Well I can now report that I feel so much better because Saturday morning arrived and I went and had my No.2 ! thanks Debs (She is very good at looking after her customers No.2’s).
Now I really should come clean right at the start of this post ! I had made the declaration in ‘Part One’ that this was going to be a particularly hectic weekend, more so than some of the previous one’s, and to be perfectly honest my intentions were completely honourable, but let’s face it, we ‘British’ people are not used to extremely hot weather, well not at least prolonged periods on home shores, more than a day or two is generally considered to be a British summer, but blink and you miss it. However, when the sun is high in the sky before you even put a foot out of bed and wiggle your toes and the temperature rises rapidly to more than 20c degrees then we British become totally debilitated ! and so it proved to be………………..
I had nothing else to do in town other than get my hair cut, so after parking the car in the multi-storey, where at least it would be out of the sun, I walked into my regular hairdressers shop (nothing like having a No.2 and being regular !!) and then after the deed was done, headed straight back to the car park again and then home where I had anticipated a quick change into my ‘Jeeves’ uniform ready to start the cleaning regime. Between hairdresser and car park I have to run the gauntlet of a luring smell of hot steak bakes fresh from the oven, Mmmmmmm ! However, although tempted, on this occasion I restrained myself from purchasing one of those lovely hot and very tasty, Gregg’s Steak Bakes, (In an effort not to be accused of blatant advertising or favouritism of a particular retail outlet, may I just add that other retailers are also available from which you can purchase ‘Steak Bakes, but it is none of my doing that they are nowhere as good as a Gregg’s steal bake !).
I had left the house, had my haircut and returned home within the hour. Shazza was already ‘multi-tasking’, (Just for the benefit of any men reading this blog who are unfamiliar with this term, apparently Shazza has informed me that it is something that only women are capable of doing. Something about being born with it in their ‘Genes’, unlike us men, so guys, no need to lose any sleep over this apparent male inadequacy because it’s seemingly another one of ‘those’ woman things !). So what is this phenomenon that is ‘multi-tasking’, well apparently in between doing the ironing, Shazza had also done some hoovering and floor washing, impressive or what, that’s my girl. Shazza is the only women I know who actually quite openly states that she ‘likes’ ironing and finds it ‘relaxing’, I am not saying that there are not other women who feel the same just that I do not know any of them. I know that I am a bloke but rest assured I have on occasions done some ironing for myself, however, I am having some difficulty trying to combine those two words, ‘ironing’ and ‘relaxing’. there is of course quite an obvious link to those words for Shazza, and I am not trying to insinuate anything whatsoever but perhaps her relaxation experience is aided by a little ‘snifter’ or two of her favourite falling over juice ? Although I have as yet been unable to locate any hard evidence in the glass recycling bin for my assumption, however, you may call it circumstantial, but it is the only explanation that I can find for her feeling the need to put three tram lines down each sleeve of my shirts !!
It was not even midday yet but the temperature was already well into the high 20’s and my head was leaking ! My man logic said that it seemed a little pointless to do any other ‘tidying’ until tomorrow as it would only get ‘un-tidied’ again. To my surprise Shazza permitted me to make an executive decision, which was to make us both a nice mug of coffee instead, I have to admit that as well as the heat of the day it is also quite thirsty work watching such a consummate professional multi-task, I was in awe ! We, and note that this is the Royal ‘we’, made a further executive decision which was to spend the rest of the day attempting not to expend too much energy and keeping hydrated. It is a known medical fact that too much strenuous activity in these sort of uncommonly high temperatures can cause the body to overheat, people have been known to die of heat exhaustion and dehydration, especially those people of the British variety who are not used to such consistently high temperatures. We couldn’t risk that, not being so close to the commencement of our ‘Big Adventure’. Now when I said keeping hydrated I was of course thinking of the iced soft drink variety and I knew I was on a losing battle trying to convince Shazza that a bottle of her favourite red ‘Vino Calapso’ would not actually quench her thirst. She remonstrated with me and even went as far as claiming that she was acting completely on the advice of her doctor. I tried, unsuccessfully to explain to her that the medical advice of ‘one a day’ actually referred to one ‘glass’ …………………. !!
The rest of the afternoon had not been ‘totally’ unproductive. I knew that I had to go through and sort my rather extensive personal music library in readiness to transport them to future car boot sales. During the late 80’s and early 90’s, whilst living in the Netherlands, I had been a Radio Presenter delivering the Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast programmes for the Canadian Forces Network (CFN). In those early days all the music was on ‘Vinyl’ (Now only people of a certain age will remember Vinyl, and I dare hazard an educated guess that some of those people may still be in possession of such personal collections which to this day are hidden away in a loft, basement or garage). Whilst the Radio Station did have its own very extensive music library, I tended to use a lot of my own, no pre-scripted playlists in those days. However, in 1988/89 the ‘Compact Disc’ revolution arrived with a vengeance and the radio station was not slow at replacing its entire music library from the now rapidly defunct Vinyl to CD along with the replacement of the associated studio equipment. And so it was that my own CD collection was born and I spent several months replacing my existing Vinyl collection as well as continuing to purchase new material as it was released. That was fifteen years ago but I do still have my collection of Vinyl but I fear for not much longer.
