It's Monday, it's trying to rain after many days of pretty much unbroken sunshine, and I'm looking back over the past few days.
It was a good week-end. The best for some time in fact, and I know why. Hannah. Hannah was the reason it was such a good week-end, Hannah followed by the weather, music, food and several other small things that all conspired together to turn it into a big thing and a good thing. I didn't have to work all of Friday so I left work early and drove down to Exeter to fetch Hannah. During the summer she will be going off to begin her year overseas and I won't see her anything like as much as I would want, she will be leaving Exeter in the next couple of days, so this was the chance to see her now. In the car on the way down and the way back I played some CDs I've put together for touring around Scotland, all standards, singalong, feel-good stuff with the odd challenge thrown in as a, well, challenge.
Once I had picked her up from her house I played Françoise Hardy until we were almost halfway home. Then it was back to the first of the compilations. That and the inevitable sparky, linguistic conversation.
At home my camping mattress had arrived. Life just gets more exciting by the minute. I was intrigued because I bought it on the strength of it being self-inflating. I imagined it being full of little imps, all of which had lungs of steel. On the command, 'blow ya little buggers' they would puff away and, voilà, a perfectly inflated mattress. I was keen to try it out. After unpacking it I laid it out, undid the nozzle and, indeed, voilà, a few minutes later the mattress had inflated itself. I didn't need to issue any words of command, the imps just seemed to know what was expected of them. I hope they have lots of stamina because it's going to be up and down like a yoyo for a few days when I'm in Scotland. It worried me slightly that the mattress didn't come with any imp feeding instructions, but I suppose that must be okay. Perhaps I should double-check, cruelty to imps is not something I'm prepared to be party to, even accidentally.
After a shopping trip on Saturday morning, involving hot chocolate and a chocolate hedgehog, Hannah cooked pizzas and apfelstrudel for lunch. Then we went, with more music, to Sherborne Castle because Hannah had said she wanted to see something old and falling down. I suggested me and a bottle of wine would do the trick but she didn't seem to think so. I will post some photos of Sherborne Castle in the next couple of days, just to prove that it is indeed old and falling down.
When we got back home it was my turn to cook. So, with more music in the kitchen, and music in as many languages as I could muster too, I prepared and cooked my amazing, 'rumba on the tongue' tagliatelle dish. A splash of lime juice is the trick, there, one cat safely out of the bag. The result was 'Wow' and we managed to make a bottle of Lindauer disappear. The music swayed between Parisienne Café stuff, through Tokio Hotel and Annett Louisan, to The Motorhomes, Bic Runga and 'anyone else who knows me.' It was a great evening, more brilliant conversation and funny stories. I'm sure Hannah just tolerates me, but for my part I adore her company. We disagree on lots of things but that never gets in the way. I'm sure she believes that I'm bonkers at best and misguided at worst, but we just seem to get on so very well.
On Sunday morning I spent some time making sure she had copies of the things she liked, to take away, and she took photos of a cabbage. After lunch it was back on the motorway heading west bound for Exeter once more with Tiki Taane, The Ting Tings, Nena, The Kaiser Chiefs and many more ringing, playing, shouting and cavorting in our ears.
We reached her house, we hugged, she promised to visit again before she heads off to Spain and I insisted. Then I had the long lonely drive home listening to depressing classical music to cover my sadness, missing her immensely already.
In the evening I went out for an Indian meal with friends in Taunton and I paid, it was the least I could do. What a great week-end, and now I miss Hannah, I'm back at work and I wish I was still driving her around listening to who knows what. And did I mention it's trying to rain?