try it as their ride had turned up to take them back home. But not before we all scooted off to The Crown by Victoria Park for a spot of lunch with Stef followed by a brief promenade and ice-cream.

Needless to say I was quite squiffy so a several hour nap was in order...

The next day it was back to Fitzrovia for that there work thing. Which was good as a lot of progress has been made recently on a major re-engineering project for the core Energyhive system. Now this went well until sometime in the afternoon when everybody appeared at my desk with cake, fizz and the HotPerm™ wearing a party hat.

The boss told me I wasn't to commit any further code that afternoon so in a rare moment of me actually doing what I'm told I didn't. And finished the bottle.

As you do.

Noisy sods.
Wednesday brought the long awaited trip to the O2 to see Fleetwood Mac with my lovely friends Clarissa and Ryan. The place was packed, the atmosphere electric and the music just wonderful. Having not been to the O2 before I had no idea how bad the crowds would be leaving so the planned Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf then 277 home wasn't going to happen. It would have been quicker swimming the Thames, though that's dangerous so don't try it kids.

Obligatory safety notice done.

Anyway. Home by just before midnight and as Ryan was going to crash here rather than attempting to find a passing charabanc to take him to Essex I broke out the Victoria sponge and made cake eating a compulsory entry requirement.

Next morning I awoke groggily and somehow made progress through the day before scuttling down to the Trafalgar Square Waterstones to meet Stef and hear a talk by Lucy-Anne Holmes of No More Page Three fame.

It was a fascinating talk and I sat next to Stephanie Davies from the campaign, I met her a couple of years ago when she came to talk to my WI about the campaign. There was plenty to take away but the thing I like the most was learning that the now infamous text layout was based on the Frankie Says Relax t-shirts.

Needless to say after the event Stef and I retired to a local hostelry and test their chateau plonk and finish a lovely evening.

Friday night... Okay now this was an unexpected delight as I was invited to dinner by an old and dear friend. We met at Toms Kitchen in St Katharine Docks and proceeded to enjoy the bubbly delights of champagne. Obviously I complained endlessly about the lack of actual plates to eat of, but the pie was really good so they are forgiven. And I was given a plate in the end...

For pudding I chose another special, it duly arrived and before I could take a bite I was told it was the wrong one as it was the old special the one on the board being for tomorrow. Err. Whatever. As it was it was delicious, which was a win. When I was almost finished another pudding arrived. The one I actually ordered as I think the staff felt bad.

So I ate that too.

Is it any wonder I'm the size I am? Anyway, it did mean the rather lovely and friendly waitress could ask my opinion and I'm afraid the first was definitely the best.

And this brings me to today. The big news is that the intrepid traveller has upped sticks and scuttled to Dubrovnik as she begins her long journey home. Hopefully very long as I've not finished tidying the house. Did I say finished? Started. Yes, that's the word.

Ooh, but I did receive a postcard which is exciting in itself and here's an image of it next to the invitation for next weeks excitement when I skip off to Buckingham Palace...

But that will be another tale.

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