Sunday 14 December 2008

Meet the neighbours

I embarked on a rare burst of DIY last weekend, with minimal planning. Sharon has been fed up with the old nursery wardrobes serving as storage space in her office so I headed down to IKEA on the Friday night (9pm, best time to go) and bought some new freestanding shelves. On the Saturday I heaved the old wardrobes out to the garage, where they are now reconstructed for storage of some of the things we'd rather not have mouse droppings on! The new Ivar shelves were fairly easy to put together, despite one falling on my finger, and Sharon is now happier having clear sight of her spare stock and paperwork.

This weekend the housework was more festive: we bought the tree, placed it in the living room and then Sean and I decorated it. Finn was given the role of "admirer" by Sean. He had to sit on the couch and tell us if the tree was looking good. In typically contrary Finn fashion, he kept saying it didn't. Rowan had a great time running around the Klondyke Garden Centre when we were selecting the tree but he drove Sharon daft earlier in the day, running off round the supermarket. Finn and I took the bus into town to pick up Sharon's car and then have a wander round some shops. He was very impressed by the towering Christmas tree in Jenners and the toys in the basement but we left just as the afternoon crowds were starting to build up.

Talking of crowds, I popped into Woolworths on Thursday as it announced an "everything must go" sale as it heads for closure. The scavengers were out! To be honest, there are better pickings in the charity shops of Stockbridge than in the Raeburn Place Woollies. This has been its problem for the last decade or more: people of my age and older probably still think of it as a family department store when the reality is that its stock in recent years has been more comparable to the Poundstretcher end of the market. I always have fond memory of Woollies in Paisley and Largs. They were places we always headed for when shopping on Saturday shopping or at Largs on a day trip. I bought a good few Three Investigators books there, and Lego sets, and always loved the big fudge cubes in the Pik'n'Mix. It was one of those shops you always loved going to at Christmas time. Now it looks as though its doors may be closed before this Christmas, never mind next.

After seven years living in our street, yesterday we finally met a whole host of neighbours other than our directly adjacent ones. We were invited to the Powers' house for festive drinks and spent a very pleasant afternoon in the company of them, their children, and some of the neighbours from further up the road. Fiona and Neil's children are similar in age to Finn and Rowan and we often see Fiona down at the school. Aside from that we had a lazy Sunday, with Sharon really shattered from her long-running cough and us bother recovering from late nights over the weekend: me out on Friday at a charity karaoke (I didn't take the mic) at the Grange Club with a crowd from HR and Sharon out on Saturday at Howie's with the P2 mums.

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