So, where did I get up to? We went down to my friend’s wedding in Leicestershire, stopping at old university friend, Adam Crawford, in York on the way, with his wife Laura, and 2 kids Jacob and Violet. Here, I was presented with the ‘opportunity’ to be a princess for the afternoon and wear a tiara, and also a random act of kindness, as 2-year old Violet (repeatedly) insisted I have tea and cake (made of plastic and wood) – fun the first time, less fun for the 17th time. Even after Violet went to bed, I still found myself wearing a tiara, sat in the lounge with a glass of wine. I also got the opportunity to read 3 more books, as I put Violet to bed and read her stories. 5 weeks on, I can’t remember the name of the books, although they probably had something to do with animals losing something, and searching in ridiculous places to find them again. One man in the book lost his pet birds, but they were actually spying on him in each picture, in some kind of spooky ‘The Birds’ kids adaptation.
The wedding was that of old friend Sarah Graham, who I know from my scout mountaineering courses at Lochearnhead. We have the kind of friendship where we don’t see each other for years, and then pick up straight where we left off, normally laughing and trying to fit our fists in our mouths. Also at the wedding, I caught up with two of Sarah’s friends, Graeme Bigg, who I also know from the courses at the station from when I was about 15, and Sarah Fish, who I spent the weekend with in Sarah’s houseshare in Nottingham. As the party progressed, we had the opportunity to learn some swing dances from the swing teachers they had hired – we did a bit of Charleston, jive, and other stuff that you see on Strictly. I also got a new hairdo.
I am now down at my Dad’s in South Wales and have been chilling out, but also getting out and about each day. Dad has a new electric bike which is encouraging him to go cycling each day, so I borrowed his neighbour’s bike and we went down to Pembrey Country Park and back (a new type of exercise for my challenge). We also went to the Botanic Gardens to see their new butterfly pavilion, which was pretty cool (another opportunity taken). Finally, we watched a new film, The Secret Life of Pets, which was……mediocre. I’ve also been upping my acts of kindness with some deep-cleaning activity around his house.
- Time passes so much more quickly with a good distraction. For the first 4 miles of my 30 mile walk, I walked in silence, mainly because I was worried my Ipod battery wouldn’t last all day, and I thought I’d want the entertainment more at the end than at the beginning. However, I found myself constantly checking my phone, which was tracking my distance, and being constantly agigtated by how far I’d gone (or not gone) since I last checked. As soon as I started up Stephen Fry and Harry Potter, I was sometimes surprised when my phone vibrated to announce yet another mile down, while I’d not even noticed walking it. This probably also says something deep and meaningful about my ability to be alone with my own thoughts…..
- Croissant dough rises. If you leave it overnight, it rises overnight. It is therefore better to put it into the shape you want it in, before leaving it overnight. Otherwise, you have to roll out the dough, and thus squash all the air out of it, before shaping it, and then it only make 8 delicious huge croissants, rather than the 12 the recipe said it would. Tasted delicious either way.
- I now know how to laminate dough with butter…….so much delicious butter……
- If someone finished a jigsaw I’d started……I’d be massively annoyed.