Sunday, 15 July 2012

A Wonderful Weekend

Is it Sunday evening already?  I've had a wonderful weekend and the time has just flown by.  

Now that quite a few of our group have babies, we're finding different ways to spend time together, as it can't be all about going out on the lash.  So these days we meet for walks, brunches and on Friday evening we held our book club's inaugural event.  The first book chosen to read was Fifty Shades of Grey.  Which I hated.  I could go on for a loooooooonnggg time about exactly why I hated it, but instead I'll direct you to this blog, that says it much better than I ever could.  Despite my rabid hatred of the book being discussed, we had a whale of a time, chatting about the book while enjoying a nice drink and a take out Thai curry.  A good time had by all, and hopefully a better book picked for next time!  We'll be reading Wonder, by RJ Palacio.

On Saturday morning I got up early and walked Murdoch before heading out for a run with B.  We did three miles before B split off to grab a few things from the shop.  Just afterwards I bumped into a couple of former colleagues wandering the streets of Farncombe trying to find their way back to Godalming, I took pity on them, jumped into the car and drove them back to Godalming.  Then after a quick shower I got a call from J asking me if I wanted to join him at the gym for a quick go on the bikes - he's just joined Fitness First and is super keen!  I thought "why the heck not?", got changed into some clean gym kit and headed out the door.  I'm really glad I went, B used to be my gym buddy but she now uses a different gym, so it's lovely to have someone to go with again.  

After that it was another quick shower before I had to head into Guildford for an optician appointment.  Guildford was rammed (because of Guilfest?) and I got stuck in traffic.  This led to me rescheduling my appointment, which was fine, but meant I had little time before I had to get back and collect Murdoch for our weekly walk at Blackheath, which was lovely as always.

After the walk I had just enough time to chuck Murdoch into the flat and throw some food down his throat before I went out again.  This time to a garden party to welcome my friends' baby into the world.  It was wonderful to see them and to meet baby Elsie, who is a lovely little girl.  I also got to catch up with some friends who I hadn't seen for some time while enjoying some wine, so all in all a lovely way to end a really busy day!

Today was a little less busy, but no less exciting.  I got up early again to walk Murdoch, but went back to bed for a while afterwards and caught up on some sleep.  Then it was time to get ready.  Because I was heading off to the theatre for an event that I have been looking forward for ages.  I grabbed B and her other half, S and drove down to the Chichester Festival Theatre to watch David Suchet take part in a rehearsed reading of Black Coffee - Agatha Christie's only play to feature Poirot.  It was fabulous and during the Q&A afterwards, David Suchet confirmed that he would never do this play again, so I feel really fortunate to be one of only a very few people who will ever see him perform as Poirot live on stage.  

I got back in time to take Murdoch for his evening walk and now I think it's time for bed, before heading back to the office tomorrow for a rest!

Friday, 6 July 2012

A Cad and a Bounder

My story starts a couple of weeks ago.  I was sitting on my sofa at about half past nine on a Friday evening, as I often do, when I heard my letter box clatter.  How odd, even the pizza guys don't normally deliver flyers that late around here.  So I went to see what it was.  

It was a handwritten note which said

[name, which I won't put here] (no 11)
[phone number, which I won't put up here]
ANYTIME (this is actually double underlined, for lots of emphasis)

Well you could have blown me down with a feather.  Although number 11 is directly over the road from me, I honestly had no idea at all who lived there and who this guy was (for the purposes of this post, I'm going to call him Norman, although that is not his name).  So how did he know who I am, to the extent that he'd put a note through my door inviting me to get in touch ANYTIME (double underlined)?  I sent B a text.  She lives a few doors down from me and knows more people around here than I do.  She didn't know who he was either, but thought he might be a plumber (it turns out that he isn't).  

The story now goes quiet for a week, as I dithered about whether to call this guy or not.  On the one hand, he could be a weird stalker type, but on the other hand, he might just be a sweet guy who plucked up the courage to contact a stranger who he saw and thought was cute.  There was also the fact that, while he knew what I look like, I had no idea what he looks like.  My worst case scenario was that he might be a very old man with a Hitler moustache.  And a house full of cats.  Does that make me shallow?  Maybe.  In any case, I'm sure you can see my dilemma.  

Cut to the following Friday night, when I headed round to a friend's house for a few drinks with the girls.  As the wine flowed, my tongue loosened and I was soon telling the girls all about this odd situation.  This led to an animated discussion about what I should do and a frankly hilarious bit of role play where one friend was Norman, another friend was herself (using her GCSE drama skills and a fake moustache) and yet another friend was Norman's front door, as we thought of ways that we could identify who this guy was without me actually having to speak to him (looking for a lost dog being the favourite scenario). As funny as it was, once I sobered up, I realised that there was only one thing to do.

So I dithered a bit more, of course.  Procrastination is my speciality.  Then on Monday morning as I opened the curtains in my front room, I saw a man drive away in a car as a woman on the first floor of number 11 waved him off.  I wasn't sure what to make of that, my first thought was WIFE!, but after a bit of consultation with my friends, I decided not to jump to any conclusions - it could just as easily have been his flatmate or sister - and to just send him a text message.  

So I sent him a short polite text, apologising for not knowing who he was and asking if we'd met.

He replied almost straight away, saying that we'd never met, but that I'd smiled and waved at him.  This was not very helpful to me in identifying this man, because I smile and wave politely to pretty much everyone I encounter, whether on foot or in the car.  I guess it made quite the impression on this occasion.  He also said that putting his number through my door was not the sort of thing he usually did and he didn't know what had come over him.  A couple more texts were exchanged, nothing very exciting - mainly because I was being quite guarded as I was still very much in the dark about who he was and very mindful that he lived over the road from me, making it a potentially awkward situation.

