[WARNING: Below is an epic entry, a rivetting tale of mystery and intrigue, an enthralling battle between good and evil, the compelling story of one man in a world that he doesn’t understand… so beware – you may not be able to stop once you pop)

[NOTE: if you can’t see the whole entry, click here]

I think I owe you loyal fans a decent entry and not a rushed one, so I’m gonna try and be witty, interesting and informative. Failing that I’ll just tell you a load of facts and you can fall asleep nicely to them.

Well, I’ve had a bizarre day today. I went to bed far too late last night (think I got to sleep around 5) and then woke up far too early (around 9). So 4 hours’ sleep. Now that by itself isn’t too bad and I can normally do that once in a while, it’s just I didn’t sleep that well or much at the weekend, and haven’t slept much since. So by about 7pm tonight I was knackered. I figured that if I went to bed at 8, slept for 12 hours, then I’d wake up at a good time and have a productive day’s work. However, this proved tricky, as I suspected it might. I kinda drifted for a few hours, but eventually got to sleep. Then about 1am I woke up and was really thirsty and needed the loo (isn’t that odd – how you need to get rid of fluid at the same time as needing to get some. Ah, if only we lived in the Dune world…). So I figured that I wasn’t gonna sleep until 8am anyway, so I got up and here I am, writing my diary entry at 1.30am after having slept for 5 hours already (which, you will note, is more than I did the previous night already!). So I figure I should get tired again soon and then take the long climb back to bed… it’s very strenuous you know.

Anyway, time for a recap.

Thursday last week… did the final preparations for our chillout weekend which started on friday, including a trip to spend lots of money at Makro and a small detour via Sainsbury’s to buy some things in the “small” quantities we needed them. Got a little stressed when I realised I still didn’t know exactly who was coming on the weekend, and was trying to arrange transport. Anyway, I cobbled something together, emailed it to everyone and set off to Birmingham… no, I wasn’t going to our weekend away early – I had a Connect Day (a.k.a. Student Worker Training Day) there.

It was great to see all the guys again, I always have a great time with them. Will miss them when this year is over :o( Oh well, life goes on. We had a few sessions going over the study we’d done and some evaluation stuff. The others were off on Friday to the Navs Reps Conference, which was costing them a bomb, but I couldn’t go because of our Nottingham weekend away that I was organising. I joked about not wanting to go due to the expense, but I would have liked to have gone, if not only to have spent more time with the guys. But anyway, I came out of the situation considerably richer than they did 🙂

So about 3.30pm I headed back to Nottingham, hoping to have a little time to relax once I got back, have something to eat and then set off. Hmm, that didn’t happen. Took me just over 2 hours to get back (had taken 1.5 hours to get there, and that was in what I thought was heavy traffic), so time was a little cramped. Rob had done chilli by the time I got back… it’s nice having a “he-wife” (à la Deuce Bigalow) to do all my cooking for me. Now just need to get him to tidy up after me and it’ll be great. No seriously, Rob has been very good to me recently because I keep running out of time to cook and things and he’s been doing it a lot. Just a public note of thanks, and now on with the story… Yes, so I got back, had a quick shower (cos the showers in the place in Birmingham didn’t had a dial that went from freezing cold to cold and I knew that the showers at Bonsall weren’t great and that I might want to avoid using them)., scoffed some food down and loaded the car.

Now here is where things started to get a little silly.

We got in the car (me and Rob in the front, Jim in the back) and set off for Sainsbury’s. Me and Rob chatted in the front about stuff, and after the long 5 minute trek to Sainsbury’s we parked up and went to get out of the car. Only to realise that Jim – the quiet one in the back – wasn’t there at all! We were both positive he’d been there when we set off and were puzzled as to how he’d managed to get out the car without us noticing. Anyway, I rang him, and it turns out that he was about to get in the car when I pulled off, and the door shut of it’s own accord as I pulled off. So how silly did I feel? Still odd looking back on it, because I was so sure!

