So after crawling into bed on Saturday evening, utterly exhausted from the events of the day, I slept like a log, and woke up bright and early at half eight ish on Sunday morning. I felt completely restored, both physically and emotionally, so I got out of bed feeling pretty good.
It was only after I'd got out of bed and moved around for a bit I realised my legs/arms were a bit sore. All that walking, and stairs, and the cold, and the excitement, and the clapping and cheering and waving and so on from the day before had taken their toll, and my calves, thighs and shoulders in particular were aching.
Since I didn't do much yesterday, apart from sit and watch TV, it just got worse as the day wore on. Even this morning, my legs are still aching. Hopefully after the gym tonight they will get better.
So anyway, yesterday morning I was feeling all refreshed and recovered. Until Jamie put the recording of the game on, and I was transported straight back into the whirlwind of emotions I felt yesterday. Game was just as exciting from an armchair perspective, plus was interesting to hear the commentary/punditry as well as pre- and post-match interviews.
In one of the post-match interviews, one of the Welsh players made particular mention of the atmosphere created by the fans, and the arrival of the bus and things, and it was nice to think "I was a part of that".
Jamie went to the gym once he'd woken up, and I cycled over to Tesco to pick up the ingredients for the curry I'd promised to make him for dinner. Was good to get out of the house and in the fresh air, but I collapsed in a tired heap again when I got back home.
We started watching the Italy - Ireland game, but it got boring in the second half so we went back to bed for a snooze. Then tackled the mountain of washing up, and watched Bee Movie, which was ok - funny in places, but not brilliant.
Then I made a really tasty chicken curry, following a James Martin recipe off BBC Food.
This morning I am experimenting in making my own lunches again, in an attempt to get me away from eating crisps/snacks and drinking fizzy drinks/ribena. So I have two garlic chicken baps in the fridge, with mountains of grapes, and am drinking water. From tomorrow it will be chicken pitta bread with salad, but I did the shopping late so I couldnt have that today.
I cut my fingertip on my knife when I was chopping my coriander. Its not deep, but it was rather irritating. Luckily I didn't get any ginger or garlic into my cut - that would have been horrible.
We watched Saturday Kitchen, which was a Valentines Day special sort of thing, and they had the usual two chef's table guests, but the twist was, the bloke had arranged with the show to propose to his girlfriend on air, which was very sweet. She was somewhat shocked, but said yes of course :-)
Then there was a short period of waiting, as it was too early really to leave, but we had already done everything we needed to do packing wise. So we bounced nervously and excitedly in our chairs until it was time to leave. We drove to Cardiff, via the sorting office to pick up an undelivered parcel. I had intended to drive the first stretch, but I was a little overexcited so Jamie took over once we'd got petrol in Tesco, and he drove till Membrey Services.
We swopped over there, and swopped back at Magor, after the bridge. Drove into Cardiff, got there around three-ish. As Jamie used to live there, we know a handy spot near the town centre for parking the car, and there's usually always a space. Then we walked into town from there, stuck our head round the door of a pub to check the score in the France v Scotland game (which was 0-0 after 20 mins). Decided not to bother finding somewhere to watch that, so wandered round Cardiff for a bit soaking up the pre-match atmosphere.
Then we wandered over to the stadium, initially planning to see if they were showing the France game on a big screen. When we got to the entrance of the stadium, it quickly became obvious that the crowd gathered was arranged in such a fashion for watching the team bus go past into the stadium (in two lines either side of the road, lots of police making sure they stayed in place). It was 4pm, so an hour and a half before kick off. We stuck around in the crowd, quite near the gate, at the front of the mass of people. Shortly afterwards, we heard the roar of the crowd round the corner up the road, then the police escort hoved into view. Two mounted police on gorgeous brown horses, followed by two police motorbikes. Then came the team bus, followed by more bikes and horses. So there was much cheering and yelling and chanting of "Wales! Wales! Wales!". It was amazing. And to cap it all off.......
Neil Jenkins looked at me!!!!!!!!!!!
I had a real fangirly squee moment. It was hilarious.
Once they'd gone into the stadium, we made our way over to gate 5 and headed inside. Our seats were in the middle tier, the first time we've been sat up there. In the stand behind the posts, but off to one side, so about halfway between the posts and the edge of the pitch. Wales were playing towards us in the first half, and away from us in the second, so as you look at the game from the point of view of the telly cameras, we were on the right hand side.
We were mostly surrounded by pleasant people, which is always nice, although throughout the game there was far too much of people going back and forth to the bar/toilet, always at the wrong moment and getting in the way of the view.
