Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

It’s been a mixture this week of hanging around and dashing about. There seems to be something going on inside my computer, and it slows almost to a halt; this lasts for a while – usually about an hour or two – and then suddenly it’s back to normal. What is it doing? Is it moonlighting on another job somewhere? I wish I knew.

Anyway. Monday was the usual prep day – interview stuff, prison stuff, TADS stuff. I had to produce various certificates for my interview on Wednesday. I haven’t been asked for these for years, and thought it might be a struggle to find them, but no – there they were, in the file labelled Certificates. Hooray! Unfortunately, my external hard drive is proving much harder to find. I’m worryingly overdue for a backup, and I’ve obviously put the wretched thing somewhere so secure that the only way I’ll find it is by clearing out my whole office, and I haven’t got time for that yet.

But on Tuesday I left the office behind and drove to Prestwich for the last steering group meeting for my north west project. These meetings have always been fun, and we insist on good biscuits, and it was a shame to say goodbye to everyone. But they have done terrific work, and will keep it up, although everybody is very worried about library budget cuts.

And on Wednesday I had another long drive, down to Dorchester for my interview. As always, it’s hard to tell how you’ve done in an interview. I have all the qualifications and experience they are looking for, but I guess they wanted someone who lives close. I haven’t heard anything yet, which probably means I haven’t got he job. Oh well; never mind; it would have meant a lot of driving.

And Thursday was prison day. I was hauled in front of security – just me, facing the chief of security, a policeman who works in prisons and an officer. It was mostly because of a misunderstanding, and I wasn’t in trouble, but it felt like being summoned to the headmaster when you don’t even know what you’ve done wrong. Mostly they were concerned for my safety, which is reassuring, I guess. And I got loads done; a good start for the next issue of the newsletter.

I spent almost all of Friday working on my south west project report, which I should finish today. My lawnmower has been repaired (it was a safety switch. I can’t help thinking that not allowing the mower to start at all is taking safety a bit too far). The Son was home briefly, on his way to a wedding, and I have to say that he and The Son’s Girlfriend looked very smart.

After so much travelling, I could have justified a lazy weekend. Hah! As if. It was off to the Kemble Steam Show with The Bloke. I wasn’t completely overwhelmed with the idea of this, but in fact it was terrific – we arrived just in time to see a Vulcan bomber doing its stuff (surely one of the most impressive aeroplanes ever). And I got to sit in a Jensen Interceptor – my dream car since I was a lad – for the first time. There were ferrets and owls as well as lots of steam engines and old vehicles, and it was really interesting, although a bit wet.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we set off on Sunday for Street. I had to collect my Geoffrey Whitworth trophy from the chap who in turn had collected it from the presentation in Scotland. And boy, is this a trophy. It’s been going since 1951, and so has had three additional plinths added to take all the little engraved plaques. It’s huge, and comes in its own foam-line box, complete with a bottle of silver polish. Coo!

A little retail therapy in the Clarks shopping village brought me down to earth. The Bloke is amazing; we went into Next and I said I was looking for a skirt and a dress and off he went and found exactly what I was looking for, and at ridiculously reduced prices. My very own personal shopper. Every woman should have one – but not mine; he’s taken.

All this commercial hubbub was followed by a visit to Chalice Wells (or Spring? not sure) in Glastonbury. This would have been a haven of peace and quiet, but for the cars and motorbikes, and rather surreally the orchestra playing. They must have been rehearsing for a concert there later in the evening, but we heard the whole thing while walking round Glastonbury. We climbed the Tor (much higher than we had expected) and could hear the music from the top.

And eventually we went home, tired but happy, in classic Famous Five tradition, except that there were only two of us. I popped home to do something; the computer was running even more slowly. But today it’s fine. Life is strange.

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