On the Sunday I headed out to Surrey to do family things: I had suggested teaming up with my cousin to visit our Granny on the same day that she had arranged to meet my brother and his family for lunch, so we had decided to combine them both. It was good to see them, as we'd not spent Xmas together, and visiting Granny mob-handed didn't go too badly: she didn't seem overwhelmed, as she had sometimes previously been by the little ones, although I think conversation would have been easier for her with a smaller number.
I was back at the shelter in the evening on Monday, then Tuesday evening was the first evening of a Rad Spanish group I'd heard about: a group of people from the activist community coming together to self-teach Spanish (inevitably in Hackney), there were around 8 of us, although I was the eldest by about a decade, and it was all pretty encouraging. Some were real beginners so it's been mainly going over old ground so far, but the main thing I want is conversation practise outside of the same things I use again and again at work. I took Wednesday off as TOIL and had a gloriously uneventful day and evening, catching up with home stuff, the we went out for a flat curry (plus N) on Thursday as our temporary flatmate is trying to eat it as much as possible while she is over from Canada, where (like Australia) they don't really do it well.
Last Friday we celebrated N's housemate's birthday, a nice contrast of cocktails and Mexican streetfood at the hipsterish bar attached to her Tottenham studio then pints and pool locked-in at the rough and ready Irish pub round the corner, N trekked down to Chelsea with me for brunch before I went into the office and then the shelter in the evening on Saturday. I'd pretty much forgotten until I left that I'd said I would go to Debbie, the wandering gayish night that only plays female-fronted acts, with our friend T over at the Shacklewell Arms. I headed over, drank my way through the lingering hangover and we danced as best we could in the crush of its packed-out back room. I was back in work on Sunday too (but only for a couple of hours before heading up to poke around the William Morris Gallery with N and D) and had to cancel my Monday night plans to head down to Roehampton to hand over a wodge of cash to a dodgy landlord, but at least it meant the extra hours had paid off.
We had Spanish again on Tuesday and I was back at FNB on Wednesday, we're probably just going to manage once a month until our co-ordinator has finished her finals but there were a couple of new volunteers and lots of people came to eat. I went to the shelter Thursday night but yesterday went to the National Gallery with a couple of Book Group folk to see Ali Smith do a talk related to How To Be Both, which we'd just read, and its relationship with all of the art in the novel. She seemed pretty lovely and the whole thing left time to head home and have a bit of an evening in as well.