I really must apologise for being such a Bad Blogger for the last week or so. I've been taking time out to do all sorts of things which I couldn't do while my Foreign Student was around. I must say the freedom is blissful. Yesterday I went to London for the day, to see Sister, and I didn't have to get back to cook supper. We had such a lovely day, catching up, and Son also took time out of his working day to pop over to Hampstead to see us. That was great - he looks so well, brown and relaxed after his skiing holiday, and is also very cheerful about the new flat, so it was a treat for me. Sister is "holed up" in her flat because of the dreadful builders who are doing major works to the outside of the building - knocking off the render (and her phone connection), sweeping up the rubble (and trampling on her plants) and mixing up and applying new plaster, half of which seems to end up on the ground. They don't speak any English - at least they don't respond to spoken English, which is not necessarily the same thing. Anyway, this has been going on for three weeks now, and she has really had enough. They will probably be another three weeks at it, by which time her garden will be non-existent, so having visitors for the day was a little ray of sunshine. (She isn't getting any real sunshine through the windows because they are all covered with blue plastic to protect them while the work is going on!) I know just how she feels about the builders - I was only there for a few hours and I could cheerfully have clobbered the lot of them. There's constant noise, banging and drilling, and the occasional loud thump or crash when they drop something. They shout at each other in a completely foreign language which sounds vaguely Eastern European and, like the scaffolding, they are all around the outside of the building - there's no escaping them. Poor Sister has already had the telephone engineers out twice to re-connect her phone line. In spite of all this, we did manage to be both cheerful and positive, and I have promised to go back when the work is finished and help her to get the garden back in shape. It's the least I can do.
Sadly, I didn't get back in time to join in with our Pub Quiz team last night. By the time I'd caught the train at Victoria it was 8.30, so I didn't arrive home until 9.45pm. Then I sat at my computer and caught up with all my Blogging friends and their posts. The only trouble is, by the time I've read all of them, and commented too, I'm either too tired or it's too late to sit and write my own diary! I know it seems a bit counter-productive, but what's to do? I have to check up and see what all my "virtual" friends are up to, so I think it will have to be alternate days of Blogging and reading in future. At this rate I won't be going out anywhere, ever, for fear of falling behind. This evening I did meet a friend for cocktails and a quick supper. And tomorrow I'm off to see Daughter and Grandson for the day. Poor Grandson has had Chicken Pox since last Friday (you see, I haven't even had time to tell you that) and the poor little scrap has been smothered in Calamine Lotion and feeling rather itchy and scratchy. He phoned and left me a message on my answering machine today, which I thought was very grown-up. He just said "Nana, hello Nana", obviously in reply to my outgoing message. So I phoned him back when I came in, and we had a lovely conversation. Apparently my little soldier is very scabby, but I love him just the same. I can't wait for all those hugs and kisses tomorrow.