The end of a busy week and busy weekend. Well, it was yesterday when I started writing this. By now it's the start of another week - though hopefully less busy than the last couple.
Monday evening I spent a couple of hours clearing twigs and other debris from the celery. That probably makes little sense (it certainly confused The Future Mrs Barefoot and CS3, who (the latter) assumed it was something to do with having my vegetable box delivered and left outside the door). Of course, when you know that predictive text substitutes "celery" for "belfry" it makes a lot more sense.
Jackdaws get into the tower and nest there - though they seem to drop more twigs than they use. Hence an evening of crawling between the bells to remove the rubbish. Successful cleaning operation, with several bags removed - though in the process I crushed my phone as the screen now shows only a splodge. "It's a sign that you should get a smart phone," said The Future Mrs Barefoot. "No, it's a sign that shouldn't have an expensive phone because I can't be trusted to keep it safe," I replied. I have therefore ordered a Nokia 3310. It has snake, which is pretty much all the "apps" you need.
Thursday at work I had about five meetings scheduled through the day - including two that overlapped. Made it difficult to plan anything useful to do in the breaks between meetings. The earliest was then postponed by 30 minutes, and the second of the overlaps was put back (not only so I could make it, but also because the meetings were trying to use the same room). Then the first of the overlaps was postponed to the afternoon, and subsequently to this week. Various other changes to the planned meeting times meant I spent most of the day checking my diary to see where I was supposed to be.
Children In Need (or, as it appears to now be abbreviated, CIN) was on Friday evening. It wasn't very good entertainment-wise but quite good fundraising-wise, raising over £50 million. There must be a lesson there somewhere. It seemed to me that some of the celebrity inserts were no more than trailers for forthcoming series, and nothing to do with CIN at all. I watched only from about post-news and found the "we might be a celebrity couple but really we're just a normal couple" attitude of the hosts extremely irritating. I have no idea who they were - apparently one of them sang with JLS, whoever they are.
I feel a bit uncomfortable over the emotional blackmail of these shows: "if you don't give money to help these hungry / ill / injured children then you are a bad person". But, trying to present a balanced view to CS3 I pointed out that it might encourage people who would not otherwise have done so to donate to charity. "Yes", she replied, "but giving to charity should be a regular act, not a one-off". Wise words (as usual). She also wondered whether CIN donations divert money away from other charities. "Does it matter?" I asked (balanced view again). "So long as the money/help gets to where it is needed, does it matter which charity it comes from?" And say what you like about Children in Need, it's pretty-much guaranteed level annual income does mean that it can take on long-term commitments that a smaller and more financially volatile charity might not be able to.
Saturday started with Parkrun, then trip to Lidl for grocery shopping (oh I'm becoming such a family man!), home for quick lunch then to town centre to wander round the Christmas market thing (a one-off because it was the day of the light switch-on). It was quite good, and I managed to buy one Christmas present, though haven't decided whom I will give it to. Home for a short break, then back to town again for the Christmas Parade, light switch-on and fireworks. Finally home properly at about 6.30 - though it felt much later.
Sunday afternoon I did traditional Sunday afternoon jobs. I was in the garden, pruning trees (aka hacking indiscriminately at the branches I could reach), clearing and digging over vegetable plots, and mowing the grass. I know what you're thinking: "But Ruby, it's far too late in the year to be cutting lawns, and surely the grass is too wet". Don't worry: the blades on the mower are far to blunt to cut anything. I merely flattened the grass. It will be back to normal tomorrow.
I then washed the cars - since CS2 got a job he's no longer been interested earning cash by washing the cars so I have to do it myself now. I should do this more often as it's quite a satisfying job - and it's always good to wash off the layers of dirt once in a while to remind myself what the true colour of the car is. Though it does make it difficult to find my car in a car park: "no, that's not my car. That's silver and mine is more of a muddy colour".