Held a dinner party! only seven people (which is probably a bit too many for the current configuration of the kitchen/dining room, but good to see them nonetheless. Also much productive inter-household discussion of what a dinner party really is and whether a large plastic mixing bowl is in fact a salad bowl. Still, now we have metal and wooden salad bowls, and the property value of the street rises a little more.
Gone on a bender! Or rather, asked the interwebs of a Friday if anyone fancied a pint and ended up going for "just the one" with shewho. Which turned out to be… just the one, but artful organisation via magical mobiles meant that after that I had an appointment at Holborn with pippaalice and whatsagirlgotta where all the nice pubs were full, so to the Wetherspoons and a few pints and some in-depth conversation, and then it was 12:30 and Jesus Fuck what happened there? And then packing myself on a bus and sleeping past my stop, and getting my first random kebab in quite a while whilst waiting for the bus back. And then a contemplative Saturday.
Had a splinter stuck under my fingernail! I am still not entirely sure how this happened - I think I was sitting down at my desk (on the swivel chair that has largely stripped the floorboards beneath of varnish or glamour) and reached down? to take my shoes off? But anyway the sudden visceral wrongness, and then when I looked at my hand, an enormous splinter! I ran to the bathroom, took some of it out, then set to work with nail clippers and tweezer trying to get the rest of it out. It was strangely numb for the first while, which I thought was odd - this is The Thing That Hurts, isn't it, the thing that'll get people down in your dungeons telling you what you want to hear. But in the end all that was left were two dark smudges under the fingernail, one full of the blood that appeared after a minute and needed to be held under a tap, and one with a tiny splinter hidden beyond reach of the instruments to hand, that's been slowly shyly working it's way out - I can press the flesh back a little and see a tiny dot, but it'll do until I next need to clip my nails.
Started shaving differently! I had a period of lowered personal maintenance about a month ago, and when G pointedly asked if it was time for me to start shaving again, and I allowed that it was, she asked if, this time, I might be interested in a different pattern, leaving the sideburns to keep their access to my facial hair, but clearing off my chin in a circus strongman style. I thought that might be an idea, and so presented the results to her next time she was down in London. What we'd both forgotten was that my previous goatee+sideburns was at her instigation, and G has in fact spent the vast majority of our relationship as out of sight of my chin, as it has been out of sight of the harsh world. Its initial appearance to her as some sort of bleeding potato has over time softened as she has grown used to it, and I have learned how to shave it again. Also helping has been shaving up to the jawline, though I enjoyed the period where I appeared to be protesting my eternal love for the Wu-Tang. In the last week or two though, as the weather has caused me to wrap up more in scarves and hats, glimpses of myself in reflective surface seems to indicate that it's thrown me up an age category, turning me more avuncular...
Gone home! … which is fair enough, as I've been back in Navan at my avuncular duties as well. The triple birthday (sister / first nephew / other sister's girlfriend) was on the Monday of last weekend, so I was able with clear conscience to stay up in Dublin on the Friday - meeting a bunch of very old friends in one of those visions of a coherent social milieu that lasts until one of them exclaims that they never actually see each other much any more. I was chancing my arm as regards where I'd actually stay, but ended up heading back to sleep on the sofa of Clare, who in my absence has met a nice chap and had an 18-month old child, probably the biggest jolt from my "OIh it's all as I've left it" default.
And then home properly - seeing Mum, seeing my sister's family, who are 5 and 3 ½ and just over 1 (oh yeah I missed Tom's birthday, good uncling there Farrell) and very loud and very active and just about playing well together. It was good to be home, and together me and my sister managed to get Mum a tablet computer, and loose her on the internet, for which we may not be forgiven in the final analysis. The end of the weekend was packing into a kid's adventure playground on an industrial estate, bright plastic climbing and balls and slides and a TV playing Robin Thicke in the grownups pen.