It's with some degree of satisfaction that I can now write that I have been busy the past week. Keen to counterbalance the social paucity noted in my previous post and anxious to let Chloe have some fun with friends from outside school, I managed to organise one lot of visitors, a trip to Wales to see old friends from our expat days and a barbeque at another friend's house last night.
The visitors consisted of an old childhood friend of mine with her two step-children and young daughter. Thankfully, the children all got on well, inventing a strange, but clearly enjoyable game involving the swing, trampoline, dustbin lids and a range of different kinds of balls. Meanwhile, my friend huddled behind the garden shed smoking an apparently much longed-for cigarette while, beers in hand and crisps in a bowl, we gossiped conspiratorially about our mothers, siblings and mutual friends.
The next day I drove to Wales. After an uneventful journey (during which I revelled in the ease, comfort and superior air conditioning of our new car) I was greeted by my friend's mother who had been minding the children. I was given a weak cup of tea and after what seemed like hours of stilted conversation, my host returned from work. She'd been 'caught' on the way home by her ex-boyfriend with whom she'd had a very unsatisfactory on-off relationship for about two years or so. He'd said he missed her, she was the one for him, he was ready to commit --yadda yadda yadda. It was all too late though, she told him (and me), she'd found a new romance, with an old flame, who she later disclosed had 'really bad teeth'.
That evening, as the children engaged in a noisy game of 'Truth or Dare' upstairs, we curled up on her sofa nursing a glass of cheap wine and she told me how she'd decided to cut down on her drinking. As part of an agreement with the rotten-toothed beau, she could only drink on two days in every week. It was great, she said. She had more energy, slept better and felt much healthier as well. I nodded in admiration - even entertaining the notion that perhaps I too could embark on a similarly sensible, yet patently ambitious, scheme in my own life - though considering she had allocated the two days of my visit as her allowable drinking days, I wasn't likely to start that soon.
In fact, the whole week was already a write-off abstention-wise and even more so because the day after we got back, we were invited by relatively new acquaintances to a barbeque at their house. Being from New Zealand they are consummate barbeque cooks and provided a fantastic array of different kinds of meat, complimented of course by beer, followed by wine. With my husband as designated driver for the night (for once!), I have to admit that I indulged a little on the alcoholic beverage front.
This morning I woke up with someone-else's eyeballs in my head and they have continued to feel alien to my body all day. This has been particularly terrible because I have two families arriving tomorrow to stay and I've had to spend the greater part of the day cleaning the house and digging out my son's bedroom so there's room for another child to sleep on the floor. I've had to have a hair of the dog to get through it all of course.
With the visitors coming, tomorrow will also necessarily be a drinking day - as will the following three days, for I will be visiting my delightful mother who get's angry if I don't have a drink with her.
Sigh - maybe I'll start cutting down the following week when we go camping in the Lakes. Maybe I'll need to by then.