I ended up having a ludicrously busy week.
Tuesday night was the official formation meeting of Levenshulme WI, wherein the WI advisor from our "federation" (Lancashire) had come along to ask us to formally create the branch. Her expectations of these questions being perfunctory went awry almost immediately over arguments about the name which the committee thought had been sorted but a bunch of the potential members (including yours truly, to be fair) did not think we'd had any input on at all and didn't like the appointed name very much. Then when it was discovered that the year's subscription was payable up-front and there is no mechanism for paying by installments (the first year, at least), no concessionary rate and no ability to eg have a raffle or a fund people could donate to to help people less able to afford the cost, we started asking how to change this and it turns out it'd require the WI constitution to be changed. And we asked how to do that
, and the at this point clearly overwhelmed lady who'd dealt with a room full of shouty women for at least half an hour pointed out that we weren't even officially a WI yet and could we do one thing at a time.
I don't know if I've ever been so proud of Levenshulme as I was just then.
The lady from the facebooks who came over to clip Gary the Wonder Dog's toenails for us (no mean feat!) the other week was there, asked how he was doing. At least two conversations were started by the fact that I still had a sticker on my top of a Lego spaceman, since I'd come to the meeting almost straight from looking after Small T that afternoon.
Wednesday was one of Small's performances in the local am-dram's pantomime, and he'd asked me to come along, so I've seen my first panto. He also wanted me to go along when his parents took him to Blackpool for the illuminations before Christmas, so I have this family to thank for a couple of very English experiences I'd otherwise not have had (oh, and I got to see his school nativity too, which...I'm still too American to think school nativity
sounds anything other than bizarre). I could see how a lot of the British comedy I love got to be what it is because of having panto as a distant relative.
Friday I slept until two o'clock in the afternoon because of a combination of sinusitis and nasty period/PCOS pain. I had to go lie down for a couple of hours at four. I did most of the housework that needed doing despite this, and even went to the bank and took Gary for his last walk with us before going off on his holidays at the weekend so that we could be away without worrying about him.
We went to Yorkshire. First Hebden Bridge on Saturday afternoon, where I remembered how to get to the Picture House despite having only been there once before and not paying any attention (yes it's not hard to find, but I'm very bad
at finding things, and I even remembered we had to cross the road because the pavement is too narrow in one bit). We met Jennie and had time for a quick half at the Old Gate, sitting outside under cover from the freezing rain because it was too busy inside, no doubt due to it being the only pub that was open.
We were there to see The Tingler
, a silly Vincent Price movie I'd seen at Stockport Plaza for Halloween a couple of years ago. We got to/had to sit up in the balcony; the ground floor was still flood damaged enough that there were no seats in it at all. This meant we were quite a distance from the screen, but it's not a huge place so I could follow what was happening fine. It was part of a series called Surreal Reels
, which meant we got a little survey to fill in about our experience which we made sure to leave glowing remarks about (asked to rate it from one to five, Jennie drew an extra box with a six next to it just so she could tick that) because we want more of this sort of thing. There was even atiny introductory talk, a few minutes from someone Jennie identified as "Paddy from Emmerdale," who apparently likes horrror movies and directs them in his free time. It was like a tiny slice of Fantastic Film Weekend for us, so obviously we were all delighted. We ate sweets and giggled a lot at the film's unintentionally funny moments, of which there were many.
We stayed over in Brighouse and hung around for Games Night on Sunday. But not before a lovely pub lunch at Millers. I actually played some games and didn't have a migraine or anything this month, though I was definitely feeling Out Of Sorts due to the combination of getting over sinusitis and having a really hurty PCOS-y period. Since Andrew had taken this week off work, we didn't have to rush back to Manchester on shitty Sunday evening trains and stayed another night.
The event of this week was going to Newcastle with JT, his train ticket for which I'd gotten him for his Christmas present. His family's from the area and he lived in South Shields when he was young, thus knew all the best pubs to go to (The Bridge Hotel, right by the castle, srsly) and was as excited as I've ever seen anyone about being able to get something called a saveloy dip. He brought one of those insulated shopping bags so he could take back some saveloys and pease pudding, having told the woman in Dickson's that he'd traveled 78 miles to get this stuff. She was going off shift just as we left the shop and caught up with us while hurrying to the Metro station near where we were walking, so she asked us how long we were there and stuff, made small talk before our ways parted. People are so friendly. Going down the escalator at a Metro station is enough like using the Underground that I was shocked when someone sprinting by me (same rules as London: stand on the right, panic and flail on the left) who bumped into me actually turned and said sorry!
Today I was in Brighouse then, mostly getting James food and drinks and painkillers because he couldn't move, but having a nice day apart from that. Mat got a new kitchen toy that means I could take his old food processor home with me, and considering how many recipes I'd otherwise be interested in require or at least benefit from one, I am very excited. I might have to make salsa tomorrow. If I can figure out how it works! There's a fearsome amount of attachments and whatnot.
I feel like I've already figured out enough new things for this week because this morning I set up the new dehumidifier to replace the one that stopped working in our basement a few days ago. It's untolerably damp there without it, and much as I resented how much the damn things cost I had to admit it was needed. It seems to be worth the price though because it is very swish: it has like a thermostat for humidity (humidostat?) so you can set it at whatever level you want, and it also has the possibility of draining through a tube so I don't have to faff around emptying the water tank or worrying about the moisture collecting when for whatever reason I haven't been able to do so. Between this and the handrail on the basement stairs, finally installed by the council after an Adult Social Services referral to sort that and some grab rails for the bathtub (that only took nine months, but never mind, it was done for free!), I feel like it might not always be such a grim and uninviting place. It's still pretty
grim and uninviting, mind. But less so!