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Monday, July 02, 2007

PickyYou know you've had a good weekend when you come home with a Roswell UFO Crash Site guitar plectrum. I definitely prefer it to my Alcatraz harmonica.

As I write this, Big Sis is up in Chelmsford calmly packing her case and relaxing with a cup of tea (I expect) before taking a taxi to Heathrow, getting stuck in a security alert at the passenger drop-off point, and missing her flight to Japan. Or maybe I'm just being pessimistic. But before she leaves the country, I'm pleased to say I managed to spend 24 hours in her company. It meant going to Essex for the weekend, but it was my last chance to see her before Christmas, so I decided it was worth it.

Yesterday was also the one-year anniversary of me moving to Brighton, and the government duly celebrated by banning smoking. I've asked them to ban drinking for my birthday, but they haven't got back to me on that one. I can't help feeling though that if tobacco and alcohol were both illegal, I'd enjoy going to pubs a lot more.

Anyhoo, I had to drive around the M25 in torrential rain on Saturday, but I managed not to crash, which was good as I'd be quite annoyed if I wrote off my car a week after getting a new exhaust. Within half an hour of arriving at my parents', I was eating my Mum's home-made lasagne, home-made shortbread and home-made ginger cake, before being offered a white chocolate Magnum (the manufacture of which she had nothing to do with), so it's probably just as well I don't visit very often.

Big Sis had successfully turned two of my parents' spare rooms into a recreation of my flat on May 4th, but I managed to find a bed for Saturday night without treading on too many of her contact lenses.

On Sunday I accompanied Sis into town to pick up some photos she'd ordered via the internet. With the sky threatening an imminent downpour, Sis naturally went without a coat, meaning that I spent an enjoyable half hour being driven into the Tesco car park, told "I'm not walking to the shop in this rain", being driven out again, heading for a different car park, not finding a space, taking a wrong turn and being forced out of the exit, going back to the Tesco car park, being told to text my Mum to ask if she has an umbrella in her car, driving around Tescos for a second time, driving out again, and finally paying £1.20 to park in a different car park for five minutes. By which time it had stopped raining.

While we were out on our tour of Chelmsford's parking facilities, my brother and his family arrived for lunch, ate everything in sight, and then left for a friend's barbecue, so Big Sis and I settled down to fill a photo album with pictures of her crouching in America. The latest tourist board assessment of Seagull Cottage had arrived too, so while Sis admired her certificate for 3-star status, I read the recommendations on grouting, and told her to buy more baking trays.

I eventually left Chelmsford at 7pm, having turned down Sis's offer of accompanying her to Japan for two days and staying in a capsule hotel. She won't be back from Australia before Christmas, so that should give her just enough time to finish blogging about America.