Dr John Hawkins
Welcome to my bit of the Maison de Stuff,
home to a huge load of pictures,
and my daily blog.
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Maison de Stuff
- Recent Entries:
- Chie's Family Arrives
The Longest Day
Back to Work
Another Day Off Sick
Visiting Ali and the Family
Olives and Mushrooms
No Sign of Life...
A bit like being at university
Not a bad life really
A Foody Day
It's Friday night and... I'm working
Carluccio's and The Society
Accommodation for Tourists in London is Apalling
Pimm's in the Garden
The Final Push
- Chie's Family Arrives
- [Friday 22nd June]
Today Chie's family arrived in the UK for their week-and-a-bit visit to come and meet my family.
They landed at Heathrow around 4 or 5, and both Chie and I had knocked off work a little early, so were there in time to meet them. As is often the case, getting out of the airport was a frustratingly slow process. We had a long drive ahead of us, and everyone was pretty tired already (me and Chie included). It took Chie's parents well over an hour to work their way through the labrynthe of customs and immigration, and the hire car company also seemed particularly inefficient today. I have to (somewhat begrudgingly) admit my recent experiences of hire car companies in the US really put their UK counterparts to shame.
Anyway, we got away eventually, probably it was getting on for 7 by the time we were out on the Motorway, and headed straight for South Wales. We just had one stop en route - a motorway services - never a very inspiring introduction to England.
We arrived in Abergavenny around 9:30, and had a late dinner at a sort of pub/restaurant place on the main road. Vera and Robin came to say hello while we were in there, which was jolly nice. It was a first glimpse of the potential challenges of getting two groups of people who speak entirely different languages to communicate with each other. So far, so good though - everyone more or less carried on as they normally would, whilst Chie and I translated industriously. Besides, in this sort of situation people don't tend to have such complex conversations anyway - they're hardly about to start debating Sartre having just met like this. So basically everyone just smiles and nods a lot.
After dinner we then deposited Chie's parents and Mikiko-san (a friend of the family who had come along for the ride) at a hotel just outside of Abergavenny, whilst me, Chie and Yuka (Chie's little sister) went back to stay at Robin and Vera's.
A long and complex itinerary lay ahead of us over the next few days, but tonight at least I slept well for knowing this almost military operation (of getting Chie's family to meet all of my family, spread out all over the country as they are) was at last well underway.
- The Longest Day
- [Thursday 21st June]
Didn't do anything special to mark the summer equinox today, just the usual long day at work (almost a pun there).
I was also feeling a bit philosophical this evening. I got emails from two of my friends from Japan, and was reminded of this day about 8 months ago, when I went to see Shig's prospective house in Chofu, the suburb of Tokyo where I used to work. At that time the "house" was just a field - but I learned today the building work was all finished and he'd be moving in next week. It is strange, it equally seems like only a couple of weeks ago when we were standing in that field, and also another lifetime. I still can't put my finger on what it was about that strangely calm and still afternoon, looking out over the Tamagawa river, but it had an oddly spiritual sort of feel to it.
I'm sure I've rattled on about this before, but I think right now I have this strange feeling of "er, well, what's next then?". Up until now there's always been some sort of a goal to work towards, something on the horizon. Finishing my degree, then getting a job, then finishing my PhD, then going to Japan, trying to find a good job there... and then when I decided that situation wasn't quite right for me, finding a good job here and moving back again.
It takes a while for the dust to settle after all the flux of changing jobs, homes, countries and so on... but it has been a few months since I've come back now. I eventually got over my initial feeling of displacement (or whatever it was) with the new job, and I can genuinely say I like it now - I can't think of any better company to be working for.
...but now I just sort of think to myself, "what is left to achieve?". That's not to say I don't think I'll have any opportunity to do exciting and groundbreaking stuff at work - there are plenty of really interesting challenges in my current project, and they seem to be pretty flexible about letting people switch projects if they really want to. It's more that I feel I've been mentally conditioned over the last decade or so to be constantly working towards a specific goal. Passing a test, getting a qualification, getting a particular job. There's always been a very well defined carrot dangled in front of me. Until now.
So I think that is the significance of the that afternoon by the Tamagawa river - I'm not really sure where I am, and I'm looking out over a horizon which is wide but unclear.
