Monday, April 28, 2008

Cash Rich, Time Poor

This phrase could have been coined for us. We do not have a problem with work / life balance - we have an equally excessive abundance of both! What we wrestle with is the triple constraint of work / life / hours-in-the-day balance - trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot. Hence two weeks without a post.

The last two weekends have had a tidy symmetry about them, both involving mothers and old friends. Last week end was Scotland to visit Mary's Mum, this weekend just gone was Farnham to visit my mum.

Last weekend we flew up to Scotland and did the usual: baby sitting for Mary's sister Sandra and George. Saturday was spent with May, shopping and cooking a meal. Sunday we went into central Glasgow for lunch with a couple of Mary's college friends: Christine and Geraldine and Alisdair.

family sitting at restaurant table
The McLellan Family Celebrate Mum's 81st Birthday
Jane, Michael, Sarah, Pete, Mary, Mark, Geri, Ian.

This weekend we had my old friends Carmike&Lorna plus youngest son David for a DP. Saturday we saw the last night of "The Importance of Being Earnest" starring Penelope Keith. Sunday we went to Farnham for Mum's 81st birthday. We took our bikes with us on the train and on the way back we cycled 30 miles but that is another story...

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Persistence of Memory

Since about the age of fifteen I have kept a diary. Not so much "Dear Diary ..." more like "Went round to Bill's, played conkers".

I recently went up into the loft and came across my diaries from the early '80s when I was young, single and had a busy social calendar. When I read entries like "Drinks with Simon" and "Theatre with Caroline" I have to say I was thinking "Who the #~$* are Simon and Caroline?". Many of the names I recognised and am still in touch with but a scary number had sunk into the tar pit of time :-(

For a while I had a PDA - a Philips Nino - and that was my diary. When it eventually gave up the ghost I was left with 3 year hole in my memory. Now I have Gullible's Travels and it acts as off-site memory storage. It is like being able to Google my own brain to find out what I did and when!

So here is some spider food:
  • Thursday, March 27, 2008 - Went to see the recording of Ready, Steady, Cook
  • Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - Went to see Youssou N'Dour at IndigO2
  • Saturday, April 05, 2008 - Hosted dinner party for siblings and partners
  • Friday, April 11, 2008 - Went down to Farnham to give Mum some internet coaching

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Furnishing the apartment 3

So I took the easy option and snagged the photos that Mary had already selected from our advert on The apartment is only 57.5 m2 but the terrace is a whopping 64 m2.

Everything you see in these photos was bought in the mad shopping spree that was our visit. And I do mean everything down to the bag of pegs in the bathroom and the washing up bowl in the sink. Plus, of course, the scatter cushions as well - it's a girl thing <rolls eyes>.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Opening up Trullo Azzurro for the Season

The weekend was a flying visit to Italy to prepare Trullo Azzurro (formerly known as "Hovel in the Hills") for the coming season. We closed down back in October (see "Closing Down Trullo Azzuro for the Winter") now we have to get everything back out of the plastic bags and put all the bedding, sun loungers etc in the right houses.

It really was a flying visit, out 7:30 Saturday morning, back 21:20 Sunday evening. We went straight from and to work, staying at the SAS Radisson Friday and Sunday nights. Extends our trip and makes it feel more like a weekend break.

It was a productive visit. We met with Daniele the architect who brokered a meeting with the gardener who we had never actually met. We got quotes for some additional paving work and settled up our debts from last year, respectively. Then we went in to Cisternino to meet with Pierdonato to top up the kitty for the "meet and greet" and cleaning services. We also got an update on the water pump problems (don't ask). Finally it was out for a very enjoyable meal at Refugium Peccatorum with neighbours Chris and John.

Sunday we did popped round to see Mino at Truddhi where he kindly gave a bottle to the just-bottled wine we saw being pressed as grapes last year. Followed by an unplanned lunch at Chris and John's. The rest of the day was spent weeding the beds. No maintenance had been done over the winter and the place was looking very overgrown. Fortunately it is possible to make a huge visible difference in just a couple of hours. Then it was a final tidy up and off to the airport.

T5 may have problems with baggage but Stansted has problems with immigration. It took 45 minutes queuing to get through to the immigration desk so it was gone half midnight before we fell into bed. Which is why we stay at the airport. We are back out again in May for a long weekend over the May bank holiday which should be much more relaxing.