Somewhat reluctantly my whole CD collection has to be re-homed. I can only assimilate this to the first time your young child goes to ‘big’ school and not Nursery. In order to prepare them for the occasion they needed to be looking their best, presented in an orderly fashion and good enough to be left with their new charges, for a donation to the travel coffers of course (The CD’s that is and not young children……..although ?).
We had already painstakingly backed up the entire music library, track by track, onto an external Hard Drive as well as to the Hard Drive of a separate small music system that we intended to keep, our iTunes library, our iPods and our iPads, so we were well prepared just in case one system crashed so that we did not lose everything. I sat on the floor of one of our spare bedrooms and slowly sorted each CD into groups, either by their Genre’s or into their respective musical decade, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. These were the main years of my collection, although we did have some music compilations from more recent years. Funny how things change, we both still collect music but modern technology having advanced leaps and bounds we can now simply ‘download’ albums, or even individual tracks, direct to our laptops, iPods, iPads, and even iPhones. It’s not just music either, we now both have Amazon Kindles (other E-Book readers are also available !) and can download books in a matter of seconds. Our Kindle devices even have this thing called 3G technology which means that we can either log on to the Internet via WiFi or Mobile phone signal, whatever next, sending fare paying passengers to the moon perhaps, as if ?
It hadn’t taken me as long as I had expected to sort through my music collection and each category (Decade or Genre) was placed into its own box ready to be transported to car boot sales over coming weeks. The rest of the day was spent just trying to keep cool, a battle which I was successfully losing. However, as evening approached the sun finally relinquished some of its unbearable and stifling heat and the faint whisper of a breeze was in the air which was so welcome as our waining appetites had returned so we were both ready to eat. Whilst I went into the garden and prepared us some meat on the BBQ, Shazza prepared us a nice refreshing fresh salad and surprise, surprise a nice glass of ‘vino calapso’. Once suitably fed and ‘watered’ and feeling a little more invigorated, I set about completing the tasks that had been on the schedule for earlier in the day. First on the list was to give the car a good wash, I had neglected it over recent weeks what with one thing and another, but now it was beginning to look more than a little bit grubby. There is something therapeutic about washing a car, I can only equate it to being a little like the feeling that Shazza gets when she is ironing because I find it quite relaxing, perhaps in the absence of that female multi tasking Gene this is what men have in their genetic chemistry ? (In footballing terms, ‘soccer’ if you’re not British, that equates to something like an equalizer, one each !). Okay so car now washed and dried it was time to get the car pre-packed with more of the ‘cherished items’ that we would
hopefully sadly be parting company with at the car boot sale tomorrow. Although the daylight was rapidly diminishing it was much cooler now but very humid and sticky. Last task of the evening was to provide the plants with a much-needed drink to quench their thirst.
I don’t know how many of you will agree with me here, but I firmly believe that there should be some sort of Law that categorically states that getting out of bed at 6 O’clock on a Sunday morning is a ‘Criminal Offence’, unless of course you are unfortunate enough to have to go to work. And what’s more, it should also be illegal for any car boot sales to start before a more respectable hour of let’s say 9am, or thereabouts. I think that you should join me in starting a petition to lobby Parliament to bring about such a law, I could then deliver it to the Prime Minister for his consideration. Let’s face it, he isn’t actually that busy, I saw him on the TV only last weekend consuming Strawberries and Cream whilst he sat in the sun watching a game of tennis at Wimbledon ! It’s not as if he were watching a match where either of the competitors were English ! However, until I find the time to start the petition, which by the way, only needs about 250,000 signatures before it will even get looked at ! so spread the word that I need a few more followers on my blog will you ? Until that happens I will just have to keep dragging my unwilling body, kicking and screaming, out of bed at an unearthly hour at least for another few weeks. I have to confess though that it was well worth it in the end, remember all those ‘cherished items’ I listed in my previous post ? Well, I sold them all within the first hour !!
Note the words used as in “I sold”, that is because if Shazza had her way she would have given all our cherished possessions away for a pittance. She hasn’t quite grasped the historic art of ‘bartering’, I can only thank my lucky stars that she didn’t take up an International teaching position in Africa, Asia or the Middle East or we would never have had any money. Shazza would have just paid whatever price the street or shop traders wanted. Bless her, she doesn’t quite understand that it is a game, add-on 50% (or more) then barter down until both the ‘seller’ and the ‘buyer’ are satisfied that they have ‘negotiated’ a good deal. She is still somewhat of a novice at this car boot lark and hasn’t yet grasped the playful language used either between seller and buyer, common phrases like “You’re having a laugh mate” or “Next thing you will be telling me that I should be paying you to take it off my hands”. The travel fund coffers are now beginning to mount up and it is getting exciting thinking about all those luxury items that we may now be able to invest in …………….. Fuel, LPG, Water, Soap, Shower Gel, Toothpaste and let’s not forget those toilet rolls (Well we started on the subject of No. 2’s so it seems only fitting to end on the same subject ?)
So, with the cash seemingly jumping into our pockets, roll on leaping out of my bed again at that unearthly hour of the morning next weekend, but before then there is a little matter of a working week before ‘Another Weekend Arrives’…………………