Sunday, 5 January 2014

Buffering

It's a funny time, the days after Christmas Day leading up to New Year's Day and beyond. I have no idea what day it is most of the time. I forget which days are holidays or weekends and which are 'working days' when one of us (Dougie) has to be up early and therefore would appreciate the heat and water coming on before he has to leave the house. Days merge into each other, we survive on a combination of Ferrero Rocher and Ritz Crackers. It's no wonder our brains are addled, prodded into use each evening with our regular diet of Celebrity University Challenge and darts.

DARTS
At least the darts has finished, or, should I say, the PDC World Championships, which my boys watched every blummin' minute of the day for what seemed like weeks, probably because it was. I was so thankful for our trip to Newcastle the weekend before Christmas as my mum had decided to cancel her Sky Sports subscription. Hoorah! The raucous antics at the Ally Pally have now been replaced by the more subdued 'Can we have some order, please' BDO World Darts at the Lakeside which, I am reliably informed by my two experts, isn't as exciting to watch. Thank heavens for that.

SHOPPING
To escape a life of cold meats and Pringles, we did leave the confines of the sitting room for a spur-of-the-moment trip to London for the sales. Whereas Rory and his girlfriend, Juliana, seemed to know exactly how this should be done (ok, Juliana was an expert. Rory held the bags like a good chap), Dougie and I were quite hopeless in our efforts to secure a bargain. We drifted in and out of stores, slid hangers along rails, occasionally held something up against ourselves and shrugged a lot. It was all a bit too busy, to the extent that, as we fought our way along Piccadilly, I actually said out loud, 'Oh it's so busy, it's like Piccadilly Circus'.

The only oasis of calm we found during our day was an unexpected left turn off Piccadilly into the Royal Academy of Arts. We wandered around the courtyard, soaking up the silence, then spotted a green neon sign, 'Keep me Safe', indicating the entrance to The Keeper's House. We went in. It turned out to be our best decision of the day. We sat in the Sir Hugh Casson Room, drank tea poured from cast iron tiny teapots and ate a fabulously creamy Swiss Roll concoction which soothed my frazzled shopper's nerves. How were we to know that this place has only been open a few months, the neon sign was designed by Tracey Emin and that public admission to the lounges is usually only after 4pm (they had extended the hours over Christmas). This was obviously quite the place to be and yet we had stumbled upon it. Made up for our lack of bargains.

My shopping mojo returned once we'd returned to the sticks. Dougie and I both bought trousers from local shops in Spalding, Rory was successful in Boston with shirts and jeans. But my bargain of the season was purchased in TKMaxx in Boston: a Stefanel pale pink cashmere cardigan, reduced from £180 to £25. Ya Beauty....as Dougie would say in traditional Scottish parlance, translated as 'My goodness, that is good fortune.'

NEW YEAR'S EVE
A Murder Mystery Party at a friend's house was a hoot. We only knew the theme and our characters a couple of days beforehand so it was quite disconcerting to realise that within our wardrobe we had the required garb to transform ourselves into Mary Jane Faithless and Oliver Steed for a 1967 weekend in Chelsea. Yes, Dougie really does possess a velvet jacket and loud shirt to become 'actor, raconteur, hell-raiser, larger than life' Oliver (typecast again) and I did have a long velvet skirt, waistcoat and blouse appropriate for top pop singer whose mother was a Russian countess and father a French fisherman. I have no need to tell you I went to town on the role. It may have been 'just a party' but no-one is going to accuse moi of giving a lacklustre performance.

GOING TO THE INLAWS
A roast dinner at Dougie's parents after New Year was a comfortable, happy evening with Dougie and I despairing of his parents and Rory despairing of us. That is as it should be. We thought it was time to go when Dougie's mum misheard a comment we made about a bloke on the TV. We said he looked like Churchill. She thought we said he owned a chip shop. Back home, as we sat in the car in the driveway, I momentarily forgot what sequence of actions are needed to allow us to open the car door while the engine is running so we can get out to open the garage door without the blasted car beeping at us. It's something to do with the seat belt and the parking brake. I glazed over. Dougie glazed over. Rory piped up from the back seat:

"You're buffering..."
"Buffering?"
"Watching you pair is like waiting for a video to play on the computer. Buffering!"

Which really sums up our whole Christmas. Buffering. That whirring little circle going round and round, forgetting what day it is, what time it is, just happily waiting for someone to give us a reboot and tell us that the festive season is over and we have to return to normality.


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54 comments:

  1. OMG that word is going to have to become part of my lexicon, but I won't tell the kids about it or I'll never hear the end of it.

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    1. They probably know the term already and secretly accuse you of it, accompanied by plenty of eye rolling...

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  2. Ha, MrL uses 'buffering' all the time when he's thinking through something and wants me to stop asking everlasting questions...I'm back to work tomorrow and am quite dreading it. We had the nicest holidays, just the 4 of us, and I'm miserable at the thought of all of us going our separate directions, especially #1, who flies out this afternoon. My favorite part of this whole post was The Keeper's House, if it gives you any idea of the sort of wild party animal I am these days...

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    1. Good to hear buffering is being used in your house too. Of course, I will have to tell Rory that there is serious thinking going on when in reality my mind has gone foggy.
      The Keeper's House was a gem. There's a bar and restaurant there too - well worth investigating.

