A reasonable day, certainly the first part was. Our young visitor went to see one of his other York friends and our two played reasonably happily on the computer all day.
I spent the morning inside but just before lunchtime did a short stint in the garden, coming in at 1pm for lunch. I was just sorting out some potato sacks which were not worth keeping for re-use, and was taking out the nylon thread which I'd rather not put on the stove (nylon is a type of plastic) and there was a knock on the door.
I'd had a message yesterday from the wife of an old friend saying they were passing through York today, and might pop in. I replied saying great, what time, and if they could ring me first and warn me that they were on their way, I would be ready for them.
But they arrived unexpectedly and yes my hands were covered in slimy potato sack. But it was good to see them; I've known Glenn since I was 18 at Nene College, and Joanne is his wife and has recently booked me to do a Fiddlesticks appearance at her school where she is head of science. So, despite composty hands, it was lovely to see them. I cleaned myself up and made hot drinks and for over an hour and a half we chatted, covering a lot of ground.
They left after half two and I had my lunch. At 3pm our guest came back and there was a lot of excitement before it was time for him to be taken back to the station to get his 5.30 train back to Leamington Spa.
I did some stacking... logs I cut yesterday got stacked on pallets down the garden where they will dry for a year or two before being transferred to the stacking area outside the front door for a final drying, under cover, before converting into heat.
I had spotted that my prize-winning pumpkin which has sat on a kitchen work surface since harvesting (with a brief trip to Pumpkin Day at St Nicks, where its large size won me a 'Worm Cafe') had just started to go mouldy near the stem. So I gave it a wash and chopped it up, taking the seeds out to dry them (and to eventually remove the succulent kernel for eating), and made a soup on the woodstove with about a third of it. Fortunately only a very small amount of pumpkin was rotten, and I now have lots of onion/pumpkin and red pepper soup, and 2/3 of a big pumpkin left to do something with.
Our youngest didn't go to town, and luckily his friend from up the road rang and came round, and they spent time together playing computer games. I went out, leaving the soup cooking and kids playing, and visited Ros up the road who has some sticks and branches to dispose of. I offered to take my shredder up to her house in the next couple of weeks to render the pile into a useful material... shredded stuff for her, fuel for me.
Gill and our eldest came back and we served tea. My soup wasn't very well received. Gill thinks she can improve it for tomorrow. I liked it. I had a mushroom toastie with it.
The evening after this was best forgotten. I washed up and kept myself out of the way as much as possible. When I was needed, I tried to achieve the right mix of setting a good example as a role model whilst being a 'normal' parent/father and ensuring that boundaries are observed and that other family members are protected from violence, the right mix of hands-on involvement and rising above the provocation and threats. Life is tough at the moment.