Made it to the end of the month!

And, but for the fact that the goodgifts website is refusing to actually let me order a Stoked Goat for Dad for Christmas, I would actually have achieved all my Christmas Shopping now (I had a storming trip round John Lewis at about 6.30pm. It was hell in there. Apart from the furniture department, which was nice and peaceful and full of people giving the sofas a good test drive while they waited for their friends and partners to finish faffing about shopping).

Yes, I have tried at least two browsers for the good gifts site. DIdn’t really help matters. It still refused to let me put a goat in my basket. (Is this the problem with the 21st century? We’re trying to put non-existent, quasi-conceptual goats into baskets and destroying the bees).

Watched a lovely documentary about P.L. Travers, and now I want to re-read Mary Poppins. Every time I go to the zoo, particularly in the dark (so that would be the last two trips), I am irresistibly reminded of the Mary Poppins story where all the animals are peacefully co-existing outside the cages, while the humans (including John and Barbara), are in the cages. I seem to remember that the Admiral was particularly choleric and very unhappy about being fed fish. I need to re-read. I think I have a film-tie-in edition of Mary Poppins still. If not, I shall be annoyed with myself for having disposed of it when I was moving out of my parents’. Still. Books can be bought cheaply enough, and they do furnish a room rather nicely. Even if you’re not supposed to be buying them. Ahem. I’ll have to get rid of some first.

xxx

I’ve just realised a technical hitch with this conference

They’ve put Klaus on just before lunch. And he always overruns. They’ve also just told him he’s got less time than he thought. We are going to miss out on many SQL goodies as a result of this lack of foresight. Ah well. It is all good knitting and learning time, and it’s about to start….

Xxx

We went to the zoo yesterday

It was BRILLIANT! We are definitely taking the Brownies and Guides for a sleepover.

We met bugs (tree cutter ants are awesome), snails, rats, an aardvark (such a cute nose), llamas, donkeys, a tapir and got stalked (through the glass) by a lioness.

Today has been mostly rubbish. In chronological order of discovery: N couldn’t go for a run at lunchtime, as one of the systems had gone hatstand, so I had to go on my own. County meeting was long, drawn out, full of arguments and generally bad tempered. Dad got taken to hospital in an ambulance with chest pains (probably an infection, they’ve upped the statins, he’s been given what-for by self and Mum).  I didn’t get a proper supper.

On the plus side, my Sandman comic is now here. Hurrah!

And I have a Very Strong Gin and Chocolate.

xxx

Ah, the power of the scented candle

Gets rid of all revolting smells caused by peculiar solvent scents floating in through the windows, and thus renders the flat inhabitable for someone who’s allergic to such things.

I am in need of a new vanilla candle. The current one has almost, but not quite, burned out.

xxx

This is a very guidey evening

Bounced in to one unit (seemed to be doing first aid and seeing how many different ways they could traverse the hall), DBS checked two new leaders, retrieved some archives (sadly not what I’m looking for, but I’m not going back in again now), and there is a QG meeting going on in the corner of Starbucks.

I like Guiding. Rah.

xxx

So….

If you were heading into a hospice, what would you want to make the experience less clinical?

We got N’s dad a radio yesterday. He’s pretty lucid, and he looked somewhat bored: there’s a pay tv system in the hospital. It’s not clear if it shifts beds with you, and it flummoxes everyone. He’s not quite got the fine motor skills for the iPad anymore, but we thought a radio might allieve the boredom of being on his own waiting for the next visit from a nurse.

Xxx

Brownies take over the meeting

And, mostly, learned that being in charge is really, really hard. Because people don’t listen and they tend to do exactly the opposite of what you expected and it’s maddening. We have a lovely picture of B, hands to face, possibly aghast as the complicated treasure hunt turned into a bit of a free for all. Next week we’ll have a bijou post mortem. Then we’ll try again next term. The whole thing was unutterabley stressful and brilliant. It took me hours to calm down and I failed to go for a run this morning. More time in bed was required. So I stayed there. I am now heading to Southampton to see N’s dad, via the bank and Paperchase. I am restraining myself from killing the guy who is chewing gum extremely noisily behind me. My death glare is not up to the job. The tinny panga pang from the overamped ipod  opposite is less annoying than the sound of sporadic sloppy mastication in my right ear. I swear he’s doing it on purpose.

Why do people do this? What has happened to society that we are incapable of chewing with our mouths shut?

Anyhow. The Christmas cards are mostly posted (just people I’m hoping to see, or who need a present wrapped to go) so I don’t need to remember them. I have paper for presents. I have card to make gift tags for the Christmas fair where the Brownies and Guides have a stall. I have card for 73 place settings for the wedding, and I’m sure I can get another batch. It really doesn’t matter if they don’t match perfectly. However, 10 cards for 50p  was far too cheap to pass up. I have a cuddly dalek called Colin for N’s dad and a knitted blanket and a photo of us to help make his room at the hospice homely. Must get reprint of photo. It’s the first one of us together. Naw.

Xxx

Steak and fine wine…

Wasn’t quite the finest wine known to humanity. But it was available there and then (as opposed to here, and now). And it helped.

I have ever-so-slight a headache now…and I’ve not got an awful lot of cope left to deal with Guide issues (which seem to be rearing massively today). In fact, listening to the end of the Camomile Lawn on the radio, and discovering that it was adapted for radio by our lovely neighbour in our sequestered (her husband’s description) cul-de-sac in Norwich, the lovely lady who ended up with dementia.

*sniffle*

Doubtless, I will pull myself together. But right now, I’m not in the mood.

xxx