I am more excited about getting a car than I thought possible. I wasn't excited about driving lessons (hated them, for the most part), I wasn't excited that I passed my test (mostly relieved that I wouldn't have to do any more lessons), I just about enjoyed my Pass Plus course (because I had a fab instructor), but for some reason, I am bouncingly, squealingly and probably irritatingly excited by getting an actual car.
It seems utterly surreal that there will be a car, and it will be mine, and I will be able to get into it and drive it places whenever I like. I think I'm actually, finally getting the message that all that time, stress and money (listed in decreasing order of importance!) that I invested in this will actually be making a positive difference to my life.
I'm delighted with the car I've found. It has five doors, and aircon. It's 18 months old, and has a very reasonable amount of miles on the clock for its age. Its only previous owners are the garage, for whom it has been a demonstrator. That means it hasn't been hooned around the place by some boy racer, and it also comes with a few nifty bonuses that are installed on all demo cars, to stop them getting bashed up in use, namely mudflaps, a boot liner, mats in all 4 foot-wells and clip on headlamp protectors (weird! Never even heard of those before!). I am particularly pleased with it having mudflaps, having compared Badger's car to J's and seen the difference they make. 😉 They're putting tax on it for a year for me, too. The fact that the car, plus a year's insurance, is fitting exactly into the budget I set for myself doesn't exactly hurt, either.
For the curious: that budget is equal to the amount I got paid as compensation for being knocked off my bike by a careless driver several years ago. I carefully put that money on one side for exactly this purpose. It seems fair that the accident that caused me so much pain and anxiety (and effectively stopped me from learning to drive for 2 years) has at least helped me onto the road in some small way.
For the very curious: the pic of the car linked to in my previous entry is my actual car. Well, it will be mine as of Tuesday morning, when I take delivery. Cool, huh?
I have a new sewing machine. Oh, wow. Oh, wow. It is soooo gorgeous. It's well before 9 on a Saturday morning, and I'm reading the instruction manual. Yes, instructions are for girls. I'm a girl. (I'm not ashamed! Not any more! I'm out! I'm proud! I'm a girl!!) Besides, this little puppy cost me lots of money, and I'm not about to break it because I threaded it wrong. It takes up to five separate threads at once; would you mess with that?
But wow. It does everything. Overlocks, flatlocks, superstretch, roll hems, cover stitch – everything. It's so cool! It has pre-set tensions, and safety cutouts in case you've set it up wrong, and all kinds of funky sproingy mechanisms, and a foot for inserting elastic, and a 'compensating foot' for cover stitching so the fabric doesn't wander sideways, and you can swing the foot out sideways for easy threading, and you can adjust each of the three needles independently and it's just SO COOOOL!!
I haven't even tried to sew anything yet. I'm just sitting, reading the instruction manual. It's so exciting that I have to keep going to clean the kitchen just to calm down slightly. Really.
Of course, this might all change when I do start sewing; I reserve the right to curse, swear and b!tch about it to my heart's content. For now? Officially In Love. Mmmmmmm….
And winded. As I was going to the gym. 100% headwind. I told you we had a few winter days left.
Someone kindly donated a bunch of mugs to the kitchen at work recently. We mostly have mugs with the work logo on, plus a few 'personal' ones, plus the odds and ends. For some reason, the work logo ones often run out. I was therefore left choosing between the odd ones. I avoided the ones that said 'Dad', hastily passed over the 'Operation Desert Storm' one (wtf??) and was left with the Winnie The Pooh set to pick from. No way am I drinking out of anything with WTP on it, so I go for Eeyore. Ever since being little I've had a fondness for Eeyore; I had a 'rocking donkey' I named Pablo Eeyore (a trait of the young otter: can't decide between two names for a toy? Give both! Hell, why not four?).
This mug almost tipped me over the edge…
Printed inside the rim is the phrase "Gloomy gloomy" – the second word trailing off down the inside of the mug as if dissolving in the grey fog of depression. The outside of the mug has a picture of Eeyore looking characteristically glum with a selection of very Eeyore words and phrases subtly (subliminally?) written in the background. I'm sure I saw a "nobody loves me" and a "why do I bother" floating around there; I wouldn't have been overly surprised to see "don't point it at your temple, put it in your mouth" or "slice up and down, not across", either.
All day, every time I looked at my mug for a drink, I saw "gloomy gloomy". What the hell was the person who designed this mug thinking?? Who wants that first thing in the morning for their breakfast tea?? Or last thing at night for their gin and tonic, come to that.
Next time I see it, I'll photograph it for proof. I haven't seen it for a few days, though. Maybe someone smashed it and ate the shards in sheer desperation???
OK, I'm willing to admit that we haven't had all our days of spring yet, and that we may even have a couple of winter days yet to come, but yesterday was summer, pure and simple. Marked with my longest bike ride yet with Heather, we clocked a decent 26 miles to wind up at Anglesey Abbey where we met James, Jack and Rebecca for the first picnic of the year. (That yummy quiche? The flour used for the crust was milled at and purchased from Lode Mill, in the grounds of Anglesey Abbey, just a week previously. This sort of thing makes me very happy.)
After a mellow pootle round the grounds (and J and I bought National Trust membership, yay!!), we cycled back to Cambridge across fields and along the Cam, on the towpath. A much shorter route (10 miles), but we weren't 100% sure where we were some of the time… My heart rate monitor reckons I burnt an astounding 1486 calories on the ride.
Then, I had a shower, did a desultory amount of housework and sat and knitted on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon. Clapotis, if you must know. Until it was time for curry, anyway.