A much brighter start to the day, albeit a rather smelly one, as I had ended the day yesterday having a good old burn up in the garden trying to get rid of some wood. Refusing to take it all to the tip at my wife’s recommendation… where is the fun in THAT?? So I started the day smelling of smoke, realising the urgency for me to get in the shower and wash my hair! It was a bit of a late night unsurprisingly, and I was so grateful to Clare for not only having taken Olivia downstairs and giving her breakfast, but also watering all the plants in the garden! We managed to get ourselves ready for lunchtime and set out to walk to my friends house for his little boys fourth birthday! One of the benefits of living where we are is that I am a five minute walk from one of my oldest friends house, and so we made the most of the sunny warm weather today and left the car at home. Its all so easy to jump in the car when you have one, it encourages you to be lazy, as we all tend to jump in the car out of habit, even for ridiculously short journeys. That was one of the reasons for me not replacing my car when someone drove into it during the night when it was parked up a couple of years ago. I got the insurance payout and used some of the money to buy a new road bike instead to encourage me to keep up my new cycling to work habit, and to this day two and a half years on, I am still making the journey by pedal power! As a family we now only pay for one car, I don’t sit in traffic and without doing any other kind of exercise I am burning over 700 calories a day! Doing some very basic maths, and assuming a lot of things, I reckon I have saved around £5000 in those two and a half years from not owning a separate car and driving to work every day! When you throw in diesel, insurance, MOT, servicing, a new set of tires, repairs… it all adds up! Anyway, I digress, we walked and it was lovely. It was a nice party and not too many people there, it gave me a chance to catch up with everyone properly. Quite quickly a few hours had slipped by without us noticing and we had to make our excuses and leave as we were meeting the in-laws for a pub dinner, and we were due to pick them up! After the buffet at the party, I wasn’t hugely hungry, but the pub food was good value, so I didn’t feel bad about ordering it and only eating half of it! It was a lovely way to end the day, and Olivia, although she’d pretty much missed her afternoon nap at the party, was still golden in the pub, and behaved so well. We are so lucky to have such a good little girl.