Friday, 30 May 2014

There is no Time. Like the Present!

This was supposed to be a day off after a vaguely exciting week. I therefore only allowed myself to be roused at 11 am which is right and proper for an officer of my exalted rank. Well, you say a day off, but I'm not convinced.
Before I had even regained consciousness, the Butler sink had been planted up with Rosemary, Lavender, Sweet William and apple tree seedlings, and the whole yard (not the whole 9 yards) had been re-arranged to better show off our pub garden-style al fresco relax-o-thon area.
In meedle of no time we had left the house and collected the laundry and the tiles from the tile warehouse. £600 of porcelain bathroom d├ęcor is quite heavy, lucky we had the store manager to help me, because I don't have those steel toecapped work boots like Bud, although mine do light up when I run so I'm the winner.
He unloaded the tiles into the garage while I played guitar and unbidden, cleared out my toy chest to make a charity shop and loft pile. Then we pigged some pork pies (we'll leave porking the apple pies to the americans) and sped off to the tip.
I have been to the municipal recycling centre many times and I chose to wheel the old hoover to its final destination (it sucked anyway): he disposed of 3 dustbins which seems existentially odd but they were in the way so it's cleared out the garage (for tile storage) a treat.
But there was no more time. I was supposed to visit a new park in Southampton but schedules are variable at best and we made it to Grandad's place with 12 seconds to spare which is exactly correct.
Our plan was the 3.6 mile riverside walk they'd scouted out: so that is what we did. It is Grandad's 85th birthday today and what does one normally do on one's 85th? We suspect it's having 2 old ladies over for afternoon tea where they will gently and forgetfully argue over how many biscuits they've had. But the 3 M's are not like that.
So we walked down single-lanes of the rural idyll in which he lives and posed each other conundra from a plethora of subjects, as you do, and he liked why I'm in the top set at maths. We found a Shetland Pony, I think he was lonely for others of his height so we scritched his nose a bit. We walked past a forest where they do paintballing and I was just expounding on my marksman skills when Grandad said you're quite good at blowing your own trumpet aren't you, and I said well blow me, I'm good at everything, if I was born into a different family I would have been King, you know.
But it was very muddy and we did some off-piste work: some of it worked, some of it didn't. In the end we found lots of mushrooms and some donkeys that may bite, apparently, and we threw the mushrooms of at least 7 different species at each other, because THAT is what you do on your 85th.
Taking our leave (but leaving him a bottle of red) we went into darkest Southampton with trepidation and a desperate need to fart. We had located the promised park and I navigated us there with only a few major errors. Mansel Park looks empty on Google earth but they've installed an interestingly poor swingpark on Mansel Doorstep, with broken items and extra mattresses to give the trampoline more bounce.
Next door is a new exercise park with all the good contraptions in one place: we got some serious arm work done and enjoyed the humorous graffiti in which a few local lasses are marked out as being accommodating in many ways.
I have swimming lessons scheduled so we'd decided to leave when we spotted Millbrook Park #3. I didn't even know it was there, but OBoy, it's worth a revisit. Clearly at this time it had been mostly taken over by what passes for teenagers in this auspicious area but there was a zipline and a Diamond of ropes. At least 3 things I'd never seen before so we will return.
At swimming I was 6 minutes late due to traffic and park #3: I was the only blue hat so was instantly promoted to Dark Blue Hat. Apparently I've been swimming in the wrong lane for 2 months, and I thought I was the guy with the map. It did enable me to quietly lose some of that mud from the footpath, much used by horses.
Jof was pleased to see me because that is what she does for a living. I would suggest that time is what you make it, but there is never enough. So you have to Facebook-like the present, because you'll never get another one.

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