That's better. It's been a full steam ahead few days; in the words of the old cliché, I've come back to work for a rest. I'm interested to know how I've coped this weekend, so I'm going to write it down and see what comes out.
The weekend started on Friday lunchtime. I managed to persuade flerdle to drop her hire car off in Watford rather than at Heathrow, since it would mean more lunch and less driving - in the end, of course, the lovely Watford traffic saw to that plan. I swear we spent an hour in the car anyway. Ah, well. The phone call to say "I'm here - come and get me" came from Nat's phone - fortunately I still had sufficient braincells about my person to work out that Nat was therefore there, too, and that I ought to bring her the promised Giotto (It's in German, but it gives the idea...). So lunch evolved into an elastic period involving detours via Watford Junction and the lovely Clarendon Arms, before a trip to penelope's house to drop off flerdle's luggage (it does all make sense, honestly) and then the delights of Rickmansworth Station. Possibly the strangest lunch hour (alright, two hours) I've ever spent - the unexpected delight of seeing Nat, however briefly; the sheer oddity of being in pen's house while she was at work; just the overall strangeness of all these far-flung people who are usually just words on the chatroom screen appearing in my lunchtime, after which, I just went back to work. In hastily waving flerdle off at Ricky, I idly wondered when we might ever meet again - trips to Brisbane are a little outside the budget for the forseeable future - but stranger things have happened.
The afternoon passed in what can only be described as a flurry of emails, principally because Néa was trying to find out about our lunchtime, and then I scarpered to Luton to collect my sister and her new(ish) boyfriend (Aside: there must be a better word than boyfriend. They're grown-ups, for goodness sake.). We spent a pleasant weekend with them - Stuart is off back to Scotland this morning, Heather is here all week. I'm not sure what one is supposed to feel towards one's sister's partner on meeting him for the first time, but we got on very well; he fitted right in with the boys - he has children of his own - and a weekend of sunshine, gardening, gliders and barbecues passed off very comfortably indeed. Heather had brought Conor a paddling pool as his belated birthday present - everyone got very wet on Saturday afternoon amid much all round silliness.
I'm sure there were other things to comment on, but I can't remember them right now.
Oh. Oh, yes - Janet.
OK, that one's going to have to wait. I'll explain later. (he said mysteriously)