Thursday, 30 April 2015

March 2015 - blink and its gone

Well, guess what, I am writing this on 30th April!  I realised April was ending and thought I would write up some notes ready for tomorrow or the next day.  I arrived in Clavering and discovered I hadn't written March.

I have no idea how two months can flit by so quickly.  It's not like I am doing screeds of exciting things but as soon as we get home my days are happily filled and I simply don't notice them go by.  A day lasts about four hours over here and about four days in Naples.  Time is relative?????

So here I go trying to remember March.

With a leave date of 21 March ahead of us we seemed to spend all our time working towards that.  Ridiculous really when we would have sold our souls for a three week break in the sun when we were working and it would have seemed to last for ages.  Actually living, not holidaying, in Naples three weeks is just a count down to leaving.  We have to remember to do this or that before we go and need to continually work out what meals to have to allow us to eat up the food we have in the cupboards and freezer. We consider every little purchase, not just food items,  to decide whether it can wait until we get back.   Leaving anything over the summer months it has the potential to have dessicated by the time we return..

The first thing I do when I sit down to write this journal is have a look at what photos I took that month.  They help to remind me of stuff and give me something visual to share - there is nothing for March 2015!  That must be a first.

No wonder the month came and went in oblivion - even my diary yields nothing.  I can, however, remember just how miserable and bombed out I was that month and how much I wanted to be home.

I did make a huge effort to go out on our (19th) wedding anniversary but only to the movies and dinner.  We have a very nice movie theatre that does a deal on dinner (yes the restaurant is part of the cinema) and a movie which I think is a great idea.  Dinner was OK and the movie did what it said on the tin - The Second best Marigold Hotel.  I am sure the writers appreciated the irony of the title within the story but I wonder if they really grasped the full potential of 'second best' in terms of the movie.  I watched it in a subverted way of admiring 'aged' talent acting their socks off and having a 'jolly good time' whilst filling their pension pots.  In that vein it was an interesting couple of hours.

We did quite a bit of last minute shopping as our regular haunt kept thrusting various vouchers at us.  On one occasion we went armed with two $20 coupons and two $5 Bealls' Bucks (works like money) which netted me a pair of shoes for pennies and Ken decent sunglasses for $1.70.  Also, incidentally, in Naples you can take back stuff you bought at full price a couple of weeks before the 'offers' and buy them them again with discount - try that in the UK.

Joyfully the 21st arrived and we were on our way home.  It didn't begin well as I managed to get in the car with a giant ant, so the first couple of miles were fraught.  Not as much fun as it sounds.

We did the duelling banjos route to Orlando complete with a Smokey Joes stop-off for Ken's ice cream.  Seriously scary now I have lived there a while; I have finally grasped Americans are not just English people with a different accent.  When you pass a shop with a hoarding that reads:

We buy guns and do computer repairs

....  you know you are not in Bury any more, Dorothy.

So at the crack of sparrows on the 22nd we arrived home in Manchester and my heart sang.

Here is an example of why I don't want to live in two homes ....

After being home a couple of days I set off to make a roast beef and Yorkshire pud dinner.  This is something I could do with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.

It began with ....... Yorkshire pudding would not be possible, because we didn't have eggs - when do you not have eggs?  Answer: when you have just got home and forgot to order them.

OK - next - pretty close to leaving last year we had a new kitchen installed with all new appliances.  My oven needs a degree in space technology but I have mastered the basic turn it on to fan oven and set the temperature.  Downside - almost all new ovens comes with one (!!!) rack and it turned out mine was so specialised I couldn't get a second one not even from the manufacturer?????  So, for now, if the oven has to take meat and spuds and a mythical Yorkshire pudding I will need to use the all-singing all-dancing combined microwave and convection oven as well as the main oven.  I should have known when I succeeded in turning that on I must have got it wrong.  On it went to the required temperature and small joint placed lovingly inside.  Eventually the roast 'taters and parsnips went in t'oven - jobs a good 'un.  Retreat to office while it cooks.

Down to serve lunch at 1 pm to discover a rather nasty smelling warm joint in the convection oven and only the traces of some residual heat in there.  No, I can't tell you why.

OK toss very small warmed through beef into main oven on 200 degrees and give it half an hour - meanwhile the now ready to eat roast spuds, parsnips and steamed sprouts would have to sit there sadly awaiting the beef's arrival.  We are now 'looking forward to' an average pub Sunday lunch - hey ho - could have gone out for this.

Thirty minutes later return to the scene of the crime to discover I had managed to set the oven temperature but didn't turn on the oven - we now have a slightly warmer uncooked piece of beef with even more strange aroma.

End result - beef in bin and a plate full of sad vegetables and oxo 'gravy'.

You may say all this is more to do with being stupid rather than swapping residences but it is the tip of the iceberg of the endless litany of where is this, where's that, how does this work, where do we keep these, do we have a a particular something or other.......  peripatetic you can keep.

The last week of the month was a flurry of sorting out 'ayjed' aunt, cleaner, and a couple of nice meals out and in catching up with best chums.  The last day of the month I had my hair permed and became 'curly Sue'.

... am so happy to be home.