Well we were both tired on Sunday after having a couple too many Shandies yesterday so thought we would just hang around the house but in usual fashion we were bored in about two minutes we decided to go out on the bikes. It was quite funny because we both went off to get ready. I came down in halter neck top and little shorts ready for my gentle cycle along the canal paths. Jarlath came down in full bicycle gear and helmet, clearly ready for a major thrash on the mountain bikes. We decided to compromise and cycled gently together along the road to Glen Echo to pick up some burger buns from the shop and then tried to cut back a different route to the canal path which didn’t work. We ended up cycling back along the Clara Barton parkway which is actually quite a busy road and as I was in casual gear and no helmet it was quite hairy for me! Once we got back off this road I left Jarlath and I went home while he continued on up to Great Falls on the canal path. Due to the rain of the previous few days he came home completely covered in mud but has lots of fun blasting along without me holding him back.
Monday morning I decided to start the day with an 8.00a.m. yoga class and I can highly recommend it because it just sets you up mentally and physically for whatever the day brings. Jarlath was heading off to San Franscisco for the week so I had to run him to Dulles airport so I would have the car to myself all week :0). I just dropped him and went to do some messages and chores around the place. So basically just a boring non-eventful day.
Tuesday was sightseeing day. It was a lovely sunny day with low humidity and a cooling breeze so instead of spending it inside in a museum I decided to visit Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington’s green slopes shelter veterans from every war. Over 320,000 servicemen and their family members rest on the 624 acres of Virginia land across the Potomac river from the Lincoln Memorial. General Montgomery Meigs proposed in 1864 that 200 acres of the Robert E. Lee family property at Arlington be turned into a cemetery.
At the Tomb of the Unknowns, a sentinel of the Third US infantry maintains a vigil around the clock. The sentinel paces 21 steps down the mat before the tomb, pauses 21 seconds and returns. The changing of the guards was taking place every half hour and I managed to catch the midday one where they had an additional laying of a wreath by four children – not sure what for but I assume for a lost Father or Mother!.
I also looked at the graves of John F Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy amongst thousands of other lesser known graves.
Here are some photos:
It is hard to describe the feelings I had just seeing all those lines and lines of neat white gravestones – humbled is one word but there was another feeling that I can’t quite put my finger on. I just spent a peaceful couple of hours wandering through the rest of the cemetery, away from the crowds, looking at Grave stones and enjoying the peacefulness of the place.
During my walk I came upon the Columbarium which was like a peaceful garden with plants and waterfalls but gravestones built up into the walls. I am not sure if people were actually buried in the walls or if these were stones where there were no bodies to bury! Anyway, I stumbled across a private memorial service being held by the marines so was suddenly standing in front of about 20 marines and a bugler. I wasn’t sure if I was even supposed to be there and as they couldn’t talk to me while on ceremony I mouthed the question at the bugler who gave me the tiniest nod to stay still. So I just stood and watched the formal occasion with Bugler and full gun salute. No other tourist was there so I felt quite honoured at seeing it.
After that I sat on the gardens of the cemetery and read my book while eating the picnic lunch I had brought. It was lovely and peaceful.
Drove home and then needed some exercise so went along to a Kickboxing class at my gym. It was a proper Kickboxing session on the bags and pads. There was only myself and one other guy with the instructor so we had a good 45 minute blast of punching and kicking. It was good fun but such hard work that I thought I was going to throw up a lung at one point!
Wednesday came and brought our shipment of furniture and belongings from the UK. A lot quicker than I could have hoped for. As Jar was away I wanted to get everything unpacked and the house organized before he got home on Friday. I spent 10 hours on Wednesday unpacking boxes and putting things away and was completely exhausted by the evening. Went to a yoga class in the evening to chill out and to re-align my poor aching back. It wasn’t the normal teacher and I didn’t like the replacement one as much but she certainly helped my aching back so it worked. At night there was a huge electrical storm which kept knocking the power out but it kept coming back on so was not too much trouble. Some people locally lost power all night and into the next day and a tree had come down onto River road, which is one of the main commuting roads so rush hour traffic would have been a nightmare.
Thursday more unpacking and tidying up. I was also left with the problem of what to do with the empty boxes and packing materials. So loaded up the car and found the local dump and recycling centre – which was 20 minute drive away so not that local. This was near Gaithersburg where the Washingtonian centre is located so it actually worked out quite well as I needed to nip into Target for a desk lamp and some sundry bits and pieces. I was then meeting Kim at five to go to the movies, which was in the same centre so the drive was not wasted.
We went to see The Ghosts of Girlfriends past. It was not my first choice in movies but trying to get one we both liked and had not seen and that started at a good time for us was challenging, so we settled on this. It was actually an ok movie for a mid week girlie night out. The funny thing was that the power failed about 10 minutes from the end due to the electrical storms but they eventually got the movie restarted and we saw it. A bit too much of a happy ending for me but an ok movie – just wait for it on dvd as not worth cinema prices.
We then decided to have a bite to eat so went into the Thai restaurant next to the cinema. We ended up chatting for ages as we just seem to get on really well and not even small talk but as if we are old friends. Eventually I drove home and stayed up late watching Episodes 4 to 6 of season 2 of The Tudors. Really enjoying this series so far and can’t wait to get up to date with it.
Friday and guess what – yes more unpacking but more fine tuning and some tidying up to make the house look like a neat home for Jar getting back. I then took another drive to the tip with more boxes and picked up the messages at the Supermarket for the weekend. I am completely exhausted now as it has been a really physical week so decided to chill for a couple of hours with a bath and some book reading before I had to head out to the airport to pick Jarlath up. Jar had to get an emergency dental appointment this week because he was in great pain with his teeth (3 false ones he has). It turns out that he has an abscess at the root of the tooth peg caused by the dentist who inserted them making a f*ck up and not inserting them straight. He is now on strong painkillers and antibiotics until he gets backs and finds a dentist locally. God knows what this is going to cost us because while we are insured you are only covered for 80% of the cost and they charge for everything quite handsomely! There goes any hope of me getting a little car as a runaround but I suppose teeth are more important – although I did try and argue the point with Jar – lol.
Saturday was a bit cloudy still and Jar was not well at all with the infection behind his teeth but in his usual stubborn way he decided to still go to his Dojo to do an hour of Karate and then for a haircut. Ended up with him nearly passing out in the hairdresser so I put him to bed with some paracetamol to get his fever down and then went out some messages to try and leave him in peace to get some sleep. Now Jar is not the easiest of patients as he gets rather stir crazy and impatient with himself and everyone around when he is not well, so I just tried to stay out his way but lets say his moods over the weekend have been rather stressful for me to deal with. He gets quite aggressive in his body language with himself (not with anyone else) but the aura around him does rub off and makes me more aggressive and stressed. Anyway I cancelled a dinner date out with Kim in Bethesda and just made some light pasta and then made him go to bed early so I could get some peace! I don’t make a great nurse either!
I received my social security number card today which is a positive but they have got my name wrong on it – Keatings instead of Keating – so I will have to make another trip to the lovely Social office and wait in line for hours (looked in today and it was a minimum two hour wait) to try and get it resolved. A bit annoying as it came through in four and a half weeks without any of the bother Jarlath had getting his.
Well I will end the week there nursing my rather reluctant patient. Xx