Then he asked me if I was on Facebook and I immediately saw an opportunity to find out a bit more about him  without giving any detail about myself.  So I asked him for his name and told him that I'd look him up.

So I did.  And the first thing that I saw on his public profile was his relationship status......


Good lord.  Stunned.  Absolutely stunned.  You might ask why I was stunned, because there had been a couple of warning signs, but I honestly didn't think that even the most foolish of married men would be stupid enough to mess right on their doorstep!

I immediately sent Norman a text message telling him that according to his Facebook profile, he is married and that I therefore didn't think it was a good idea for him to have put his phone number through my door (duh!).  He replied:

I know, but I did say I dunno why I done it.  Just a spur of the moment!  I see you didn't add me either though!

Errrrrrmm riiiiiiiiiiiight.  So the fact that it was only a spur of the moment decision makes it ok that you decided to put your phone number through the door of the woman who lives directly opposite you and your WIFE?!  And do you really think that there is a possibility that I might still add you on Facebook?!  Not a chance sonny.  I responded immediately:

No - and I won't be either.  Please delete my details from your phone.

And there endeth the tail.  Sort of.  You can only imagine the level of outraged hilarity in the email trail that ensued with my friends.  So there are several things that I have learned from this situation:

1.  There are some really awful and stupid people about.  I can't decide if this guy was super cocky or just really stupid.  In case it's not bad enough to proposition another woman when you're married - to do it to a woman who literally lives in your wife's sight line?  My mind is still blown by that.
2.  There are some really really stupid people about.  What if I'd decided to follow his lead and post a note through his letterbox?  Good luck explaining that to your wife buddy.
3.  My friends are a fantastic bunch of smart, witty, lovely and hilarious women.  I love them and are very grateful to have them.
4.  Aren't some people just awful?

I know that this post may seem to be treating the situation in quite a flippant way, but I would like to stress that I feel just awful for Norman's wife.  I feel so sad that this poor woman that I have never met is married to a man that would behave in this way.  That said, I will not be enlightening her, it's not my place and I'm not going to drop that bomb.  I hope that Norman has learned a lesson from this situation and behaves himself in the future.

My final lesson from this experience is perhaps to be more careful about who I smile at.  My smile is clearly a weapon.  In fact, only yesterday evening as I walked to my car after work, I smiled at a couple of guys walking towards me.  One of them said "You have a nice smile" and I thought "Oh don't you bloody start!" and walked on by.  So I have a new strategy, to only smile at reeeeeeeaaaaaaaally hot guys and hope like heck that they turn out to be single!

I'd be really interested to hear people's thoughts about this situation, please feel free to comment x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Fridge salad and a nice risotto

Yesterday's dinner: fridge salad
Vegetarian month got off to a somewhat unpromising start yesterday, when I realised that I couldn't be bother to cook.  So I made a quick salad out of stuff I had in the fridge: baby spinach, some rather tired spring onions, a bit of grated cheddar and some potato salad.

Today also did not seem promising at first.  I had a really busy day at work and bought my lunch from a snack van that does the rounds of our town.  Usually when I buy my lunch from the van, I'll have a chicken and stuffing sandwich, or ham and tomato.  So this was uncharted territory.  And ended up being a bit of a disappointment.  The only two veggie sandwich options were egg salad (I'd rather eat a poo sandwich) and cheese salad.  So I had cheese salad.  It was ok.  I really need to get organised and sort out my own lunch.  

Today's dinner: kale and pea risotto

Today's dinner was much more of a triumph.  I am very fond of a risotto.  I quite often make them without adding any meat, so today's evening meal of kale and pea risotto was not too much of a departure from the norm.  Very simple to do, just chop up plenty of onion and garlic and soften them off in some olive oil (I always add a few flakes of sea salt as well). Add the arborio rice (keep the heat quite low) for a minute and then add some vegetable stock.  From there on, you know the drill: keep adding stock bit by bit until the rice is as soft as you like it.  In the meantime, steam the kale and the peas so that they are ready to add to the risotto with the last bit of vegetable stock.  I prefer to leave my risotto with quite a bit of gloop to it, but some people prefer a drier dish, I guess.  I also added a little bit of grated cheddar at the end (see what I mean about the cheese?  I can't seem to eat things without it!).  I made a big old pan of the stuff, so can now enjoy this dish over the next few days. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012


A gentle hush has fallen.  June is done and across the blogosphere, Juneathoners are taking a well earned break from jogging, logging and indeed blogging.  Ssssssh, don't speak too loudly, a whisper sounds like thunder in the void...... :)

As I mentioned in my last post, I didn't do enough of the community side of Juneathon, but ho hum, there's always next time and overall I'm happy with my totals for the month, who knew I walked so much?!:

Walking 122.7 miles
Running: 23.3 miles
Swimming: 1k
Crosstraining: 5hrs

In other news, I've hit upon a challenge for July.

Interesting fact about Amy: for nine years as a youth, I was a vegetarian.
(Another interesting fact about Amy: sometimes she refers to herself in the third person. Gah.)

I stopped being a vegetarian Stateside during a holiday with my parents.  I was 22, teenage idealism had worn thin and I really freakin' wanted a burger.  So that was that.  These days I still don't eat meat with every meal, but I'd like to see how I get on without it for a while.  So the questions are:

1.   Can I revisit vegetarianism for the entire month of July?
2.  Can I do it without eating my own bodyweight in cheese (oh God, I really love cheese)
3.  How long will it take for someone to offer me a great vegetarian recipe centred around the mushroom (oh God, I really hate mushrooms)

I'll try and blog regularly to let you all know how I'm getting on and will post any recipes that I've tried and enjoyed.