Douglas Spencer (dougs) wrote,
Douglas Spencer

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What I Did On My Holidays

My customer moved offices last weekend, the 21st/22nd, and I was working there Monday and Tuesday 23rd/24th too.
They closed offices early afternoon Christmas eve and I left at about 3pm. I went from there to Mother's in North Devon, arriving shortly before 8pm.

Christmas eve, we did all the sat-around-jawing bit, got through about a gallon of tea. We went to the midnight service in Bideford Methodist Church, which was conducted by Jane, the circuit superintendent minister. It's the first service I've been to with Mum since she moved down there that she wasn't conducting -- so for once we get to be regular punters in church together. Very good.

Christmas day started slowly -- I think I got up at about ten. My brother Richard and his nurse Tamsin turned up and we had lunch -- turkey, bacon, sausages, cranberries, spuds, sprouts, carrots, parsnips, ... and mince pies, christmas pudding, brandy sauce, vodka margarine. There was exchanging of presents: I got a 3D wooden jigsaw which is spherical when complete, a Literati T-Shirt with Einstein on the front, a book with sixty years of music-hall song lyrics. Very good.

Boxing day is shopping day. We drove to Exeter and looked around the cathedral, and then got lost trying to find PC World. We gave up looking when it was evident that we were on the wrong road and we hit the M5 and started to head back. We ended up in PC World in Barnstaple instead. Mother's scanner is broken, she needs another one. All the scanners were equipped with USB only except one, but the one scanner on display which would have been compatible with her PC was the display unit with no box, no cables, no warranty, no manual, no drivers ... so we did without. I'll try to find one elsewhere for her. However I did end up buying a digital camera, something I've been sort of half-promising myself for a while. It's an Olympus Brio D-230. I got a 128Mb smart media card for it too, as well as a USB card reader for the laptop. Went back to mothers and flattened her batteries playing with it.

Friday I'm on call, but no-one calls. Mother's old boss former head of department, Pip, arrives. We have lunch and then bundle into the car to show her the scenery, driving down the coast towards Hartland Point. It transpires that Pip has never been to Clovelly, and so we turn right and head for this tiny vertical village. As we walk down the very steep and cobbled main street, Mother and Pip discuss the precise ways in which their respective knees don't work properly. Consternation at the bottom of the hill because the chip shop has fallen off the pavement and into the sea. Back home via Bucks Mills to look at the lime kilns.

On Saturday Mother, Pip and I walk out of her front door, over the hill at the Lookout and down to the sea at the new Appledore lifeboat station. We walk across the mudflats and on to Northam Burrows, where we follow the coast around to the cafe at the far end of the Pebbleridge at Westward Ho. Three drinks and a bowl of chips and then back to Appledore in a straight line across the marshes. After lunch Pip heads home, and I leave at five or so, to get home at about half past eight.

These four days, Mother and I played eight games of scrabble, of which I won six and mother two. Mother and Pip and I played two, of which Mother and I won one each.

Sunday is today, and after church I went to PC World in Reading to buy some rechargable batteries and a charger for the new camera. Next door is Shoe City where I buy a couple of pairs of shoes, and next door to that is Currys where I buy a DVD/Video player. That'll account for all my recent overtime then.

Back to work tomorrow.

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