Labour weekend, and I'm not in Adelaide

Only two weeks until my final exam, so the other day I worked out a study plan. For this weekend, the plan reads “Saturday, “to be” verbs and reflexives; Sunday, simple past, future and conditional tenses; Monday, subjunctive mood”. Guess how much of that I’ve covered so far?

It’s not entirely my fault, I did have distractions. Some of them I knew about in advance, and some I should have anticipated, but Mum ringing on Saturday morning to say she and Stepfather were in Christchurch for the day and would we like to have lunch with her was completely unexpected.

Half an hour later they picked MrPloppy and I up. First we made a detour to Hands, so I could pick up some cotton for my new cross-stitch project (I couldn’t find the kind I needed in town the other day), and so Mum could look for scrapbooking supplies, and then Stepfather dropped us at Browsers cafe in Riccarton and headed off to his meeting (which was the reason they were in Christchurch). We had a nice leisurely lunch, and then decided to wander down to another scrapbooking shop I knew (coming from a small town, Mum doesn’t get to shop for craft supplies very often, so wanted to make the most of being in Christchurch!). On the way, we passed the upmarket branch of St Christopher’s, so dropped in to browse the books. I restrained myself to just a couple of purchases, but I did find an audio book of poetry (for only $10!), which will be a good one for listening to while I’m cross-stitching.

Of course, having visted one branch of St Christopher’s, we had to tell Mum about the famous 20c table at the other branch. So that was our next stop after the scrapbooking place. By this time we were far enough down Riccarton Road that it wasn’t worth catching a but down to the end (where the bookshop is), so we kept walking. About now, I should point out for the benefit of non-Christchurch readers that Riccarton Road is quite long – a bit over 3 km, I think. And the cafe we’d started at was near the mall, which is about half way along, which means we’d already walked half its length the time we got to the bookshop. I’d just like you to keep that in mind.

At the bookshop, I headed for the 20c table and stocked up on books with titles suitable for themed releases, concentrating mostly on Christmas (we’ll probably do the Christmas book tree again somewhere, so I need to start collecting suitable books) and weddings (we’ve already decided to do a mass release for awhina‘s wedding, and again, it’s never to early to start collecting books for a big themed release). Mum and MrPloppy found a few books too, so we were laden down with heavy bags by the time we left the shop.

I mentioned I’d seen some scrapbooking supplies in Whitcoulls, so we headed back to the mall (by bus this time). After Whitcoulls, we’d all had our fill of shopping, so we decided to go back to Browsers for afternoon tea (and to release a couple of books I’d forgotten to release earlier: Cape Fear by John D MacDonald and The Pigman by Paul Zindel) and then head home. Mum said the motel they were staying at was near by, so MrPloppy and I said we’d walk back there with her, and then catch a bus home. She couldn’t remember the name of the motel, but remembered what it looked like, and knew it was just past the mall, so we started walking.

Now I should also point out that there are a lot of motels on Riccarton Road. There are stretches of it that seem to have nothing but motels. I should also point out that when someone else is driving, Mum isn’t great at paying attention to where they are going. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that when we got to the cluster of motels that could reasonably be described as “just past the mall”, it wasn’t one of them. But Mum was still convinced it was near the mall, so we kept walking. And walking. And walking. Every time we saw another motel sign we thought this one must be the one, but no, she didn’t recognise any of them (we did try to ring Stepfather and ask where the motel was, but he was still in his meeting, so had his phone switched off). At last, just two blocks before Church Corner (which is where Riccarton Road ends), she finally spotted the motel.

So let me just recap that. We started in the middle, walked to one end of the road, took a bus back to the middle and then walked nearly to the other end of the road, this time carrying heavy bags of books!

By the time we eventually got home, I only had a couple of hours to rest my feet and grab some dinner before I had to go out again, this time to a games evening (I really need to start coming up with a naming convention for non-Bookcrossing friends, who don’t have screennames I can use in lieu of their real names. Initials get too confusing, and I don’t like to make up nicknames for people in case they ever read this and get offended by the name I’ve chosen for them. I suppose there’s no real reason why I can’t just use their first names, but it feels like I’m breaching their privacy. I’ll have to think about this, I think…) at what I’ll have to call for now “one of the Chick Flicks women’s house”. The gwilks were going too, so gave me a lift over there, and I was able to give gwilk a couple of books I’d set aside for him: the second volume of Legends, and The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett.

A lot of the usual games evening crowd were away for the long weekend, so there were only six of us – the hosts, their neighbour, the gwilks and I – but we had a fun evening nonetheless. The gwilks had taken advantage of the Whitcoulls sale to buy some new games, so we tried several of them out, as well as playing some old favourites. It was a late night, though – we didn’t finish until well after midnight.

So that was Saturday gone, with no study done. Strangely enough, on Sunday morning I didn’t feel like getting up too early, and when I did get up most of the morning was taken up with preparing books for the lunchtime meetup, making sure all were properly labelled and ready to be released.

We were back at Browsers again for the meetup, which, with most Christchurch bookcrossers being away for the long weekend (or the BC-AUS convention – lucky lytteltonwitch), was dominated by out of town bookcrossers – rarsberry was up for the weekend, as was alkaline-kiwi, and Australian bookcrosser sally906 was passing through Christchurch at the end of her travels around NZ. I thought for a while that MrPloppy and I would be the only locals there, but TheLetterB turned up too. So it was a good sized meetup, and because of all the visitors, lots of books were changing hands (fresh blood, I mean, books!)

I picked up The Wise Woman by Philippa Gregory, Big Fish by Daniel Wallace, and A Special Relationship by Douglas Kennedy, and passed on A Book of Hours by Tom Tolley, Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human by KW Jeter, Royal Flash by George Fraser, Waiting for Goldam
by Robert Rankin
, Cat by Freya North, Losing Face by Kathy Torpie, and I, Cyborg by Kevin Warwick. At the end of the meetup there were still a few books left on the table, so I said I’d take them home and take them back to the next meetup to see if anyone else wants them: Black Out by John Lawton, After Dark by Jayne Castle, Ultra by Tim Sebastian, and Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts.

I had intended that after the meetup I’d spend the rest of the afternoon studying, but by the time I got home the lack of sleep the night before had caught up with me, so I couldn’t concentrate. So I’m afraid I instead blobbed in front of a DVD for the rest of the afternoon. Cross Sunday off my study plan…

And today? Well, I slept incredibly late, and since then have been reading the Bookcrossing forums and various blogs to catch up on the excitement I missed in Adelaide, and now half the day is gone. And now MrPloppy has just said he’s going to watch a movie he taped last night, so I’ll probably end up being tempted by that…

Ah, who cares, I’ve still got two weeks… (remind me I said that when I fail my exam, won’t you?) 🙂

Currently reading: Nether Regions by Sue Gough

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