Picked up Ari from Heathrow at 22:35 on the 28th of July... Well it was a little later than that by the time she got past baggage and immigrations and what ever else goes on back stage of the airport. My experience of flying is to and from Dublin and that all seems very laid back compared to my friends tales of international air travel.
It was wonderful to see her dragging her big suitcase through the doors in arrivals once again. We headed back to my place and...
Next day. I went to the hospital to see my dad and being Thursday see his Dr and medical team. I think I'm being conned here... OK he's better than he was but not better than when they first started treating him. In the evening we headed for The Princess Louise and did a spot of drinking, admired a kilt, and eat some free food. I think we also ended up in the Sherlock Holmes pub at some point.
Friday 30th was Ari's birthday, I got her an antique cloisonne vase. We went to Kew Gardens which, whilst hot, was very nice to see with the flowers out (for some reason I usually get the urge to go to Kew in the winter). A curry was the one request Ari had made for the day and luckily Twickenham has a curry house for every day of the week.
Saturday we went to a computer fair or two, I picked up what looks like a suitable keyboard for dismantling and rebuilding into the Victorian typewriter style keyboard for the 1880s style computer I am building.
Sunday the 1st. Service of remembrance for my mum. Not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. A few tears and a lot of smiles. Everyone was wonderful and I was so pleased to be able to get dad along to it too. He drifted in and out of the "here and now" but I think for the most part he knew what was going on. It was good to hear friends and family remembering my mum, there were some lovely stories. I had no idea how many would attend and a was surprised to find we filled the chapel and more by luck than judgement everyone had a seat.
I still haven't felt much since my mum died apart from nearly losing the plot shortly after watching her die. I had to take a deep breath and get on with things, my dad suddenly promoted to number one concern. That's still pretty much where I am... However I'm sure if Ari hadn't been able to come over it would have been a different story. Just having her arrival to look forward to helped, having her to hold me when I started to feel just a little bit too out of my depth, and if I ever need well chosen words of advice Ari is the one to go to.
Monday I went to see my day not sure what we did after that. It may have been Spiderman 2, we saw it some time last week.
Tuesday we visited my cousin Richard for lunch, we were a little early so went for a walk in the New Forest. Richard's... well his wife's too, house is beautiful, A bishops former hunting lodge, thatched and ecclesiastical style, with a thatched cob cottage in the grounds too. I want one just like it please.
At some point during the last week we also went to Camden and I topped up Ari's with a few birthday Swarf CDs also treated myself to a Wumpscut CD set. We visited Syon Park to check out the long galley which was going to be the influence for my bedroom but that was before major life changing events. We took in a pint or two at the Great British Beer fest... I have a new porter I like Sierra Nevada Porter This is one of the best porters I've ever sampled and the brewery also produce a very fine stout too. Paul if you are reading this... See if you can get these ales in NY. Oh and a very nice evening was spent crashing in on the tail end of the Goth Picnic that ended up at the Muddy Duck in Twickenham on the Sunday night organised by our very own Crazy Dave and Mad Bird.
We saw "I Robot" at the weekend... it seems to have more in common with Rossum's Universal Robots by Karel Capek and the D.F. Jones novel Colossus than what I remember of the Asimov novel... However I liked this film I'm just not not sure why they needed to call it "I Robot" but there you go. Lots of CGI action. Ari was pleased to see Will Smith wearing the same brand of sneakers she wears (Converse All Stars. Who says I don't know fashion?*) but I do think Will should have gone the whole nine yards and got pink ones like Ari's. After watching I Robot we had a couple of drinks by the river and we played the classic name films with robots in them game. Ari impressed me with some very obscure roboflicks.
Just waiting for a call from Ari to say she's home all safe and sound now. That should be around midnight my time and I ain't sleepin' till she rings.
*OK so I looked 'em up.