So we were in our seats a long while before kick off, and got to watch the teams warming up. We were entertained by that school choir that were runners up on Last Choir Standing last year, and they were awesome.
It was a full house. 74,594 was the official attendance, and the entire place was buzzing. The roof was open, which made it colder, but did nothing to dampen the spirits or reduce the noise. If anything, we were making even more noise to compensate!
The anthem almost had me in tears. The confidence I'd been feeling all week about the likely result had all but disappeared by then, and there was a tight knot of anxiety and nerves in my stomach. By the time we'd sung the anthem, I felt physically sick.
And then the whistle blew, England kicked off and for the next 40 minutes I was screaming and singing as loud as any other Welshman in that crowd. Then came 10 minutes of quiet, as Jamie disappeared for a break and a stretch of the legs (there isn't much space for legs in these stadiums!). Then came the second half, and another 40 minutes of screaming, singing, hiding my hands behind my eyes.. lots of tense moments, lots of nervousness, and by the time the final whistle blew, and we'd won the game, I had run out of any energy with which to celebrate.
We made our weary way back across town, stopping only to get a small burger each from Burger King (and for me to have a wee!), and to get Jamie some coke from Sainsburys. A quiet five minutes sitting in the car, then we drove home. Well, Jamie drove, I collapsed in the passenger seat. I was meant to be taking over at some point, but was so tired and drained that Jamie agreed to drive the whole journey, in exchange for a cup of coffee at Membrey, and me cooking him a curry for dinner tomorrow!
Got home at about half ten - would have been earlier, but there are a number of stretches of roadworks on the M4 which have average speed cameras, and one of them has a speed limit of 40 mph! Very irritating, but we got through it.
I am utterly exhausted. But very happy.
Unavoidable really, but its a pain. Especially since I haven't been anywhere near as useful as I'd have liked to have been today. We didnt get back home from our trip out this morning till about half 11, 12ish, and then we were so tired from our early start we just kind of collapsed in a heap and snoozed till about 2. And then we had lunch and read books and things, so it was only getting on for half 3 by the time we started doing useful things!
Jamie's tackling the mountain of washing up in the kitchen, while I'm doing general tidying in the dining room. So far, the main highlight has been the discovery of hidden Christmas chocolate, which I am now eating. 'Divine' fair trade chocolate coins. Nomm nomm nomm.
So the rearranging of the bedroom furniture went fairly well in the end, we're both pleased with the end result. However, I'm still struggling to get in a full night's sleep, which is very irritating. Saturday night was by far the worst night I've had in a good while, hardly slept a wink, between Jamie's snoring and Fidget's rather irritating "lets go exploring the bedroom in the middle of the night" antics. Last night was better, but I still woke up more times than I'm used to (the one time I get woken up by Fidget wanting a cuddle under the duvet I don't mind so much). We think Jamie may be subconsciously afraid of the lack of wall to his right, as when I woke up this morning I was on my side facing out of the bed, but very close to the edge. Jamie was on his side, facing away from me, but with his back right up against mine with miles of space on the other side.
So tonight we are going to see if we should sleep the other way around. Which may be a blessing in more than one way, as Fidget tends to wake up the person on the left of the bed for cuddles in the night, so sleeping on the other side I would avoid that as well.
Other than furniture moving, cleaning and general sneeziness from the dust, the weekend consisted of indulgent food (fry-ups, biscuits, ice-cream and home-made fish and chips among the offerings), lots of Guinness (well, for Jamie, anyway), much rugby, some painting of miniatures (I did my night goblin fanatics, Jamie started his handgunners) and the watching of Sweeney Todd.
Among the failed acheivements was me not dying my hair, us not making it as far as the gym all weekend and us not having done any laundry or tidying up downstairs. But considering what we did get done, this isn't really all that bad.
This week is mostly all about getting back into the habit of doing things. Going to the gym. Not eating too much crap. Tidying up some more. Boss is on holiday so work should be quiet, which is handy given how tired I am. Highlights of the week are going to include the first episode of Battlestar Galactica new series (or second half of last series, if you want to look at it like that), and the rugby at the weekend. Also, Jamie had a surprise phone call from one of his oldest friends the other day, so on Sunday we are going to go and see him and his fiance as well, which will be interesting.
I am absolutely stuffed.
And I am sad that I didn't have a camera handy, as Mr Fidget was demonstrating his amazingness really well, I bet none of the rest of you with cats can say with confidence that if you were sat at your dining table eating a meal, and your cat was sitting on the dining table as well, that your cat would completely ignore all the food that was on offer and sit quite quietly at the other end of the table out of the way.
