Eek, lots of days since I last posted. Going on holiday on Friday, so this is going to be another of those “random paragraph with no attempt at a coherent narrative” posts. Sorry, I’ll try to get back to proper constructive writing after the break.
On Sunday I was handed a small amount of money in an envelope – not for me, but for a club I’m treasurer of. Yesterday, I couldn’t remember what I’d done with it. I vaguely remembered dropping some screwed-up paper from my pocket into a bin and realised this must have been the envelope. Unusually for me, I’d taken the waste out to the dustbin earlier in the evening, so I was out with a torch rifling through the dustbin. Nothing. I phoned The Future Mrs Barefoot to ask her to check her bins, but still no envelope. I had another look through the dustbins today – both before and after work. Still nothing ...
Saturday afternoon we had a small engagement party with mainly local friends. When we planned this a couple of months ago we thought “July will be nice and hot and everyone can spread out around the garden”. Hey, I even mowed the lawn and removed the deceased pea plants and dug over the ground to hide all traces. We forgot to count on the British summer – torrential rain showers from morning till night. Oh well, everyone just about fitted inside the house and all had a good time. And the guests didn’t drink nearly as much alcohol as we expected (not even the teenagers) so I’ve now got enough wine and beer to last me to the end of September.
We’d invited friends from different “friendship groups”, and were surprised to find that several seemingly unrelated people already knew each other. In fact, one person seemed to know just about everybody – he had even been to another guest’s wedding several years ago!
We even had a visit from Pixie, one of my cadets from about 15 years ago. It was lovely that she took the trouble to drop by – she lives out of the area now, but had arranged a visit to her mum just so she could drop in to see us. She caused a few anxious moments during her troubled teenage phase, but underneath it she was a really good kid – and an excellent first aider. She still calls me Uncle Ruby even though she is almost 30, has a sprog of her own, and is getting married in a few weeks’ time.
The Aged and Mrs The Aged were down for the weekend – which is partly why we chose this Saturday for the party. They were supposed to arrive for lunch, but didn’t make it until about 2:30 – weather problems with speed down to 45 mph, apparently. Yes, of course I pointed out that 45 mph is the speed The Aged usually drives, so shouldn’t have made that much difference.
In the evening we went to the school end of year performance – The Buddy Holly Story. It was amazingly good. I’ve seen several productions at the school over the last few years, and would say that this was the best of a very high calibre. We took The Aged and Mrs The Aged, who were possibly the only ones in the audience who remembered Buddy Holly.
I think I’m safe not to give a spoiler alert here, but the Buddy Holly Story has a sad and tragic ending. The way the ending was staged by the school was better than in the professional production that The Future Mrs Barefoot and I saw earlier in the year. Silhouetted figures boarding a plane, dry ice in the auditorium, silence, followed by an unaccompanied choir singing “Just You And I”. Very moving.
From time to time I run into people when out shopping who obviously know me, but I have no idea who they are. This happened last weekend when someone in Tesco started chatting to both The Future Mrs Barefoot and I. We couldn’t work out who he was, but he knew both of us – and that we were getting married. Eventually we remembered he was a parkrunner and could put a name to his face. We still wondered on which grapevine he had heard about our engagement.
I realised why I didn’t recognise him initially – he was wearing glasses, and doesn’t wear them when he runs. Hang on, I was wearing glasses but don’t wear them when I run either. A few days later I worked out how he had heard that we were getting married ... er ... I told him.
I’ve booked my flight to New Zealand for September (more amazingly, so has Paws). Watch out New Zealand – three Barefoot siblings are heading your way.
Flight pricing is very odd. The ‘ball park’ price for UK to NZ is usually between £1200 and £1500, but two airlines were offering £800. Proper airlines too, not the long-haul equivalent of RyanEasyFlyMaybe. So that’s what I booked- having double-checked that this was indeed a return flight, not one-way. Meanwhile, other airlines were way in excess of the ball park figure. Why would anyone spend £5000-plus on a flight you can get for £1500?
Earlier this evening, I finished the final bit of paintwork in the bathroom. While setting up the dustsheets I accidentally kicked over the bin – guess what fell out? That missing envelope!