|Barges on the river Cam, July 2011|
Last weekend was a busy one, down south with the family. It was supposed to be Lola II's birthday weekend with me and sister D, postponed from the end of February when her birthday actually takes place, but then sister D couldn't make it after all, and I didn't finish setting up dad's computer last time, and Lola II had one of her Great Ideas about me coming down for the weekend anyway. Mum got in touch to say that her new computer was completely messed up (even though it was fine when I'd left it two weeks earlier), and dad got in touch to say that his old computer had died, and Lola II got in touch to say that she was back from Japan.
There was lots to do on Saturday - mum's computer was straightforward to sort out, so that didn't take too long. Setting up dad's new computer didn't got well: the monitor had arrived, but not the converter for his keyboard, so we had to borrow mum's keyboard, and he couldn't remember his email password or his Skype password, and Andy tried to set up a new email password but it didn't work, so we couldn't access his email to retrieve the Skype password, and because the old computer wasn't driving the screen I couldn't transfer any of his old files across. So he's sharing mum's computer until I can spend a bit more time to sort his new one out. And for some reason I can't see his computer over the remote access link, so I'm having to work blind like in the old days.
The remote access has been a mixed blessing. It has created a (two-headed) monster, in that I can now be called upon at any time, day or night, to hook up and solve some parental computing problem. But most problems are relatively trivial and take only a few minutes to sort out, so it seems a shame to postpone a remote access session and hold back progress. I'm sure we will find a happy compromise.
Over at Lola II's house on Sunday I performed my usual role of prison guard to ensure that she tidied her office - Mr M was still in Japan last week, so I didn't have to combat the usual undercover jailbreak operation on the side. We had food, fun and all our usual activities, but the most exciting thing for me at the weekend was to find that Lola II is on the brink of entering the ideal 'weight for height' category. She has been losing weight consistently since August last year and has lost more than two stone (that's 28 of your US pounds, or nearly 13 kg). I think she's amazing, and the weight's still coming off.
She's been attending WeightWatchers, and religiously counting 'ProPoints', and tracking everything she eats, and staying within her allotted number of Points, and steadily losing weight, pound by pound, week after week (because what do Points mean? Pies-es!) I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the progress she has made - if she stands sideways I can hardly see her. She can hide behind telegraph poles and lolly sticks. Well, nearly.
My own weight loss efforts have been converted to weight maintenance, and I haven't put anything back on, so I'm still where I was last summer. This is absolutely fine by me, even if it would be quite nice to see another couple of pounds drop off. I doubt it will happen while I'm still buying chocolate.
This weekend is very different - Mr A is away on a biking trip, and I spent Friday night cleaning and tidying rather than playing badminton as I'd planned. I played on Saturday instead, at an informal tournament organised by another badminton club (not either of the two I regularly play for), with a partner I'd never met before, and somehow we came second, which was nice, and my friend who plays with them regularly and invited me along came first with her partner, so that was nice too. Today I have been buying vegetables and cooking them for tonight and the coming week.
With any luck, the post I've commissioned from Lola II about her holiday will mature soon (she was even talking about a series of two), giving me time to recover my writing inspiration.