Over the course of the last few days, I have learned a few things. 'Let sleeping dogs lie' isn't a warning, more a mission statement. Seriously, Toby the Jack Russell is very fond of the easy life. Also, 'fight fire with fire' is all well and good, but you are definitely going to get your fingers burned - in a purely metaphorical (but nonetheless painful) sense. Never again will I attempt to drink in order to attain a state similar to that which Julie and my Dad seem to inhabit at times.
Yes, we had a visitor this weekend. Two, if you count the dog. My dad decided to brave the traffic and come all the way down to the coast to stay with us, lose completely and continually at Scrabble* and to join forces with Julie against me and the forces of logic and sanity. It didn't take long for them to settle into a routine.
By the time I got home from work on Friday, Julie and Dad were already in and settled with a cuppa. I was desperate for one myself, but put it off until I'd helped Dad unload his car. Lovely looking thing, it is; a bright red Nissan something-or-other (can you tell I'm not a car person?).
It was a recent acquisition, a 'nice little runabout', as Dad called it. I remarked, though, that it was a tad on the large side to be a 'little runabout'. He agreed with this, but explained that the smaller car posed a certain problem for him. Being rather on the short side (only just hitting five feet on a good day), he needs to have the seat as close to the pedals as is possible. Unfortunately, the smallest car had a gearstick that was positioned so that is would have been right by his hip - obviously no good. The next size up had a gearstick that was halfway up the dashboard, which made it to the front of my Dad's driving position.
Julie, however, reckoned there should have been a complete overhaul of the car's design...
(Note for people used to the USA way of referring to cars; for 'bonnet', read 'hood'. You know, that bit of the car just in front of the windscreen.)
Not to be outdone, Dad and me were talking about walking into town the next day. I did wonder if he was up to it, considering his health problems, but he poo-poohed my concerns and said he'd be perfectly fine, as long as he took it easy and remembered to take his inhaler with him (yes he did, FYI). It's not that far to town, so I wasn't too worried. We were going to be stopping frequently, after all and having a drink or two to keep the fluid levels up. Mind you, he thought to be cheeky about the size of our town and said:
(A 'park and ride', for those not familiar with the concept, is an idea whereby a large car park is built on the edge of a town or city, and a dedicated bus service runs people between there and the town centre. By and large, it's a decent, successful idea. It's just a pity that not many towns or cities are agreeable to, or are capable of supporting such a service.)
And that was just the start of the weekend. My notepad very rarely left my side and I had a second one ready in case I mislaid the first. I also lost track of the times I rued not having a dictaphone. So much stuff was lost because I was simply unable to keep up with the pair of them.
*More on the Scrabble Wednesday. And on my inability to keep up with Dad and Julie. See you then!