I'm now happily taking a break in lovely London with the luscious Lola II and the marvellous Mr M. Before coming down here, Mr A and I celebrated the end of term with a trip to the Red Lion, in which we ate dinner, drank great beer, and caught up with Smurf, who happened to be working there. It's a great feeling, to be welcomed to a pub by someone you know, directed to the best table, given a recommendation for the guest beer, introduced to other punters, and generally looked after.
What with the feeling of end-of-term freedom and a generalised love for all humanity, I became quite tipsy. Which meant that I didn't get up until after 9 a.m. on Friday, gathered all my stuff, mislaid my ipod, found it again, and made it down to London in time for Japanese lunch with Lola II, who took the day off work in my honour. And because she has quite a lot of time owed to her. Salmon hand roll and tempura udon ramen, in case you wondered. Delicious.
We spent the afternoon catching up with Lola Life, which is after all the main focus of this blog. I think I am allowed to reveal (I will check) that she and Mr M are planning to live together, starting in the New Year, so I asked if there were any further preparations. I was expecting to hear about practical issues like hiring a van or complex financial spreadsheets, but what she said was "We've been preparing to interview the furniture." I'm not sure that this statement, written down, conveys the utter lunacy of conducting formal interviews to see which furniture will join them in the combined accommodation, but it still makes me laugh thinking about it now.
In the evening, Lola II's music group was meeting informally at someone's house to play a few things together. Lola II was prepared to miss it on my behalf, but I bravely volunteered to join in, bringing my clarinet out of its sullen retirement on a high shelf in my office. I think it must be at least five years since I took it out of its case, so I was a little nervous, but it went very well. It's extraordinary how your fingers remember things that you don't consciously know, especially when you are plunged into the world of 13/8 time signatures and a double sharp thrown in without warning. I had a wonderful time.
Saturday was a day for business. Despite repeated attempts to set her up for independent living, Lola II seems incapable of dealing with the inevitable administration that accompanies an employed adult homeowner. I had to force her into her office and set up an imaginary forcefield, prison guards, and a complicated system of parole to ensure that it was all either thrown away or filed. And I had to fend off Mr M's attempts to evade security on Lola II's behalf, by smuggling a metal file inside a newspaper for 'recycling', to break through the prison bars. He was sent upstairs to assemble a wardrobe, and then to get our lunch (bagels and salt beef).
We worked through the day, Lola II filed and threw stuff away, and Mr M assembled a great deal of wardrobe. They had a longstanding dinner engagement in the evening, which allowed me to indulge in my second Japanese fix of the weekend: aromatic duck with rice and another salmon roll. Delicious again. Then I did some homework for school, which is starting to make me panic a little bit because I have to hand in a draft next week and it doesn't feel like I've done enough.
More news of Sunday's fun to follow (probably).