Monday, September 28, 2009

Champagne Days.

The trouble with this laptop is that I find myself doing even less Blogging because I can sit here watching a film and time just flies. To get back to the old news, I had not one but two Students because a last-minute French girl turned up rather unexpectedly. She joined my Spanish student, and they were both very nice - though the French girl spoke almost no English. It didn't seem to matter because they got on famously and went out most evenings after supper for a friendly drink.

On the Wednesday I left them to their own devices because I went up to London to meet Son for his Birthday. He was 30 on 16th, hard to believe really. Anyway, I had spent several days putting together an album of photos, one for each year of his life. It was hard to choose which to include - but it was rather good in the end. I also gave him Squirrel's gold watch; a lovely old Garrard Fob Watch with a gold chain, which I'd had serviced and repaired. (It was given to dear old Squirrel in 1963, as a reward for 25 years service at Vauxhall Motors.) One of my Brighton BF's gave me a card and a chocolate cake to take for him too , so he was rather spoiled.

When I arrived in Town, I hopped on the bus and started off taking a look at the Trafalgar Square plinth, which seemed to me to be nothing much. There was a bloke up there throwing down sugar lollies and party blowers - and writing strange stuff on a pad, which he then screwed up and threw down into the crowd. Odd and rather pointless. After that I cruised round the National Portrait Gallery, looking at their latest exhibitions, and took some tea in their little cafe.
Son phoned while I was there and invited me to join all the jolly office people as they were having champagne in Soho. Hard to resist! It was so lovely to see him, and he did look wonderful. We drank a toast to him, or several, and then he and I went back to his flat to meet up with his Girlfriend. More champagne and he opened all his presents, which he really loved. And then I took them out for dinner at a Tapas Restaurant not far from where he lives in Vauxhall. It was the most delightful evening, and I ended up sleeping on their sofa because I just couldn't bear the thought of running to catch a train at that time of night. It was such fun. I finally got back to Brighton on Thursday afternoon, having had a lovely time. Son was also having a drinks party for all his friends on the Friday (which was his Girlfriend's Birthday too!), but I didn't plan to go to that. Daughter did go, and I think they all had a great time. It was a wonderful and very special occasion.

Since then, time has flown again. My Spanish student went back to Madrid last Saturday, and we have had some amazingly hot weather; I've been on the beach and swimming in the sea nearly every day. I'm off to London again tomorrow, to stay with a London BF for a couple of days, and will probably see Son for lunch on Thursday. Hopefully. Back on Friday, by which time it will be October. Autumn already.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's Up Doc?

How time flies when you're having fun! And what a week it has been. I'm sitting here now at my laptop (get me!) in the sitting room, semi-watching a movie, but basically using my wireless connection. It's blooming great to have said goodbye to all those wires.

Going back to where I left you, I have to say that nothing went quite as planned! The piano delivery was delayed because they were minus one van, so it finally arrived on Wednesday last week. I had been expecting it on either Monday or Tuesday, so there was a lot of hanging around, but never mind. The Piano People, when they did appear, were just wonderful, and made light work of getting the piano out of their van and up two flights of stairs. They soon had the old girl standing on her ornate mahogany legs, and looking very comfortable. Apparently the piano is strung like a harpsichord and so needs special treatment. Luckily the guys knew some names of people who can do this, so hopefully we will soon have the piano sounding reasonable. Then all I have to do is learn to play it again. Don't hold your breath!

I had been planning to go and spend a couple of days (Wednesday and Thursday) with one of my London BFs, but the great Laptop initiation was also delayed because the lovely Dan (and his equally lovely partner, James) couldn't get here until Friday morning and I just knew that rushing back and forth to London wasn't going to work. Especially since I had finally managed to get a Dentist appointment on Friday afternoon. So, as luck would have it, I was here, sitting on the loo on Thursday evening, when I looked down and saw water. Everywhere. I quickly opened the water meter door to discover that there was a fine mist spraying out from one of my pipes. Panic. I phoned the Water Board and then my lovely downstairs neighbour. Roz arrived first (of course) and gamely sat with her finger over the leak (just like the little Dutch Boy) until the water man arrived. Surprisingly, the leak turned out to be my responsibility and all he could do was turn the water off. Great. No water except what was leaking from the pipe. And did I forget to mention that Daughter was staying because she was going to a wedding the next day (not hers, I hasten to add). I sat up until the water stopped dripping (1.30 am) and fervently thanked Divine Providence that I hadn't gone to London, only to return to a flooded house.

I really am very lucky though, because the lovely Roz phoned her friend, and he came and fixed my leaking pipe the next day. What's more, the dear man refused to take any money, so I am in his debt and will have to think of something nice for him. And I had Dan and James setting up my Laptop and transferring all my backed-up stuff at the same time, which was tricky because I couldn't really concentrate on them, and I felt pretty bad about that. Next was the dentist, which wasn't good news - I need maybe an extraction, definitely a crown for a broken tooth and also a new filling, plus a "deep clean" which sounds painful to me.

After all that, I had to get ready for the Wedding Reception, to which I had been invited so that I could bring Grandson home after a couple of hours, leaving Daughter and the Boyfriend to dance the night away. We came home in a taxi at 10pm, and were both tucked up in my bed and fast asleep five minutes later. I was just exhausted, and so was Grandson, who had been dancing on on his own on the stage for a couple of hours, apparently. What Larks!

Oops, is that the time, and my battery is about to run out. I'll have to finish for now and re-charge. More later, bringing you up to date with all the latest news, including the rest of the weekend, new Student(s) and Son's 30th Birthday. Night, night. Sleep tight.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bye for now..

Not that I'm in a panic or anything, but today is the day when I switch off this dear old computer and pass it on to KT and Hon.G, with the fervent hope that it will give them a couple of years service. This means that I have to lose contact for a couple of days (no great loss, I hear you say!) while I get to grips with my new laptop. (I haven't even dared to open the box yet, but that's another story.) I'm also expecting delivery (on Tuesday) of the piano which belonged to my Grandmother. It's a beautiful old Broadwood grand piano which has a smaller than average keyboard, and is actually rectangular; basically a polished mahogany box on very ornate legs. I used to play it as a girl, when Sister and I were on holidays with Nana, so it will bring a lot of memories with it. I'm planning that it will sit where my computer desk now sits. I have checked and double-checked the measurements, and it should all fall into place, but the upheaval it has caused has been major. I didn't realise how much stuff I had been hoarding in my "Study", my desk and my filing boxes, and so I have spent the last few days clearing it all out and moving everything around. I do hope it works.

Added to that, it is Son's 30th Birthday in ten days (on 16th), and I have been trying to find photographs that summarize his 30 years of life so far. More boxes (under beds and in top cupboards) stuffed with so many photos I simply didn't remember. Am I alone in keeping all these memories? I have found Son's first photo (the scan of him at 16 weeks), plus lovely school ones of him with gaps in his teeth, and cards which date back to when both my children were at Primary School, and of course there are drawings they did then, poems they wrote. It's probably something I had to do anyway, but it certainly has brought the memories flooding back.

Well, I must get on. Switch-off time approaches, and I'm feeling nervous. Dan, my lovely computer man, has backed up all my files, and I've changed my "package" so that I get a much better deal (from the same people). It will give me up to 7mg Broadband, a wireless router, landline rental and all my calls, and will cost me £10 less per month. (Not bad when you consider that I have been paying over the odds for a good couple of years!) And I don't have to change my email address, which is a blessing when you're as technologically incompetent as I am.
So, happy Sunday to you all, and I fervently hope to be back with you in a few days (or at least by the end of the week). "Wish me luck as you wave me Goodbye.."