Monday started the week on a high note, when the washing machine engineer came out, and fixed our washing machine! I cannot tell you how pleased this made me! We have since managed to get the wash basket almost empty.
I took a late lunch whilst working from home, in order to be able to provide any assistance that he required (a bowl to tip the waste water into and a towel to mop up), and so, while I was making my microwavable ready-meal lunch and waiting for the engineer to work his magic, I decided (as we had the ingredients in the house) to try and make the Banana and Peanut Butter Muffins from A Girl Called Jack.
They were really simple to make, took about 15 minutes in the oven, and tasted ok. Oh, and because I only have a six space muffin tray, I only made 6 rather than the 10 that Jack mentioned in her blog, so I worked out that mine cost closer to 17p each! I know, bank breaking! They tasted pretty good, and worked well as a pre-karate snack for Beloved and Littlebit (I had one too, I just didn't train at karate!). They are so speedy and simple to make (as well as being cheap, and made of things I usually keep in) that they are likely to be a regular addition to our eating habbits... in fact, I made more on Wednesday and managed to get 9 out of the mixture.
Tuesday (a day I am always wary of), surprised me. One of my favourite authors, Ben Kane, had a giveaway on his facebook page. The first two people to pledge a particular sum of money to one of his favourite charities, Medecins Sans Frontieres, would receive a copy of either the final, or penultimate draft for his upcoming short story, The Shrine (available to pre-order from Amazon now and will be £Free!!! [I'll wait until you're done pre-ordering it.]) I was second, and so (donation duly made) the draft arrived at the weekend... it's probably a good thing that you can't hear me, because I was very excited and there may have been some squeeing! I have purchased a presentation folder to keep it in and it looks awesome.
Midweek, we went to the cinema to see Kingsman, Secret Service (which is sort of a send-up of James Bond films), it takes itself just seriously enough to not be full-on slapstick, but it's so funny, with just enough impressive stunts and special effects to make you go 'ooh' (not a long drawn out 'oooohhh', but still, an 'ooh'). This coincided with getting a voucher for buy one get one free cinema hot dogs, which was rather nice.
The weekend has been busy. Saturday started early for a walk... it was supposed to be a relaxed and short-ish walk. And it was. But then we decided to walk back as well. 11.5 miles in total, but we enjoyed it, as well as the first signs of spring (the snowdrops and daffodils).
I took the train back to Chester, only to find that I had an hour long wait for the next train home. I decided to phone beloved to ask for a rescue (Knight in shining Ford Focus again), and while I waited for him outside the station, I saw a Samba Band performing outside the hotel opposite the station.
Sunday started with the early Nordic walking class. In the forest, in the mist... which was beautiful.
And we managed a walk along the canal in the early evening.
This week, I also finished reading Men at Arms, by Terry Pratchett. It's the 15th Discworld novel. Ooh, how to review this one? Ok, let's presume that you know nothing of the Discworld. Terry Pratchett's Discworld is a fantasy world, it's flat and balances on the back of four elephants who stand on top of the back of a giant turtle who is swimming through space. Men at Arms, like most of the Discworld novels, is set in the twin-cities of Ankh-Morpork. There are wizards, werewolves, trolls, dwarves, vampires, and guilds for everything! The Assassins Guild, the Thieves Guild (if you pay them, you don't get robbed, but if you don't pay them, you might get robbed, but you'll get a receipt), there's the Beggars Guild and the Fools Guild and the Seamstresses Guild (many of the seamstresses work near to the docks and very few of them have or use needles). Captain Samuel Vimes of the City Watch is about to retire. He is marrying Lady Sybil Ramkin (who runs the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons and is very, very rich) and will never have to work again. During his last few days of work, there is an explosion in the Guild of Assassins, which they do not want him to investigate, which he believes is linked to the death of a dwarf whose body was found on the river Ankh. (Definitely on, rather than in...) However, the Patrician (in charge of the city) Lord Havelock Vetinari, has ordered him not to investigate either. Unfortunately, without answers the dwarves of Ankh-Morpork believe that the dead dwarf was killed by a troll and when the day watch arrest Coalface the troll, the trolls are angry leading to a breakdown of law and order across the city. Can the watch protect the city, find out who killed the dwarf and blew up Chubby the dragon and will Sam get to his wedding on time? It's satire. It's very good satire, and I defy you to read it and not laugh.
Final note for this week... I stumbled, not badly, didn't fall or twist my ankle, but I did put my hand out to steady myself and caught my finger on a very slender twig on a bush, which caused a teeny tiny little cut just below my wedding ring which stings like you would not believe! And with that shameless request for sympathy, have a good week!