Sabbatical: Week Five

And what an unusual week it was too. Lots of things unexpected plus lots of things to pull me out of my routine.

In both cases, that’s not always a good thing – a routine is what keeps me going, striding forward to a specific goal. It’s how my brain works. It doesn’t like chaos.

And it started on Monday when my daughter’s school was, at the last minute, closed due to a burst water main. Both my daughter and wife were then at home and suddenly my day kinda got shook up.

On Tuesday, it was a wet day so did lots of small jobs around the house, including preparing for tomorrow (more in a bit about that). In the afternoon, I had my weekly drum lesson. As soon as I got back I had to make an early tea for my wife and I. Lucie had been at Derby Theatre all day, as some people from her school, plus others in the academy, were putting on a show in the evening. We left just before 5pm with a 6pm start due.

There was a massive mix-up over tickets, which caused some initial stress and then the “it should last half an hour” stretched on. We got home around 8pm in the end, all quite tired.

On Wednesday I spent the morning in the town of Belper. It took me an hour to get to the meetup location and that was at 9am, so it was an early start for me. But I was there to meet a local photography who was going to show me the ways of the shutter. More specifically, I wanted to know how to turn off the “automatic” function of my DSLR. And, 3 hours later, I knew so much more than books had tried to hint it but not done so successfully.

Here are some of the pictures I took…

I’ve since written up notes and my plan it to continue what I started, learning more. My hope is to take my digital compact on holiday with me this year. And, yes, keep it on the manual setting.

On Thursday, it was my first opportunity to try out my new helmet camera…

Sadly, it didn’t go well, as the recording kept stopping. After speaking to the manufacturer’s support people, and doing some tests myself, we came to the conclusion that the Sandisk memory card that I’d bought from Amazon was… at best faulty, at worst fake. I’m going to return it and order the Samsung version that they recommend.

Meantime, even just having the camera, even if not switched on, is making a difference – people are suddenly polite to me and cars taken an extra wide berth around me. Amazing.

We then get to Friday and Lucie is at home again. This time, though, because it’s inset day (teacher training). She doesn’t want to do much in the morning but, in the afternoon, we got to Derbion, the big shopping mall in Derby. She spends a lot of my money, needless to say.

Finally, Saturday, where we journeyed to Gloucester to meet up with my eldest daughter, Laura, and her husband, along with their friend, who was staying over. It’s Laura’s birthday next week and we wanted to see her before, if only to pass on her presents.

We met them at a pub near their old house, where I treated everyone to lunch, before we went to a nearby farm, where Laura likes to go fruit picking every year.

After we went back to their house. We had a picnic tea that we’d bought with us and headed back home, getting back sometime after 8pm. It was a great day, it’s always good to see them and Laura loved her presents too 😎

Sunday was relatively restful – Lucie and Jen were out at church, whilst I secretly let 2 stranger into the house… who wanted to buy Lucie’s wardrobes. They’ve been for sale for weeks. Her new one is still in boxes and she’s itching to have it. The people wanted it, so I emptied them out and then helped the couple dismantle them and put them in their car.

Once they’d gone I de-cobwebbed and vacuumed the mess that was left behind. I got an old, portable clothes rail from out of the loft, set it up and put Lucie’s hangers on that. For non-essential items, I bagged them and put them elsewhere. For anything else, I got some boxed out of the shed and left Lucie, when she got home, to organise the remainder into those. She was very excited to see her wardrobes not there!

But after that, I was knackered.

By the time I’d showered, it wasn’t long until I had to think about the tea, which was quite a complex Sunday meal. It turned out really well, unlike the Chinese pork dish that I did a few nights back and put in some very, very hot chilli in by mistake. Lucie couldn’t eat it and I needed copious drinks and an ice lolly after to stop my mouth burning!

Basically, it’s been an eventful week.

There are 2 things I would say summarise it, neither of which I’ve already mentioned (okay, maybe one, in passing)…

  1. I’m so tired. I was feeling it the week before but have had no chance to catch up. I’m feeling mentally and physically tired and not sleeping well right now either isn’t helping.
  2. I still don’t feel my current weeks are enough. When I was working on the shed I felt like I’d achieved something. Now it’s just lots of small things. I don’t know if I’m just being too hard on myself. Anyway, I’ve ordered a lot of things for further home/garden work, including some hand shears, and will be heading off down the garden tomorrow to try and change this. The garden is my next big job.

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