Fidget was sitting across the corner where Jamie's drinks had to go, when I was laying the table. So I said to him "Fidget, you can't leave your bottom there you know" and he promptly got up, walked to the other corner of the table and sat back down, totally out of the way, and then sat very quietly throughout the meal. At one point he got up, but only to move into his bed which is on the table, and he curled up and went to sleep.
He is a professional cat!
The mp3 player was awesome. Quite possibly the most awesome thing I've bought in some time, actually.
Got to the pool at about ten to six. By the time I'd got changed and sorted myself out and got in the pool, it was about six ish. I did my first few lengths in the medium lane (where I usually swim) but my arms were aching so much (from the gym on Tuesday) I moved to the slow lane. Then my goggles broke. So I had to get out of the pool and go buy a new pair, which took ages cos of the gaggle of students all paying to get in.
I then spent the rest of my swim in the slow lane, getting progressively more pissed off with the aforementioned students as they crawled up and down the lane in little gangs, constantly stopping and mucking about, and talking to each other incessantly. Seriously, if you want to do that in the pool, go in the public swim session. Adult lane sessions are for people who actually want to swim!
I had just over 40 mins worth of music on my mp3 player. I swam to it all, apart from the last three songs, so in all I probably did about half an hour. I could have done more, its just my arms were very achy and the students were really starting to annoy me. My hair is damp, but nowhere near soaking, and I didn't leave a nice pink trail behind me in the pool, so that worked a treat. My hair dye is washing out fast enough as it is (I am now on the ginger side of red), I don't really need the pool water to make it worse!
I am now waiting for Jamie to come home (he's been in London today) so I can have dinner, as I am starving. Fish and chips tonight, although its 'healthy' as its oven chips and oven cooked breaded fish from the supermarket, and frozen peas, as opposed to greasydeath fish and chips from Mr Cod. However, as I have no idea where Jamie is, I can't start cooking till he comes home. So I just have to cope.
Mind you, the first week of the year, back in work after Christmas, when its cold and dark and cold and snowing and icy and cold, with nothing really to look forward to for some time (December might be cold and dark and cold as well, but at least there is Christmas to look forward to), is not really the best time of year to cut out all the nice treats that make you feel better!
So while I haven't been all that pro-active in cutting those out, I have been a bit more proactive in making sure the rest of my diet is back to pre-Christmas healthiness. Although there isn't enough fruit yet.
Exercise-wise, I dragged myself to the gym on Tuesday evening, and while I didn't do a full work-out, I certainly did enough to make myself feel all energised, and for my muscles to get all achy yesterday and today! Swimming after work tonight, I've tested out my underwater mp3 and its awesome. I've got a playlist of songs which is approximately 40 minutes long, so we'll see how we go swimming to that. its a mix of Tom Jones, Chicago, Rammstein, The Hoosiers and the Shrek 2 soundtrack...
Whats not helping my poor aching shoulders, is that when I fall asleep I tend to end up in a position where one arm is out of the covers bent up over my head on the pillow, which in my room means it turns into an icicle in the middle of the night, so my shoulders are a tad stiffer than they really have any right to be.
Although because I've been off all week, I have completely lost track of what day it is!
Yesterday was very pleasantly spent making Christmas cards - I made 12 in total, and they're all ready to be written and sent. Just need to find out a couple of addresses that I don't already have.
I am very proud of them, and have taken photos of them all because they are very cool. I will share them with you, because I can.
Then we've had lunch, and are watching the Treviso v Ospreys game (which the Ospreys are winning, but not by as much as we would have expected them to, after they thrashed them last week. Then there will be some tidying up of the living room and dining room, and I shall probably wash my hair, and then we shall start cooking the duck. For Ros and Matt are coming over for dinner, and I did promise Ros that if we did a roast dinner, we would do duck, because she said she had it once and she liked it a lot, and then she stopped eating meat, so she hadn't had it since. So we have duck, and posh sage and onion stuffing, and oranges to make a tasty orange gravy, and rooster potatoes to roast, and posh carrots and everything. and fizzy pink wine, as its kind of a post-exam, pre-christmas celebratory thing.
And then Ros and Matt will come over, and we will eat tasty food, and drink nice wine, and play Railroad Tycoon: the Board Game.
He is being very pathetic about it. I put germoline on his grazes, and a big plaster on the graze on his knee, and cooked him a tasty tasty meal of mushroom, garlic and honey lamb steaks and jacket potatoes with loads of butter. Then we watched the Baa-baas playing Australia, because Shane Williams was playing for the Baa-baas.
