I could stop it there, but perhaps I should detail the journey my life took between leaving the office on Friday and returning to it this fair Tuesday morning.
Friday evening - the journey
As is increasingly common, I was in a foul mood following work. The working week is turning me into a hunchback, full of misery and disappointment. I was very wrung out in the car and even the Michael Bublé CD wasn't doing its job. I wasn't sure how to break the mood.
An atmosphere hung over my head in the car on the way up North. First I dropped into my house to send an email I'd forgotten to send beforehand. I got the bill for my roofing, which DIDN'T cheer me up, though it contained no surprises.
What to do on the journey up North? In the end, I resorted to calories. The combination of sugar and chocolate buzz that I took into my system did contribute a little to my sense of being perked up, though it somewhat disappointed my "sensible eating" resolve. Still, sometimes you have to self-medicate.
Friday evening - the food
I arrived at my friend's house in reasonable time. The journey had passed by quickly enough, with company from the radio and CDs. It took a few seconds of my friend's company for me to get back into giggly schoolboy mode, which really lasted all of the weekend. This is something to appreciate.
We went out for food and beers at a favourite food/pub venue and the food was good and the beer was good. Even the waitress was good, taking time to chat with us, rather than just throwing food at us and sodding off.
Friday evening - get a room
After kicking out time at the foody-pub we went to Malmaison for another pint. The hotel bar appears to be open beyond the closing time of where we'd left. Somehow, our two-way conversation gained a couple. I had said something typically Ashley-like along the lines of "I would have to say that a girl's inability to spell would make her less attractive in my eyes" and the Swedish girl next to me, overhearing this, decided to join in the conversation. She turned out to be 1 year in England, yet able to speak English with a perfect working-class Leeds accent. Talent. We chatted with the couple at great length and they were nice people.
At some point they suggested we get more drinks. By this stage, the hotel bar was unable to serve members of the public, though if you had a room at the hotel, you would be able to get served on room service. The Swedish girl went off to get a room. I tried reasoning with the staff that they could, theoretically, rent us a room for an hour at, say, £5, and that I'd just give them the cash. This method of bribery, for some reason, didn't work. I believe the reason is called licensing laws.
The idea of a couple going out of their way to take a room in a hotel in order to continue drinking with us was somewhat mind-boggling. Luckily it didn't happen. Equally, the suggestion that we go back to their place for Vodka didn't happen. I'm sure it was more about innocent drinking fun, than a young 20-something couple wanting to pick up a couple of 30-sometime men. Anyway, we got a taxi back and I think that was probably the wisest move.
First job was to mix some sand and cement to lay a section of floor. This was fun, and hard work. To be honest, I'm not very good with huge physical acts of moving building materials around. Still, I got to contribute what I was up to doing. I also got to wash the tools. I'm well and truly capable of washing up.
We laid the concrete floor and then I pointed out the benefit of filling in a hole in the wooden floor. We did that. Floored!
Then there was some pointing.
Tasks were completed, but we didn't exactly labour into the twilight hours, nor did we break any backs. We just did stuff. It was good. Low pressure, high satisfaction.
Saturday night with the lads
After food, we headed into town to meet the lads over some drinks. Though we arrived long after they'd started drinking, the benefits of Gin and Tonics were soon felt and we were soon holding as many sheets to the wind as our counterparts.
Stories were told, laughs were had, and we even ended up merging tables with a couple of ladies, adjacent to where we'd been sitting. In the absence of our chief womaniser, who went off to get cash and then disappeared, I was left to apply the flirting techniques which had been passed onto me by this man just before he skedaddled. Like I needed telling how to be a social manipulator. Still, it amused me to play the game as instructed and watch the effects. I should point out that this was, at all stages, a purely verbal game and didn't progress into what I'll tenderly call a contact sport. Very silly.
Sunday morning, after another late bit of waking, there was a trip to buy a random orbital sander, which is definitely the tool of the moment. Coupled with some scraping, the sanding was applied to the exterior paintwork of the bay window at the house. This largely involved me, dust, a platform/ladder and lots of bits of paint and silicone frame sealant.
There was also time spent inside, when the weather wasn't at its fairest, attaching huge pieces of wood to the inside of the stone work. This involved "biscuits". This means nothing to you, dear reader, but it meant something to us at the time.
Time for lunch was taken, and being surrounded by pretty young student girls turned out not to be an imposition in the slightest. Even the blushing till girl at Wilkinson didn't seem to bother us. She sold me a barbecue, which was my contribution to the future house-warming of the venue of our labouring.
Sunday Night Barbie
The barbecue provided us a means of cooking a late night meal - emphasis on the late. Perhaps there wasn't enough charcoal, or maybe we started cooking too late, but there was little chance of cremating the things that would have, at least, enjoyed being seared. In fact, the barbecue turned itself into a gentle and moderate cooking device, which isn't quite how they work. However, the food was excellent and went down in quantity.
I took a trip to the parents/grandparents on Bank Holiday monday. About an hour at each. Lunch with the parents, discussing the forthcoming holiday, which they're generously paying for. Then post-lunch coffee with the grandparents. My DIY senses were operating and I fixed a door that was coming off its hinge. It'll be off again by tomorrow, since the screws need replacing with thicker, longer ones, as the existing ones have worn the holes out.
If only I carried Spaxes with me at all times.
Monday afternoon project
Then, back at the house-project, following a trip from my friend's nephew, who came to try to smuggle as much dust as possible out of the place in the fabric of his clothing, using the crawling-everywhere-to-gather-dust method, we set about building a wall. With many challenges relating to getting it level and square and rigid, combined with my novice sawmanship, we constructed something that I think one could be proud of. I'm certainly pleased with what we made.
The journey home seemed to take a lot longer, despite it going without a hitch. It was 3 and a half hours and was accompanied by Michael Bublé and then, latterly, by Frank Sinatra. There's no faulting Frank. Davina, who did fault him, must die. Painfully. She called his singing "cringeworthy" stupid ignorant vacuous bitch! Though that's old news.
I needed to be home and to get myself back in control of the house and back into what is, apparently, my real life.
I got home and bought some more Michael Bublé CDs. Ah. Back in the driving seat.
I managed to wake up reasonably on time and feeling reasonably coherent. I was even up and ready in time to play a little piano and then meet the workman who is doing the TV aerial installation in my house today. I scooted off to work, taking the keys to my new back door, hopeful that I might have to come in through it tonight. This is possible, but not a guarantee. It'll be a suprise either way.
I should probably do some labouring of my own tonight. Plus, I have a plasterer to show around.
The rest of the week
There'll be musicals to watch, gigs to play and other fun to be had. The book that is this week hasn't yet been written. It may or may not be a page turner.