So we did our second shop at Sainsburys quickly (just some muchrooms and puddings for Sunday that I’d forgotten), then headed back to pick up Jim and set off for Bonsall.

Arriving in Bonsall about 7.45pm, we unpacked and settle in. It was a mere 5 minutes after arriving that silly thing No. 2 happened, or rather I realised it had happened earlier. I had left all the refridgerated stuff… IN THE FRIDGE AT HOME! So we had no milk, cheese, salad, butter etc. Rang around and fortunately someone was coming up later on that night that didn’t live too far from my house, so they went in and picked it up. Just meant black tea and coffee and dry toast until 11pm when they turned up.

Anyway, we had about 15 people there on Friday night, and we had a good relax, playing table tennis, pool etc. Completely forgot to go to the pub as we normally did, Josh would have been very put out, but hey – breaking with tradition is quite often good 🙂 Anyway, it transpired that all my work at arranging transport had not been worth the stress since everyone had changed things around. All that was needed was a first draft of the arrangements and people sorted themselves out from there.

Anyway, Saturday morning after a few hours sleep (last to bed, second up), I got up and had a shower – they have finally put heaters in the shower rooms at Bonsall, so now it’s only the floor that is painfully cold, not the air too. At least one of the showers was working this year, and it was hot. Starting the day without a shower is generally A Bad Thing ™ (à la huggie, I mean the phrase, not the not showering thing!)

People got up sometime between 10 and 1 I think, and another 5 people arrived quite early too. We got some lunch together – just DIY sarnies, but fortunately had plenty of fillings as I’d aimed for and I think everyone ate well (isnt’t that the worst thing, when there’s not enough food for everyone to get full at a weekend like that? Well maybe not the worst – a gun massacre would be worse – but you know what I mean). After lunch, Dave took most people off on a walk around the area – even had a waterproof map cover – was well impressed with how professional he looked! I stayed in and played Track & Field on Jim’s Playstation 2, with some other people.

Saturday evening, we went and got Fish and Chips take away (no, I wasn’t skiving my responsibilities as head cook, we do that each year). We ordered 22 (2 more people arrived early evening) lots of chips, 17 lots of fish and a load of other stuff. Took quite a while for them to get it ready, but fortunately there wasn’t anyone else in there waiting to be served, otherwise they’d have got very annoyed no doubt! That evening we watched Match of the Day and/or The Matrix.

Sunday I arose early again (well, about 10am!) because I wanted to get stuff prepared for lunch. Jim and Rob also got up, and Lis was about too, and they were all pretty helpful. We did jacket potatoes with various toppings, the main one being chilli. All went surprisingly smoothly actually, apart from the potatoes taking aaages to cook, but the chilli was really nice, and considering I’d never done it for 20 people before and never in a non-stick pan, I was very impressed! In fact it was some of the nicest chilli I’ve made.

Silly thing No. 3 was that I forgot to take the frozen desserts out of the freezer to defrost, so that they were edible until after we’d eaten the chilli. But this was fine cos everyone was full, so we went and watched the Man Utd vs West Ham match (oh dear West Ham – Tim wasn’t happy). So we had pudding a little later before eveyone started to leave. Then I played Sam in the table tennis tournament of the year… or at least of the weekend. I lost convincingly, I never really stood a chance. Sam was clearly gonna win right from the start. Realised I’ve become quite defensive in my table tennis technique, which doesn’t work too well against an attacking player, because they tend to be able to smash you more often etc. Anyway, enough of table tennis tactics.

All in all a very good weekend, but I didn’t really chill out that much, but then I should have expected that since it was a working weekend after all.

Went to church Sunday evening, took a few people with me.

Afterwards went to the Super Bowl party at the Americans’ place. Was good fun, and I think Rob put it well in his blog:

“Er yeah, so the Raiders lost to the Buccanneers. Shame the ball is almost the same colour as the pitch, and that there are SO MANY advert breaks that it starts at 11.00pm and finishes and 3.30am. Plus of course they all are so clumsy they need to wear Kevlar for when they run into each other. Despite the fact they have radio headsets so the coach can tell them which way to run. ”

Was a good end to the weekend, would probably watch it again, although it was all the more fun because there were people who cared about it there, not many, but a few.

