Monthly Archives: November 2011


Blimey, who’d have thought it was so complicated trying to decide what to do with various items of furniture and personal possessions?  First of all we decided (perhaps being a little cowardly) that we’d just ship most of it out to Hanoi and decide what to bring back when the time comes.  Then, after seeking advice from friends and people in the know, we decided to store stuff that we thought we’d definitely want back here at the end of our Vietnamese adventure.  And now …?

Well, the cost of storing it seems ridiculous and most of it is far too good to just give away but the second hand value of household things and furniture is almost zero and I can’t really be bothered trying to sell items bit by bit – surely life’s too short to go down that road?    I’m exhausted just thinking about it – mind you I am full of a cold and dosed up with Beechams Cold and Flu Remedy so that probably isn’t helping on the ‘clarity of thought’ front!

Think we’re going to end up shipping it out there and then deciding what to do when the time comes to return home – i.e. procrastinating 🙂

Post Host Blues

Like many people we know, our lives are so busy and taken up with ‘stuff’ that we have to work hard at making sure we spend time with our young-adult children, elderly parents, friends and important others.  One thing we’ve never done much of I guess is socialising and in particular hosting social events.  There’s no good reason that I can think of for this, except perhaps to say that we are both in task/meeting led people businesses and seem to have our fill of all that during the week so that when the week end rolls around we’re happy just pottering about with no set timetable or particular agenda.

As our boys have got older and developed wider interests and social lives, getting together is increasingly tricky.  Getting a ‘yes’ to an event more than a week away is problematic because, although it’s never presented this way, there’s always the possibility of a ‘better’ offer!  Getting extended family together, scattered as we are throughout the UK (I know to outsiders it seems such a tiny place but then you maybe haven’t tried navigating around it during peak leisure time!), is akin to herding cats and there’s almost as much satisfaction in completing the invite list, as there is in the event itself!

So I approached last week end with a degree of trepidation – if you remember Kevin’s partner from Vietnam was coming to stay for a few days.  Whilst we’d met once before we really didn’t know J-M very well – aside from his humorous emails and French way of looking at the world – so I was worried that we wouldn’t be good hosts.

What fun we had though, and what a pleasure having a good house-guest was.  The fish & chips went down a treat, the Rugby was great – despite Sale Sharks losing to Leicester Tigers in a rather disastrous second half, meeting our older two boys also went well.

On Saturday Kevin wandered into that great metropolis that is Sale Town Centre where we treated J-M to coffee and tea cakes at the local independent coffee shop.  Our youngest boy came over for supper, cooked by his dad (another ‘not normal’ activity in our household!), and we all set off to see the new Woody Allen film: Midnight In Paris.  What a great film, no huge melodrama, special effects, violence or complications – just a beautifully filmed gentle film with a message that didn’t hammer you over the head.

Sunday wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a nearby pub for Sunday Lunch.  The Horse & Jockey in Chorlton didn’t disappoint – wow, what a glorious lunch, with Sam and one of my best friends.

Putting J-M back on the plane for Paris on Sunday evening felt like a genuine loss.  We missed him being around for a few days – which is perhaps the perfect guest to have!