At last they have arrived! I had been counting down the hours until my old job was finally finished and I was able to leave.
During these holidays, I am intending to make use of fitness classes at the local Golf Club gym. My first day off began with an aqua class. I normally love aqua but this session we mostly hopped sideways. And only about 5 moves in other directions. Not terribly inspiring.
The second day, I went on a lovely hack out on Morpheus, “my” beloved Shire gelding. I was asked to lead the ride for a trot and canter but lovely Morph decided it was too hot to do anything more than a reluctant jog. I was very pleased, when the others insisted I stay behind a little and the follow them for another go. This time, Morph realised the other horses were trying to overtake and became a little strong. So lucky that he never ever just bolts off! We had a fabulous canter when I finally did let him run. Back on the yard, my friend’s son helped me wipe Mr Morph down after his bath, both boy and horse satisfied and completely soaked 😀
Later on that day, my better half invited me to the cinema to watch Wolverine in 3D. Brilliant movie!!
This Saturday, it is our 11th Wedding Anniversary, and it suitably began with breakfast in bed. The pilates session I had booked was the first one where I was able to do all the exercises despite the fact that the lady running it does “Pilates with an Attitude”. Very pleased with myself.
On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of joining a creative writing group, “The Write Thing”. What I love about the meetings is that everyone is very supportive, everyone can be as eccentric as they want to be.
On Friday, Andrew took me to see RED 2. Brilliant action, lots of famous actors and huge amounts of hilarity.
On Saturday, the wedding of the year took place! our good friends finally got hitched after 7 years of courting.
The weather was stunning, the bride even more so, the ceremony joyous and the reception very laid back. I remember lots of chats, yummy bleenies and Pimms as well as a superbly moving speech and song by the groom.
On Sunday, we went to church listening to the amazing Mark Berry and lounged afterwards, reading and watching crime stories.
As Andrew has been feeling grotty, we didn’t go to Reading together but had a chance of bringing the house up to speed, as in doing lots of tidying and sorting amidst reading and designing sets on polyvore.
Thursday and Friday, I went for gorgeous hacks out in the sunshine, and today it is car boot sale in Marsh Green where Andrew and I will be trying to get rid of a lot of rubbish. For this reason, we drove over to Crawley yesterday to buy a decorating table at B&Q. I am really hoping we will be taking enough money to get the £17 for it back as well as the £10 stall fee…
Otherwise, the renovation of our front room is finally under way. I painted the wall behind the sofa “pebble beach” on Thursday and am rather happy Andrew liked the colour after all. The new curtains arrived the same day, we purchased new curtain poles yesterday together with white paint, and the plan is to paint everything soon before putting the window covering up. We just need to make up our mind regarding new carpets now.
Well, after a lovely day with Andrew spent lugging obsolete crap around, we made around £26 at the car boot sale. It was amazing that saying hello to everybody started a lot of casual conversations. One older guy just pointed at the teapot and told us all about the club for the elderly which is his life.
In the evening, we picked up the most amazing novelty cake for Andrew’s dad in the shape of a bottle of red wine in a “wooden” crate. We spent an hour chatting to the parents and the visiting sister and her husband. On Sunday, we continued our conversations at a family BBQ.
The following three days were spent decorating our front room which meant not only splodging colour all over the walls but also moving and removing clutter, furniture, decreasing the number of books in the house and generally tidying and sorting through things which had just been collecting dust in long forgotten corners.
My living room now has a pebble beach coloured accent wall behind the sofa and is surrounded by brilliant white which Andrew abhorred when I told him about and loved when he saw it on the walls. The whole room looks fresh and clean and warm and light.
On Thursday, I set out at 4am to catch a flight from Stansted. Halfway there, the battery light came on together with a very encouraging “Stop now” light. There was me thinking the 90min run would do the battery good. For just over 30min I prayed and prayed and didn’t stop until I reached the long stay car park at the airport. The very second I pulled up on the actual space, the break pedal became extremely heavy and I was hardly able to move the steering wheel. Thankfully, God made me catch my flight, even despite huge queues at security.
Arriving in Bremen, my plan had been to sort of sneak through customs and quietly meet my sister and my niece. Huh! Well laid plans, ey? Firstly, there were people papping every arriving passenger with huge flashes from even bigger cameras, hoping to surprise friends. A shriek erupted, travelling through the high ceilinged arrivals hall, startling a little yapper of a dog to my right, and then something or somebody flung themselves on me, I wasn’t quite sure in my blinded state. And I had been worried my lovely niece had gone off me as I had been an abysmal correspondent and was also to blame that she got shipped off to a private boarding school on a remote Greek island 3 years ago!
After a huge welcome home hello, we went for a lovely breakfast at Alex on the market square next to the cathedral.
Afterwards, we went shopping. Well, I say went – Larissa was wearing the most outrageously high high heels which constantly got stuck in cracks in the pavement. 16 year olds an their attempts at fashion can be rather entertaining.
The following days I stayed with my parents, celebrating my mum’s birthday with a lovely walk around a remote lake in the sunshine and on the following day with a family BBQ. On Sunday I had planned to spend time with a very good friend of mine who fell ill at the last minute, and so I got to take my dad out for a walk and “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee and cake) in the city centre.
On Monday, I visited my niece at her new flat – a lovely little bedsit very close to amenities, central station, city centre etc, fully furnished and practical. After watching King Arthur together, we took public transport to visit my sister in the outskirts of the city and spent hours chatting, laughing, reading the latest Mickey Mouse to my nephew and eating a good ol’ Bolognese. The flight back to London that evening went without further incidents – if you don’t count the fact that the plane needed jump starting! – but can you imagine my relief when I found a roughly estimated 10,000 messages on my phone, on whatsApp and facebook from Andrew to say he had come up to Stansted to assist me in getting my car looked at. Normally I am woman enough to deal with these sort of things, I will have you know, but on a lonely car park at 11pm at night I was immensely grateful to have my lovely husband there with me.
As it turns out, the AA has a man with a van at the airport 24/7 who arrived within less than 10min. Upon the description that mybattery light had come one, he stuck his hand in the engine and immediately pulled out shreds of what happened to have been my fan belt!
Never again will I belligerently wag my finger at a less than eager student who I am sure will do fine without higher mathematical skills or intricate grammar problems but will instead rescue me in situations like this in the future!
As all garages around were closed for the night, we drove home in Andrew’s car only to return the following evening with a replacement fan belt which Richard, the lovely AA guy, fitted without charge and in record time.
And then there were only two more days on which to unpack, wash, iron, tidy and repack in expectation of going to the first New Ground conference at Ashburnham, a grand estate near Battle, Hastings.
This conference was a gathering of several churches in the South East of England (and Scotland, The Netherlands, Romania, and a few more out-of-the-way sort of places) within New Frontiers International. The talks were incredibly inspirational, the worship amazing and the grounds breathtaking. That is, while the sun shone! I am still incredibly grateful we spent the additional money and booked a cozy B&B around the corner as all our camping church friends nearly drowned in torrential downpours.