Well it looks like Mono's on its way back up after its weekend change of
scenery, so I'll write a shortish - hmm, it's not actually ended up even
vaguely short, after all that - entry summarising what's been going on in my
life for the last few days.
This was of course the weekend of the 2000 Garden Olympics chez Steve down in
Hampshire, so that took up most of the time, in terms either of travelling,
participating or recovering. I'd contemplated stopping off at my parents'
Friday night on the way to pick up some stuff, but decided in the end it would
be easier to stop off there on the way back on Sunday, which is exactly what I
did in the end.
So Saturday morning I was up in good time to drive into the city centre to do
necessary shopping at Waitrose, including buying a few contributions for the
afternoon's barbecue and bar. Just as I was leaving the shops, I was accosted
by Abigail, Charlotte and Isaac, shortly followed by mum Rachael, ending up
giving them a much appreciated lift home and being introduced to their new
german shepherd Amber. I was in no great hurry, thankfully, though in the end
I left for Hampshire with just about perfect timing, arriving only ten minutes
late thanks to a small pile-up on the M1 and slow traffic on the M25.
The afternoon went well, and miraculously stayed largely fine and sunny
throughout. The games were supposedly going to be toned down a little,
acknowledging our ever-increasing years, and some of the more frantic ones had
indeed bitten the dust - though the human sheepdog trials more than made up for
anything lost, widely agreed to be Steve's most ridiculous and dangerous game
yet, even more so than the broom-course piggy-back racing... There were no
winners as such in the end, because Steve somehow lost most of the score cards,
but as usual, no-one was worrying too much, it all being not much more than an
excuse to have a lot of fun and morally justify the ensuing barbecue.
The evening "bop" was not bad, I guess, though I didn't really have the chance
to get into the James Bond theme, so spent much of the evening just chatting
with people rather than boogying on down. As with last year, I sadly didn't
survive until the one-o'clock candlelit croquet, let alone the three-o'clock
bouncy-castle games - yes, we hired an adults' bouncy castle, a very popular
feature with both young and old alike! - instead finding a modestly comfy spot
on the dining room floor, popping in my earplugs to counter the multitude of
ticking and bonging clocks that would otherwise have been within earshot, and
getting a fairly good night's sleep.
No big rush on Sunday morning, and I eventually stayed around for lunch with
the remaining half-dozen or so stragglers, hitting the road home via my
parents' mid afternoon. I'd considered going to visit my friend Anne while I
was down in that part of the world, but a quick phone call ascertained she
wasn't feeling too well, so once again that will have to wait until another
time. I stopped off for quite a while back at Prestwood, joining Mum and Dad
for tea, before loading up the airbed and pump I'm borrowing for the Cropredy
festival, and heading back up here, arriving back in Milton Keynes at about
So yes, altogether another good weekend in Hampshire, as these ones always do
end up, on balance at least. I perhaps didn't participate in things as much as
I'd have liked, but I still enjoyed it and seemed to pace myself quite well -
given that I made it into work today, anyway.... I met a fair number of new
people and got to know those I knew already a lot better, and that's at least
half of what it's all about, ultimately. Did I pull, etc etc? Who knows...