Monday was a day off.
Tuesday, the main thing was Navs small group stuff. We had a very good turn out, after struggling (as it is every year) to get people to come along during exams. I even had 2 new people join my group! This is how it runs… Sam came along from knowing us perviously, he invited Chloë, who in turn invited Kate and Susie. Hehe, we now have 13 in the group (scarily it’s 4 blokes and 9 girls)! So we split into two bits once we eventually got down to something other than just catching up and chatting. Had a good first look at the overview of Philippians, it’s a very positive book, which I like. Looking forward to going through it with my group.

Wednesday was meeting day! Met Josh in the morning (that’s why I had to get up at 9, to be there for 10), for a “short sharp hour” as he put it. And we managed, for the first time in living memory, to actually keep to that! We just talked a bit about how the weekend had gone, and what I’d done this term so far, where I was at with people etc. It was all good and quite relaxing, but I was really tired, but talking eases the tiredness.

Then for lunch we went to Duncan and Joy’s before the team meeting. I finally got to meet Nathan (their son, for those of you not in the know). He’s adorable, and SO small. Don’t think I’ve held a 2-week old baby before, but he’s very very light and very very cute. I didn’t want to put him down, but I was a little scared I’d do something wrong, and was also hungry and wanted to get on with my lunch. Hmm, getting broody again, I’m sure the broodiness was given to me not my sister in some personality mix up early in our lives.

Then it was back here, a little play of FIFA 2003, a little dinner, and then my bizarre sleeping thing.

And finally (à la old News At Ten)…
I’m (still) looking for a house to buy in Lenton (an area in Nottingham), with 3 decent bedrooms, so I can rent 2 out to other people (Jim & Steve for next year). Problem is there’s not that many nice ones on the market right now. We had a weird offer thing on a house last week. We offered our absolute maximum and were outbid (there were 5 of us bidding simultaneously) by about a grand. (I have suspicions that there might have been a tip-off, but I have no evidence for that). Anyway, trying to find a place as nice and suitable as that may prove difficult, but we’ll see. So if you spot anywhere, do let me know 🙂

OK, I think that’s it. Only took me an hour to write it! Hope you enjoyed it and you have found it educational, fulfilling and motivating. If not, hope you didn’t find it mind-numbing.

Take care y’all and I’m off back to bed I think.

Author: Alex

I am X3JA

7 thoughts on “IOU”

  1. Woah, it’s a mammoth entry alright.

    I don’t think you need an apostrophe in “4 hours’ sleep” though.

  2. Yeah, 2446 words I think. If only I could write essays that fast – that would have been be quite useful for school and uni.

    Yeah, not sure about the apostrophe.
    I would say “I got an hour’s sleep” so the hour is singular and the s is because it’s sorta possessive (or whatever that really is in true english-grammar-speak).
    So I’d naturally say “I got 4 hours’ sleep”.

    Mum? Are you out there? Rob? How about you? Anyone?! HELP ME!

  3. I’m not convinced Rob reads blogs. He seems to treat his own as a write only diary for which there must be an entry every day.

    Of course he’ll now prove me wrong.

    I see what you’re saying about “an hour’s sleep” it would be like “an hour’s worth of sleep” but I’m not sure what that means for 4 hours.

    I mean should we say “4 days work” or “4 days’ work”? I’d always write the first but always write “one day’s work”.

    Ho hum. Perhaps a pedant will happen upon our hopeless deliberations and solve them all.

    I think MT needs threading.

  4. That’s a useful link, Nick.

    To the cover of a book for which the offer has expired.

    Care to tell us /why/ Nick? Or do they not go into that.

  5. Thanks, Nick. That’s better yes. I guess I’m just wrong then.

    But then I think I’ll just stay wrong. I don’t like the way “4 hours’ sleep” looks. Or maybe I’ll just turn the phrase differently.

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