Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's Steve, I don't know, but I'm feeling better the last week or so than I have in months if not years. So I'm taking full advantage and have been (by my standards) exceptionally busy. I've done something most days, and even when I've woken up going *pop* *crunch* *yelp* "oh god, that was stupid, when will I learn when to stop" I haven't actually regretted overdoing things. The ever-lovely Steve has helped by making sure I haven't had to use up my energy on anything like washing-up or cooking or grocery-shopping or cleaning the bathroom, it's just been a holiday from all of that, a week of energy expenditure almost purely on enjoyable things.
Following the pizza and the cookie crumble from my last blog on Friday, plus the joy of the postman turning up with a package of Sock Kit, we packed my suitcase and zoomed vaguely westwards to Chateau Evilstevie.
On Saturday afternoon, we went to the B3ta Birmingham Bash. We managed to stay for about two hours which was good. Gorgeous weather meant that smokers and non-smokers were all happy sitting outside by the canal watching the world go by.
On Sunday afternoon, with me insisting that tired or otherwise the weather was too good to waste, we decided to go to the park for ice cream, relaxation, knittings and photography. On the way to the park, we stopped at the house of a couple of friends, where we were invited in to join them for a barbecued beefburger. Yum.
On Monday, we went into Leamington to have tea and scones at the Victoria Coffee Shop.
On Tuesday, all that was planned was me going to the knitting group in the evening. Unfortunately Steve made the mistake of mentioning that there's a big Hotel Chocolat in Dudley's Merry Hill shopping centre. Off to Dudley we did vrooooom. After dribbling in Hotel Chocolat, we got some lunch and then I decided I wanted a haircut. Well... I've needed a haircut for some time, but I never get round to it - it's not the sort of thing I plan in advance, you know? So the last haircut I had was for my mum's wedding last September. Oops. The first EMPTY hairdressers we went into told us they couldn't possibly manage to do my hair as a walk-in, so we wandered along to the next one, where they took me in and then Steve went to amuse himself elsewhere for an hour.
Tuesday evening was the knitting group, same as always, very enjoyable. I shouldn't have gone out during the day though, cos I was SPACED. I just couldn't follow a conversation. But, I was given a couple of very useful hints and tips on the Sock, and I've got a new project as well. I'm doing a jumper for Littlun. It seems kind of tricky to find patterns for kids that age/size, probably because they grow so much that it seems a little futile to put many pounds and many hours into creating a beautiful garment that they will get to wear (read: spill ice cream and/or ribena all over) about four or five times before they've grown out of it again. But, it will make Pip happy. The pattern book I got was Miss Bea's Seaside. I'll be doing the "Breeze Sweater" (5th pic down on that page), nice and simple, although the ribbing for the cuffs is a bit different. Instead of the usual knit-two-purl-two, it's RS K5: P1, K5, P1, K5 etc and WS P4: K1, P1, K1, P3, K1, P1, K1, P3 etc, looks like this.
Wednesday, we went back to the Victoria for another cup of tea and scones. I went into Monsoon (70% sale!) and bought BARGAINS. Steve was extremely patient, following me around the store and holding the things I wanted to try on as I revelled in being able to have one hand on my stick to prop me up and the other hand to rummage through the racks - one of the most difficult parts of shopping for me is running out of hands.
In the evening we met up with a friend for dinner and Steve got TOYS. (note from Steve here: Toys=PC and diskless terminal which were going to be skipped as the company's being dissolved. Obtained with other bits by a mate who used to work there for "a nominal fee" - £2 apparently. Pizza exchanged for the toys :)
(Mary regains control of laptop) Thank you darling.
Thursday, was packing of suitcase and heading off home. The A14 was/is a nightmare, as half of it is closed. It took us almost twice as long as usual to get back. We had to stop for an extra break at Billingford Windmill which looked lovely in the sunset. Only Steve took photos though. I was too busy hanging out of the open passenger door with my head between my knees (the usual attitude of prayer to the gods of Pharma, accompanied by an under-the-breath chant of "please let these painkillers work soon") scaring the locals. No, really. A nice lady actually came out of her house to come over and ask if I was okay, did I want a glass of water, if you go for a little walk about a hundred yards that-way, there's a little bridge where you can just relax and it doesn't smell so much of cow dung... which was nice of her. I don't like it when people fuss, but it is nice when people (1) show concern for fellow human being in obvious distress or difficulties and (2) are friendly.
Friday we went to meet some assorted friends in Norwich at the Cider Shed. It's a nice place, really relaxed. My stepdad plays there sometimes. We were sat outside as there was an under-14 in our group and they aren't allowed in the main bar, so it was a bit chilly. Chilliness was easily combatted by my ordering a nice cup of tea (and it was a nice cup of tea), so just to add to that "Friday night out" feeling, I got the Sock out as well. Socks are a very portable form of knitting.
This picture contains many elements of today's blog so far.
Saturday, I started writing this, but there was a bit too much for me to finish! We went and had lunch with Pip and the Littlun. This was a bad idea, as they're getting over ILL and so Littlun's temper and appetite are not as they should be. He ate about one small slice of kids' pizza, half a carrot stick, and a few grapes, in between grizzles and grumps. So we went to the beach, the boys dug a big hole, and we put the boy in it. Many jokes about "they sent me down t'pit when I wa but two year old..." and so on. It was fun.
Steve goes back home by himself this morning - definitely this morning, as this afternoon is Lowestoft Carnival so the roads are either closed for the afternoon, or jammed up. I am going to miss him very much. The only reason I'm typing this rather than having a cuddle is because he's asleep and it's important to be well-rested before tackling the A14, but I may have to go wake him soon.