So, le weekend... It's a bit of a haze already, though that's just my poor memory and being back at work for you, not because we crammed so much in that I didn't have time to remember what it was we were doing - been there, done that, got everything bar the t-shirt. However I will try - but not too exhaustively, if only for the sake of my loyal readers who I would rather keep that way!
Drove down to Farnham on Saturday afternoon, enjoying a good clear run, apart from a downpour on the M3 that was about as bad as I can remember driving in, wipers on full speed and still just hoping that all the traffic in front knew where it was going. But I arrived at 5.30 as planned, and we popped straight round to Katy's mum and dad to drop off my stuff and collect a key. After that we prepared and tucked into a very generous helping of chicken fajitas - the first part, in that regard, of a gastronomically somewhat indulgent weekend, though generally pretty healthy throughout we would maintain. The rest of the evening was spent watching the first part of the Eurovision Song Contest, and then Patriot Games. Thanks to the cricket overrunning earlier, the latter was delayed by a quarter of an hour, so we had the dubious pleasure of witnessing the United Kingdom's dire performance at the former. Politics may well have been a factor in Jemini's "nul points" outcome, but above all it was a bad song performed atrociously; even our staunchest allies couldn't bring themselves to offer any points to what would have been pretty dire as a pub karaoke act. The film was good though, if a little far-fetched in places, and didn't present London or the IRA with undue sentimentality; it certainly passed the time and saved us having to go out to the video shop for anything else to watch!
Sunday morning, up bright and reasonably early for church just along the road from Katy, which was a generally quite relaxed affair, mainly worship and ministry rather than preaching. The drums did my slight ear-ache not a lot of good, and Mike had a bit of a Jemini moment - hitting completely the wrong key, that is - at the start of one song, but it was otherwise pretty much fine, and a good chance to catch up with a good many of those I'd been introduced to last time I was down on a Sunday morning and of course meet a few new people. Into town for a light lunch at a café - one of the few establishments open on Sunday - before a short walk by the river and then going to visit Katy's grandmother at her new flat nearby. The afternoon whizzed past generally, and it was time to go round to Katy's parents for tea, a yummy chicken and mushroom casserole with rice. Katy's little nephew Daniel was staying while his mummy and daddy took a well-earned weekend break, and provided quite a distraction during the evening, though it did mean Disney's Fantasia had to be almost permanently in the video recorder which got a little wearing after the third or fourth time... Daniel was a little unsettled at night, but although he did keep me awake a little on Saturday night with his crying, I'm pretty sure he wasn't responsible for my waking in the first place, that just being my typically unsettled sleep!
Bank holiday Monday was a bit more active than Saturday or Sunday, going for a "proper" walk on and around Puttenham Common, just east of Farnham. We got a little lost with all the extra paths that weren't on the Ordnance Survey maps, but realised we couldn't have gone far wrong, and ended up on the North Downs Way long-distance path as intended, arriving for lunch at the Harvester in Puttenham with impeccable timing. Both of us went for the surf'n'turf - scampi and steak, that is - which was perhaps overdoing it a little as we were to go out for a meal in the evening too, but it hit the spot anyway, and we made sure we made good use of the salad bar for healthiness's sake. We took a leisurely stroll back to the car, arriving back at Katy's house just in time to watch a film, Monsoon Wedding - intriguing but a bit strange to me! - before going out to meet up with Simon and Becki and their friend Wayne and hitting town once again, this time for pizza. No starters for those of us who had already eaten well at lunchtime, but the hoi-sin duck pizzas that three out of the five of us opted for went down well, though I would probably have enjoyed mine even more if I'd had a bit more of an appetite! Another time, maybe... We deliberately ate early, though, because I didn't want to be heading home too late, so we left Simon, Becki and Wayne in town to go to the pub while we headed back to Katy's house to say our goodbyes, and by eight o'clock I was on my way home.
So that was two and a half days spent in Katy's company, at least during our waking hours, surely one of the longest such stretches I've experienced with anyone I've been going out with, and I would say it all went rather well. A few silly things during the weekend prompted flashbacks, but they relate to things I just need to be able to cope with and accept as ancient history now even if forgetting them may be harder. I was worried that today would see me suffering a "cold turkey" crash, but so far that doesn't seem to have been the case. Let's just hope it stays that way, and with a fairly busy social schedule developing for this week, I would say there's a good chance of that!