Well, apologies for turning this into another self indulgent, waffling diatribe. I shall attempt to limit these to about once every 8 months. :)
- Back to Work
- [Wednesday 20th June]
Was feeling much better today, so went back to work. Just felt a bit wobbly in the morning, but by the afternoon I was pretty much back to my normal self, and was able to put an increasingly standard 12 hour day. Technically speaking, four of those in a row and I would have compensated for the two days off sick. Although unlike my previous job in Japan, this one did actually come with decent conditions for time off sick, so I'm not required to resort to that kind of thing.
Didn't really do very much in the evening back at home, just a couple of phonecalls to sort out some of the final details of Chie's family's impending visit to the UK. They'll be arriving this Friday, and staying for a week or so.
- Another Day Off Sick
- [Tuesday 19th June]
Still wasn't feeling that great today, so took another day off. I did originally attempt to work from home for a bit, but it just gave me a headache and I couldn't concentrate. So instead I just spent a largely quite boring day in, for once wishing I had actually got around to buying a TV.
Chie ventured out from our little plague house to see the doctor in the morning, but was basically just told to come back when she'd been ill like that for seven days in a row. No wonder so many people died of the black death in this country. Chie wasn't particularly impressed. On the way back she picked up a couple of rental DVDs to try and stave off boredom for a while.
We watched I Heart Huckabees and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
The first was slightly in the vein of Being John Malkovich I suppose - a sort of existentialist farce. Whilst I really like querky and slightly unusual films normally, this I found just a bit too scatty, and I don't think I could really say I actually enjoyed it. Still, it passed the time, and probably was a lot more entertaining than daytime TV (although this is certainly damning with faint praise).
The second was a Woody Allen film. I have struggled in the past to watch Woody Allen films - it is a style of comedy I apparently just don't get. I think this was probably something of an improvement on whichever I saw last time though, whilst there were no laugh-out-loud moments, I did find myself engaging in a mild chuckle on occasion, so it can't have been that bad. Again, it passed the time.
Had a strange sort of a dinner - Chie wanted to eat boiled potatoes, and I wanted to eat Yorkshire puddings. So that's exactly what we had. I think this is not the first time I've craved Yorkshire puddings when ill, obviously there's something in that, although quite possibly just psychological. They came out rather well, incidentally.
- Off Sick
- [Monday 18th June]
Both Chie and I felt utterly lousy today, so decided to take the day off work. I think we basically just had colds, but they were the sort of colds that also involved stomach pain, a fever and a headache. I was completely drained of energy and incapable of doing anything more than lie around and feel sorry for myself.
- Visiting Ali and the Family
- [Sunday 17th June]
Spent most of the daytime today in Welwyn Garden City, visiting Ali and his family at their very nice home in this very pleasant town (it's not really a city - but the word "garden" couldn't be more apt).
Other than a short spell playing "Scooby Doo's Haunted Castle" indoors with Ali's son, we basically spent the whole afternoon out in the garden, which was lovely. Ali made a superb late lunch for us - some excellent Lebanese food - we started with houmous, tabbouleh and baba ganoush. The main course was Ali's superb buttery rice, served with okra in a tomato suace for me, and some fish for the non-vegetarians. Very, very nice.
We left the pleasant backwaters of Hertfordshire some time after 6, to head back into the sprawling metropolis to the South.
Unfortunately the remainder of the day was not so pleasant - both Chie and I had had colds brewing since a couple of days before. Luckily they had just about held off so we could still make a nice day out of it, but once back at home we both started to feel pretty grotty.
- Olives and Mushrooms
- [Saturday 16th June]
Pretty lazy day really. Only ventured out of the flat towards the end of the afternoon to buy some stuff for dinner. I fancied spaghetti with a very olivey/mushroomy/tomatoey sort of sauce, and bought two different types of olives for the purpose. The end result wasn't all that fabulous though - whilst the black olives were quite nice, the green ones were just sort of bitter and tasteless.
Oh and in a rare fit of fusion cookery, I even added in some shiitake. I wanted to have a spaghetti dish something like the one I used to have at Al Dente - Lorenzo's favourite (read "only acceptable") pasta place in Shinjuku. Shiitake works surprisingly well in tomatoey pasta sauces, although I think the one they do in Al Dente is mostly made with other Japanese mushrooms - possibly shimeji.
- [Friday 15th June]
By today I seemed to have completely worn myself out. Too many long days at the office. I overslept in the morning, got in late, and by the time it got to 5 I knew I was pretty much done for the day. So for once I actually worked an 8 hour day.
