This weekend it is the final Bank Holiday of the summer, and Monday is a public holiday here in England.
Yesterday, television News showed the hoards of people attempting to ‘get away’ for their holidays at airports and at stations (I won’t say “railway” stations as that has always been considered tautology; if you spoke of a station it was obvious that you meant a railway station, just as “horse” riding is tautology when the correct terminology is simply “riding” – what else did you ride?) and then the News ‘went’ to a reporter, standing on a bridge somewhere overlooking a motorway with three lanes of traffic in either direction almost at a standstill, and him explaining how busy the roads were.
It’s funny how reporters always have to show such things – when there’s a flood they have to don wellies and stand in the water; when there’s a hurricane they are somewhere trying to stay upright in a teeth of a gale. It’s all very silly.
Anyway, while all this was being shown, husband and I were sitting peaceably in our summerhouse, enjoying a cup of and a slice of ginger cake (not home made, but no matter.) We are amazed that in the 21st century, i.e. a very a long time since the advent of Bank Holidays which enabled workers to have a day away, perhaps at the seaside, being taken there by what we called charabancs, peoples act like lemmings and go away en masse. It just seems a bit silly to me that because we have an extra day’s holiday tacked onto our annual leave allocation many of us feel we must ‘get away’. It is something that we have never done, but there again, there has been no need, living as we do in a seaside town.
And there we sat, amazed that so many people are prepared to put up with the discomfort of long tail backs on the roads, overcrowded trains that somehow don’t quite run on time, and delays at airports. OK, some will be going away for longer, than the weekend, but why leave it until now, one of the busiest weekends of the summer? Just think how awful if would be if going away at a Bank Holiday was made compulsory!
This morning husband went to visit his brother who needed some assistance with a DIY job, and so I had a leisurely breakfast outside. My goodness, we have some sunshine at last, and while not hot, warm enough to sit outside. Lovely!
I’d actually had porridge (that’s oatmeal to those in USA, Canada, Australia, NZ) with golden syrup about 8 am, but I had been to the local mini-market and came home with baguettes and a croissant to have with apricot jam and coffee. Husband doesn’t care for croissants (truly!) so one, just for me.
It was lovely sitting outside, reading the Saturday paper and having what these days is referred to by some as “down time”, which I think another silly expression such as “quality time” (there are other silly expressions which are totally meaningless, but right now they have escaped my elderly brain! Ah yes, another is things which are now “curated” when that simply means they are simply chosen or sorted satisfactorily. And everything has to have a “hub” these days, not just car wheels! I wonder if you know of any other meaningless expressions to add to these? Always on programmes such as Escape to the Country and Location, Location, Location, couples are always seeking an escape from the rush and bustle of today to spend “quality time” either together or with their children. What’s wrong with just “time”? What happens in the “quality” part of this phrase, I wonder?
I also spent time reading some of the book reviews and I noticed a new book by Gillian Tindall, some of whose previous books I have enjoyed.
She has written a book (The Tunnel Through Time) about the machines which have bored under London to aid the construction of Crossrail, and although I do not know London (not having been there more than half a dozen times in my life) I am always interested in great feats of civil engineering, and this must rank with the most ambitious of those. Perhaps one for my book List?
Post today was rather nice. I had ordered some beauty products and they arrived. I don’t splash out on expensive products because much of the expense is in the pretty packaging and the very expensive advertising campaigns and while I am a sucker for pretty packaging as much as the next woman, I don’t like parting with mega bucks to gain the same result from a less-expensive product. I learned my lesson with a Chanel lipstick and a bottle of Dior nail polish, neither of which came up to expectations. No, I stick with products which are reasonably priced and work for me and look sufficiently smart enough to have on the shelf in the bathroom. Such as the Boots No 7 range. I return to this again and again, plus L’Oréal face cream, and Sally Hansen nail polish.
One new product I am trying out is the eyebrow pencil (Brow Artist Xpert) which is also by L’Oréal. I used this for the first time this morning and already it has proved better than the Yves Rocher eye pencil I bought some time ago, and at a fraction the price of the Yves Rocher product.
L’Oréal Age Perfect, Golden Age (which, it says on the box – not exactly reassuringly – “For Very Mature Skin!” They mean we ancients!); Boots No 7 Stay Perfect foundation, and the L’Oréal Brow Artist Xpert pencil. Actually, I made a silly mistake and ordered this particular foundation rather than No 7 Lift and Luminate foundation (where do they get these names?) which I usually use, but no matter. It’s the shade I use, and the difference is hardly discernible.
Two Sally Hansen ‘Complete Salon Manicure’ nail polishes also arrived, on the left Aria Red-y, and on the right, Enchante, my two favourite colours at the moment. I don’t care for blue, green, purple or black nails (Barry, our younger son’s dog, has black claws. They look nice on him, but I wouldn’t want them.)
Husband returned home and we had lunch in the garden …
Just a light lunch, mini baguettes, Normandy butter, Badoit water, salami, ham, beetroot salad, tomatoes, strawberries, a few crisps, and half a mini pork pie each. Not the healthiest of things, pork pies, but when they are mini ones and we only half each, not too wicked, I trust?
Yesterday, this lovely book arrived in the post. It had been mentioned on another blog I enjoy reading, so how could I resist this facsimile edition of a illustrated journal of Victorian gentleman’s journey on the Norfolk Broads with three friends?
This afternoon I shall spend time in the garden (there might be a little work done, I mightn’t be totally lazy!) with this book, a cup of tea, and also the book I am currently reading and very much enjoying …
I bought this book about three months ago when I was researching the subject of butterflies (even though this is a work of fiction by Fiona Mountain, it is based on fact) but I would say that the book is better than the rather bodice-ripper cover might indicate. Do not be put off by this rather modern-looking woman on the cover, as if dressed for a New Year’s Eve fancy dress party. And with the book, along with a cup of tea, I might just indulge myself a little further …
I don’t often fancy a particular kind of chocolate bar, but this week I suddenly thought I’d like one of my old favourite from the 1950s, when I lived with my parents in their newsagents’ shop (and which I’ve recently posted about) and surprisingly, the taste of this chocolate bar – for I had one a few weeks ago – is much the same as it was then. Which is something I can’t say of many things from those dim and distant days!
Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you have a most enjoyable one. And aren’t caught in any traffic jams!
Until next time.