Anyway, the past two weekends have been a bit busy...
Last weekend (30th July), Paul and I helped Lloyd move house. He did make quite sure to say that he offered to help us before he knew he was moving. :P We arrived in time to pack stuff into cars and I was mostly on furniture-watching duty whilst the cars in question ferried stuff back and forth.
Most hilarious moment was Lorna and I manouevring a double mattress down two flights of stairs using brute force and the Power of Science. Having intelligently and logically wiggled it around several corners, when we got to the nice straight bit we just let it go and watched it fly. :D
Paul then helped Lloyd move a washing machine down the same two flights of stairs, after which we decided not to bother going to the gym for our personal trainer session (which had been the plan), and instead went to the pub with Lloyd, Lorna and Michelle (Lloyd's colleague).
On the Sunday we traipsed back to the flat to get our deposit back, discussed bills and such with Graham, then came home again. That afternoon we met our new landlord, which dispelled all of our previous suppositions. He was not old as we had anticipated (we presumed he and his wife had moved into a retirement flat), and was in fact in his mid-40s. He showed us how the oven worked - it is gas after all, it transpires - and gave us a key for the shed, which he didn't realise was part of the tenancy even though Connells' agreement is that we need to keep the lawn and hedge, etc. trimmed. He explained that the reason was because the lawnmower in the shed wasn't PAT tested but we could use it if we bore that in mind. He also gave us a strimmer for the hedge.
We learned that the two cats are the tabbies (there are about six cats who regularly visit the garden) and they're called Monty and Xena; Monty is the bigger one whom I had assumed was the mommy cat. Monty is quite friendly and Xena seems to like me but not Paul (apparently she refused to come in the house when the landlord's baby was born). Connells have nicely decided to waive the usual pet fee of £75 (which they charge to do clean-up after the end of a tenancy ordinarily) because they're technically not ours, and now we need to speak to the next door neighbours to see if they want us to take them - apparently they're having some house renovations done which was the reason they couldn't look after them; such being the case, we may even offer to look after their cats as well for the duration.
As for work, presently we're all helping KEH with some interview transcripts from MP3 files, which make the police tapes seem like a piece of cake. They're all anywhere between four and six hours long and, unlike the police interview tapes, they don't start with someone helpfully introducing all the participants. They're Equal Pay interviews and mine is with some bin men; some parts are deathly boring and some parts are okay, though I wish they'd all stop laughing because it goes really loud and is impossible to work through. I'm about an hour into mine after ten hours of transcribing, and now it's on hold as we have actual work to do again.
This Saturday was insane. We went into Bearwood in the morning to get some bits and bobs, as I had to make a chilli for Lloyd's house-warming. We got the mince from our local, around-the-corner butcher and they made it fresh from a piece of steak. Bearwood indoor market has definitely changed since I was last there as a kid! There are butchers to explore on the high street but for now we've tried Aldi and the Cooperative, and did at least manage to get some useful bits and pieces.
I made the chilli when we got back and put some washing out, and then we headed out to the gym for our last personal trainer session, at least for now. Thanks to two weeks off during the house-move, I am in lots of pain today. We're supposed to be going on holiday in five weeks and at this point, I'm debating whether or not to even go ahead and book it, as two weeks of eating junk food has ruined all my previous hard work. I'll see how I feel in a couple of weeks. Alex was supposed to fix my bike months ago and I'm still waiting, and if that was functional I could at least do something when I'm not at the gym...
Anyway, came home after the gym, decanted the chilli into a suitable container, got changed and headed over to Lloyd's. We actually got there a lot later than intended. Played Rock Band for a bit (drumming is HARD), ate chilli and jambalaya and sushi and gluten-free cookies, had a 'pub quiz' with some ridiculously-hard questions, and then headed off again. Paul had a birthday party to go to, and I went to my mum's to go and sit with Rum (their cat) for a bit as they were away at the weekend. The neighbour had been in to feed him but they didn't want him to get lonely. I didn't actually get there until about 11.00ish, but I sat with him for half an hour and gave him some fuss and some cat-treats, then walked back home - a mile uphill - and went to bed. Paul came back around 2.00am (I think?) but thankfully wasn't too drunk.
On Sunday we had a well-deserved lie in. I watched EastEnders (miraculously, I've only managed to miss one omnibus!), and then we excavated the desk in the office and set the PC up in readiness for actually getting the internet at some point soon. Also I can do some writing again. Then I cooked our first proper meal on the 'new' cooker (using both the hob and oven, properly from scratch), in the form of my parma-ham stuffed chicken with mushroom and blue cheese sauce (with fried potatoes this time), because we had a load of milk to use up. :P I am very much enjoying cooking with gas, as it's so much easier to control. Now I can follow recipes properly, hurrah!
So that's that. Hopefully we will get Sky soon so I'll have the internet at home again (and more bloody channels; I was halfway to suggesting we should watch the Come Dine With Me marathon yesterday before realising we didn't have More4...) There are still plenty of boxes to unpack but at least there's room to move. We're getting there. House-warming some point in early September hopefully, probably before we go away. Watch this space. :P