No Blake Today!

Apologies to the dozen or so people who regularly read my blog, but I’m afraid there’s no A Little Bit of Blake today. There was going to be. I had every intention of sitting down and chatting with you right up until Saturday mid-afternoon, but then cold, hard reality hit, and I realised that I simply wasn’t going to have time.

It was an annoying day yesterday, but then the whole week has been annoying. Unusually, I had Monday off and spent the whole day cleaning the house from top to bottom including removing several huge cobwebs. Honestly, I know spiders are god’s creatures and all, but please, do they have to build palatial mansions in my house? I also tidied the garden, vacuumed, and washed my car, finished an arc book I’d been struggling to read for two weeks, caught up on all the laundry and ironing. And then I had to shower because doing all of that on the hottest day of the year so far was probably not the best of ideas.

Tuesday and Wednesday I was at work, and they were terrible days. The shop was like a ghost town – hardly anyone came in and as for sales, well, let’s just say divine intervention will be needed to get me through my target this week.

Thursday was a day of running about. I had to go to the bank to unblock my PIN so I could use it to buy Father’s Day presents and other shopping. I had correspondence to try and catch up with, an online shop to finish, and various other bits and pieces that filled my day. The weather was on the turn as well. The gloriously hot sunny skies were fading to gunship grey and a few spatters of rain could be felt.

If Thursday was busy, Friday was worse. We awoke to the sound of torrential rain slamming onto the roof and it didn’t stop all day! I had to collect our shopping at ten and that was no fun in the rain, but at least I managed to park under the click and collect shelter so was partially protected from the monsoon. Back home, shopping unpacked and sorted, Miss F and I then hammered down the road to visit one set of grandparents. We hadn’t been able to see them since Christmas 2019, so it was good to be able to chat with them, although we did keep our masks on. They are both elderly and vulnerable and although I’ve had both my jabs, I am aware I can still be a carrier, and of course, Miss F hasn’t had any jabs yet. So, masks and keeping our distance seemed sensible.

Back home, there was time for a quick lunch and then I had my usual virtual meet up with my local author group, which was fun. There was a lot of us this week and the time flew by until it was gone 3:30 and Miss F was poking her head around the door and pulling faces at me. It was time to put on my raincoat and get going.

Out into the rain, we went again. It was really belting it down now and the roads were treacherous as we drove to the village where my parents live. There is a bottle bank there, so I took the chance to offload some bottles and jars and then we had a thirty-minute visit with my parents and gave my dad his Father’s Day gifts.

Back in the car again, the skies were now black, and the rain was actually painful on my head. I’d given up on my hair – any hint of moisture and it frizzes into an uncontrollable knotty mess, and I end up looking like a Muppet. I had to get Miss F to work for five and it was now twenty to – no problem normally, but in these driving conditions?

The roads between my parents’ house and the restaurant where Miss F works are not great. All county lanes running between farmland, heavy rainfall tends to wash mud from the fields all over the road. Plus, the roads are not very well maintained and have ginormous potholes along the edges, which, when full of water become invisible and will merrily rip the shit out of your suspension. Stupidly, I decided to take a shortcut, completely forgetting how truly bad those roads were. At one point, the flood water was so deep I wasn’t sure the car would make it through. But he’s a sturdy chariot and apart from a few grumbles and splutters from the engine, Basil made it through every time. Glancing at the dash clock though, I realised we were pushing it and told Miss F to phone her work and advise them she might be five or so minutes late because of the flooded roads.

As it was, it was seven minutes past five when I dropped her off and then I had to drive home. By now, the rain was even worse. It was like driving underwater and I was reminded so much of the news footage you see of India in the monsoon season to the extent I half expected to see the bloated carcass of a cow go floating by.

Back home, I fed a screaming cat who’d obviously been out in the rain to perform her daily ablutions and was not happy about it at all, and with a huge sigh of relief sat down with a big plateful of Somerset Pork and roast potatoes and veg that I’d taken out of the freezer the night before. I’ve started watching The Witcher on Netflix, and although I’m enjoying it, I can’t help but think it’s a rehash of almost every fantasy series and book out there. There are elements of Game of Thrones and some case of outright plagiarism – I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard them referring to the Elves of Cintra – this is a novel by Terry Brooks which was published about ten years ago. Surely, they’re not allowed to breach copyright rules like that. But still, it’s enjoyable and I watched a couple of episodes whilst eating my dinner and then ironing Miss F’s work shirts for her next couple of shifts. And then it was 9:30 and time to get back in the car and risk the roads again to go and collect her from work. This is one thing I won’t miss when she’s gone to university, the constant running around for her and the amount of petrol I’m chewing through each week!

Saturday, I foolishly believed it would be a bit of a lighter day for me. Sure, there were beds to strip and remake, laundry to do, and I wanted to decoupage the desk, table, and tray that have been hanging around for ages. But that wouldn’t take me long and there would be all afternoon to sit and write my blog.

I’d forgotten, you see, I’d forgotten just what an arse achingly, fiddly, messy, and time-consuming task decoupaging is! I started at about ten, by three in the afternoon I’d only just finished the tray and realised I had to realign my priorities. I had stripped my bed off that morning, so obviously had to remake it, but Miss F’s hadn’t yet been done so I decided to leave it until Sunday. I briefly took a break and made my bed, and then started on the desk. Even though it’s much bigger than the tray it’s a lot easier because there is less fiddle. The desk has big surfaces which you can get up to speed on and it’s a square shape, but the tray is smaller and has handles with holes cut into them which you have to try and paste the scraps of wallpaper around.

Luckily, there was no one else in the house because the expletives floating up from the basement were inventive, to say the least. By the time I heard Miss F letting herself in the front door at 5:20 I’d managed to do over half the desk and was sick to the back teeth of it all. Deciding it was time to stop, I’d run out of PVA glue anyway, I cleared away and washed all the paste off my hands and got on with dinner.

I suppose, in theory, I could have written my blog last night, but my evenings are a bit sacred, and I like to spend them with Miss F. She’ll be off to university in September and although I’m sure she will be back for visits it won’t be the same, so I’m trying to make the most of our time together. And anyway, by the end of the day I’m done, all I want is a plateful of dinner and something meaningless on Netflix. I admire those authors who can write in the evenings because I can’t, my brain is like porridge and anything that came out of it wouldn’t be worth having.

And now it’s almost 9am on Sunday morning and I’m off to work in an hour so again I have run out of time and only managed to bash out this quick explanation as to why there is no blog this week. Sorry, again, but at least next week I will have before, during, and after pictures of my decoupage projects – hopefully – of course, I may have given up and built a bonfire with them.

Wherever you are in the world, Happy Father’s Day.

See you next week.

Julia Blake

6 thoughts on “No Blake Today!

  1. 🤣🤣😂😂🤣🤣 That was a delightful rant. Not a blog, I realize, I know you hadn’t the time. But a rant can be quite entertaining and it was!

    That rain was outrageous !
    Looking forward to pictures of the decoupage.

    It’s Father’s Day here too. We’re going to the shore, an hour’s drive. Your “Not a blog” started my day!

    Liked by 1 person

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