Talk about late! It is now 24th May and I am trying to remember/write about April. Honestly the time just flies when we get back to the UK. Between friends, family, gardening, lotty, mini stuff and short breaks here and there there is very little time to just sit and ruminate. No complaints though; I love being back.
It wouldn't be right if we got home and there wasn't something that needed fixing. The last three years have all been very expensive fixes, this year all we could find was the phone line which had given up the ghost - one way only - incoming calls were fine we just couldn't make any out. Should be simple you would think. When it begins with BT leaving us a message on the 5th to say we haven't fixed it but we will keep you posted............ let's not follow that story through.
The first of the month and my daughter and her partner had stayed overnight in Bury the previous night on their way from Wales, so we were off to meet them for an unburned lunch at the Red Hall. (need to read the end of last month's epistle to get that reference!)
More good company and good food a couple of days later when we managed to catch up with our chums Phil and Sue. Guess what - the following day Ken and I drove out to a very nice Restaurant - The Three Fishes at Mitton in the Ribble Valley - for another meal with three other friends. Good food and a very pretty setting. My up-North husband and friends all know the Ribble Valley (of course) but I think it was pretty 'new' to me - it looked lovely on first acquaintance and I hope we get back there a couple of times this summer. Apparently there is a trio of good eateries around the Fishes. Trees, vistas and food all seem to be intrinsically bound together for me......
For the best part of the following week we restrained ourselves and pretty much stuck to our computers catching up on heaps of 'paperwork'.
On the 10th I was off to share a freebie with my little Lowry volunteer friend. We were seeing The Taming of the Shrew. It was performed by Propeller an all male Shakespeare Company which, of course, is how it should be. It was a complex emotional viewing - hard to watch with a twenty-first century eye and was decidedly hard to do in any detached academic way which is surely the sign of a great production. If you are at all theatre interested read this crit for a very brief pointer to Propeller and definitely go see them if you get a chance. This was an evening in the theatre to remember.
Need I say that it was prefaced with food. Ken, D and I did a quick flit to Pizza Express. Ken is my chauffeur on these occasions and is nice enough to take me to Salford Quays and then pick me up as I am really not driving any more now. Lost my bottle basically!
It has been a gradual thing since retiring. Initially I suppose it begins with the fact I have never liked driving - it was just a necessary evil. At some point in all our peripatetic meanderings I got rid of my car and with a 'shared' vehicle it was always easier just to let Ken drive. Mostly we were out together, so, bit by bit, I drove less and less and it eventually became one of my 'dreads'. I have given up or given in and accept I am just not going to be doing it any more. I try now and then to just go round the corner to the shops or even down the road to B & Q but even that is the limit of my comfort zone now.
The weekend of the 12th we were planning on an Edinburgh trip to catch up with my daughter and to take in a Doll's House Show. At the eleventh hour it was cancelled because Sally realised it was the weekend of the Edinburgh marathon. We had visited once before on that weekend and it was chaotic, so best avoided also she and Stuart had a load of various chores/commitments so their time with us would have been somewhat limited. We agreed there would be better times to go.
I may have been thwarted on the family visit but I didn't have to give up on a DH show - off to the Pudsey Show on Saturday. I think this was the first show I ever went to three years ago and have been back each year since. If you want to hear all about this you will need to visit my Chocolat blog (and the other two!). It is particularly lovely to do a show and know I have extra 'spends' because I am 'covering' it for the magazine. I also get to meet a load of really nice people. So it was with this one.
I finally got to the lotty in earnest in the middle of the month and got the spuds in and other stuff sorted; again another blog covers the lotty stuff - Bury Gardeners.
If I were to write about one of my chores this month (and, as it turns out, next month too) that would be all I would write about. Why, in this day and age, is it more difficult to change banks than it was in the 'olden days' - we have all the technology in the world to make it bing, bang, bosh and what do we get clang, clink, grrrrrrr! I remember when you drove to your bank, went in, had a bit of a natter, signed a bit of paper and a couple of weeks later - all sorted. No, this is not rose-tinted specs, this was my real experience of banks. As I said I am writing this on 24th May and so far I have had an on-line current account for three weeks which I can't yet access on line!!!
A couple of days before the end of the month we were trotting around Bury M & S buying cheese, pork scratchings, knitted dolls, scorpions and books - all for our forthcoming trip to Canada on 3rd May.
The upside of typing a piece late is that you can do a trailer for the next one because you know what's going to happen........ stay with me for a tour of the Rockies and for petty larceny!