First off: Birthday Week is done and dusted. It was awesome. No, much to Mr Jamie and Beth's horror, I didn't get a birthday cake 'with candles in', but yes, I did get these instead. Well done Neil. Cracking work.
Secondly, and I can't believe I've been restrained for so long on this... MY BUILDING WORK IS FINISHED! And oh my goodness me, it's marvellous. The conservatory in itself is pretty darn lovely... but then you get to the FAKE GRASS. Which has excited me almost as much as that fantastically awesome pair of shoes above. I know. This is what happens when you reach the grand old age of 32. Conservatories start to excite you. Here are a very controlled selection of photos for you. It is BRILLIANT.
Check out that fake grass! And the rather odd looking children creating an army of conkers in the middle of it. Yes, they're as barmy as ever.
So then. Birthday and conservatory excitement over, let me tell you a story about a bath.
Here it is:
A pretty impressive bath, right? I mean, any bath which requires a step up into it is impressive in my book, let alone one which is made of solid marble. It was, sadly, only a borrowed bath, as I spent a night of luxury away with work in perhaps the plushest surroundings I've ever been fortunate to step foot into. (It's safe to say the owners of said plushest surroundings were duly horrified when they caught sight of me, dishevelled, uncoordinated and clutching four separate pairs of shoes, owing to my a) indecision and b) inability to pack within the confines of my suitcase.)
I woke up early on the second day and decided I would have a bath. No, make that, I would have THE Bath. In THE Bath, as pictured above. Despite the earliness of the hour, I was tremendously excited. I prepared well: I put the plug in, added bubbles, turned on both taps to the max, wrapped myself in hundreds of fluffy towels and tottered over to the still-filling bath. I dumped the towels on the floor and carefully stepped up onto the step, lowered my leg down, and gently plunged myself into what seemed like less of a bath and more like a swimming pool.
The water kept on flowing. I laid back and relaxed. It was lovely. Such a lovely bath.
With great care and attention I turned the taps off just before the water reached the overflow pipe, and submerged myself in THE Bath. What a lovely, lovely bath. Did I mention that already?
I washed my hair, using some of the many little bottles of complimentary luxury toiletries scattered around the edges of the bath, and then reluctantly decided I had better get out. I started to lean forward to raise myself out of THE Bath.
And then realised I couldn't.
It is perhaps hard to explain the dilemma I found myself in. But I shall do my best. Here's the thing. THE Bath was deep. Very, very deep. Like I say: more like a swimming pool. My arms are short. Very, very short. Far too short to be able to reach them onto the sides to pull myself out.
My legs are also short. Not short enough, however, to be able to bend them to one side to be able to lever myself out of THE Bath that way.
I WAS STUCK IN THE FUCKING BATH.
I didn't panic. Yet. I tried the arm thing. Then I tried the leg thing. Then I tried the arm and leg thing. Then I slipped and briefly submerged myself under the water before breaking free.
Then I panicked.
I looked around for my mobile phone. 'I'll ring Neil', I thought, haplessly. 'He'll save me.' Not entirely sure what I thought he was going to do, a full 150 miles away. Fortunately for him, my mobile phone was safely on the other side of the bathroom. It was even more fortunate for the fire brigade, who in my irrational state would have likely been my next port of call.
You'll see from the photo above there was a small window above the bath, shielded by a net curtain. I ripped the curtain to one side and pressed my soggy face against the glass, searching for early morning golfers who might have been roaming my grounds, my face in what I imagine was a pretty good impression of that The Scream painting. Thankfully for the golfers, it was still early even for them. Which means they've been spared an indescribable amount of mental scarring.
Having exhausted my options, I attempted a tentative, very middle class, cry for help. 'Heeeeeeelp. Heeeeeeeelp.' I sounded like a whippet. (I'm not sure what a whippet sounds like, or indeed what it is, but I'm fairly sure I was channelling one at that moment.)
And then, just as I was contemplating having to drink the bath water in order to get myself free...
... I realised what a total and utter dick I was being...
... and pulled the fucking plug out.
I should not be allowed out on my own.