The blue corduroy jacket

Last week I met a man wearing a blue corduroy jacket. He was standing outside a pub with a small dog in tow, and already had a glass in his hand (the man that is). Some things never change!

It was, of course, the same chap I met, at the same pub, ten years ago. We decided to celebrate a decade together by taking a trip down memory lane.

After dinner we walked across Primrose Hill as the light was fading. In early May, it’s a lovely time of year with the freshest, greenest young grass and new leaves.

We ended up walking home through St John’s Wood chatting as we went and sat in our large communal garden as evening turned to night and our reminiscing came to an end.

Ten years later and we still have plenty to talk and laugh about and it turns out it wasn’t such a bad decision to go and meet the one in the blue corduroy jacket!

Here’s to the next ten!

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Let’s get physical!

As this is my year of proactive and preventative health checks, I signed up for a couple of scans to check the innards and so spent a satisfying morning inside an MRI tunnel and a CT scanner at an astronomical cost but then again, what’s more important?

A quick initial follow up reassured me that everything looked pretty good and my brain hasn’t shrunk, hurrah! My spine has a curve or mild scoliosis (which I knew) and my lower back is a little bit worn out (buggered) probably from extreme activities like rowing so no real surprises there.

There are a couple of other things which are nothing to worry about (until you start googling) and I’ll have a more in-depth follow up to discuss maintenance and lifestyle but generally things are pretty good.

So all good and in my opinion, money well spent. Yes, I could have bought a Chanel handbag but what’s the point if I don’t have an arm to hang it on!

Easter weekend

The Easter long weekend is always the first real break after Christmas and so, as it was later this year and with the Scottish wedding and Covid to recover from, I decided to take the week off work.

With Easter came the first run of good weather. Four days of sun felt like a mini heatwave and a welcome relief after a long winter.

We spent Good Friday doing a little garden maintenance and enjoyed a family lunch on Easter Sunday with the other days spent walking around London, planning travel to France and generally enjoying a break.

After a week off and some nice weather, I finally felt much better after what had been a boring couple of months of cold and Covid.

Hello Spring!

A family wedding

Saturday was Wedding Day and after a brisk walk along a stunning beach, we headed down the main staircase and assembled in the wedding room ready for the formal part of the day.

The local beach
Kingsbarns Golf Links
Big Teeing off!
Heading downstairs

It was a lovely ceremony, tears, laughter and a literal knot was tied which followed a traditional Scottish hand binding which made the rest of us feel we weren’t quite married.

Getting ready for photographs
John &Fi
The three Amigos
Suited and booted

And then it was time for the reception where a piper piped the Bride and Groom into the room and a traditional dram of whisky was offered to the piper, and a plethora of speeches followed.

Scottish Nuptials

We headed north for the wedding of Big T’s nephew and lovely bride in a beautiful stately home on the coast near St Andrew’s.

On the train we met a Yorkshire man who lived in the Philippines and talked about many things for two and a half hours. Luckily he then got off the train.

The Northumberland coast was stunning and certainly an area to explore. Perhaps it was the glorious sunshine which made us think it would be worth a visit.

Arriving at Leuchars station, we had a friendly taxi driver who gave us a mini tour of St Andrew’s before dropping us at Cambo House, perfect timing for the start of the wedding’s celebrations with pizza in the vegan cafe on the estate.

Cambo House
The evening before
Pizza night

And we were off! A weekend of fun ahead.

Ten Days Later

This morning I tested negative to Covid. Finally.

I think I knew something was wrong when none of my emails made sense and I was taking everything VERY personally. At that point I decided to step away from communication, read all emails at least twice and try to stay off zoom meetings. It sort of worked, except when I forgot to do it!

Despite optimistically feeling better a couple of days in, the brain fog and exhaustion refused to relent and i started to feel I would never be well again.

Having a cold followed by Covid has been one of the less fun parties I’ve been invited to but I’ve upped my vitamins, slept as much as possible, reduced my working hours and been alcohol-free for weeks. Hopefully this has helped restore my health and sense of humour, something which has been sadly lacking in recent weeks.

With a short week ahead, a family wedding in Scotland and the Easter break coming up, I’m finally feeling a bit better although to be honest, the beast still feels like it’s lurking in the back of my throat and my voice is still not quite back to normal. Hopefully in another few days all will be well, and I’ll be boarding the train to St. Andrews on Friday with excitement at the weekend ahead.

Covid. Over it.

The Simpler Life

Last night I watched a programme about a group of twenty four people who volunteered to live like the Amish for six months as an experiment to see how they would cope with a simpler life. By episode two, eight people had dropped out. I’m intrigued to see the rest of the series and it made me think about consumerism, integrity and screentime.

While my career is entirely based in consumerism and I love a bit of online shopping, I am onscreen for at least ten hours a day which is a problem. I’m thinking of trying a screen-free day once a week to see if I can detox.

It’s an interesting experiment which will be easier as we head into the summer versus the dark winter evenings.. It means no computer, laptop, phone or TV, let’s see if I can wean myself off!

The Covid Party

My invitation to join the Covid Party arrived after being lost in the post for the last two years. Perhaps I’d bragged too many times about dodging the Covid bullet or perhaps I’d gone to one too many post-Covid get-togethers including an all-staff meeting in the office sans masks where half the office tested positive in the days following. Either way, my invitation finally arrived as I tested positive and had my first taste of Covid 19 in 2022.

The first day I thought it was hayfever except I don’t get hayfever anymore so I assumed the supercold had returned. Then, due to go into the office, I stuck the old Q-tip up my nose and did a lateral flow test thinking it was nothing. After that, things happened very quickly. By Thursday afternoon I shut my laptop and decided I couldn’t go on.

Two days later, after a temperature, brain fog, exhaustion, coughing and sneezing, I felt almost normal. I’ll test again in a few days time to see if I can go into the office but I think I’m over the worst of it. It wasn’t that bad.

If I wasn’t vaccinated, would it have been worse? Hard to say but I wouldn’t fancy finding out!

Moving, not moving

So, the offer we made on the flat around the corner suddenly felt like a bad decision. The spare bedroom was referred to by Big T as The Cupboard, and we knew it would forever be its name, Our feet were very cold and we decided it wasn’t the right place for us. Coupled with a £5,000 non-refundable deposit from the seller to take it off the market, we decided to wait until our sale had progressed.

We then went back for a second look at a flat two doors down from us. Same building, same level, different floorplan. The price had been dropped significantly as the American buyers just wanted to sell and it seemed like an opportunity we couldn’t refuse and so we made an offer. So, if all goes through with our sale, we’ll move two doors down to number 84 where we’ll do the same thing all over again. A strange sense of deja vu except moving should be very easy!

To be fair, Number 84 is in much better condition and barely needs anything doing… just a new floor, new bathroom, possibly a new kitchen, new french doors and hopefully we’ll resist the temptation to rejig the floorplan by swapping the kitchen and master bedroom, that would be a very bad idea!

More to come on Property Chess!

Selling and buying… perhaps

Nothing’s a done deal in the buying and selling of property in the UK and that is the thing to remember. it’s not over until the keys change hands.

We have an offer on our flat which we’ve accepted. That’s all good but until the contracts are signed and exchanged, it can all fall through.

In the meantime we made an offer on a flat around the corner. Our offer hasn’t been accepted yet and now we’re not sure how we feel about things. We may have cold feet.

I’m a big believer in fate with these things. It’s not worth losing sleep over so we’ll wait to see what happens next…