As mentioned last weekend, we had guests to stay, and we had a lovely time, in good company, with great food.
After lunch on Saturday we had a drive out to Whalley. A pootle round the shops, and an overly expensive coffee in Maureen Cooksons. This isn’t some old dear we visited, but a rare thing, an independent department store with a coffee shop where a coffee is a similar price to an item of clothing. All was well though as Steve paid!! The highlight had to be the hot chocolate shot. It was, as it sounds, sickly, overly sweet, and likely to remove a tooth or two, so it was right up my street.
Steve and Di took us to a mutual friend’s house, (they live in Whalley, the mutual friends,not Steve and Di) via a local landmark. The saving grace for this house is that they do it each year for a hospice I think, so it is just about excusable.
A brief stroll later, we stopped for a drink of varying degrees of softness depending upon who was driving (that would be me), and a good chuckle at Mark’s (chap of the house) failing attempts to get his outside xmas lights to work! How ironic when around the corner, the other house don’t seem to know how to turn them off!
We returned to Bolton, and partook in a Chinese of enormous proportions as promised. This catering option is not totally driven by our lack of culinary skills, but more by Steve’s hankering for a decent Chinese takeaway. They live “in the sticks” and their nearest take out is a good twenty minute drive away.
The rest of the evening was spent chatting and playing games on the Wii and Xbox. Not Black Ops of course, not with mixed company so we resorted to Scene It instead. It isn’t important, but I won. Just saying!
Again, pre-empted by a series of moany tweets, Sunday night saw me happily picking the girls up from the Manchester Apollo, following a Youmeatsix gig. I ranted a little at certain parents being allergic to getting off their arse past seven o’clock to pick their kids up, and instead rely on others (always us) to do the honours. This is because we refuse to let a thirteen and fifteen year old get home from Manchester on public transport after 11pm, on a school night. Yes, I do sound 106, but I’m not bothered. That is just ridiculous.
They would rather they took this chance than not have a drink all night and go and pick up their daughter. Knowing all this they “offer” to drop them off at the train station on the outward journey. Gee, thanks.
On to the week, and as those who endure my tweetage will know, the weather conditions are having a detrimental effect on the garage conversion. I fully appreciate as ever, that the weather is both worse elsewhere, and affecting many more serious issues than us gaining a bedroom, however, I can only write of my own experiences!!
This week was all about removing the garage door, and replacing it with a window and wall. I guess now, we are right on the cusp of stopping calling it a garage, and starting to call it a bedroom. The construction of the front wall took three days rather than one, due to snow and frozen sand, but we are all but water tight now. Hopefully with the rest of the work being inside we can make good progress this next week.
I did learn this week, that the best directory of “workmen” is to be had by a relative being a member of a golf club. My Dad is, and whenever we have something that needs doing we usually give him a bell, as no doubt within the ranks of golfers there is at least one of every profession. This held true this week, as we needed an aerial sorting, quickly, for the new bedroom. It had to be done asap as we are wall mounting the TV, and so the cables had to be laid before they finished boarding the walls.
One call to my Dad, a referral to a Steve, and he was there the next day, doing his thing, for a very reasonable price.
With the project coming to a full head of steam now, it has been a bit of a shock to my system. The amount of money I have had to spend this week has been frankly quite distressing. It is all (more or less) budgeted for, but it appears that everything is required now. Bathroom stuff, tiles, TV, aerial for TV, the list is endless. Well, it isn’t really as it just ended, but you know what I mean. This outflow of cash goes against my natural instincts!
Christmas came a little early on Friday evening. With my brother going over to France to his house for the whole of Christmas and New Year, we had a family meal on Friday evening to exchange gifts. We had another Chinese, and I knew it was good as I was so full I was in considerable pain. The true sign of a good meal. As we headed for home the snow came. It was so bad that we couldn’t get the Mondeo up the hill to our house and had to park it up and walk the last few hundred yards. This was big snow, and it was to keep us housebound for all of Saturday!
Speaking of which, how can it have come to pass that I have made it to the ripe old age of 40 without ever seeing It’s a Wonderful Life? I know not, but that was the case until yesterday afternoon.
With more snow outside than backstage at a Depeche Mode gig, we literally could do little else yesterday than settle down to watch one of the many Christmas films that Sky were dusting off. Having sat through the first half hour of Home Alone 2 earlier with Rebecca, I marshalled Louise and Emily onto the couch, cracked open a box of Quality Street and settled in. For those wondering, Rebecca was going out with a friend to get their fringes wet in the snow.