We have also ordered our Christmas presents from Jamie's parents to us (they wired us the money today) - Jamie is getting the new season Osprey's replica shirt (he gets one every year), and I am getting a pink waterproof mp3 player.
Fidget continues to be ridiculously cute - I cannot sit down in this armchair of an evening without having him permanently attached to my legs in a variety of upside-down poses. And when we go to bed he spends the whole night alternately curled up and stretched out along my side/back. Its cute enough I suppose, but every now and again it gets very irritating!
Well today has been a very good day.
- Ospreys beat Harlequins in the EDF Energy Cup 1st round
- Scarlets beat Saracens in the EDF Energy Cup 1st round
- Zuki did awesome and made Caro cry :-)
- I drove in hideous hideous weather and didnt die
- Jamie made awesome beef curry and it was all nearly ready for when I got home
- I won tasty chocolate in the raffle at the cat show
- so far, my predictions for "who gets through to the X-Factor live show" have been spot on. Only one disappointment so far, in the over-25s
 Overall, a good selection for the X-factor finals. Only cross with the inclusion of Little Miss "I did drugs and three of my 5 kids are in care"
Although not as a result of the management accounting I have been learning about this morning. Just a regular headache. Probably caused by me having forgotten my orange juice and my raisins today, so having nothing but water to get me through till lunch.
Is weird being here on a normal day, rather than at the weekend. Popped into the office on my way in, to drop off a helium balloon (its our temp's 65th birthday today, so we've made a bit of a fuss) and to turn on my out of office (i forgot to do it on Friday), then left again and came next door to learn.
So far so good, nice easy introduction to the new material, although I'm having to dredge back up knowledge from the first exams I sat, two years ago! Fortunately its all coming back to me, and I think once I've got home and tidied my desk up, I will get out my notes from Management Accounting and have a refresh.
Have also come up with a fairly sensible working/learning/revising plan for the next 10 weeks, which shouldn't be too stressful. At least this week, I only have to concentrate on the one module. Next week things get complicated, as I'll be starting another course!
Anyway, its all going according to plan at the moment, which is the main thing.
Weekend was nice and quiet - didn't go anywhere or do anything (except a couple of short trips into town and one to Morrisons). Made a tasty pork stir fry on Saturday evening, and a really yummy lamb curry last night. Am taking advantage of my finishing earlier than usual this week, so will be cooking a cottage pie tonight as well. We also cleaned up the study and bedroom, hoovered and anti-flea-sprayed. Still have some things to do, laundry and stuff, but the house is actually looking pretty decent now.
Right, better go eat my lunch I suppose.
Yesterday was what bank holidays should be about. Lazy morning, trip to Asda to buy food and booze (we may have overspent this week - three bottles of wine and a huge bottle of vodka we werent expecting to buy... ooops), spent most of the day playing Medieval 2: Total War - Kingdoms (the Americas campaign, as New Spain), then spent the evening playing Champions of Norath on Andy's PS2 (Thanks to Ros for the heads up on this game - we found it in Bournemouth in a Gamestation while looking desperately for Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance 2).
We didnt go to bed till 3am, we were enjoying the looting so much!
Today is Jamie's birthday, so far all we have done is play with his birthday present (a Creative Zen Stone mp3 player) and search fruitlessly for an NHS dentist who actually answers the phone. See last night I was eating some giant chocolate buttons what I had put in the freezer, and I managed to break off the side of one of my teeth. Luckily (!) it was one that was already filled, so instead of exposing nerves its just exposed filling. I called my dentist this morning, and the woman was very rude at me and talked over me and didnt really listen to me, and wouldnt give me anything sooner than the 10th September. So I've been looking on the internets for any other NHS dentists in the area and trying to call them, but noone is answering. Lines are all busy. And there's only about three practises actually registering NHS adults, and I can't afford to go private. So I guess its going to have to wait 2 weeks, which is really irritating. It doesnt hurt, but I can't stop playing with it, cos it feels all weird. I wonder how he will fix it?
Plan for the day is mostly relaxing. Will almost definately involve more computer games, and also hopefully the dyeing of my hair. We have chicken for lunch (thighs and drumsticks - we had them roasted last night with lemon and [homegrown] tarragon, today we'll have them with the 'seasoning for chicken' because we're lazy) and we're having aubergines for dinner, provided we can go out and find some as Asda didnt have any yesterday. The starter I had in the restaurant on Saturday was aubergines in a tomato sauce with mozarella on top, and we have a recipe for it from the James Martin Collection, so we're going to try it out. So we'll need to go on an aubergine hunt later on as well.
