Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Last Week to Today

After throwing myself open to ridicule in the last post, it's time to do the 'A Day in the Life' stuff, and so to the best of my recollection, this is roughly how it went.

Monday 4th October: A day off, and so spent very liesurely with Amanda around the home. This was broken for a few hours with a really nice midday break in Bournemouth where we had lunch at Le Beau Monde at The Lampeter Hotel. Two glasses of prosecco to go with pan roasted sea bass with mango and lime coulis and a salad for Amanda. Me, well being the sophisticated man about town, plumped for the ham, fried egg and chips...pure class!

Tuesday 5th: Amanda had another day at college where she is studying psychotherapy, and soaking up Gestalt, and I once again battled with the first of the autumn leaves that are coming down. The knapsack blower is being serviced ready for the work it will face in the main onslaught to come, and so in the meantime, a Stihl BG85 blower must suffice. A tough little brute, but only a gentle wind when a gale is required! Four rather large properties done today and felt very tired at the end of the day and not very good company to be around.

Wednesday 6th: The cottage estate in Mudeford needed all of the lawns mowing and edging, a four hour process, but with a hot mug of tea from John, AND some Jammy Dodgers things got a little easier. Then in the afternoon it was back over to Poole and a lot more hedgecutting, weed killing and leaf blowing. Amanda had spent all day working as well and so we both met up at around 6.30pm at Soho Bar in Westbourne and soaked up a few beers and Merlots.

Thursday 7th: A very heavy day workwise. In the morning, a place that gets a complete makeover once a month to do in Winton, followed by a leaf magnet of a place nearer to Poole. This job was tricky because they have been a seriously bad payer and I had to have a 'chat' with the guy in charge of accounts. Needless to say, overdue invoices are now paid, but the present one is now overdue.....ugh! In the afternoon, there was the weekly visit to a gigantic property in Branksome Park. It takes some deep breathes every week to prepare for this place. Still, five hours later and the mowing, blowing, some pruning and a little trimming of some of the shrubs saw the end.

Friday 8th: Amanda now doing her third day at her job and loving it. Me, well on the gardening front there was the dementia care home in the morning, where they now have a hutch slap bang in the middle of the lawn, and a family of rabbits to go in it. "Ahh cute", I here some of you say! Well they might be ok if gently braised in a stew, but they are now a pain in the bum as I am the silly sod who has to catch them, rehouse them temporarily, and drag the very large hutch a long way, so that I can simply cut the grass! And to top it all off, there is talk of getting a couple of pygmy pigs.....Great!.....Yippee!!!!!!!
Then it was over to Branksome Park again, and the property with the apple orchrard at the back. Lots of leaf clearing, lots of mowing, turned over a few borders, and picked a few apples for home. 5pm....home, shower and change of clothes before meeting Amanda for a drink at Soho Bar.

Saturday 9th: A fairly light day in terms of gardening today. I dropped Amanda off at work before heading over to Christchurch, and a block of flats to attend to. This is the place where, as I have mentioned in a previous post, an anonymous 'donor' ties a bag of chocolates to my mower handle every visit, and sure enough this visit proved fruitfull also. Only problem comes when trying to operate the mower with one hand, while trying to retrieve and open a choccy with the other.....something that I am becoming quite adept at! And yes, Bar Soho after we had both finished work at 6pm!

Sunday 10th: Claire, Dom and grandchildren Josh and Ella came for a brunch today. Danish pastries, pan au chocolat, raisin and nut twists, fresh fruit, yoghurts and toast and marmalade or strawberry jam....a real treaty feast! It was really great to see them, have a play with Josh, and of course cuddle with Ella. It is incredible just how fast she is growing and developing. Amandas place of work was having a celebration to mark it's second anniversary, and so she had volunteered to go in and help. It was apparently extremely busy, but all was rounded off nicely with a meal and copious amounts of wine, all served by the boss. I in the meantime was getting slowly plastered in Bar Soho. It was the understanding that on finishing work at around 5pm, that Amanda would meet me here, whereupon an interesting and entertaining conversation would thus no doubt ensue. And so there was I at 7pm, having read the Sunday Times from cover to cover, all sudokus completed and brain teasers teased, welcoming a rather tipsy wife into the establishment that had been my home for the last two and a half hours, and ordering yet more beer and wine!.....not so much conversation now, but plenty of hugs and smiles.....and later sleep!

