Tuesday 21 May 2024: Busy weekend

Gosh what a busy weekend we had.

We were up early on Saturday because we had a lot to do, and while the poet was getting something out of the shed in the garden, I had an entire cupboard door fall off on me. A heavy cupboard door. It was too heavy for me to safely put down anywhere, so I staggered outside and called out to him to help. He thought the door would be really light, but even he nearly dropped it.

He spent the next half hour or so repairing and refixing it.

I started to clear the household washing – towels, old dog towels, bedding, old dog blankets, etc – and I threw a lot of chewed blankets and towels out. We’ve saved some of the pet blankets for when grand-doggy comes to stay with us. I’d made a shopping list for the camper van but I needed to make a grocery shopping list for this week too. Then we went out to get as much of both as we could.

We were out all morning, and we’d just put the shopping away and started to eat a quick dinner when Son #2, his fiancée and their dog (grand-doggy #1) arrived. We let the dog go mad in the garden for a bit then took them all up to see the camper van, which they were very impressed with. After that we all went to the mother-in-law’s so that they could look at our old tent.

This is the luxury 5-berth Airbeam tent we bought a few years ago and enjoyed many holidays in before lockdown. Since lockdown, we hadn’t used it at all, and it was a shame for it to moulder and gather dust in the mother-in-law’s garage when one or more of the kids could use it. Son #2 said they were interested, and their smaller tent went to his brother.

We all spent the rest of the afternoon in blazing hot sunshine first putting the tent up, having a good look around, deciding where they might go first, and then working out how to pack it all away again. What a fine group of individuals we are!

The poet had a bad asthma attack, Son #2 is recovering from a major operation and didn’t want to bust his stitches, his fiancée was recovering from a knee tendon injury, I can’t get down on the floor without worrying how to get up again, and then there’s the mother-in-law. Plus, the dog was running around with happy tail, making it bleed!

Anyway, between us, we got it all packed away again first try and Son #2 was keen to get his new roof bars fitted to the car so they could load up the roof box. We couldn’t hang around, though, as we had to be out at 7pm, and one of the poet’s mates was coming with us.

We all headed home, Son #2 with his car packed with what they could take without the roof box, and we had a rushed tea. We’d just started to get changed when the poet’s mate turned up at the door. So the poet sat him in the living room while we hurriedly finished getting ready.

The three of us headed to the next village for a reunion of old village lads, as one of them was on a flying visit from the States. We found out when we got there that he’d been home for 3 weeks already. But he’s heading back to the US again in a week or so.

Sunday morning we didn’t get much of a lie-in as we had to go shopping again. For more clothes for me. So many of my clothes are either too small or too scruffy now and my entire wardrobe has needed a massive overhaul. I started off some more washing, then off we went.

We bought walking trousers and walking shorts, a small waterproof bag that I can put my phone, keys, glasses, purse, tissues, etc, in, an electric gas ignition for the stove in the camper van, a ground spike for the rotary washing line at home, a new battery for the poet’s vape, and a pair of walking socks each.

We dashed home to get something to eat (as we’d already bought something nice at the supermarket the day before), watched a bit of the ladies European golf, and then were off again, in the other direction. This time we got 2 pairs of tracky bottoms for me, a bottle of sun cream each (Factor 20 for him, Factor 50 for me), a bottle of aftersun, and a can of Jungle Formula insect repellent.

By the time we got home, neither of us fancied a full Sunday dinner, so we just had roast chicken and bread and butter for me, roast chicken sandwiches for him. We watched some football (soccer) and the men’s golf before hunting down a cabin-sized suitcase for me to take when I accompany the poet on overseas trips. Then we sorted out 4-gang sockets and chargers for both the camper van and my overseas suitcase.

We try to have specific bags for specific kinds of trips so that all we need do is put in fresh clothes, then grab and go. I still need to sort out my toiletries bag for the overseas suitcase, but the camper van already has its own dedicated supplies. We also filled a plastic crate with walking boots (in bags), gaiters, walking socks, sun hats, woolly hats, scarves and gloves. This box will move between the van and the house, intact.

I’m still sorting out writing bags. If I’m working in small A5 notebooks or exercise books, I can use the new 2-compartment bucket handbag the poet bought me for my birthday or the 3-compartment army-style-canvas bag he bought me on our honeymoon. If I’m working in ring binders or on my editing, I can use the Penguin book bag I bought a long time ago from a university book shop. But I’m still setting up the ‘grab-and-go’s.

