Not (as the age old song has it) because I'm with 'all good friends and jolly good company', although both these statements are true (I've got Adam and Cleo!), but because it's the weekend, the weather's fine and warm and I've got no work to do - yippee!
This weekend I've decided to get out in the garden for a couple of hours. Having had a quick walk around with my early morning cuppa I can see that despite the biting wind and the torrential rain we've had during the week my hardy annuals are taking a wary peep through the soil and I'm hoping the smiling sun will be enough to tempt them out. All is not lost on the cucumber and courgette front. I've noticed that, despite their battering by the elements, even they've got buds on them. So first job - bring out the Tomorite! Then I really must get the foxglove and marigold in. My sister gave me the marigold as part of a birthday present at the end of May and Adam's sister and brother in law gave me the foxglove as a belated birthday present when I met them at Southwold last weekend so I really need to treat that as a priority.
What then? Probably indoors for a couple of hours to flick a duster round, and then out to weed the flower beds and pots, dead head the rose bush, cut the lawn and generally enjoy the sun while it's out.
The week itself has been a real mix of highs and lows. On the low side, a few of my favourite clients have been on holiday which has left just the more awkward ones to work for which, in turn, leaves me out of pocket as I'm paid per minute of dictation rather than on an hourly basis. So earnings are down. On the other hand, on the 'highs', I have had a bit of time to throw a few articles out.
On another high note, I've been in touch with my friend at the TV production company that promotes my historical crime articles telling her that I haven't actually been doing 'crim law' articles recently but instead, I've done a couple on lesser known battles/wars, together with a biographical article on Christopher Cockerell. She's come back to to me this morning and said that she'll try and promote those as she wants to show that the company have other ideas than just crime. As she was a criminal barrister in London it was inevitable that her first major project would be criminal based.
As for the rest of the weekend, when I've finished my 'grub around' in the garden, my 'doings'' with the duster and my 'Wii hour' I'm going to try and find time to settle down to a few hours' research and a bit of writing.
Next week ... work as per but with a little respite probably on Tuesday. It's the ninth anniversary of my dad's death and, not surprisingly, Mum still feels a bit down at this time of year having spent 47 years of her life with him (quite a record by today's standards!) so we're planning a day out together. Thankfully she's not the morbid sort, loves a good laugh and, a bit like me, she finds that what should be a normal day out, tends to turn into a drama!
A few months ago we had a day in Norwich. Started well ... both her bus and mine arrived at Castle Meadow on time. We went into Castle Mall for a cup of coffee and a choccie muffin and hold our campaign briefing. First job, Boots in The Mall, then up to the market to get greengrocery, fresh fish, meat, cheese and sausages, across to Debenhams for a quick look around the clothes department to see what we couldn't afford, then on to M&S to buy a few little luxury food items and look at clothes that we could just about afford; up the top of St Stephens to the Co-op; back down the other side of St Stephens to BHS for lunch, call into W H Smith to buy magazines for the journey home; across to QD to look at things we could afford and then to Iceland to pick up a bargain or two. Then, at about 3.30 we aimed to be homeward bound.
Following coffee and muffin, we made it to Boots, the market, Debenhams and M&S, but as we left the rear entrance of M&S to wend our way up through the crowds to the Co-op, Mum managed to catch her toe on a paving slab and, if it hadn't been for some kind gentleman walking towards her, she would have landed flat on her face. But, despite all odds, she remained vertical. We then managed to get to the Co-op unscathed and even managed to scale the stairs without too much difficulty. By that time, it was almost lunch time so, before the Norwich Union Nosh brigade were allowed out of their ivory tower, we headed back to BHS to take cover in the restaurant.
Having enjoyed a good plate of fish and chips and a pot of tea, we left BHS at about 1.45 - around the time that the workers were returning to work. By this time I'd bought a fair bit of shopping but Mum, ever cautious with her pounds sterling, had just one small bag of food from M&S, and a couple of bangers and a Cromer crab off the market. Following lunch, she had, in the circumstances, taken hold of my greengrocery bag containing some apples, a cucumber, some carrots, some bananas and a cauli. Now, the restaurant is on the first floor and, as Mum is a bit like me and tends to trip over sixpence, I told her I'd go ahead of her down the escalator. Suddenly, on the journey down, I heard a muted 'oops' from behind me; as I turned to see what Mum had done, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a cauli flying past, followed by a cucumber and a shoe. I then turned sharply and saw mother lying on her back on the escalator, one shoe off and frock above her head. A young man who was obviously extremely distressed by seeing next week's washing, helped her to her feet, whereupon she turned to face back down the escalator, lost her balance and launched herself down the escalator without the aid of a parachute.
Someone at the bottom saw her cannon down and stopped the escalator. A very kind assistant came across to lift her up. Mum had cut her leg and laddered her tights so the assistant took us to the staff room to give her some first aid . She seemed okay but the assistant insisted that she sit still for a few minutes until the bleeding had stopped and, in the meantime, went and got Mum a new pair of tights off the shop floor. We then received a visit from the manager who took us back up to the restaurant and provided us with a free cup of tea.
It had obviously caused quite a stir in the shop as loads of assistants came to wave us off - whether this was because their lives are normally so mundane that it was the most dramatic thing that had happened all year, whether they felt sorry for Mum or whether they were just ensuring that we left the premises unscathed I know not! By this time it was around 2.30 and, as Mum's leg was still bleeding a little and it was obviously coming out in a huge bruise, we decided to call it a day. I left her sitting in the bus shelter while I ran up to WHS to get us each a magazine and we headed homeward an hour early.
So I wonder what this trip will bring forth? Watch this space next weekend!!!