Fidget's been excessively soppy since we got back, is following us around like a lost puppy, constantly leaping up for cuddles and not leaving us alone. its very cute. last night he fell asleep on his armchair while we were playing games, and ended up fast asleep on his back with all four legs in the air! I took pictures, will post at some point.
We took my laptop back to Novatech, where we were greeted with dismay "Oh no!" says Jim. "Not you again!". They are sending it back and I will be getting a new one (again).
Then we went to Homebase (via Toys R Us) where we bought a new cordless drill (complete with hammer action for drilling into walls with), some screws and a new dragon tree (which Jamie has named Frankie).
Then we popped to Tesco to get some bits and bobs, and came home.
We had barbecued lamb steaks for lunch, with some salad and nice mediterranean bread (we got a small disposable bbq because we felt like barbecuing the lamb!),
While we were out in the garden cooking the lamb, we had Mr Fidget curled up in the border on one side, being all cute, Crotchspider curled up on the floor by the BBQ being all cute. Then we heard some cat fighting noises from a few gardens away, so Fidget went to investigate. Then we heard some rustling and looked behind the bbq, underneath the holly bush, where Mr Popodopolous, our resident hedgehog, was emerging from his little nest inside the half-full bag of bark chippings. It was in the full sunlight, so we assume it must have been too hot for him. He pottered out, sniffing away, completely ignored the cat who was sat right next to him (mind you, the cat completely ignored him too!), wandered up to Jamie, sniffed him, then wandered off to sleep in the tarp which is down the side of the shed, where it is all shady.
He is a very handsome looking hedgehog, and he is very used to us now. I really like having so much wildlife in my garden. I also saw an enormous dragonfly flying over as well, which was awesome.
Now I need to do some sorting out of stuff, as I need to bring a bookcase into the study to put my ACCA books on. Jamie is currently zonked out on the sofa having a snooze - its a hard life!
Swimming tonight though, I absolutely must go, for my arms are feeling 100% better after the climbing and I need to do exercise!
Yesterday aftermoon kind of slipped a little, instead of my nice healthy afternoon snack of carrot sticks, I instead guzzled down an alarming quantity of shortbread. Ooops.
Today I am back on track though (well, except for the hula-hoops I'm currently shoveling down) for even though I spent part of today's lunch money on coke yesterday, I successfully scrounged £2 off a work colleague and managed to pick up a nice baguette, me crisps and some buy-one-get-one-free Dr Pepper Zero (which is tasty nice and zero calories, yes I know its still bad for me, but one vice at a time, ok?).
Have been having an interesting few days in work, Tuesday we had massive power cut and system was down for ages. Yesterday we had total system failure in the afternoon. Today we had mini system failure this morning, but I've managed to keep myself busy until now. System is back up and running now though, so once I've had lunch I can actually do some work!
Day off tomorrow, which is going to consist of the following:
1. Nip down the canal and take photos of the swan's nest for Ro
2. Drive to Guildford and buy climbing gear - ostensibly we're just going down for shoes for Jamie, but I fancy we'll have a look at harnesses and things as well. we've got £190 to play with, so if Jamie's shoes cost £75 ish that means we should have enough spare to get harnesses from the cheaper end of the range (£50 ish each)
3. Drive to Wales. This is the biggie, as its a 4 hour drive from ours to Mum & Dad's. If we can leave by 12, we'll get there before rush hour starts, which is useful.
4. Spend evening with Mum and Dad. This will involve tasty food, some sort of wine, my beautiful little girl-cats who I don't get to see anywhere near enough of (its their birthday next week as well, they'll be 14).
Saturday is the wedding of excessive-having-to-drive-around-the-
Then on Sunday we'll be having lunch with Jamie's Mum and Dad, and probably talking a great deal about the new kitten that they have decided to get. He's a very cute brown tabby, answers to the name... Rosco! After showing them pics of Caro's litter, they have fallen in love with the Maine Coon tots, and are going to be taking home a hillbilly :-) which is awesome.
Scotland unfortunately have dropped to 10th, but given their poor performance I think we deserve to have switched places.
In other news, for le Rygbi is not the only thing going on right now in my world...
In other news, I made scones. Tasty tasty scones. Mostly to test the new food processor, but also cos I like scones. I made plain ones, and sultana ones. Tomorrow I will make apple and cinammon ones. Yum!