Friday, 4 February 2005

Old News - Newsletter February 2005

(somewhere between October and Christmas Zimbo and I decided to have another go at a relationship - I can't find any old emails about it)

Well, January is finally over, I’ve been paid at last and winter seems to be on the way out! It is still very slightly light when I head home in the evenings now and lots of snowdrops and crocuses are up. Come on spring!

I hope everyone had a great Xmas and New Year.

I had a pleasant and low-key festive season. My Mom came to visit me for the Xmas weekend, and that was brilliant. She landed really early on Xmas eve, travelled most of the way to me by train from Gatwick, and we picked her up at about 10 in Reading. Then home for brunch and lots of chatting, and in the afternoon Zimbo, Mom, myself and my friend K went into London for T’s annual birthday thrash. That was excellent as always, with vast amounts of food and wine, and most congenial company. J’s sister and her husband were also there, and we all got along well and played games between courses and it was suddenly early morning! Everyone stayed over, and at about mid morning hung-over people were heading off all over the country to visit family! Zimbo, Mom and I went home and opened presents with some smoked salmon and wine to take the edge off the day, and then Zimbo went to his sister’s and Mom and I were on our own. We decided we didn’t need to try and rush a roast lunch, as it was already midday, so we chilled out and went for a walk along the canal and through the bird reserve, and had a nice little roast at about 6, followed by an early-ish night.

On Boxing Day we met up with Zimbo and his family at a local pub for lunch. It is about 3 miles from home along the canal, so we had a nice walk there in the freezing clear cold day. Then we came home and got back to vegetating in front of the fire ;-). Mom flew home on the Monday, and I was really blue for a couple of days after she left. I do wish we lived a bit closer together!

I worked between Xmas and New Year, which is always rather awful but I can’t bear to waste my leave! Then New Year’s Eve I forced Zimbo and his family to invite me over for the evening (they are shocking at inviting me round, but just expect me to randomly drop by and interrupt the family routine…), and actually had a very nice time. Zimbo’s sister has a son of 12 and a daughter of 16 and her boyfriend Bill was also there. We played games and the adults drank plenty of wine, and at midnight we all went out into the streets to watch the neighbourhood fireworks. It still really does my head in that just anyone can buy and let off fireworks in their garden!

I haven’t been up to much during January as I have been very broke and very tired. Our dept has been working support shifts from 6am to 9pm for the last couple of months, and it completely kills me! Luckily that seems to have stopped now, and life is getting back to normal.

I try to get out for a walk every weekend, although we usually miss the club walks as Zimbo is not a morning person. It doesn’t bother me, as we each have a psycho ex in the group we are happy to avoid! We did go along to a walking club pub gathering a week or two back, and it was very funny to watch the group dynamics ;-). Once the weather improves we will probably go along to more walks. I am leading one at the end of Feb which begins with a pub lunch – a definite feature of every walk I lead!

I have taken up Jive dancing lessons on Wednesdays with K, which is a lot like old rock-n-roll dancing. It is tremendous fun and a great work out! You get shown 4 moves and how to link them for an hour, then the beginners are moved into small groups for extra attention for an hour, and then there is an hour of freestyle, where everyone dances with everyone. There is a bar and plenty of tables to relax at and people-watch too. Zimbo gave it a try last week, but didn’t like it – too much effort apparently! To be honest it is more fun to be there single, as you get to dance with more people, of all abilities. This past Saturday we went along to a 60’s and 70’s theme jive night; It was fun, but not as much fun as the lessons, as more people were in couples and I didn’t get to dance as much as usual.

I have managed to get back into sketching a little more lately, as Zimbo is quite arty and sometimes brings over a painting or project and we each do our hobbies and listen to music. He is the first arty bloke I have been out with, and I find it rather intimidating! I did the first colour sketch in 7 years the other day, and was pleasantly surprised with the result ;-). It is from a lovely photo of a kingfisher, and the colours are gorgeous. Zimbo is into painting model soldiers at the moment, which is very fiddly and keeps him quiet. It is nice to be able to get on with our interests while being together.

Otherwise I still do loads of reading and jigsaws, and often borrow movies from the guys at work so my evenings are full. The running is kind of erratic lately as I find I don’t like running in the dark, but I try to get out for a few miles on the weekends. I can’t wait for spring and longer evenings! My garden is completely neglected too, but I don’t like gardening in the cold and damp.