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Weeknotes 8

April 10, 2011

Well, my furlough is over, and I’ve got a week at Skills Matter under my belt. So, to backtrack, this post covers the last week of my time off:

We started the week at the last Little Dippers I can make. The boy cried when I shoved him underwater again. What a wuss! Fi came to meet us, and the three of us walked through Wandsworth Common down to Northcote Road on a beautiful afternoon that we had to shield his eyes and skin from. Wandsworth Common is fantastic, much bigger than I thought it was, and though I have passed it on the train a few hundred times and driven passed it another fifty, there were acres and acres of parkland that I hadn’t realised existed. There’s a sizable lake, (maybe a little small for a lake, but much bigger than a pond), a play park, tennis courts and a great cafe, where I had a steak sandwich and chips. I did the dumbest thing there – sat down, having lifted Arlo out of his pram, only to find there wasn’t a seat where I was trying to put my arse. Over I went onto my back, with Arlo held high, fortunately safe and none the wiser. I am very surprised I didn’t sacrifice him to save my own backside.

Over the course of the week, I got the garden into some sort of shape. I really aren’t going to have time to work in it over the summer, so I needed to get what I could done. So, during Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, I:

– sewed the meadow – Pictorial Meadows Short Annual
– planted hyacinths, sweet pea, Sweet William, Asiatic Lillies, tete-a-tetes and a load of other things I don’t know the names of
– spread sunflower and poppy seeds on the shelf at the back of the garden. Who knows if they’ll grow, but it’s worth a bash
– the remaining sunflowers went into the garden proper, in among the rest of the flowers

On advice of Mike and Allyson, who always *sound* like they know what they are talking about, I ignored the planting instructions on the seed packets and crammed them wherever I’d like them. We’ll see what happens.

I had a couple of IBSy days in there – probably worried about how the new job was going to pan out. Unfortunately the Mebeverine tablets didn’t seem to help. Bummer. I watched three films on the Wednesday – City Slickers, Midnight Run and Broadway Danny Rose – I hadn’t really spent time in front of the google box all the time I was off, so maybe I was due a day vegging. Regardless, they felt like wasted days, and I didn’t pull my weight looking after the boy, so there was (justified) guilt there, too.

My final workday off was spent in Camden. We had lunch with Debs at the Hawley Arms, which is always a pleasure. Good food and a very well-kept pint of bitter. Debs was on great form, as always. Afterward, I walked through Regents Park and Primrose Hill while Fi had her hair done. Mike Mann very kindly cycled up from Streatham to meet us and help me make the most of my last day, so we sat outside the Albert pub and tried to get Arlo to settle, though he was having none of it. Across from the pub, a camera crew were making (what we think was) an advert for a car with two young female models and with a trendy shop as a backdrop. We were astounded with the amount of equipment they had – whole racks of electronic gear. Presumably they needed to get the shot there and then, and required a whole ton of failsafes to ensure it happened. It’s always interesting watching professional people doing their job, especially when you can have a pint while you watch.

The little lad started on solids this week. Baby rice. He wolfed it down like a veteran.

I had a nice pint with my NCT pals at the Masons Arms. I didn’t throw myself into it as much as I’d like as I was coming off the bad couple of days for my gut, and Fi had been looking after Arlo while I was ill, so it was unfair to make her wait up too late. In all the years in Streatham, the Masons has been a shithole. This year it has opened up as a gastro pub, with good ales and good food. During refurbishment, they came across lots of great original features that were boxed in during the 80’s, ornate skylights and woodworked benching. At least those 80’s developers were too lazy to pull these features out. Anyway, the Masons is another good pub round our way, along with the Ferrers, the Railway, the Waterfront and the Pied Bull. And I think the Greyhound might have been done up, too. Four or five fine pubs within short walking distance, and yet on Streatham High Road, there’s barely a decent pub in the whole stretch. (That’s probably not fair – Taylors is OK, Perfect Blend pretty good, Bar 61 a fine tapas place and the White Horse making a massive effort to get involved in the community. And Hamlet, which apparently is nice. So, OK, I’m talking twaddle).

More stuff on Ignite Music. Shaping up nicely. Rob’s got a fair few people to attend now, so at least the speakers won’t be talking to an empty room.

Lovely lunch at the Ferrers with various chums. Had roasted pork belly, which always makes me think of Trading Places. Showed the album cover around to general thumbs-up. Listened to ska all the while we were there. Superb. And we got a number for a plasterer, so fingers crossed we can get the fireplace out and the family room all done up.

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