Two Weekends

My weekends, which consist of three and a half days since I reduced my hours at work, tend to follow quite a predictable pattern. I lie in bed until the cat reaches the limits of his patience, and starts biting my feet, then I spring into action, i.e. stumble about getting something for each of our breakfasts, following which I slump in the chair next to the conservatory door and spend anywhere from an hour to the rest of the morning opening and closing the door for the cat and reading online news and social media and maybe the odd novel or two. If I’m in mid-first draft I will write for a bit, otherwise the only useful things I do all weekend are washing-up and food shopping.
In November everything I do is organised around getting my daily 1600-ish words done for NaNoWriMo, but sometimes the words have to be distributed among other days due to circumstances beyond my control, of which there have been a few lately. But see immediately below for another triumph over adversity!

Last weekend and the weekend before last have been different from usual. For one thing, I  didn’t start the weekend before last at home, but in a guest house in Beverley, Yorkshire, and I didn’t while away any time on social media because I had to go to a work meeting all day on Friday. On Saturday morning  I also didn’t lie in bed late or slump in a chair at the start of the day but left the guest house ridiculously early to catch an early train into Hull and then another train on to Doncaster in a successful attempt to outwit the Northern Trains strikers and catch my scheduled train at Doncaster. I’ve now seen somewhat more than I ever expected to of Doncaster and Beverley stations and less of Hull station where I had less than two minutes to change trains and only succeeded in doing so thanks to a brilliant and fairly unusual platform layout which meant passengers didn’t have to go up and down steps, through subways, over bridges or into dodgy-looking lifts to get from one platform to another. Incidentally Doncaster was one of the worse examples I’ve seen of the subway option. But don’t get me started on the topic of trains and stations (too late, sorry).

The fun didn’t stop after I got home, because someone in the family had a special birthday on the Sunday – which had already extended its tentacles back into the previous week when I had to get presents, cards etc organised. Incidentally, special thanks to whoever designs cards for Marks and Spencer. I bought a card in royal blue with a crown on the front and a message saying ’70 – king for a day’ on Wednesday 14th November, thinking how amused (probably in a teeth-gritting way) Prince Charles would be if someone had sent him that same card, and when I took it to the checkout the assistant there said, ‘I bet Prince Charles would’ve liked this one.’ How we laughed.

Last weekend wasn’t supposed to be equally hectic, but unfortunately I had to take my car for its MOT test on Friday, and I had promised to help at a Christmas fair for a while on Saturday. The car needed some work done, so I had to leave it at the garage overnight, and in an added twist it had to have some magic ingredient added to the fuel tank, but I hadn’t left the key to the petrol cap, which lives on an elephant key-ring in my handbag, with the car. So my Saturday went something like this: 

8:30 am leave house to get bus down to garage

9:00 am hand over elephant key-ring

9:30 am home again – write 1,500 words for NaNoWriMo

10:30 am leave for Christmas Fair, weighed down with bag of special mugs for stall

11:00 am to 1 pm helping on stall at Fair

1:30 pm home again – cup of soup and home-made brownie with inexplicable caramel filling, bought from neighbouring stall at fair

While eating – ring 1471 and find garage has called – ring them back

Car ready!

2 pm taxi down to garage*

2:30 pm leave garage in car this time, just making it out before roads all closed due to rugby at Murrayfield.

3 pm to 4 pm write another 1,000 words or so.

4 pm onwards lie in heap

*something about the way I spent the morning had set off my arthritis again. It had already been exacerbated in a silly incident in the guest house I stayed in the weekend before last, in which I miscalculated the slipperiness of the bedspread, perched on the corner of the bed and immediately found myself sliding down on to the carpet – bad knee first as always.

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