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We are family...

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Contrary to everything that was expected, I returned home from Italy on Friday.  Sporting a fabulous tan and a torn hamstring, I made a glamorous exit off the plane in a scruffy wheelchair pushed by a not so scruffy First Officer.  I'm not saying that he was young and inexperienced (his words, not mine, and I was relieved not to have heard these as I boarded the plane) but he didn't look like he'd started shaving, and he insisted on making screeching noises at every corner we negotiated.
I would love to be able to tell you that my fall was after an Aperol fuelled afternoon, but it wasn't.  Every other afternoon was, but this was a very sensible alcohol-free day as we had to get up at an ungodly hour to catch the plane home.  
All I wanted to do was turn my deckchair round.  Unfortunately, I forgot the large concrete parasol base and somehow managed to tear the hamstring whilst trying to avoid stubbing my toe.
But at least it didn't happen at the start of the holiday. 

Here comes the sun...

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Did you hear the celebrations around 1.00 today?  The brass band?  The party poppers?  The fishwife-like 'whoops' of joy?  
No?  Well it was all going on in my head as I drove out of the Binland car park today.  A whole nine days off, five of which will be spent under a sun so hot that it might just melt my cheap flip-flops.
It's been a while coming, this week off, and I am really looking forward to spending time with my amazing best friend, Mrs S and her lovely family.  Now as you know, I normally go away with my own family, seeking safety in numbers with the lunatics who are Miss R, The Mother and Mrs Jangles, so going away with someone else's family is going to be a tad different.  
I might have to behave myself for a start.  There will be no getting up on stage and belting out Da Do Ron Ron to an unsuspecting audience whilst flapping about an inflatable crocodile (this always manages to hang around long after we've verbally destroyed Elton John's Crocodile Roc…

Mambo Italiano...

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Is it the weekend yet?
Of course it isn't.  Life couldn't possibly be that kind. Wouldn't it be great if Life, having seen that you were having a pretty rotten Wednesday, could just fast forward to Friday afternoon.  Of course, this could also work the other way, with Life pressing the pause button while you're having a damn fine weekend.
But it's not to be, and the only thing keeping me going this week is the fact that I am away in Italy next week with Mrs S and some other lovely ladies.  We're off to see Pompeii which I am really excited about, and the husband insists on thinking it's hilarious that this old relic is paying to go and see another old relic.
Talking of the husband, I was given strict instructions last night as to the food shopping for next week.
'Don't bother filling the fridge with food before you go', said he.  'If I want anything, I'll go and get it myself'.  By this, he means getting the local curry house menu from t…

North and south...

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Well ladies, the husband and I have just about dried out after our weekend Up North with son number two.  Cast your mind back to Saturday morning if you will. (If you live any further north than Birmingham, no casting back of the mind will be required).  The morning was absolutely stunning, and the husband and I left home bedecked in shorts and skimpy tops (actually, that was just me, he chose something more sensible with a sleeve).  We had our sunglasses on, and had packed with the weather in mind.  Nothing could be better than a party in a rooftop bar with such glorious weather.
By the time we hit the M1, the husband had turned the air conditioning off, deciding that an ambient temperature might be more conducive.  By Barnsley, I had a jumper on and had unrolled my shorts for maximum thigh coverage, and the husband had turned the heating up having finally accepted that it was getting colder the further north we went.
Pulling up at our hotel, the husband nodded across to two people wal…

Little by little...

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Now I love my Tesco groceries delivery driver.  He is polite, friendly and very chatty, and we always exchange a bit of polite conversation (usually involving the weather) as I lift the bags from the plastic crates he wheels up to my doorstep.
However, after today's delivery,  Tesco and I are taking a bit of a sabbatical from each other.  You know how having your groceries delivered should in theory save you a whole mountain of time?  Well today's delivery took so long from start to finish that I could have driven to Tesco (in Aberdeen), done my shopping, packed it in the car and driven home again.
Tesco have introduced a new No Bag Policy you see, so the 97 items I'd bought turned up at my door in nine different crates un-bagged and causing havoc.  'Tesco are trialing it out', explained my lovely driver as I lifted out my groceries one item at a time.  Further questioning revealed that this would be going on till late August.  'If that's the case', I sai…

Chaos from the top down...

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I am without wheels.
Poor old Rita (my Mini) went in for a service today.  The husband had followed me over to the dealer on Monday so that we could drop it off, with the expectation of a call from them mid morning today.  At this point, I would have said something along the lines of 'How much?' or 'Are you really sure it needs one of those?' before settling up with them.  They would then drop Rita back sometime this afternoon where we would be reunited.
Well ladies, I got the call alright...
'It's George here, from Mini'.
Bracing myself (and my bank account) for the pending words of doom, I waited to see what the final bill was.  Mind you, he had called earlier than expected, so part of me was wondering whether he was phoning ahead of some gargantuan piece of expensive work which the technician had identified.  I was partly right.
'There's been a recall on your car, Madam'.
Interesting.  This must have happened in the two week interval between bookin…

Wooden heart...

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I've been on the missing list this weekend, but for good reason.  As you know, this weekend the husband and I celebrated yet another wedding anniversary. What has been really lovely is that we have mostly kept to home, enjoying each other's company, walking our woofers and eating lovely food courtesy of the husband and his naked flame.  There have been brief interludes of non-anniversary stuff, such as breakfast with the family on Saturday and a most pleasant three hours spent leering at semi naked men with feathered trousers (Matthew Bourne Swan Lake fix) but for the most part, it's just been me and him.
As you all know, wood has featured quite strongly in our house over the past couple of months, with the husband's anniversary present to me being an oak pergola which he made himself.  I, not being so adept with a jigsaw, took to the internet, and personalized a cube of oak for him.  The husband loved it, and it now sits inside the pergola, where I can turn it round de…