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  3. Buffering, like ignorance, is bliss. The trouble always starts when you finally connect.

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    1. I think you may be right, Steve. I shall just sit here happily whirring away.

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  4. That makes so much sense.... Today will be a buffering day in our house too, taking down the decs, cleaning up, getting ready for school again tomorrow... buffering! :D

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    1. We've got school again tomorrow too. One last evening buffering!

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  5. Sounds a very merry time, and I know what you mean by buffering! I was in that state when I came back from Christmas week in the UK.

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    1. Good to know I'm not the only one. It's so disorientating isn't it.

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  6. My son uses the word 'pause' every so often when I'd say 'can you hang on a sec?'. He's much more efficient than me, obviously, but I do worry that he spends too much time attached to a screen!

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    1. Pause! Ha, I like that. So contemporary :-)
      We all worry about screen time. A difficult balance and a hard one for parents.

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  7. I can buffer like a trouper. Happy New year my dear x

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    1. I thought you might ;-)
      Thank you. To you too x

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  8. Buffering! How brilliant, just like your post! Really made me laugh.
    Was still slightly disappointed at the lack of charades in the previous one, though... ;o)
    Happy New Year! xx

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    1. Good to see you here, Katia. Apologies for the lack of charades. I shall reintroduce the box to the proceedings next year, I promise :-))

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  9. Wow - he is sooo right. I buffer like I was still on dial-up.

    I have never seen a cardigan with nipple pockets. In fairness, it is beautiful, but they are definitely nipple pockets!

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    1. You realise I had to go try it on again to see. I think most of the time the cardi will hang open and the pockets will be tucked under my arms but if it turns chilly, my modesty will be protected quite neatly.

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  10. Yes buffering is a good one. Now I feel in slight baffering country with nights drawing in and the task of a new me to draw up this year. Mebbe a pinky cardy will do the trick and I can leave the healthy eating and detoxing to others.

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    1. Are you back from your trip to New Zealand? Will pop over and find out what you've been up to.

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  11. I love that! Sounds like a fabulous Christmas and New Year and I think I shall be adding "buffering" to my vocabulary this year :-)

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    1. It does seem to be a good description for us weary people who just can't quite focus!

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  12. Ha ha I know exactly what you mean!

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    1. I'm sure we'll get there in the end. Maybe we need bigger bandwidth?

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  13. That is just the right word for that time of year! It sounds like you've had a lovely week!

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    1. Starting to get back to normal - is the fog lifting?

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  14. Ha! I so hear you on the "forgetting what day and time it is".. I completely lost track of everything!

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    1. It's always the same if Christmas falls midweek - causes chaos. It should be like Easter - pick a weekend date ;-)

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  15. I just love this post - wry, dry and witty - made my afternoon :)

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    1. And you've made my afternoon with such a lovely comment :-)

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  16. Haha, I love it. I feel like I'm buffering right now... or am I just on pause!

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    1. I think you might be onto something - has someone just had us all on pause?

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  17. I think buffering sums up my Christmas and New Year too

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    1. Join the club - there's room for more, but we're not achieving very much.

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  18. Great post! We've done a fair bit of buffering too, apart that is when connection was lost completely - but that may have been the wine!

    Happy New Year to you x

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    1. I like that - when the connection was lost!
      Happy New Year to you too, Liz x

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  19. LOL I think that is my new favourite word. I am glad to know it is not just us surviving on the remaining pringles, peanuts and Ritz. I may have to give in and venture out soon.

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    1. The coffee table in our living room still has small bowls of snack things - mostly the chocs no-one wants now.

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  20. Genius description! Have a happy new year too x

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  21. that's totally where we were over Christmas too... I couldn't tell you what day or date it was! Brilliant parlance, 'buffering, and pause' fabulous!

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    1. We'll maybe start getting it together come February?

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  22. Buffering!......that is such a good term for it ....perfect!...and result on the cardi..well done x

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    1. The cardi was a great find. Rory got some great shirts there too - he sniffs out a bargain like his mother.

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  23. You made me laugh out loud all the way through that. I don't think I'm ever going to let you forget that Piccadilly Circus line! It all sounds perfect and brilliant :)

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    1. I know, Piccadilly Circus - what a chump!
      Glad I made you laugh.

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  24. I loved Crimbo but as always I am ready for normality to resume - although Celebrity Mastermind was FAB!

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    1. We seemed to miss the Celebrity Mastermind - must have been on at the same time as the darts ;-)

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  25. I'd rather be buffering along in life than rushing everything. Then again i'm slow as it is anyway. ;D

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    1. There's much value to be had in just buffering along, Paul.

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  26. I clicked over here thinking perhaps you were travelling by steam train in some far flung exotic destnation - this kind of buffering is much more me...I think I may be buffering more often than is strictly necessary and may need a complete overhaul and restart. Lovely post madam, made me grin!

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    1. Glad I surprised you, Chris. Quite fancy being in a steam train right now - I could buffer to my heart's content as I looked out of the window.

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  27. OMG - you've summed up my life exactly.....now every time my children accuse me of having dementia (every two minutes) I can reply - no, I'm just buffering! huzzah!

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    1. Happy to be of service and provide you with an alternative to senility.

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