Sunday, 23 April 2017

More progress

A one-storey stone coach house or garage and three storey half-timbered building
Tusmore Estate, April 2017
Nothing special to report for the last few weeks, although I've been having a good time. We had a family gathering on mum+dad's 60th wedding anniversary, which in true family style was celebrated by nothing special at all other than all of us being there. I have done a few of the jobs on my list that have been waiting for quite a long time, including meeting the new landlord of the Pub Next Door, buying house insurance, and putting up the last curtain in the new office/spare bedroom space which can be drawn across to separate the two 'rooms'.

The upstairs space is now structurally finished, but furniture needs to be brought upstairs which will need the help of some burly individuals who can help me move a filing cabinet, desks (one from downstairs to upstairs and the other in the opposite direction) and a bookcase. That will, I think, complete the office move, except for deciding what to do about the noticeboard.

More on the LTRP front - I now have working drawings to give the kitchen suppliers and builders, and I have sought alternative quotes. The alternative builder has so far not responded at all, and the alternative kitchen supplier was very scathing about my washing up preferences! She did however come up with the useful suggestion that my next step might be to settle on the appearance of the floor. I am going to have a vinyl option called Karndean, and I drove to the main Karndean showroom in Evesham, which was well worth the trip. I came away with three different samples large enough to make a choice at home, and the confidence that any one of them would do nicely.

Three shades of Karndean wood effect

Oh yes, I have been to see H+B in the North West along with Lola II, Mr M and Sister D, and we all made ourselves thoroughly at home over lunch. We were hoping to do a bit of walking in the afternoon, but the weather put a stop to that. I took the opportunity of visiting our Postal Mechanisation guru on the way home, since he also lives in the North West. He was very kind and welcoming even though it was Good Friday, which is just as well because we spent nearly five hours (FIVE HOURS) going through another three boxes of material that mum had unearthed. I got home at 2 a.m.

However, I had to agree with Lola II, Mr M and Sister D that I was spending too much time on this stupid ebay project. Although I find it mildly enjoyable, the time spent for meagre financial return is simply not worth it, and I have plenty of other more enjoyable occupations that I have no time for. So the plan was that I would go through the new stuff with the PM guru but would ask him to dispose of anything of value, and throw away everything else. This is what I did, so now I am only going to finish auctioning the material I already had. There is one box remaining, so it will still take a month or two.

I spent a day at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre doing meditation, listening to lectures, talking to all sorts of people and then watching a kind of ritual that is the closest buddhists seem to get to formal 'worship'. The thought most prominent in my mind was 'I can't imagine ever joining in with that', but who knows? They are a thoughtful and sincere group of people and I have a lot more in common with them than with any of my work colleagues and many of my friends.

Over the Easter break, as well as the northern excursion I did another ten mile walk with the Meetup group I joined for the New Year walk. The walk leader this time set a rather fast pace, and by the end my legs were aching and I'd also managed to acquire an impressive blister on my little toe. If I sign up for another long walk I'll have to watch out for who's leading, but in fact I'll probably stick to the five mile options in future. The picture at the head of the blog was taken on the route, but the estate is privately owned so we didn't go in and I don't exactly know what the buildings are.

Lastly, badminton news: Club #2 held an end-of-season tournament (they don't play over the summer) and I won the top lady prize. While you may think this indicates my advanced badminton skillz, you should consider the alternative explanation, which is that I have chosen to play in a club containing players who are significantly older and significantly less fit than I am. But I was runner up for the past two years, so it's still rather nice to win something.

Lone tree, green field, grey skies
North Oxfordshire, April 2017

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