UGH, fifteen weeks and you think it's safe to go back to Pizza Express, and then you spend the next day puking on the train to Middlesbrough. Such glamorous. We will return to P-Ex to celebrate the smallington's first birthday, I think, as apparently delicious bread, tomatoes, cheese, ham and olives is too much for my poor squashed tummy. Bleh and also bleh.
(Typing on the iPad, I realise how few actual words I use on LJ. iPad autocorrect does not like bumpwatch, smallington or bleh! Learn quickly, iPad.)
However, the pukiness stopped long enough for me to deliver a four-hour training course on assertiveness, to a room of mostly-overseas-trained doctors, which was fun. This particular group of doctors is obsessed with fancy venues and good food: a colleague was involved in helping them plan an away day, and apparently the first four meetings were all about the venue and the menu, and it was only on the fifth (and at my colleagues urging) that they actually got around to discussing the content. Today we were in a gorgeous eighteenth-century room at a stately home, surrounded by mirrors. I used the mirrors to admire my New Bump Dress. This is a navy shift from Babes With Babies (dear God), purchased for the rather expensive second-hand price of £50, but I can see myself wearing it twice a week from now until September, so I'm OK with that.
I ought to do some blog posts, and I've been tempted to create a South Scandinavian archaeology edition of the 2048 game as could be nice to have something to remind myself of home. But that is definitely de-prioritized compared to spring cleaning. Which is something for another day - I'm absolutely knackered and in need of many hours of sleep.
I finally got round to getting my mushroom boxes for the autumn. I've got two boxes of Swiss browns, which have always grown best for me. That was all I was going to get, but this year they had golden oyster mushrooms to grow too. I've never even tried them before (neither to grow nor eat), so I've got them too. I was slightly tempted by the pink oysters too. They're so... pink. Maybe next year.
Over summer, my mother had some of her trees trimmed and mulched, and this weekend I have been helping her spread it around her garden. Shovel, shovel, shovel. And now my shoulder's sore. Hmph.
While doing all that shovelling, I got to hear all about my mother's ongoing battle with her arch-enemy, also known as her Bosch CombiTrim whipper-snipper (which some of you may know as a line trimmer or a strimmer, I believe). It's... oh, it's a long story. It's unsatisfactory, is one way to put it. She's been taking comfort in reading one-star reviews of it online, which is something she came up with doing all by herself. That is also something I enjoy. It's a bit disconcerting to find that it's genetic.
When I first arrived at my mother's I had to wait before turning into the driveway while she moved her car and the trailer full of mulch out of the way. Only then another car came along the narrow little road, and I had to go past the driveway entrance to let it pass. And then, right, I had to do a three-point turn so I could get back to where I had to be, and it was perfect. PERFECT. I don't often have to do three-point turns, and when I do it's more of a twenty-point turn, but not this one. I almost wished I was doing a driving test, because I would have got top marks. And no-one was around to see me do it, so I thought I would record it here for posterity.
The clocks went back last weekend, and I am all out of sorts. This isn't helped by the fact that we seem to have lost the book that tells us how to change the time on the work phones. I never realised how often I get the time from the display on my phone. I do realise it now, every time I think, ooh, nearly time for lunch, no wait, an hour to go. Hmph.
The clocks going back mean it's darker earlier now, and yesterday was rainy and overcast, meaning it was already dark-ish by late afternoon. That meant the first instance of something I enjoy about this time of year. My office is across the road from a TAFE (a vocational college), directly opposite their kitchen for apprentice chefs. When the light outside is dark, the kitchen is lit up from within and you can see all the apprentices moving around in their white jackets and hats, bathed in yellow light and framed by the big, rectangular windows. It looks like a long-lost Rembrandt. It's lovely.
And then they go outside and loiter on the footpath smoking and completely ruin the effect.
After telling us about his daughter, the painter told us about his trip to Paris ('It's a lovely place, but, tell you what, Charles de Gaulle airport needs a coat of paint on it'), offered his opinion on the block of land for sale at the end of the street ('They're never going to get $115,000 for that,' which is true, and also almost exactly what my boss said when he picked me up for our board meeting road trip the other day), and reminisced about how he and the rest of his under-18 football team used to use fake ID to get drinks in my office (which used to be a slightly disreputable pub).
We haven't got his quote yet, but I hope it's a good one. He seemed fun.
That subject I'm doing for my Masters, it started with 51 students in it. Census date (the last day to withdraw without penalty) was 31 March, and now there are only 25 students in it. That's a high drop-out rate. I mean, yes, it's a lot of work, as evidenced my relative absence from here, but for fifty percent of people to start and realise that... that seems high, doesn't it?
Finally - and finally - there is a painter coming to look at the house this afternoon.
Do you know the part that I found most confusing? It's that his name is in the headline. I spent valuable seconds trying to work out if I was meant to know who Mark Goddard is before taking in the photo below. There must be an easier way to chop off your own hand than that.