Worn Out Doing Nothing

Yesterday, my step-daughter had a party to celebrate her engagement to her long-term boyfriend. A happy occasion planned for the daytime, outside in their garden.

We had good notice of it, and Julie made two large trifles to add to the food on offer, most of which was to be barbecue. The weather wasn’t celebrating though, and early rain where they live 28 miles south necessitated the erection of two large canvas pergola shelters, and the addition of some large garden umbrellas. The gathering was for family and friends, around twenty in total, and as it was outside we didn’t have to be too concerned with safety precautions for Covid-19.

I took Ollie out early. He couldn’t come to the party, as my step-daughter has an enormous dog that Ollie has never met. We didn’t want to take the chance of any doggy disputes spoiling the day for everyone. Then just after 12:30, we drove down to their house in torential rain. Julie was holding the two big glass bowls containing the trifles, which were resting on a large tray on her lap. I had to drive very carefully around roundabouts and sharp bends!

Fortunately, the rain stopped just as we arrived. I got two folding chairs from the back of the car, which we had brought to make sure we had somewhere to sit.

It was a lovely afternoon, with everyone in a great mood. The rain held off, the six small children played together with no dramas, and the Shetland Pony-sized dog (a Cane Corso) was friendly to everyone, even if he did have to be strictly watched around anything edible. We sat on our chairs, hardly moving except to go to and from the table to get things to eat.

By six in the evening, many of the party-goers had to leave, to get their children home to bed. We stayed until 6:30, before driving home. Ollie was very pleased to see us after being left for so long, and he was given an extra treat as a reward.

It wasn’t long after that, only nine at night in fact, before both of us were yawning as if we had been awake for three days. By eleven, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and made an early start on a night’s sleep. This morning, both of us feel stiff and achey from sitting on the low collapsible chairs for so long yesterday.

Literally worn out from doing nothing.

88 thoughts on “Worn Out Doing Nothing

    1. Loki is not that aggressive, fortunately. But we were not about to take any chances, as neither Loki nor Ollie have been neutered, and there could have been territorial issues.
      Best wishes, Pet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations to your step-daughter and her beau on their public commitment to each other!
    Seems you and your wife both had a wonderful time, save for the recovery needed from sitting on low folding chairs.

    “donโ€™t like trifle though, I cannot stand wet, soggy sponge!”

    Yup, agree, wholeheartedly.

    Loved: “I think the largest breeds tend to be the best behaved, whereas the smallest ones tend to be yappy & neurotic. ”

    Spot on! We are on our 3rd set of big dogs: brother/sister yellow Labradors, now 11 years old. Two sets of “bloody big” Rhodesian Ridgebacks before that. Yes, you must, must, must watch large dogs at social events with food out. We keep learning this btw. . . but couldnโ€™t imagine my life without any of them.

    Loved: “had forgotten how tiring it can be to try to keep up with ten conversations at once. ๐Ÿ™‚”

    Neither of my wives could/can understand how we can all be involved in “all” the conversations. I miss that about gatherings with my UK family. Apparently, it’s a British thing.

    You Pete, like my neighbor Cheryl, have such a way of expressing your thoughts. Both of your rich styles of writing are beautifully unique, but equally engaging in different ways. And I getting the opportunity to get to know you both in โ€˜different waysโ€™.

    I have always enjoyed time spent with Cheryl and have immense respect for her. I have known her since we were kids in the neighborhood, her being a grade behind me, attending the same schools from primary through high school. But I only really had the opportunity to get to know her while double dating with her and her boyfriend Jordan a bit in high school. Cheryl Johnson was then known as โ€œone of the Johnson sistersโ€. The other โ€œJohnson” sister (not actually related) on these double dates was โ€˜Cindyโ€™ Johnson (now happily, my โ€œexโ€ wife. . .). Everyone thought they were sisters and we just played along. The double dating ended when Cheryl realized what a jerk a high school football star could be. Jordan disappointed me while showing what a genuine jerk he could be in how he treated Cheryl during their breakup. Larry was her next beau and a much better one in all ways. I am very happy for Cheryl.

    But now here I am, getting to know you because of Cheryl through your shared love of writing and I am โ€˜enjoying the rideโ€™. Much of what I have read of your prose strikes me with a keen familiarity. I knew you lived in England, but had no idea you were from Bermondsey, my corner of London during summers in my youth, and continually have explored and loved it as an adult through the present, though COVID has put a dent in that. Interesting you mentioned your affection for the Imperial War Museum, which was in my Nanโ€™s backyard so to speak where I stayed. We may have been in the IWM at the same time as I have literally spent the equivalent of weeks โ€œinsideโ€ during the summers (loved the egg salad and fresh county tomato sandwiches in the cafe. . .) and was there โ€˜outsideโ€™ when they first fired the 15-inch Naval guns in the late โ€˜60s/early โ€™70s but could not tell you the date.

    Thank you for letting me listen in and follow along from ~5,000 miles to the west.