I was back home by not-long-after-6, and my walk home coincided with Chie's return journey.
Upon reaching the flat we were both consumed by a wave of utter lethargy. Eventually after about an hour of lying on the sofa I managed to summon the energy to call for some Chinese takeaway. Actually technically as we didn't go and pick it up I suppose it can't relaly be called takeaway - but Chinese delivery sounds a bit odd somehow.
I was entertained today by a couple of things on the interweb.
First the Death Star Canteen video on YouTube.
Secondly, a search for a possible Scandinavian holiday somehow led me to look up "Viking Raiders" a game my brother and I used to play on his Sinclair ZX Spectrum (can't remember what order those were supposed to be in). To my delight I found this page with a version of it which I could play online via some clever Java emulator thingy. It was delightfully nostalgic. It was also gratifying to see that, 23 years on, the computer players were no longer any kind of a match for me - I wiped the floor with them.
- No Sign of Life...
- [Thursday 14th June]
...a social life that is. Today was very similar to the previous day - Chie went out in the evening (to see Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall with her friend Mika-san), so I just worked late. Again I ate all three meals at the office, and it ended up another 12 hour day.
The closest I came to any kind of outside-of-work excitement was going to meet Chie at the Albert Hall when the ballet was finished. She got out around 10:30, but I arrived a bit early (10ish) so I spent a while standing around and looking shifty. There were a few men in suits waiting in executive type cars - I assumed these to be chauffeurs and bodyguards for VIPs who were inside watching the ballet. Given that I had nothing better to focus my attention on, I spent a while observing the behaviour of these unusual people, which apparently made them uncomfortable - on noticing I was watching they all got back in their car, and had a little chat, occasionally glancing over in my direction.
- A bit like being at university
- [Wednesday 13th June]
Chie had a work leaving do thing on tonight, so in the absence of anything better to do I just stayed at the office and worked my way through the evening. For the second day running I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work. It is becoming hard to conceive of eating anywhere else!
It has occurred to me recently my life here in London is actually a little bit like being back at university. The atmosphere in the office is quite reminiscent of univeristy days at times - whilst people do seem to work long hours there, they're not utterly nose to the grindstone throughout the whole working day, and often engage in quite academic and off topic discussions. The cafe also has a university feel to it - although the food is much better quality than anything we ever had at university! On top of that, the place where we live is quite like a big hall of residence, sort of like an Oxbridge quadrangle on a massive scale (and not quite as architecturally pleasing - though still nice in its own way)... That hall of residence feel is all the more so given that I walk to and from work every day.
I guess the only bit missing is the social life!
- Not a bad life really
- [Tuesday 12th June]
Chie came and met me at my office after she'd finished work, and we ate there. The cafe at my office just started doing evening meals (on top of breakfast and lunch) a couple of weeks ago, and I have a suspicion it is going to become a bit of a regular habit. It is so nice not having to cook, wash up afterwards, or pay!
So dinner was all over and done with by around 7, and as there was still plenty of daylight we thought we'd go back to the flat, and sit out in the communal gardens for a bit. This of course had to be accompanied by a nice drink, so we stocked up on gin and tonic at the supermarket on the way back. For a bit of a change to the usual Bombay Sapphire / Tanqueray I bought a bottle of Hendrick's, which really is very flavoursome indeed. It seems a bit of a waste to put tonic in it.
We then spent a very pleasant hour or two enjoying the tranquil surrounds of the gardens.
Not a bad life really!
- Getting Organised
- [Monday 11th June]
I was unaccountably quite miserable in the daytime. I'm really not sure why - there was nothing particularly wrong with work or anything, I just felt down in the dumps. I suppose part of the reason might be that during the past few days it has occurred to me that I no longer have much of a life outside my job. This doesn't mean that I'm too busy to have a social life, but more that there simply isn't a social life there in the first place. I've been in this job five months now, and whilst I quite like the work, and really love all the perks, I suspect that if I were going to make any new friends at this place I would have done so already. That's not to say I don't get on with the people I work with - they're all very nice - but they're the sort of people who all have their own separate lives outside of work, and so are more in the "people I work with" rather than the "friends from work" category. It's ironic really - part of the reason I had wanted to leave Japan was a sense of isolation, and yet five months into my job in Tokyo I had already developed far more of a social life than I have now in London.
