HELLO. I have returned. It seems like lots, but also nothing, has changed while I've been away. Such paradox. Many mysterious. Wow.
Ahhh I had such a lovely holiday. Here are some select highlights:

- Toiling on the allotment and digging potatoes, aka best things ever. Little Rhianpudding said I was good at toiling. I said I would toil for ever in exchange for coffee. OF COURSE I WOULD.

- Trolling to Ystad again and looking out for Wallander. He was probably off somewhere, contemplating his own mortality.

- Experiencing my very first Midsommar. Little Rhianpudding kindly made me vegetarian sill so I could pretend to be a fish-eater and fit in properly. I also tried snaps for the first time, and must point out that I've never had alcohol before that I could feel IN MY ACTUAL TOES.
Midsommar

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I'd planned to spend the day packing, and ALMOST succeeded. Last night, however, scuppered my 'get up early' plans a BIT:

IMG_20140613_200439IMG_20140613_213722
It was worth it, though. I LOVE absinthe. It meant I slept in quite late this morning, then got very distracted by pre-holiday gardening. I want to try and make sure all my seedlings survive, so I had to add a bit of compost to each little pot. There's a lot of pots. I looked at the clock and suddenly it was half past four and I'd not done any of the stuff I was supposed to, like learn all of Swedish and pack my stuff.
I've now done SOME packing, enough to make me feel less stressed anyway. I usually have anxiety dreams about Little Rhian turning on me and deciding she doesn't want me in her house and locking me out, before I go to Sweden, but luckily, last night I just dreamt that my driving instructor shouted at me, so while it was an anxiety dream, it wasn't one that was related to the holiday.
Eeeeee it'll be proper fun. I don't have to leave distressingly early tomorrow, so hopefully I won't oversleep (like I did for work earlier this week, waking at 8.27am when I'm supposed to leave the house at 8.25am…luckily I am low-maintenance enough to get ready very quickly, and still got to work with time to spare) and miss the plane. Rhian says if I'm really good, I'm allowed to go to a Viking museum AND a u-boat museum which will be AWESOME. AND I'll be meeting A BABY. I don't think I've had this long a holiday off work since I started the Wonderful World of Proper Work way back in 2011 when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It'll do me good, I reckon.

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I've decided to create a new blog to chat about, like, gardening stuff. I was in two minds because I feel that if I keep creating new blogs for each of my fairly specific hobbies*, I feel like I'll have little left to say here. But then, allotmenteering is going to take up quite a bit of my time, and hopefully I'll have a lot to write about, and also, not everyone likes gardening quite as much as me, which is something I have to keep in mind while talking enthusiastically to people about potatoes. I'll still mention gardening on here, obvs, but will go into more detail on the other blog, which I think is a decent compromise. I'm also trying to make Other Blog sound a bit less mental and more 'proper', I've shared it on LinkedIn and everything. I'm not sure I've had too much success.
I trolled over to have another look at the allotment today. The weeds aren't waist-high. They are KATIE-high**. But it'll be fine. I have everything planned. I've had less success in planning things for my Celestial Holiday aka Swedevisit. I'll have all of Saturday to pack, which will be fine (WON'T IT?!?!??!? I HOPE IT WILL BE FINE!) and I'm not at all stressed. I normally start having anxiety dreams about forgetting to bring Little Rhian custard creams so she locks me out of her house by this point, but they've not yet started. I dreamt about potatoes last night because I'm worried that I'll have left mine in the ground too long by the time I return from Sweden.
I considered visiting 'the gym' to go bouldering today, but instead, I went and got cheesy chips and put them in my face. The excuse is that there's no point in buying fresh ingredients since I'll be away for a couple of weeks and that I can use the time I've saved on the washing up to do some actual packing. Clearly, I'll leave it all till Saturday and spend the rest of the evening looking for gardening stuff online. I'm going to hold off buying anything for the moment, though. Partly because the allotment's not OFFICIALLY mine yet and it could all go wrong, leading me to cry forever, and partly because I'm hoping that I'll be able to get stuff second-hand and maybe even free.
GROW ALL THE THINGS.

*including but not limited to u-boats, tin whistling, left-wing politics, historical fiction books and being clinically insane
**so waist-high on a normal person OH HO HO HOW AMUSING YOU TALL FOLK ARE

After a pregnancy, this is possibly the best thing to that could happen to me out of all the things:
I HAVE AN ALLOTMENT!
Provisionally. I'm not signing anything for another couple of weeks until I get back from Sweden because the allotment is SUCH overgrown, and the council have to do stuff to it, probably so they can call it an allotment. Let me explain by means of a picture:
allotments
Most of the fenced-off bit is 'brand new', meaning it's not been used as an allotment for years. I could have picked a couple of plots but was put off slightly by the shared gate. I mean, I'd have gone for it if there was nothing else, but ideally I'd like a semi-private allotment so I can lock myself in and toil my problems away. So I asked about this one in the corner (labelled 'the empire'. The weeds are nearly waist-high at the moment, although there are old raised vegetable beds beneath them. It's the kind of thing only a madwoman would take on. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. The other plots available would require a bit of work anyway because the weeds are growing so fast, but this plot is entirely insane, which is why I like it.
It'll cost me about £30 each year because it's only a half plot, which I reckon is perfect. It's only provisional at this stage because he wants me to take another look once the council have removed all the many weeds, but he's said he'll not let it to anyone else, and that the council will have finished work on it by the time I return from Merry Sweden. And I can still say no, if I have a personality change while I'm away. It'll even make returning from Sweden less sad and heartrending than normal!
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY REJOICE

TWO things went well today:

- The day I've been waiting for ever since I became obsessed with gardening last year may have come – I MAY have an allotment! I'm going to view said allotment tomorrow evening. It's a brand new one so 'needs a bit of work', but unless it's literally a patch of desert, I'll say yes. Especially as it's otherwise unlikely to be before next January otherwise. I'd prefer a brand new one, in some ways, because I could then make it MINE. I had to stop thinking about it at work because I was getting too happy. Like when little Cerys was born and I couldn't walk properly for most of the day because I can't concentrate on being happy and walking at the same time. I keep thinking that I could have chickens on said allotment and they could be battery farm rescue chickens and they would be happy. Or I could build a replica u-boat. AND GOATS COULD LIVE IN IT.
So fingers crossed. I'll have missed proper growing season but I was thinking I could carefully move some of the stuff I have on my balcony. The seedlings are growing really slowly, but if they have sun, like, ALL DAY, they'll shoot up. Or die of shock.

- I had the Dreaded 'A Turn In The Road' manoeuvre ticked off in one lesson! I think it helped that I read quite a bit about it beforehand so knew what to expect and what to look out for. I was pretty surprised that I managed it, though. I think I'm better when there's no traffic – other cars are what scares me, especially an abundance thereof (not that we exactly get said abundance in this town). I will need to get over this fear. Next time it's 'reversing round a corner'. By then, I think I'll have forgotten ENTIRELY how to drive, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, even if we have to cross said bridge by bike because we can no longer drive.

And WHHHHHHHHY a two week break before next lesson? BECAUSE OF HOLIDAY YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! I've done nowhere near as much packing as I'd hoped, but then again, thinking about it, I think it's just clothes I have to pack now. I have Secret Swedetribute and adapters and shampoo and spare Sanity Snacks. It'll be reeeeeet.

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