...Ah yes, I have a blog!
My sincerest apololgies dear readers for abandoning you for what seems longer than two weeks - in fact it probably is. But so much has occured and in all my excitement I have been too busy living it all to sit at my trusty computer to relate it all. But here goes...
First there was a three day training course in London town. The excitement of a fully expensed hotel in Bloomsbury Square. The novelty of which quickley rubs off when you realise that you aren't really the best company for yourself. I spent an embarassingly long time flicking on all the light switches until I realised the power was turned on by a room key shaped slot in the wall. I had issues with the very confusing shower, so much so that it almost came to a bath over the sink until I decided enough was enough, swallowed my pride and called the front desk. I also learnt how not to dine alone. Breakfast etiquette in hotels requires the morning paper or some sort of reading material ( not a tabloid paper or gossip magazine) and you do not under any circumstances face the other single diners in the room. It makes the nervous, and they fidget. According to "A single-diners breakfast etiquette in hotels", you all face the same way on individual tables, and never should you greet a fellow diner. It shocks them and the spill their tea or drop their toast in the beans leaving an impressive Expressionist art pattern on their crisp white shirts. Even though I had observed these unwritten rules, I managed to forget them in my sleep and relive my embarassment on both mornings. And the unbelievably indiscreet person who does not belong in the hotel? The one who knocks cutlery off tables and clinks the cup to the saucer too loud? The one who everyone looks at and cringes? ... that was me.
Upon returning home and after the shame in realising that I was clearly not quite the well poised individual I had originally thought had subsided, I was struck down with misbehaving kidneys. Oh the pain, the tears, the painkillers and magical antibiotics.
This was followed by a delightfully surprising premature (by a week) celebratory birthday trip to London town with Frank. The city may have been the same but this little person has never been wined and dined so well. Nor has she stayed in such a beautiful hotel (it had a grand staircase with plushy carpet, and I am not ashamed to admit that I might've, on more than one occassion, pretended I was a Princess. You just have to in these situations) It didn't matter that I couldn't put my cup down quietly or butter my toast delicately, because I had Frank with me. And I didn't care if I looked like a fool. Lets face it trips are always more entertaining when its pleasure not business.
Frank is a superstar. My purse didn't leave my handbag once, except for taking out my oyster card and paying for some really cold and exciting ice cream in Leicester Square. Of course purchasing ice cream was comparitively inexpenisive for Frank, who's wallet is considerably lighter than before he met me.We had none of this, "Lets explore the backstreets" business. We were proud to be unseasoned vistors. Proud to use the concierge service to ask for directions. Frank and I were tourists by day and tourists who explored a little off the beaten track by night. It was fantastic. For once I didnt mind gawking at my tube map on the underground or walking slowly to annoy the Suits.
And to top off my delightful bank holiday weekend? A hot air balloon flight of course. The great thing about the flight was that it prolonged that amazing view you get as you take off on a plane before you disappear into the clouds. Obviously it wasn't through a tiny square window and there was no temporary take-off face lift either. It was the calm and quiet, until we landed with a small bump on a golf course and interrupted a game. Sorry chaps!
I returned home for two days, showed my face in the office, worked through an insane amount of emails and then made my routine trip to Ipswich on friday night. The duration of this journey I would rather not discuss, however for the sake of additional comment and questions - I spent a less than desirable amount of time in incredibly long and solid queues on the M25 (I even turned Brian off and got out for a stretch. It was a carpark in the glorious sunshine) and was stuck behind all manner of idiots with an innate inability to drive and a complete misunderstanding of motorway etiquette.
So here is a polite notice to some of those drivers in particular -
Dear M25/ Friday night/ half term drivers,
When someone is stuck up your rear end in the middle lane and clearly wants to get past, and it is illegal to undertake, would you please use your iniative and move right on over. Now.
Of course, this comment is now over and shall never be mentioned again. Provided they all learn.
Frank and I, once we'd recovered from the aftermath of a Friday night cocktail party, ventured into Ipswich on a little shopping spree. Now I say 'spree'... it wasn't. I gave up on my quest for high heeled tan sandals after about ten minutes ( I don't know what's happened to me, maybe the kidneys have had a life changing affect). Frank bought a pair of chinos.
Of the pair of us, it is quite obvious that I am the impulse buyer. To be honest, I think it should be a recognised medical condition. There have been many times when I have returned home laden with bags and a battered bank account only to find that months later these "had-to-have" purchase hang tagged and unworn in my wardrobe. But the receipts are missing. Covenient.
However Frank made the mammoth of all impulse purchases. Well maybe not the most mammoth, because it wasn't a supercar or a yacht, but an impressive impulse nonetheless.
We visited a food retailer whose corporate branding "Every little helps" suggests that even if dying from starvation, their value ketchup might save me from the white light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe that saving 3p on a tin of beans will help those pennies in your bank account grow.
We went in for beer. Had we left with only beer then Frank's pockets might be a little heavier. But we didn't. We got sidetracked. Frank decided to fill little Brian with a very large box containing a brand new 40" widescreen telly. And a new DVD player. Shower soap and three crates of beer.
Quite possibly the most random of shopping baskets.
Upon returning to the homestead, I allowed Frank to begin assembling and playing with his new toy. I cooked dinner. Oh Germaine Greer would be proud.
Frank developed a man crush. His new gadget fed him sports scores. Showed him other gadgets he would definitely need. Allowed him to surf the internet. Watch week old programmes on iPlayer. But it didn't fetch ice cold beer from the fridge. I did this. And poured it.
Frank, I now know how you feel when I buy a beautiful new pair of shoes, which I haven't done for quite some time but I feel that in order to fill the temporary boyfriend shaped void in my life I will need to fill it with a small pair of shoe-shaped purchases.
N.B This man crush will be over next week, once the boys have gawped at the telly and drunk all the beer. Once Frank realises that he can't have a conversation with an intellectual programme he shall come back to me... I shall welcome him back with open arms and new shoes on my feet.