Still, if this state of affairs does get me down now and again, it's a very different thing to the fits of misery I would occasionally experience when I was living abroad. Now it is more of a resigned "yea, life's a bit dull" rather than a "what the hell am I doing here?". So I guess overall it's an improvement! Perhaps the difference is the variability - in Tokyo the good bits were great, whereas the bad bits could be pretty awful. Here it is more of a flat line.
Anyway, my mood improved a bit in the evening, partly just because I had a lot to occupy myself with. Chie's family will be in England in less than two weeks time, and quite unsurprisingly for us we have hardly planned anything so far. So today I phoned round various members of my family to organise a couple of get togethers for the week when Chie's family would be here. I even went so far as to book a table at a restaurant for one of the get togethers. So I ended the evening with an unusual sense of satisfaction at having got at least a couple of things shuffled off my todo list.
- Leeds Castle
- [Sunday 10th June]
Ever conscious of wasting our precious Saturdays and Sundays by just lolling around the flat all day, today we decided to go for a daytrip to see Leeds Castle. Apparently it is not in Leeds at all, and is in fact in Kent, about an hour by train from London. This makes a very achievable goal for a daytrip, even for people like us who are incapable of getting up early at the weekend.
We got the 12:18 train from Victoria, were at Bearsted station just before 1:30, and from there got a shuttle bus to the castle itself. The bus driver was a fairly cantankerous old git, which I did find somewhat irksome, but still, he did at least get us to our destination, and by 2 we were in the castle grounds.
It appears Leeds Castle's most effective defence from would-be invaders is charging them each 14 pounds to get in. However, with the exception of this little snipe, I am determined not to let my irritation at yet another example of rip-off Britain spoil my recollection of what was otherwise a very pleasant day out.
We started off with a good amble around the grounds. On the way in I was somewhat taken aback by the number of cars in the car park (and the shuttle bus from the station was pretty full too). Once inside though, the grounds are very spacious, and so the other tourists are not too much in the way. There are plenty of well kept lawns on which those fond of a good sprawl sur les herbes would, I imagine, be very content.
The castle is of course very photogenic, to which hopefully the pictures attest. I suspect it was one of those castles built largely for show - it had glass windows and the walls were relatively thin. It also didn't look that knackered, as most castles do. Perhaps this means it has been lovingly maintained, or perhaps, as postulated earlier, the entrance fee was somewhat prohibitive to any prospective besieging horde.
We spent about half an hour wandering round the interior of the castle, which I was generally less interested in than the exterior, although a couple of bits (as identified in the pictures) like the courtyard, and one of the staircases, did rather take my fancy.
After seeing the interior, we went over the other side of the moat to where the cafe was, and there had a reasonably nice ploughman's and afternoon tea. Once we were sufficiently fed we took a further wander to see some gardens and the maze. The maze was actually quite fun - one of those simple pleasures left to us by the Victorians. I would like to claim I had an efficient strategy for finding my way round, but effectively I just applied a brute force algorithm of trying every possible turning. Still, I think we got to the end in a respectably short space of time. Chie, who left me to find the route, seemed mildly worried the whole time we were in the maze, but then claimed to have enjoyed it afterwards.
After this we then basically wended our way back to the car park, to get the bus back to the station. As we arrived at the station well ahead of the next train to London, we fit in a quick pint at the pub on the village green down the road. I suspect this was once upon a time a charming little country pub, but someone had seen fit to turn it into a sort of swanky gastropub type place serving expensive continental lagers. Ho, hum.
We got back to London around 7, and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing back at the flat. Chie made penne arrabiata for dinner - for some reason it had ever occurred to me to try and make this pasta sauce ourselves, but it was actually ridiculously simple.
Anyway, despite the grumpy old man style whinging, it was actually a very pleasant day out.
- A Foody Day
- [Saturday 9th June]
Got up really late this morning - it's quite unusual for me to sleep past 10 recently - but then I suppose I was working late the previous evening.
We had originally planned to go out and visit a castle or something today, but given that the weather didn't look so great, and we'd already lost a fair chunk of the day, we decided to put that off until tomorrow.
So we lolled around the flat for a large part of the day, until we finally decided to head out late afternoon for a spot of shopping. We'd heard in the news recently about the US store Whole Foods Market opening its first store in the UK. I think we have been to these stores in the US - or at least Chie definitely had, I can't quite remember as I get this place confused with another similar concept store called Trader Joe's.
