I had a phone call from Grandma in Cyprus. Was I still alive? She asked.
That's the trouble with taking a blogging holiday.
Not that I'd intended to take a short break, it just happened that way.
With the two teens safely despatched on the annual school skiing holiday (how come they get to go twice and I only manage once?), The Cat's Mother and I headed down to the beach.
Well, when I say we headed down to the beach, we headed to Brighton, through a snow storm, headed up the stairs and essentially locked the door on the outside world.
We've been saying recently how we do too much. Hardly able to catch our breath before moving onto the next fun filled evening. And whilst it is wonderful, it's exhausting, and perhaps it makes it just a little too easy to forget how lucky we are.
So there were jobs to be done around the flat. I knew that because The cat's Mother had written a list. Quite a long list actually. The main one was to sort out the library. Now doesn't that sound grand? In fact it's a room about the size of a kitchen table where we've just shoved a lot of books, and all sorts of other stuff that just didn't really belong anywhere. Ever since I bought the flat a quarter of a century ago, there has always been one room which is just full of stuff...this is the smallest space that 'stuff' has ever occupied. Anyway, we went at it, and over a couple of days managed to clear the floor and organise the shelves. It may now truly be called the library because books are all that are left in there. There's not so many now as there were. Most of the childrens' books have been donated to the local charity shops, a Debretts from 1983 has been properly recycled, and a while host of others, including some Jeffrey Archers (not sure how they got there - I met him once, truly the slimiest person I've ever come across) and other miscellaneous rubbish will be pulped and put to better use. There's one special book I've got to send to an old girlfriend. It's a book a Winnie the Pooh recipes. In it we found a postcard from her parents. And a photo of a naked man. It wasn't me. I've no idea who it is. But as it must be at least 25 years old, I'm guessing he looks a little different now.
It should have been a cheap week, but the blu-ray player that I bought a couple of years ago and have used probably no more than a dozen times refused to work. That meant one evening we crammed into the 'games room' - yep that's the one with the Playstation in and also the size of a kitchen table to watch a very entertaining film 'Unknown' with Liam Neeson. I'm not aware that he's ever made a decent film, but they're all pretty entertaining. This one involves a man who after he travels to Berlin is in a car accident and when he comes round and goes in search of his wife who also travelled with him finds that not only does she deny she knows him, but also has a replacement husband in tow. Buy it from your local video store for £3.99, it's money well spent. the next day we went out and bought a new blu-ray player...this one's a Sony and I'm hoping might last a wee bit longer.
I'd been invited to the launch of the paperback edition of 'Over the Rainbow' by Paul Pickering. As we were away I couldn't make it. A real shame, I would have loved to have attended. This is another thing you should definitely spend your money on. It's a fabulous read. And so it should be as it manages to combine The Wizard of Oz, the Taleban and Afghanistan all on the same pages. That is no mean feat.
As I read 'Over the Rainbow' so quickly, that means I have a free evening to try and catch up with all the blogs I've missed over the last week or so.
There was one other thing I did in Brighton, it was cathartic. Amazingly so. I can't tell you about it for another month. Don't forget to remind me.
And on a sadder note, the passing of Richard Griffiths. A truly fantastic actor, and one who particularly despised mobile phones. We saw him last year in The Sunshine Boys with Danny DeVito. I thought his performance in The History Boys was beyond compare. So if you didn't see it at the cinema, haven't caught doing the rounds of the regional theatres, go buy the DVD.