The first activity of the day, after essential refueling with strong, black coffee and toast with Marmite, was to take TP to school. Now it has been many, many months since I last did this and on this occasion it was not because he had missed the school bus ...
... today I took him in to school because there was no way on Earth he was going to manage to get two huge suitcases on to the Local Authority provided transport. The reason for the excess baggage was that today is the day that TP heads off to Zambia for an exchange visit*. The jammy little sod gets to visit Victoria Falls, head off in to Botswana for a short Safari as well as experiencing both town and village life in Zambia. He will get involved in projects in local schools and hospitals and it should be a fantastic experience for him.
As I bade him goodbye in the school car park I gave him some wise words to ponder; "Don't sleep with rabid Monkeys, Bats, Cats or Dogs and don't get bitten or scratched by a Prostitute. He can't go far wrong with quality advice like that.
Now don't be thinking that 30% and I are going to be pottering around The Pile with long faces, worrying about TP and the potential mishaps that could befall him in Deepest, Darkest Zambia ...
... Oh No! As soon as we had got his precise travel dates 30% was scouring the internet to find a holiday for us to celebrate our 50th Birthdays, mine was back in December and 30%'s is tomorrow. She has come up with an absolute cracker and at lunchtime on Sunday we will be boarding an Emirates Jet and heading off for ten days in Sri Lanka.
So it will come as no surprise that I am doing my best to wrap up my current set of projects and hand them over to the colleagues who will look after them while I am away. It is fair to say that one of them is a complete monster and I will be battling with it until the very last minute. Today has been spent preparing a slide deck for presentation to a couple of Assistant Vice Presidents with the aim of securing support to allow it to be finalised, priced and presented to the client.
Work has been incredibly busy for the past few months and there hasn't been as much leisure time as I would have liked either because as soon as Sri Lanka was booked 30% thought it would be a really good idea to get Andy & Steve in while we are away to "sort out the Hall" ...
It sounded so simple when she put it like that but the list of activities that needed to be completed was horrendous and meant that we first had to complete the Office refurbishment (plastering, carpentry and redecoration) so that the furniture in the hall could be restored to its proper home.
This has left the Hall just about empty and I could then lay a temporary floor to protect the Slate flags when the plaster rubble is cleared next week.
We have arranged for Andy & Steve to come in and strip out the room then 30%'s Dad will pop in and sort out a few electrical issues. Once he has finished he will contact A&S and they will return and re-plaster.
All being well, we will return from Holiday refreshed and the Hall, which is the final room to be refurbished, will be one huge step nearer completion.
... "All Being Well" ...
* Yes that means that some poor unfortunate Zambian will get to experience the delights of The Pile and all of its joyful inhabitants at some point in 2015 when the return leg of the exchange takes place.