Monday 11th:The day started off with a lie in, always a good start in my book as long as it comes with fresh coffee, a newspaper, and my wife. Then it was into Bournemouth to do various banking stuff to do with Four Seasons, but only after more coffee and earl grey at the Obscura Cafe in the square. By now lunchtime was upon us, and so as a surprise I dragged Amanda (not kicking and screaming mind!) to the West Beach Restaurant on Bournemouths western sea front. Boy oh boy, what a menu! Drinks were ordered, a jug of iced water was on standby, and then we were off. For Amanda it was lobster and shrimp to start, whilst I had olives, hard bread and hoummous. Then my other half had roasted cod loin with a parsley and lemon crust, crab crushed potatoes and parsley mayonaise. I dribbled over the lamb rump, sweet potato fondant, buttered spinach, green beens with a broad bean and mint jus, plus a side of glazed carrots. We tend not to have puddings and so relaxed over coffee afterwards. The only frustrating bit was a table of uout of control children at the other end of the restaurant, and to get my feelings on this you have to look at my latest entry on my other blog, strangely enough, put in only a couple of days previously!
All of this was worked off with a walk around a couple of the art galleries in town, where we took it in turn to spend several thousand pounds on our own distinct artwork...well, in our heads anyway! The end of the day soon came along, and so we rounded things up with coffee at the The Haven Hotel, whereupon we watched people and yachts generally, a perfect end to a perfect day. Well almost, hot chocolate and a couple of episodes of The West Wing in bed were the end......relaxed?....heck, I might even apply the lawn food everywhere tomorrow

Tuesday 12th - yesterday: Two large places to do in Branksome Park in the morning. A gloriously sunny day, and the morning went really well. I came back home at lunchtime so that I could run Amanda to the train station so that she could head out to Brockenhurst College for her course. Then the afternoon had me at twoo smaller places where lots of pruning and trimming were needed, along with the usual tidy up stuff of mowing and leaf clearing etc. Then it was back to collect Amanda on her return, dropped her off at Soho Bar whilst I went to do a site visit and quote.....got the job! Just a bit of garden tidying at a very small house, but hey..another day, another dollar as my grandma always used to say. Now it was my turn, and so grabbed that cold Peroni with my wife back at Soho Bar. Got back home around 8pm, and that was about it. !...........Ta Ta everyone!

ps....the picture is of what is probably the last thing to flower in our garden, a ginger lily.


  1. Dear Gary, I am exhausted and well and truly full. I certainly could not eat another thing for at least a week!! Although quite clearly Amanda is the centre of your life, and quite right too, food and drink definitely comes a close second!!

  2. What a busy week you have, with romance thrown in to boot everyday with lovely Amanda. What food you two enjoy , great post, Gina

  3. Certainly, reading this and other posts, I can see how the impression is given that we live to eat!

    In reality I have to say that work (in my case work/study) takes a higher priority than fine dining, but the fact remains that we are indeed regular fixtures at a number of local cafes, bars and restaurants.

    It's an expensive hobby but an enjoyable one, and sometimes all there's energy for. We both love to hike, kayak and horse ride, but with Gary having such a physical job it's often awfully tempting to just sit and be waited on. Especially as we are blessed with so many relaxed yet high quality establishments, most boasting great staff, a regular clientele and stunning views of sea, harbour or gardens.

    Most of all I think we find that taking the time to dress presentably, go out and sit opposite each other with a meal or even just a coffee (I'm not quite the lush Gary may have led you to believe with this post!)encourages us to relax, and above all to talk - about anything and everything. That's an art it seems to us is lost on many couples these days, and I'm absolutely sure it's where much of continued closeness comes from.

    Besides, the baked cod was to die for!