Tuesday, 11 September 2012

My weekend ...

It’s not often that I write a diary entry for a blog post but today is an exception.

The weekend started at 4.15 on Friday with early getaway from school. I stopped off at M&S to buy food for the weekend where I chatted to a couple of friends I haven't seen for ages.

Tim was in Scotland and not due home until late evening so my first treat of the weekend, following some soup and a sandwich, was an early night – 8pm. I watched the television for a while but was asleep by about 8.15!!

We’d decided to spend Saturday catching up on some jobs around the house and garden. Just after lunch we went to Terry’s (Tim’s guitar teacher) allotment to pick damsons. We came home with the damsons but also green beans, Swiss chard, Bramley apples, blackberries and a cabbage! On the way home we popped into the supermarket for some preserving sugar and a nice bunch of flowers.

The flowers, with a chilled bottle of La Renaudie Fines Bulles Rose were for our neighbours Gill and Rory who’d invited us to a BBQ. Rhiannon called in for a chat so there was only just time to get ready - a last minute rush as usual to shower and get ourselves presentable!

The other guests were neighbours Bill, Jane, Chris and Alan. The food was wonderful. Jane had brought a delicious German apple cake, which, with gooseberry ice cream, was absolutely scrumptious! We reminisced and put the world to rights – as you do after a few drinks, however on this occasion I limited myself to a couple of small glasses of bubbles at the beginning of the evening. I needed to keep a clear head …

At 10.30 we thanked our hosts and made the long (about 50 metres) journey home. I had a very important rendezvous to keep.

I changed into my PJ’s, dressing gown, socks and walking boots and at 11pm set off for Stafford where I met with twelve colleagues, all dressed in similar attire, for a 10km midnight charity walk through the streets of Stafford in aid of Katharine House, a local hospice.

After a quick ‘zumba’ warm up session we set off. A big mistake  was to start off at the back of the field of over 500 walkers which meant that we needed to weave our way through the hoards. This proved difficult as we were, for reasons of safety, confined to fairly narrow footpaths. The walk was an all female one, although the marshalls were mostly men. Corrie, Barbara and I formed a splinter group with Lizzie and Jenny, a couple of fantastic ex pupils. In ‘route march’ mode we soon moved through the field and finished in just under two hours, which considering it was dark and our slow start was pretty good.

We were met with cheers, a beautiful flower, hot bacon rolls and a drink. I was back home and in bed by 3am tired and with sore feet!

On Sunday morning I slept until about 8am and then embarked on what I hadn’t reckoned would be a marathon damson jam making session. I followed the recipe but it took until about 4pm to wash, make and bottle just 12 pots of damson and tawny port preserve!

Don’t ask…

Just time to make dinner and settle down to watch the closing ceremony for the Paralympics. Another fantastic experience. I thought the closing speeches were very emotional and a fitting end to our summer of sport

School work? No, none at all!

This was the first weekend of my new 'stepping back from work' regime. I’m exhausted but content …


  1. A fantastic start. What a variety of activities! Can you keep it up?

    1. Thanks. I shall be trying my darned best!

  2. Hello Gaynor:
    We really do think that it is wonderful that you made the effort, particularly after the evening out with friends, to take part in the charity walk for the local hospice. Such a deserving cause and, we are sure like all hospices everywhere, desperately in need of the support.

    1. Hi Jane and Lance,

      The hospice is fantastic. Our group raised over £700 which isn't bad for a few hours work!

  3. The walk sounds like great fun, but I would have had to have go and bought some PJs, something I do not own. What a worthwhile cause though.
    OK I won't ask re the preserve but I am very curious LOL. Take care Diane

    1. Hi Diane,

      The recipe stated 1.4 litres of water for 1kg of fruit (so that was 4.2 litres in total)which took an age to reduce. Normally I'd just add enough to cover the fruit. The I think I added the sugar too early causing even more standing and stirring. The taste is fine though!

  4. Well done Gaynor, a very impressive weekend. I am particularly impressed by your ability to do the walk after the evening with friends. Again...well done. J.

    1. Thanks, Janice.

      It was difficult not to have an extra glass or two of bubbles!

  5. Well done Gaynor, a very amazing few days. I am particularly stunned at your capability to do the stroll after the night with buddies.

    Keep Posting!!:)

  6. An amazing weekend, and a great idea to "Step back from work" I would love to do the midnight walk in Oxford, it is the getting there and back that is the problem, I don't know anyone that would actually do it with me ..

    I still haven't turned into a jam maker after all these years, didn't take after my mum that is for sure.

    Your weekend sounds like fun !!

  7. A productive weekend, I was amused by how many ladies were sporting the same pj's. :)

  8. Sorry - a bit late to this post but just wanted to say well done indeed - two marathon sessions in 24 hours! Love the idea of walking at night in PJs, though I'd have had to buy some if I were to join in - my sleeping attire is not appropriate at all.
    Good stuff,