Personally I'm of a cynical persuasion when it comes to new shops and that sort of thing - I'm not quite sure what the word for it is, but I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum to the end where people will camp over night to be the first people into a new store. I remember being in Hiroshima when the first Starbuck's opened there, and the sense of embarassment and pity I felt when I saw hoardes of peoples queuing up to welcome the fact that their town had suddenly got a bit closer to being exactly the bloody same as everywhere else in the world.
Despite my hesitation, Chie was quite keen to see what the new Whole Foods store was like, and as I couldn't come up with a convincing enough argument of why we shouldn't I gave in and complied.
When we first arrived, around 6, there was a big queue outside, which I was far too proud to join, so instead we went for a wander round Holland Park. It has a little Japanese themed garden which is very pleasant.
After this we went back for another look at Whole Foods, and by this time the queue had vanished. It was fairly busy inside, but not unbearably so.
I guess it is quite a nice shop - certainly good to have all that space. It is split over three floors, the top floor being a sort of upmarket foodcourt. It even had a DJ, which I found a little embarassing frankly - some things that work in the US don't necessarily work here in stuffy old Blighty. As for the actual food, overall it was OK, but there wasn't really anything that we couldn't get in a decent Waitrose or the food halls of Fortnum and Mason or Harrods. At least for the sorts of things I would be interested in buying - obviously I can't really comment on meat etc.
We did buy a few bits and pieces though, and when we got home we assembled an interesting and eclectic supper - a plum tomato and caperberry salad, with Sharpham cheese, followed by a pie (potato and rosemary for me, something meaty for Chie) served with mange tout and whisky gravy, and then a fresh artichoke with a vinaigrette dipping sauce.
- It's Friday night and... I'm working
- [Friday 8th June]
Chie went out in the evening, to her "Hiroshimakenjinkai". She's been to this a couple of times now, it's basically a monthly get together for people living in London who originate from the Hiroshima area. Quite impressive really, how well Japanese people band together when living abroad, whilst also maintaining their regional ties!
I basically spent most of the evening working - I sure know how to have fun on a Friday night! I initially got back home around 8, but then was back on the computer from 10ish to lend a hand with a thing going on in the US (a sort of system upgrade which was scheduled for Friday afternoon US time). It was getting on for 1AM by the time I'd finished, but I actually didn't mind that much - it has occurred to me I don't really have much of a life outside of work, I don't really know anyone in London other than the people I work with, and I seem to hardly ever socialise with them. So on a night like tonight when Chie was doing her own thing I literally didn't have anything better to do. Reading that back it's a pretty sad state of affairs I suppose!
- Carluccio's and The Society
- [Thursday 7th June]
I've had a bit of a hankering for a trip to the whisky society for a while now, but with one thing and another (mainly one thing: working too hard) I didn't get round to it until today.
I met Chie after work at Chancery Lane tube, and we decided we should probably get something for dinner before heading over to the club. Our recent track record of trying to find somewhere to eat by just wandering around has not been that great, so I didn't have high hopes. However, we walked passed Farringdon, up Cowcross Road, which to my surprise brought us out by Smithfields Market (a place I'd been several times before, but had never quite connected with being so close to Farringdon, somehow). Anyhow, I digress. Eventually we settled on a place called Carluccio's for dinner, which apparently is actually a chain, but it was rather nice nonetheless.
We sat next to a table where a man in a suit was having dinner with his daughter - she was probably about three years old. I think I had got the general impression that having children meant constant stress and basically the end of little luxuries like eating out, with the occasional exception (if you can call it that) of going to horrific places like McDonald's. So it was an absolute delight to see this man looking very laid back, with his little girl who also seemed very content (and very well behaved I might add), both happily spending time together in a reasonably sophisticated place like this.
After dinner, we ambled over to the Society for a few choice drams. I made a good foray into the most recent bottling list, sampling a herby Glen Scotia, a superbly rich and smoky Caol Ila and a peppery Highland Park. Unsurprisingly the Caol Ila was the clear winner for me - had a hint of that legendary Fortnum and Mason Port Ellen about it. Had Chie not been with me I probably would have bought a bottle. Maybe next time.
- Mashing avocados
- [Wednesday 6th June]
I fancied something Mexican for dinner tonight, so on getting home I knocked up a vegetarian chilli, which I served with flour tortillas, home made guacamole, sour cream, salad, grated cheese etc etc. Quite nice.
Not much else to report really!
