Well, to read about! So that’s you warned.
And today, a return to the regularly-scheduled nonsense. I had big plans for this weekend – three whole social interactions! Beer had invited me for some chilled-out drinks with her and Sambucca on Saturday afternoon, Breadbin was coming over for a gig Saturday evening, and then a lassie I know through fightclub, who I shall call… Cava, is coming over and invited me to go shopping in town with her on Sunday.
Now, on a normal weekend I would rather spend the day doing some literal ploughing than ploughing round shops with the hordes, though that is only partly due to misanthropy on my part and partly due to my perennial lack of readies. (Window-shopping – why? There’s more than enough things I want but can’t afford, it won’t help one jot to go find additional ones. Do people in refugee camps regularly go torture themselves by standing outside cake shops?)
However, it is the Festive Season. Therefore, in the Spirit of Christmas, town is going to be ten times more nightmarish than usual and I would rather walk the West Highland Way in unsuitable shoes than suffer The Death of A Thousand Pensioners’ Brollies – even if the latter would be slightly faster. So I compromised by saying, I could meet her for coffee or lunch or something instead. Eight miles on foot ahoy! Thank god it is still snowy out!
And on top of all that, there is a flat to clean and a whole lotta homebrew to move on a stage and a freezer to refill, so it was starting to look a bit frantic. And the sums! Don’t forget the sums! They’re a Category One priority!
So both Saturday and Sunday started early – with a work-out and stretches and cleaning, instead of the sums. Sigh. I know, housework is a Category Four priority, but I can’t concentrate when I know things are sitting around Dirty; I try, I swear, but my inner Kryten gets all antsy. Curse my habituation.
Still! I worked hard and things were soon sparkling and (in the case of the homebrew) in shiny new demijohns. Ooh, squeezing out a warm muslin bag full of pulped peapods and sugar is gross. Sadly, due to the amount of sterilising involved, all this took till midday on both days. And I was knackered. Note to self: you do not need to start off with a weights work-out if your plans for the day involve twenty minutes wrestling a recalcitrant window-blind that fell down in the night and hauling and shaking gallons of water. I now hurt.
Also: eek, no sums and no cooking has been achieved and already half the weekend is gone!
And then I discovered I was out of onions. I’m not sure quite how a recipe even starts if you don’t have an onion, so I had to nip out to LIDL for more.
I shall take all the recycling and save myself an extra trip! I thought. After all, it is a beautiful sunny day! And I feel I could well be up for marching in to fightclub after work on Monday, for check me out, I have done lots of Stuff and not needed to go for a nap after each stage, I reckon I am now Officially Well.
Which is how I found myself somehow in the middle of a massive ice-sheet, with all the traction and yielding softness of oiled plate-glass, unable to move in any direction for fear of suddenly flying off my feet onto the carrier bags of glass bottles I was carrying. Bugger. How is it you can wander into one of these things, like you would into a minefield, without even realising it?
Unlike a minefield, you can’t even stop dead! Mercifully, there was someone else in the same predicament, because misery loves company. And at least she was the one muttering to herself out loud. Marvellous, trapped on an ice-sheet with a lunatic, and it’s not even one in the afternoon. We waddled along like a pair of terrified penguins, inch by painful inch, until I could at least ditch the glass. At which point I realised my shoulders were agony, because I’d had them hunched right up past my chin in fear. Great way to avoid a fracture, that.
Right. The Icerink of Death is here, as prophesised, cancel all non-essential plans which involve leaving the house! Just as soon as I make it home alive!
Which would be, drinks with Beer, gig with Breadbin, coffee with Cava. Dammit! Goodbye social interactions!
Cava said she couldn’t make it over from Edinburgh after all, so at least I’m not minus any points here for letting someone down – but Breadbin said he could give me a lift from my door, so that was one thing that could still happen. Hurrah!
Till the roads started freezing over on his side of the country and he had to abandon the whole idea.
Oh well. I was looking really popular for a second there. Instead of loud guitars and unseasonable frocks and lashings of beer with (hopefully) strange and wonderful people, therefore, I spent Saturday evening… on the phone to my Chestnut-haired Old Mother, hee. Not very rock’n’roll.
Though it sounds like a disaster, I actually had a really nice weekend, which is probably the worst admission of all. There was sun on snow to look at, music to listen to and a fairly relaxing round of, um, work, I suppose. I’m quite enjoying this course (touchwood) – ah, the feeling of power when I sit down with a new chapter and start reading about something I know nothing about, and understand it, and then I try the sums at the end and they are Right! I imagine there’ll be a lot more like the chapter three fiasco to plague me in the future, however.
My Chestnut-haired Old Mother has already broken this year’s mutual non-aggression pact (‘don’t get me a Christmas present and I won’t get you one’), only 48 hours after the treaty was drawn up. Bless. I was totally gonna break it myself, of course, as every year, but she beat me to it. So I now have funds for… a DeWalt cordless drill! A GOOD one!
OR, I could put it towards my engineering course. OR, I could nearly afford a weekend spent smelting a bronze sword! See, money is the root of all evil – I wanted all these things only moderately passionately, and now I can afford One of them so I want them All, very badly indeed. I will spend the next few days in a paroxysm of anguish and a puddle of drool, see if I don’t. Then a bill will come in and take the money, as usual.
And I have a five-bean chilli, a big aubergine and mozzarella lasagne, and a parsnip, bacon and apple casserole boxed up and frozen. The latter was especial genius – the recipe called for parsnip and apple, brown sugar and paprika and nutmeg to be slathered over each other in layers and topped with breadcrumbs (perfect use for the bread heel!) so I figured I had to try it out; but I reckoned adding fried bacon would give it a bit more muscle (not to mention, some well-needed calorie content). I was right and it was damn tasty, so there we go, I just Invented a new recipe, but next time more brown sugar, I think, so it goes a bit melty.
And I have a big vat of beer in my newly-tidied and draught-proofed brewing-room (slash studio: not a lot of drawing going on at the moment). Yay! I think, I will round the weekend off with icecream and knitting and watching Yu-gi-oh! The Abridged Series, while shouting, Screw the rules, I have money! Because for once, I totally do!
Rice Krispies called during this. (I had called her previously, but she had been in the middle of making a lemon meringue pie, which I thought was a bit odd but hell, nobody expected me to suddenly turn into a cookaholic either). She told me hilarious tales of freezer-related horror, which were the reason for the lemon meringue pie (there you go, I was right that that was a bit odd), her disastrously expensive shopping trip (see! This is why you should never go near a shop unless it is a matter of life or death! I only went to LIDL and it was nearly life or death!) and how she made a colossal amount of money for fifteen minutes’ dancing. Fully-clothed. Woo!
God, all I had to offer in the way of return was ‘getting stuck on ice while going out for onions’. A successful weekend is indeed a boring one!
If you got all the way to the end of that, well done. Brace yourself to be ‘rewarded’ with a link to a news article on the discovery of life that can incorporate arsenic into its DNA, instead of phosphorus.