Friday, 28 May 2004

Old News - Newsletter May 2004

I’ve had an extremely quiet couple of months since I got home from NZ. My credit card was well into the red, and I was determined to get it paid off by the end of May. Actually I was so good at the lying low that I managed to pay it all off by the end of April – but then suddenly noticed my SA bank accounts were almost dry so I had to send £500 there in a hurry! I have a various payments going out each month including a retirement annuity, which cancels itself if the debits bounce! So then I was in the red once more and reduced to minimal socialising again.

Next month I have to fix the ding (self inflicted while parking) in my car and give it a service and MOT (annual roadworthy – yes, annual!), but hopefully I shall weather that expense without going into debt again. I can’t complain too much about being skint as the taxman gave me a nice £500 windfall the other day, and I spent it all on my house and myself! So much fun!

I bought thermal blackout blinds for the lounge and bedroom, as they get sun all afternoon and evening until 10pm these days so I’ll be roasting by late summer. And a set of spotlights for the bathroom, which is now complete. And a hosepipe reel, and various other bits and pieces. Then I went to the garden centre and got loads of bedding plants, and a bush my Mom thinks might be a teabush, and a jasmine, a climbing rose and a blue clematis that I am going to train over the fence between myself and the neighbours.

So I’ve been drilling holes in walls, and sawing curtain poles, and teetering up on stepladders wrestling with blinds and light fittings, and digging holes in the incredibly stony ground of my garden, and playing with manure and compost. Hard work but very satisfying!

And the rest of the cash I spent on DVDs, books and jigsaws. It feels like Christmas ;-).

When not gardening I’ve been on a couple of club walks, and actually led one! It was at the beginning of April and I did a short walk through gorgeous carpets of bluebells in the local woods, and we ended in time for a leisurely pub lunch. My kind of walk ;-). I may put my name down for some more half-day walks, as they suit me well. I’ve also been along to a couple of club socials – a Thai dinner, pub night and musical. This Friday a group of us are going to a play, so I’m getting a dose of culture at last!

Apart from that I haven’t been up to much except visiting with K and N – a couple of girls who live in my town. K I know from work and she lives 5 min walk away. N I know from the walking club, and she’s 15 min walk away. Nice to able to have a couple of glasses of wine at dinner and walk home ;-). I’ve also had a cousin reunion at J and D’s where I met up with K and M. It was a good laugh and work was a bit hard the next day!

To make up for being so hermit-like lately I am away every weekend from now until the end of June! This coming weekend I am going into London to visit J and T. The next weekend I’m going to the Isle of Wight with K. There is meant to be good walking and cycling, so I may get to use my bike for the first time since buying it over a year ago! We have booked a tiny self-catering apartment above a pub with a balcony over the sea. Then the next weekend I’m off to Rotherham for J and K’s joint 30th. The next weekend I’m visiting N and N in Hatfield. And the next weekend K and I are taking a long weekend and going to Seville in Spain.

Hmmm. I’ll be lucky if I don’t go into the red again in June! July may be a quiet one again!

My Mom is still dealing with B’s death, although she sounds better all the time. She’s got a good circle of friends and keeps herself busy. And her work is currently totally frantic and stressful, so I don’t think she has a moment to dwell on things during the day! Unfortunately it isn’t really possible to visit her, as she’s half a day’s travel away even if I fly, but we talk on the phone a lot.

My work is far from stressful at the moment. We are doing a big upgrade release in a week’s time, but actually seem to be ready for it. This time last year we were working 10 hour days and straight through weekends – it’s very nice to have a decent deadline for a change! And we’re actually recruiting new staff (know of any Delphi developers?) in a time when other companies are still downsizing, which is very reassuring!

No blokes in my life, although I admit that I haven’t been looking much. K and I are talking about giving speed-dating a try soon, as we don’t seem to be meeting any interesting men! We went clubbing locally a few weeks ago, and there is very little talent around.