This weekend was a Bank Holiday, the first of the summer. There's something delicious about three-day weekends, when whatever the weather (and lets face it, in the UK it's usually damp) people are out and about doing things simply because it is Summer. All the DIY shops are full of people deliberating over wallpaper and paint, garden centres are heaving as the realisation dawns that it is light late enough to warrant having a few flowers about the place, and family attractions are bustling with families spending Quality Time Together.
My family was of course no exception. Mum had decided that this was a perfect time to sand and re-varnish the floor, with all the fun that entails. I have discovered I am completely inept at sanding and should leave it to people who don't get dragged over the floor by the sander in a bizarre parody of a terrier with a rag doll. A fine and useful lesson, I thought.
I did, however, enjoy the "grouting" of the floorboards. Since the house is Victorian, the floorboards don't always meet where they should, resulting in draughty gaps where the air comes up from the cellar. The solution is to fill these gaps with a combination of wallpaper paste and sawdust saved from the sanding phase. Recycling at its best, I feel. This worked rather well, or so we thought until the next morning when it was revealed that some of the gaps were simply too big and the paste is now in the cellar. Ho hum. We'll try again.
Monday was much more fun. I love these days, when not being in work feels wonderfully decadent and slightly naughty. In order to make the most of it, we went to the zoo with an aunt, her partner and his little boy. And my camera. So many photos of animals.
The zoo with kids is a very different experience to the zoo with adults. It takes on a much more urgent feel - a tick list of Things To See
at a frenetic pace. Luckily most other people there had children with them too and so the cluster of people around an enclosure was constantly changing, meaning I could get in with my camera if I was willing to stand there for more than about three minutes.
By about five, young boy was bored and tired so they left while my mum and I stayed on. The difference in the amount of people was staggering! By six the zoo had emptied and we could see whatever we liked simply by walking up. Possibly my favourite part was seeing the elusive red pandas. Usually they're high up in the trees sleeping through the noise of the day, but in the early evening when we went over they were both down from the trees and munching on food from their bowls. They're incredibly cute, with their oversized paws and little grinning faces. Yes, I have photos.
Now, however, it's back to work. The sun is bright outside my window, as if to mock those inside, but for once I don't care. I'm leaving soon and that's what is important.
Photos of London can be found here.