- Accommodation for Tourists in London is Apalling
- [Tuesday 5th June]
Chie made burgers (served in bagels) for dinner, which were very nice indeed.
The majority of the evening was then wasted in a futile pursuit of trying to find some reasonable accommodation in London. Chie's family are coming to visit in a few weeks' time and we can't quite fit everyone in our flat, so need to find a hotel room or something. Trying to find one is a really frustrating experience though - the "economy" places are still actually really expensive, and you know they're going to be a complete fleapit. Anything other than "economy" is stupidly expensive. I guess if you're all excited at the prospect of coming to London you don't care where you stay, and I think the fact that London hoteliers take advantage of this is precisely what annoys me. For us, we already live here, and Chie's family have already been before, so it really winds me up that we have to pay a silly amount of money for a crappy hotel "because it's in London".
It surprises me that London is still such a popular tourist destination, given this. Whilst I really like the city - there is a certainly lot to do - I don't feel like any of the attractions here are so breathtakingly fantastic that someone from another country should feel they absolutely must see them. Given that just about every other city in the world is significantly cheaper, it does make one wonder what keeps all those people visiting in their droves every year.
- [Monday 4th June]
Got into work late just before lunch, as we'd decided to stay on in Abergavenny for Sunday night, and head back to London this morning.
After the previous week's superhuman exertions at work, I had hoped to stroll into the office this morning to a round of trumpet fanfares, and perhaps even a "For he's a jolly good fellow", but as I should probably have predicted it was a complete anti-climax, and everything was just as normal. Ho, hum.
In the evening I made Chinese food for dinner - tofu and "oriental mushrooms" in hoi sin sauce. I don't know why I keep getting suckered into buying these supermarket packs of oriental mushrooms - they always contain those stupid oyster mushrooms which shrivel away to nothing when you cook them. I guess overall the outcome was not bad - at least the main dish. The noodles were a complete failure though. I've got one of those carbon steel woks - have had it for ages - but have never really been sure if it is "seasoned" properly - stuff always seems to stick to it, no matter how many times I recite the Ken Hom mantra of waiting until the oil starts smoking.
- [Sunday 3rd June]
Another day spent with Vera and Robin in South Wales. The main event was a visit to St Fagans - the Welsh heritage centre. It is basically an outdoor museum of Welsh buildings - buildings that were threatened with demolition in their original location, and so have been dismantled and rebuilt here. There are some really charming little cottages and farmhouses there, as hopefully the pictures attest, however I suspect I was supposed to go away with an image of the terribly hard existence that the rural folk of Wales have faced in the past.
It gave me a good opportunity to take my lovely new tweed cap out for a walk, in an appropriately (albeit slightly artificial) rural setting.
On the way back to Abergavenny, we stopped off for a quick drink at the Bell Inn, Caerleon. At the risk of wearing out the word "charming", this too was, well, charming.
Had dinner back at Vera and Robin's house - pies, roast potatoes and an assortment of vegetables - all very nice.
I spent a large part of this weekend feeling tired, but not the sort of exhausted and fairly stressed sort of tired I'd been in the week - a sort of tiredness it seems one can only get in the countryside, following a nice day out and plenty of fresh air. In Meaning of Liff style, given that I'm not aware of a word for this pleasant form of fatigue, I shall henceforth name this sensation Satterleigh.
- Pimm's in the Garden
- [Saturday 2nd June]
Chie and I headed over to Paddington in the morning, and got on a train Westbound - to go and visit Vera and Robin in South Wales.
There are all sorts of great things about living in London, but it's also really nice to get completely away from it once in a while. Especially after the sort of week I'd just had.
We arrived at Vera and Robin's just after lunch, and then proceeded to spend most of the afternoon just relaxing in their back garden, enjoying the good weather, the views of the Black Mountains, and a particularly excellent glass or two of Pimm's (the secret, Robin informs me, is ginger ale).
It felt like the first proper rest I'd had in weeks (which of course isn't true, it just felt like that) and was quite simply blissful.
- The Final Push
- [Friday 1st June]
Today was the last marathon working day of this somewhat excessive week - having finally pinned down the problems we'd been having yesterday, today I had to put some sort of recovery plan in place. I think I got it all sorted out, but we'll probably have to wait until next week, when hopefully the dust will have settled, to know if all is well again.
I finished today at half past midnight, but safe in the knowledge I was going to have a complete break at the weekend.