Today I was looking at my to-do list, which has increased from the original 114 items to a whopping 234 items.  Oh my gosh, I am going to be busy for the rest of my life!  But then I counted the ticks:  83 ticks.  I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to calculate that I am officially worse off than I started!  I have added 120 items whilst only ticking 83 off.
Now you may wonder whether this makes me despondent.  Do I feel like I have failed?  Absolutely not!  My glass is half full.  I think it is brilliant that I have managed to complete 83 items in approximately 2 weeks’ time!
So what have I managed to do over the past few days?
  • I managed to get my nails done ahead of going to South Africa
  • I re-ordered and assembled wine racks for our store room.  Our wines are now beautifully organised.  In fact so well organised that I have seen a wine I would very much like to open for this evening as it is my last evening with Tim before I desert him for a fortnight.
  • I officially completed my 3 reconfiguration projects for Steria (which makes me officially jobless!).  Don’t feel sorry for me yet – I haven’t been looking for a new contract.  That is something I have postponed until I return as I have scheduled my MSP (Programme Management) course for a week after my return…
  • I re-organised our social diaries to enable us to attend a good friend’s 50th birthday celebrations in June.
  • I trawled through all my interior magazines to find the ones that my sister will like, so that I can take them to South Africa for her.  This pile is added to the other pile of Bathroom and Kitchen books which I needed to dig out for her too.
  • I started to do some research for a new buy-to-let investment.  If you hear of any bargain buys, let me know!
  • I ripped all the CDs onto my and Tim’s iTunes for the ones which we will be selling on ebay. (This is only batch 1 of about 20!!)
  • I have decanted some Belgian chocolate (for making truffles) and lime leaves which we bought in bulk for my sister, sister-in-law and mum.  I will be taking those to SA
  • I have charged up every electronic device I need to be taking to SA.
  • I bought about a million different flavours of UK crisps to take to my nieces.  Last time the Hula Hoops seemed to be the firm favourite.
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Crocheted flowers used on this tea cozy

  • I also dug out my crocheting pens/hooks (I don’t know the terminology) to take to South Africa.  Last time when my mum came to visit, she figured out how to crochet flowers, and showed me.  But I can’t really crochet (I am self taught – not a good thing) and I have already forgotten what she showed me.  So the plan is for me to video her doing it.  Then when I come to do it next time, I can just look at the video!I got a lawn specialist in to give us a quote on the trying to salvage our lawn, and also to lay some new turf and extend our lawn.  My neighbours think the costs are a bit hefty as “we’re not maintaining a bowling green”!.  But something needs to be done.  It’s in a bad shape.
  • I decided to still do Race for Life 10k even though I will be in South Africa.  I was hoping a few people would sponsor me, but it seems that other than Tim, for whom it was practically compulsory, I have only been sponsored by one friend.  Cancer Research is such a good cause …
  • I ventured out to Ikea to go and make some purchases.  The main thing I was after was a grey duvet set.  I have been looking for one for almost a year now.  Finally Ikea came out trumps.  What I did learn though, is that first thing on a Monday morning, is definitely the best time to go to Ikea.  It was so quiet, it was almost a pleasurable experience.
  • I dug some trenches next to my laurels, so that the water can run into these rather than just run off the very hard soil.  I am trying to hard to save our laurels.  Any ideas from anyone?
  • I phoned Orange (mobile phone provider) to add a data bundle to my phone for when I am in South Africa, and asked them to correct my bill from last time I was in South Africa, which they managed to get all wrong.
  • I phoned the bank and my credit card to tell them when I will be abroad.  Perhaps this will be the first trip ever that they won’t put my cards on stop when I go abroad.  I must be the unluckiest person ever.  In spite of telling them I will be abroad, somehow their little computers put an automated stop on my cards due to unusual spending habits.  Surprise, surprise, when you’re abroad, you will have different spending patterns.  But the amount of money it costs to ring them up from abroad to sort it all out, I wonder whether it might not be easier to just withdraw a wad of money and take cash with me.  But it is the convenience we need … Annoying!
  • I tried to go and buy some boerewors (South African sausage) from the South African butcher in Heywood, but he is shut on Mondays!
  • I have made a copy of all the recipes I took from my mum’s big red cook book for my sister and sister-in-law.  Later on in the year, I am hoping to compile a proper bound family cook book. 

Lettuce and leeks

  • I have been spending a lot of time nurturing my lettuces.  I have managed to keep the greenfly away from them, and they are starting to look quite healthy.  Let’s see if Tim can keep them alive while I am away!
  • I also fixed my multicoloured beads.  Some were coated in fabric, and had begun to fray.
  • I ordered some special pots to plant our tomatoes in.  Apparently it got lost in transit, but they will send it out again overnight.  So tomorrow I ought to be doing some replanting of tomato plants.
So all in all, I have been quite busy – especially considering the fact that I ended up working more than planned this week – trying to wrap everything up.
The list also doesn’t come to a stop while I am away.  I shall continue to work at it.  One of the main purposes for my trip is from my list:  I want to try and capture some of my mum and dad’s life stories.  I wish I had 3 months to do it.  Because then I could spend time with my uncles, aunts, great-uncles and great-aunts.  But in a week, I think I will merely be scratching the surface of my parents’ lives.  My dad’s childhood, in particular, is extremely interesting and entertaining!