Yes, I started this blog exactly six months ago. I can scarcely believe it's been so long. That means our sofas are six months old today, and they look good as new. Evidently a good choice, although we've been fairly careful with them and managed to stop the cats - mostly - from scratching them.
In celebration of this half year, I've finally changed the title background to a picture of the beach that I took back in May. It took me most of the afternoon, and I had to have significant help from Daniel to get it the right size. Hard to believe I was a programmer many years ago when I struggle to understand simple HTML and graphics programs. Not that I ever understood graphics!
Besides that, it's another Friday. Supermarket shopping, yet again. The checkout girl this morning was chatting to someone else as she passed our groceries through the till, then stopped in shock at the end as she told me the bill came to £265. I was expecting it to be about £70 or a bit less, and evidently she realised there was a mistake! So she quickly scanned through the itemised bill, and saw that she'd managed to charge me £203 for a bag of grapes (which should have been £3). Phew! At least that was easy to sort out; she entered a refund of £200 on the till and I paid the £65 which was much more reasonable.
But it did get us wondering... if I'd just been charged £10 extra for something, would we have noticed? I do usually glance at the bill when we leave, but I'm not sure if I'd notice if anything was overcharged, or undercharged.
I haven't done any more gardening this week. It's been humid even in the mornings, and more so in the evenings. Somehow that feels wrong in September. It's so odd how the months feel psychologically different. In June we expect it to be unpleasantly hot, and it's usually fine. In July we brace ourselves for the heat, and remind ourselves it's going to get worse, and make the most of it when it's not quite as bad as we expect. In August we smile and tell ourselves we're half-way through the summer; we do as little as possible and we get through. But in September, I feel that summer has outstayed its welcome. It should be autumn. The humidity should drop, and we should get some rain...
Ah well. We're going back to the UK for a few weeks in the last week of September, to see family and friends. When we get back we should be well into Autumn. Such as it is.
Richard does like the heat, and he decided to do some pruning this week. Our front garden gets even more messy than the back if it's neglected for a month or two, and some of the 'weed' trees were several feet high. So he spent two evenings pruning as much as he could to enable us to get out of the gate more easily, and yesterday evening he cut down a large tree outside Daniel's room, which was growing too close to the mains electric cables. That was a fairly major job needing a ladder and rope to ensure the tree fell the right way... no fun at all. But he was glad to have it done.
And what have I been doing this week? Well... other than catching up on email, and doing things like laundry that can't be put off, I've started cooking properly again in the evenings. We'd all had enough of cook-in sauces and other quick meals. I've also been trying to finish the 2000-piece puzzle we started weeks ago. I did the sky and canal first, thinking those would be the hardest and am now floundering with the buildings! I'd like to finish it this weekend so we can take a photo of the table covered in puzzles, then put them away.
Also I've been reading my way through the Harry Potter series. It's been a few years since I read most of them so I thought it would be good to remind myself of what they were about before reading the most recent one, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book Six). It's quite an experience reading them as a series one after the other: firstly I'm a little surprised that I've stayed interested enough to read them all, even the ultra-long books Four and Five. Secondly I'm impressed at the way the overall plot develops, with quite an apocalyptic feel to it. So hats off to JK Rowling... and now it's time to go and read a bit more of book Six, which I started last night!