Starting to be recovered from a hectic weekend: Sez’s visit, some other friends visiting Saturday afternoon, then the collection of a computer from freecycle early sunday morning left me rather tired yesterday, and its only now that i’m starting to feel a bit more recovered (and been cooking up a storm this afternoon!).

Sez’s visit was great. We visited the Hulme Garden Centre, a not for profit Community garden nursery (or, as BP mis-read it on Thursday’s blog: a communist nursery). Its not very large, but they do grow a selection of plants, quite a few vegetables, and have some lovely gardens at the back. They’re calling for volunteers and i may well go over, just to see if i can learn stuff. There’s a nice cafe opposite, the 6th day cafe, where Sez had alcoholic coke (tasted a bit like those cola bottle sweets you can get) and alcoholic dandelion and burdock – both were very nice, i have to say – and i settled for a good old fashioned cuppa. We did clothes shopping: i persuaded her to buy (translation: told her she looked damn good in it and she was buying it) a rather nice top – i just hope her OH likes it as much as i do. We mooched around Ashton Under Lyne, visited Ikea, watched DVDs (“Kingdom of Heaven” and “Memoirs of a Geisha”) and TV (“Its not easy being green”, “Hairy biker’s cookbook”, “embarrassing illnesses”, “how clean is your house”, “NCIS”, “the Wolfman” to name a few), made bread, chatted and generally caught up. I had a good time, i hope she did too. She did take photos, and a video, of Jess, so when she emails them to me, i’ll do a few Jess Love posts 🙂 Jess love is always good.

Sez left early saturday afternoon – i hustled down to Aldi, picked up a few bits, and iced the cake that i’d made earlier that morning. We’d polished off the chocolate beer cake between us (and the chocolate/white chocolate cookies Sez brought – don’t forget i want the recipe, babe!) by Friday night so i had to make some more cake for the visit of the other friends, A and P. I chose to make coffee and walnut cake, and while it wasn’t the best i’ve ever made, it was edible and nice and they were happy (especially Michiel, who adores coffee and walnut cake). After that i had a quick bath, got dressed and waited for them to arrive – P brought me a book of hers on organic gardening which is very useful, big hardback book, which was very nice of her. We sat with cups of tea, catching up on news and gossip and stuff before they left, just before Doctor Who. Michiel looked after a very tired me, doing the washing up and providing me with pizza, and i had orders to stay on the sofa and relax! so i did.

As already mentioned, i picked up a computer base unit on Sunday morning from someone on freecycle. Michiel was keen to have it, some parts of it are slightly better than the one i have,  and (best of all) it looks like it has an ISA slot so that we can use the scanner that a friend gave us. If thats the case, and he can get it set up for me, then i can start scanning the family photographs that i’ve been collecting as part of my family history research, so that (especially the older, cherished photographs) can be distributed on CD to the wider family, along with copies of the research i’ve done. Its something i need to pick up on when the garden settles down a bit (probably when Bed 3 is finished, that’s the next big push) and go through it again (and hopefully by that time Michiel will have sorted out Gnome so that i can use some linux based genealogy software that I can’t use at the moment, as Slackware/KDE don’t use Gnome). I spent yesterday afternoon catching up on some videos that i’d recorded previously (“Swordfish”, “Grand Designs”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Top Gear”) and freeing up the tapes, and potting up some plants in the greenhouse (my celeriac and kale plants, primarily). Sunday night saw me slobbing out on the sofa again, Chicken and mushroom pie and veg for dinner, with fruit yoghurt for pudding, watching “Top Gear”, “Lenny Henry’s Perfect Night in”, and “Wife Swap”.

Wife Swap was quite interesting. it was the episode that hit the headlines as one of the wives involved in the swap made accusations of assault against a friend of the other couple. One of the couples were very much environmentally friendly: their focus was on living environmentally and physically healthy lives, the other couple were.. well, more interested in leopard skin prints and their lap dogs and parties and singing and living the good life. I thought i would have more in common with the eco couple, but to be honest, their attitude (and i think they came close to actually saying this) was very much “we are on this programme to show other people how to live their lives, that Our Way is right”, a kind of educational bent. I’ve no problem with the educational part: the part that i felt uncomfortable with was that they said they would even try to educate the unwilling, and their attitude came off as being quite stubborn (the woman in particular), and not being willing to listen to the other person’s perspective. The other couple, the glam ones, did their share of not listening (I’m not sure anyone was listening in that programme) but the whole thing made me feel very uncomfortable, and i particularly felt for the friend who was accused of assault (i think he groped the lady’s bottom) when he was a bit the worse for wear, drink wise, the cameras were present and the lady eventually dropped the complaint (and the police followed suit a few weeks later), it seemed to me, watching the programme, that if the lady concerned had been a little more vociferous in saying that she didn’t want the attention or speaking to the husband in the swap, then he could’ve pulled the friend away and sent him home. Ah well.

Today’s been fun: i’ve caught up on some baking. Bread, tortilla chips, hummous, thai prawn soup (which made Michiel very happy), flapjacks (as a treat). Cheesy Chicken Pasta is planned for dinner, although i have no idea how i’m gonna do that. LOL. makes life interesting. “New Tricks” is on the box, probably some other stuff. haven’t looked yet.

Tomorrow: mowing grass, weeding, sowing more seeds. radishes in particular. (did use some stuff from the garden on friday night when Michiel made one of his great salads: rocket, radishes, some herb leaves. was great!) a busy day ahead of me anyways!!

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