Well, I’m having a good day today, even if it is Friday the 13th. Not that other days recently haven’t been good (and some haven’t, with a vengeance, I’ll explain in a bit) but just right now, here, this morning, I’m having a good day.
The weather has been just lovely and that always, always helps. It’s been pretty bloody magnificent since the beginning of April and there doesn’t seem to be much sign that it’s going to stop either. At least until we get to late July and August when I expect it’ll start raining and not stop until October. Ah well, ‘twas ever thus with British weather – enjoy it while it’s here.
I know the blog’s been pretty quiet since the last post (well, duh…) but you know what I mean. A few things have happened – we bought a lovely new (to us) car, a little black Smart car. It’s teeny, tiny on the outside but is genuinely like a Tardis, inside it easily fits The Lovely Husband, who stands 6’2” when he kicks his slingbacks off, AND there’s just enough boot space to take our weekly shopping, so it’s win-win! It’s hugely fun to drive as well – because it’s so small and light it goes like poo off a shovel when you put your foot down.
We’ve managed with just having one car for the last 14 years because, up until now, TLH was commuting to work in London on the trains so didn’t need the car. But lately he’s been working in a location that is very difficult to get to by train so has had to take our one car with him every day. This has been fine as long as the contract was only going to be a few months – I can walk into the nearest town if I need anything and get the train if I want to get anywhere else – but the contract has been extended and I was beginning to feel the loss of the car. Plus what would happen in an emergency? If I needed to get somewhere really quickly? I’d be scuppered.
Also the only car we had is a shamefully gas-guzzling Range Rover. I make no excuse about owning one since it’s AWESOME but it does appalling mileage to the gallon. This was just about okay when TLH was in London as the car was only used, at most, a couple of times a week, so we could put our first world, privileged blinkers on and just about justify it to ourselves. But doing proper commuting in it, 60-70 miles a day, was costing us an arm and a leg in petrol. So we pondered about what kind of small car to get and ended up investigating the Smart cars.
We needed to see if TLH would fit into one (no-one we know has one so couldn’t ask for a quick sit to try for size), so we found the nearest dealership to us, which just happens to be the Mercedes Benz World over at Brooklands in Weybridge.
This is a somewhat different place to your usual garage forecourt with a row of secondhand cars parked outside. It’s an extraordinary place – it’s built in the middle of what used to be the Brooklands race track and there’s some sort of airfield there as well. But there’s a race track there as well as an off-road track and a skid pan. It’s the sort of place where you can do ‘experiences’ – usually bought as Christmas/birthday presents for blokes – and get to drive massively expensive cars at stupid speeds. Fun if you like that kind of thing.
Anyway, we found that we both fit nicely into the Smart Cars so decided to take the plunge and buy a secondhand one. We’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and we LURVE it. It’s a bit like driving a go-kart for grownups, costs tuppence ha’penny to fill with petrol and uses very little of it to go long distances.
It’s on the driveway right now, looking like the Range Rover’s baby – look, see here:
We’ve rather unimaginately christened it ‘Little Car’ and the Range Rover is now the ‘Big Car’. TLH wanted me to take a picture of them both with a cardboard box next to them, for a really rather tortuous joke relating to the Rave era**
Mind you, it’s not all been new cars and bad jokes at Jones Towers, I have just got over some kind of very nasty stomach bug. It was very, very painful and felt like it could either be Norovirus or, more alarmingly, another bout of mild Pancreatitis but, weirdly, without the additional symptoms of either, i.e., vomiting and the squits. It just hurt. A lot. Lasted about 5 days and has now gone. No idea what it was but just be warned, it could well be something going around, and I don’t recommend it.
It caused me to basically just sit on the sofa and watch old movies for the last 5 days, which is not a bad thing in itself and, frankly, an ideal way for me to spend my day anyway, but it did mean that I couldn’t spend any time at the allotment and we’re getting perilously close to the annual Inspection Date. This is where bigwigs with clipboards come along and inspect your plot to make sure (a) you’re cultivating it and (b) it’s not too overgrown. I’d pass (a) but fail on (b) rather spectacularly at the moment, so I need to spend more time there just doing the bastard weeding. Oh well. I managed to spend 3 hours there yesterday afternoon and got some more beans and some courgettes in. I just have to gird my loins and resign myself to spending more time there next week. But I’m glad I managed to get some work done there this week, stomach bugs notwithstanding.
And this morning/afternoon finds me in my jewellery workshop, with an elderly, overweight, arthritic cat at my feet, making some new things to put on my stall for this coming Saturday. I’m hoping to be able to sell at least one or two things but the credit crunch has hit craftspeople VERY hard – as my mum says ‘what we make isn’t sausages’, which (a) you can’t argue with, as my stuff most definitely isn’t a pork product and (b) means that people would rather use their hard earned cash to buy essentials, such as food, rather than splash out on frivolous jewellery. I’m just very grateful (and lucky) that I don’t need to sell my jewellery to make ends meet, and all the money I make from it is going into my new saxophone fund.
And while I’m making new stuff, I’m listening to BBC Radio 6, which I love. It’s like listening to my iPod on shuffle, and plays enough new music to keep me interested so that I’ll go off and download it.
As I said, it’s a good day today. And it’s Eurovision at the weekend! Yay!! What more could I ask for?!?!?
** 'Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box' was a sort of dance move at the time. Hard to describe but you can read more about it here if you are that desperate to know. Saddo.