|Krakow Botanical Gardens, July 2016|
It's always the little things. The big things loom large, and when they are resolved and fade then other big things appear. But the little things - they make me truly happy. I now have electric light in the upstairs spare room.
Electrician Bill brought a trainee sidekick which made things go a little quicker, but even so the baffling history of Lola Towers was resurrected when they found wires that didn't seem to have any purpose, and a switch that ought to have another two-way switch somewhere but no sign of its partner. No wonder Ilf couldn't get to the bottom of it. The pair travelled down a few dead ends before Bill announced 'Fire in the hole' and on came the lights. I ceremonially turned on the radiators and it became a usable room, just a week away from the shortest day of the year. One job crossed off the list, another added - lampshades.
It was a good Tuesday. I love getting things done on a Tuesday. Last Tuesday I went south to visit mum and dad. This Tuesday there was Ilf (finishing the last bit of bathroom painting), Electrician Bill, and a long walk around Leamington to sort out odds and ends and deliver a Christmas card or two, with a badminton match to end the day. Next Tuesday there are three separate appointments already booked in, but you don't get to know about the future, I only write about the past.
The past at this point contains the work Christmas party at a very posh and expensive venue. It was OK. It was the same venue as last year with the same entertainment, which was a DJ 'personality' from Rugby Free Radio breakfast show who is very popular with those of my colleagues who live in Rugby, followed by dancing. The DJ directed a number of activities including the opportunity for one person in the room to win £1000 by answering 10 questions in 1 minute. There were at least 500 people in the room, so it was quite exciting that the one person who won that opportunity was one of our team. Of course she didn't win, partly because of her prior consumption of cocktails and prosecco, and partly because she could barely hear the questions. Then there was sufficient dancing of adequate quality to keep me entertained, although I do miss the old tunes. The only man in our group was also the only doctor and had not joined us on a social event before, but stood up better to the lady-squealing than I did. I'm just not cut out for mixing with actual humans, especially in situations when copious alcohol consumption is the norm.
Lola II also visited at the weekend, and the plan included a visit to the optician, making a start on the huge eBay project, and her home-made Christmas cards. Unfortunately we spent much too much time messing about and given that the upstairs room had no electric light at that point we missed the window of opportunity and it was dark before we were ready to eBay. Never mind - I'm one step nearer with the first box of stuff in the right room, and now I have electric light. What could possibly stop me now?
Lola II and I did travel north to see H+B At Home, but could barely stay for two hours, which is a shame because it was lovely to see people and catch up in person with what's going on. I have other friends in the north-west whom I haven't seen for a few years now, so perhaps next year I'll try to combine two visits and stay a little longer. I have previously offered practical help to clear H+B's basement rooms, and I'm using this public space to confirm that a) this is a serious offer, b) I'm getting quite good at house-emptying, and c) in my experience it really does make a positive difference to have a disinterested party on hand to move matters forward. I know you're reading this. Ask me for some dates.