For the rest of the evening we vegged in front of Saturday’s BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT and the first 2 episodes of the new REBUS series. And I finished reading INDEMINTY ONLY, which I really enjoyed. I thought it finished a bit suddenly, but everything was wrapped up. My only real problem was when there were 2 Tonys and 2 Tims, which confused me a bit. Paretsky addressed the Tonys at the end, but not the Tims.

The poet started to get a bit shivery and achey…we’re hoping he doesn’t have shingles now…

You’d think we were ready for a rest by Monday morning, but no. The poet was up at the crack of dawn for a 3-day trip down south. (Boo!) Next time he makes this trip, though, I think I’m going with him. (Yay!)

I could have quite happily stayed in bed well past my own alarm too, but I have a lot of work to get through this week before the holiday weekend. For a start, I still had washing to hang out. But after a glorious weekend, and now that the poet had finally repaired the rotary washing line, yup, you guessed it, it rained. Apparently it was glorious down south, but here it was raining.

I don’t mind the rain, I really don’t. But this was the first week I’d planned on making the most of the weather and clearing some of the washing that can’t be tumble-dried but dries much nicer outside than inside.

During my breakfast hour, I also put some washing through the tumble dryer, fed the garden birds, and put the protective cover on the washing line. We have a lot of starlings at the moment and they make a right mess. For my first work hour, I started today’s blog post to this point. It did take a whole hour, though, and I still had other work to do. I ticked the chore off in my diary, made a cuppa, and moved on to the next item.

Coming back every so often to update today’s post, the next thing I did was Monkey Dust admin. There was a message from someone thinking they were doing the band a favour by graciously offering them a gig, which I politely declined (they’re unavailable anyway). I created the poster for the next gig, added it to the gig list, created an event on Facebook, and shared it everywhere. Then announced a gig cancellation. (Not Monkey Dust’s fault.)

I outline the story for this week’s 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS before starting work on the outline for Act 1 of the Halloween cosy mystery novella. Before cracking on with some in depth writing, I went to make a cup of tea and get some biscuits, but I was so hungry already I decided to go straight to an early dinner.

It was meat-free Monday, so I had toasted bagel with cream cheese and chives, a favourite of ours. While the bagel toasted and the kettle boiled, I emptied the dishwasher and partially filled it again. While I was doing that I had a bit of a brain murmur for the story for 12 STORIES. I’m going to make it a Stevie Beck short story where she first discovers her 6th sense.

While I ate my bagel (and a jam tart), I continued working on the outline for the novella, but my brain wanted to work on the short story. I had to tell it to wait until today’s slot. I managed to (rough) outline Chapters 1 and 2 but stalled at Chapter 3. So I gave myself a break, did some Top 50 research on Amazon, downloaded 43 free cosy mysteries and 4 paid for cosies, and I identified a further 5 I already have in my library.

I was about to put the outlining away when I thought I’d have one last go at Chapter 3, and I filled the page. (Yay!) I gave one of my pension companies a quick ring to iron out a query with them, which was resolved (yay!), and I greeted the delivery chap at the gate. He was bringing me a new case for my new phone.

A call came in from Rotherham hospital pharmacy to say that the rest of my prescription is ready. That took almost a week. I wonder if they would have let me take my script elsewhere had the medication been more urgent. Anyway, I thanked her but told her I wouldn’t be back there until 4 June.

Finally, I chose the first of the cosy mysteries I wanted to read and created today’s graphic (they’re so much easier and quicker now, now that I know how to blur the background image). And I updated my reading log. Then I moved onto the only other job I had to do yesterday: editing.

4 thoughts on “Tuesday 21 May 2024: Busy weekend

  1. Wow, you packed a lot in there!

    I’m enjoying all your writing about camping and camping trips, since I am very much NOT a camper.

    Good luck getting everything done before the holiday weekend. All of a sudden, it popped from near freezing up into the 80s F.

    1. We used to love camping in our tent, but I got to the stage, with my bad back (slipped vertebra), that I couldn’t get back up off the floor after a night’s sleep. I think it’s the freedom that we like, to do our own thing, coupled with being closer to the outdoors and nature.

      I just saw that we have flash floods forecast for tomorrow, but the sunshine will be back next week – by which time it will be too late to catch up on the washing! Duh!

  2. Wow. As organised as ever. I’m looking forward to hearing about your trips. Its so sad to have lost Rufus but it has now opened up a new chapter for you. Xx

    1. This is what we keep telling ourselves. We’re also making sure that we do things we couldn’t do while he was with us. xx

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