    Hope you had a lovely Sunday, rain and all. With fondness, I totally understand โ€œSitting in an English garden waiting for the sun. If the sun don’t come, you get a tan From standing in the English rainโ€.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hadn’t realised you knew Cheryl so well, and for so long. I am intrigued how you got from Bermondsey to California, and became an ‘American’. Cheryl’s writing is rare, in that it ‘takes me there’, whether to her early days with Larry, or falling in her boat at the lake house last month. Our lives couldn’t be more different, yet there is a definite connection across thousands of miles.
      That is the joy of blogging.
      (And we are both Johnsons of course, that helps!) ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To address your intrigue, the short version is (as if I could ever ‘do’ a short version) I am a U.S. Citizen by birthright of being born here, and again by being sired by a U.S. citizen (my father was born here in NY).

        Even though I was born in Los Angles, CA, I was ‘birthed’ by a “British Citizen” (Mum), meaning I am fully British as far as the Home Office is concerned.

        Genealogy wise? I’m a bit more than half “British” – 1/4 English, and 1/4 Irish on my Mum’s side, and a bit more from Dad’s side. According to 23&Me, I am ~47% southern European on Dad’s side. Though originally Maltese, the bloodline spent ~100 years in Sicily before my Great grandfather immigrated to the states at the turn of the last century. Last I checked, the phone book in Malta is still comprised of ~50% Tabone’s, which is my sir name,

        There is a longer version (isn’t there always?), very romantic, and a great love story. I’ll share it with you another time where I will explain as to ‘why” I grew up in London 2-3 months most summers until I was 18, and why I am just a bit more than 1/2 British ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m guessing you saw the original “Italian Job” staring Maurice Micklewhite at the pictures. The Man behind the ‘job’ in Prison, “Bridger”? Three guesses as to my Mum’s madien name. . . The docks were a hot bed of illegal activity back after the war.


            Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh my, here I was about to respond to your lovely news Pete of your step daughters engagement, long parties, poor Ollie, etc when I stumbled on Chris’s post and there I am in the middle of the story! Yes, Chris and I go back many decades, same schools, dating histories, dramatic stories, lots of laughter, and now my daughter owns his previous house so we’re making new memories in the Tabone homestead! I’m so glad Chris found your blog Pete, you are a brilliant writer, but more importantly a kind and generous man. Now Chris, refrain from sharing all the stories, a little mystery is good! Bahaha, my love and hugs, C

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Awwww, Cheryl. . . Not even the story where a young and beautiful blonde was caught, locked out of her cabin, buck-naked in the hallway of a Carnaval Cruise ship at ~3:30 am while down in the Caribbean in the late ’80s/early ’90s?

        True story Pete. . .

        But. . .

        It did not star our Cheryl Oreglia.

        It was a different blonde altogether. Bahahah! ๐Ÿ™‚

        But I promise not to share any dirt, Neighbor. Mostly because I simply have none. You are a gem, my dear!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I was all ready to refute the claim of hallway nudity on a Carnaval Cruise down in the Caribbean (BTW ~ I’ve never been ~ yet), but alas it was revealed I was not the star. Thank God! Ha! if I’m a gem, it’s not a rare one, and it definitely rough! Thanks Chris, xxoo

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Indeed! Life is like that Neighbor – often best with a bit of stirring. . . Could say the same if we were discussing a cup of tea. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            Liked by 3 people

  2. I have been feeling the same after social outings…. I think maybe that’s what we’re not so hard to… Since the pandemic, I am used to doing zero socializing and once we started seeing people again I realized the small facades I put up in social situations… Soon as I’m in my car I feel a bit of release, much like taking off my make-up at the end of the day lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, during 2020, we didn’t see that much of Julie’s family, so it was good to catch up with them, and their friends too. The rain held off for the barbecuing time, fortunately. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x


  3. Ah! The presence of dogs – at the event and waiting at home – ensures happy occasions. I could almost taste Julie’s delicious trifles from your description. Treats for everyone, human and canine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A day in the fresh air and then with so many people can be quite exhausting. The lowest folding chairs are also added.
    But still nice to have had a sociable day. Congratulations to your stepdaughter on the engagement.
    Best wishes, Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Its not nothing, Pete! Today they call it “meeting”, and like Sue wrote “socialising”. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Is it still common for you to get engaged? Here – and it’s flat land – young people usually get married straight away. Usually, the first child is even a few years old. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We did have a big break from seeing the family during 2020, but everyone over 30 is vaccinated now, and meeting outside feels a lot less threatening, Linzi.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  6. Try some cool stuff. A take a walk to your garden or a nearby cool place. It’ll reduce your tiredness.

    Congratulations to your stepdaughter for her birthday. ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that’s one of the primary problems with travel as well: the enforced idleness. Where dogs are concerned [and I’m no expert, at all] I think the largest breeds tend to be the best behaved, whereas the smallest ones tend to be yappy & neurotic. A local friend, whom I’m sure I’ve mentioned before [he’s a musician & anti-corruption campaigner] has always preferred the large breeds, currently has a dog similar to a Newfoundland, but I can’t remember the name of the breed: a lovelier dog you couldn’t hope to meet [apart from Ollie, of course!]. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

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