Sunday 22 April 2012

Sunday evening stitch and bitch

Well, I suppose not much stitch - mostly bitch, and not really much of that.  OK, I just needed a title.

David and I had a nice day today - we spent the day walking from here to Dulwich for Sunday lunch.  The weather held out right until the end, at which point it settled into a fairly heavy piddle (not quite pouring rain).  We spent much of the time peering into different people's front gardens - hmm, how do they do their plants - how do they utilise their space?  Ooh, isn't that a nice Japanese maple, and look at that fuchsia!  God, I'm becoming middle aged and middle class.  The walk was capped off by a trip to the garden centre (of course), where we picked up a new doormat and 8kg of pelletised chicken shit.  It's good stuff, that chicken shit - both for fertilising the plants (and not requiring us to use our now outlawed hose to spread Miracle Grow), and for getting vans unstuck from ice.  Also, nothing says romantic walk like 8kg of chicken shit. ;-)

Leonel popped by this evening - finally managed to get the stupid bike tyre back on my old bike - I certainly couldn't do it.  Yeah, that was good for my manhood - can't even change a tyre.  Sigh.

Anyway, time to get my lunch ready for tomorrow - another fun Monday morning.  Yippydoo!

Saturday 21 April 2012

Thirteen Years and a Bottle of Pop

So, in the fairly laid back participatory democracy that is our relationship, we decided a number of years ago that 23 April would be our official anniversary. Why is this? Well, mostly because Captain Organisation (David) once looked up on his credit card statement and found that was the day we went to River, a very nice (and, unfortunately, now defunct) Vietnamese restaurant on the Upper West Side. We'd met some time previously (can't remember the date) at the Y (not just any Y, THE Y, of song). We had dinner after that at Burritoville (where Barbarella was on endless repeat), but, somehow, that didn't count. River did, probably in part b/c I was hauled before the examination board after that (his friends) to see if I measured up. Anyway, as my unnaturally young co-worker pointed out to me last week, he would have been ten when David and I met. Nice. I think we're going to go for a nice walk tomorrow - take David to Dulwich Park, where he's never been, and then we'll go for Sunday Roast (yum!) in Dulwich Village.

 Not a bad way to spend part of the day - especially if it doesn't piss it down with rain. We're having a drought, you see. A bad one. The worst in 100 years. At the moment, there are giant buckets of water pouring out of the sky. Ooh, now it's hailing. Anyway, it has actually been very dry for the past two years, so one shouldn't complain about all the rain over the past week or so (still, this being England and it being an opportunity to moan and bitch, people are taking full advantage!).

My shoulder is getting better. It's moved from triple decker ice cream suck down to just occasionally sucky. I still have trouble sleeping in my favourite position at night (on my front, sort of spreadeagle, like I was just dropped from a very high height) and my gym workout is pretty weenielicious. Still doing physiotherapy as well - will do that until the private insurance runs out! But - today was the first day back on my bike (I can't even begin to expound on how happy that made me), so there may actually be some hope, though I still need to be very careful. Having an MRI on Tuesday to have a good old nose around to see if I actually did any permanent damage (hopefully not!).

I still need to get the pics up from when Mom was here. That really was fun - I can't believe that she left over a week ago, or that she was here for nearly two weeks! Being a visit that involved me, there was very little time to sit around here and navel gaze. Last time she was here (2006!) we did the London touristy stuff, so this time we ventured further afield. Of course, we had to do some oldy-worldy stuff (Hampton Court Palace, for example), but we went down to Brighton for the afternoon, spent a few days in Scotland, as well as a few in Brussels.

David came with us up to Edinburgh. We took the train - first class - which was actually pretty swank, and not bad, save for getting stuck for 3 1/2 hours and finally shunted onto another train. Apparently, the massive weight of the half inch or so of snow that fell (the temperature dropped from about 75 to freezing about the time Mom god here - nice). Anyway, the massive weight of the nearly non-existent snow in the north of England knocked down the power lines onto the train ahead of us (still stuck in place, with people on it, when we passed, hours later). Well, Mom wanted a real British travel experience... Anyway, we stayed at a really nice B&B in Edinburgh, just at the food of Arthur's Seat, not far from where I lived when I was a student there. I have to admit, I still have a soft spot for Edinburgh and still think I could very happily live there - crappy weather and all... And the weather was awful. Rain and snow and hail and blowing wind. It did improve, towards the end... Didn't stop us from wandering all over the centre of the city, nor going on the (wet and windy!) castle tour. I even, much to my great surprise, got Mom to walk nearly all the way up to the top of Arthur's Seat (old volcanic plug - 823 feet tall), from where you can see the entire city.

We hired a car and drove up into the Highlands on one of the days - about a 200 mile loop. I'd not driven in the UK for 6 years (since the last time she was here), so it was a little awkward shifting with my left hand at first - only tried to open the door once and only killed the engine on a hill once though - not bad. (I also accidentally blurted out the F-word with Mom in the car when I killed the engine - I mean FUDGE!). Oh well.

Our other trip was on the Eurostar to Brussels. Fortunately, there were no train troubles this time, well, not with our train anyway. It being Brussels, the entire transport system was on strike for the entire week, which made getting around town slightly difficult. The weather was also just about as nice as it was in Edinburgh. Fortunately, Mom had a waterproof coat and was a good sport about it. We stayed right in the middle of town, at the Marriott (very swank) and walked and walked and walked. Ooh, I tried horse in Brussels - very yummy - sort of like a cross between bison and kangaroo (buffaloo?). Also tried haggis and black pudding in Scotland - not so yummy. Anyway, yeah, we walked around the centre of Brussels a lot. Went one day down to Waterloo to see the Napoleon monument. We walked several miles in the pouring rain there - Mom was pretty sure the locals were laughing at us.

Funny moment - I had completely forgotten that La Demence (big gay dance club) was happening that weekend in Brussels, nor did I have any idea where the hotel was where most of the guys were staying. So, of course, when we're walking down this street, I start noticing a very large number of gay men hanging around - most of them dressed to go out (ie., not for the weather). Even Mom noticed - that's how many there were. We walk by this hotel - the Royal Windsor Hotel - and it dawns on me - OMG, only I would manage to walk right by the absolute epicentre of trashy gay-ness with Mom in tow. Nothing says sexy like showing up in sensible and comfortable clothing, along with one's mother. Oh well. Anyway, I think both of us really enjoyed the time, and it was really difficult to send her off on the train to Heathrow. Need to start work now to ensure that it's not another six years.

Speaking of work - they have agreed that I should take a DBA course, which will end up being a very good CV builder - esp if I can move us onto PostGIS from Oracle! I have this recurring dream of trying to get to some far away, absurd place via public transportation, usually in the snow and usually barefoot. Over the several years I've had this dream, I've decided it has to do with me feeling stuck at work - feeling unprepared to get to whatever far away destination I had in mind. Will have to see if that dream changes (it's different every time, yet always the same). Right, I'm starting to blather, and it's time to get more junk food. I keep getting distracted by Star Trek, which David has on the televator. I really am like a deer in headlights. Moo.