Vokesy

A family man and his camera

Try something new

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Yes, that Friday feeling really is a fantastic one, one that I really missed in the few years I spent working in retail, I appreciate even more now that the weekends have become so important to me. When work finishes on a Friday afternoon and we send the pupils home for the weekend it feels like I have a 48 hour mini holiday ahead of me. This particular Friday didn’t end quite as planned, but we were soon able to put the day behind us and head home to relax and spend time with the people we care about. I could almost smell the weekend on my journey home when my bike failed on me, and a gear cable snapped. It suddenly felt like I was trying to pedal up an almost vertical hill, if you can call anything about it lucky then as least I was almost home and so only had a very short distance to go. A quick call to the local cycle repair shop when I got in proved to be a pleasant surprise as well, a new cable fitted for just £6, and they could do it first thing Saturday morning too! So with the worry of a broken bike out of the way I was changed and heading back out of the house to walk round to the in-laws to pick up Olivia, and bring her home.

It was just the two of us tonight as Clare was out with friends for a meal followed by the Fifty Shades Of Filth that women everywhere seem to be hooked on. From never reading the book and going on what people have said, it appears to be little more than a weak storyline and terrible writing, yet it has picked up a massive following thanks to overexposure on social media, so fair play to the writer, who is undoubtedly very rich by now! It still seems a little hypocritical that if men were going to watch anything like this we’d all be branded dirty perverts, yet with woman watching it, apparently its all perfectly fine and normal. Yeah, well… I’m just glad it turned out to be rubbish! IMDb gave it a thoroughly shameful 4.2/10 which did not surprise me one bit, although I did feel bad at how much the wife had wasted on her cinema ticket, not much change out of £10, when did going to the cinema become so expensive?? Still, at least she enjoyed a night out with her friends anyway, and its good to see her get out, as neither of us are going out that much at the moment, and certainly not together. Clare has spotted a trailer, however, for a film thats coming out soon that she’d like us to see together, so it could be a potential date night for us. A nice meal followed by a film, sounds ideal, we just need to book a baby sitter. It’s been a while since we managed to spend a night out together on our own, although we did get out for an wedding anniversary meal last July, although we haven’t been to the cinema together since way before Olivia was born.

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As far as this particular Friday went, after picking up Olivia I strapped her into the car and we headed down to the local Asda, two birds, one stone, I picked up a cheese and tomato pizza for the little lady and a few beers for myself. The pizza went down a treat, she loved it, although it did create a bit of a mess, good job it was bath night! So, pizza, bath, bottle and bed, the little lady was soon fast asleep and it was time for a beer and a film with a few snacks thrown in for good measure! Not a bad way to spend a Friday, as it meant I totally had the tv all to myself and could put any number of man-films on, the sort of action stuff that would no doubt have Clare rolling her eyes, folding her arms and refusing to watch it.

Then came Saturday, which turned out to be one of those days where you want to do so many things, and end up doing none of them. Clare had decided that it was food shopping day and was going to go on her own, not the day out I was hoping for, but I voted that we all went and give Aldi a go as we knew it was almost certainly going to be cheaper, and it was just a question of whether they would have everything we needed, we knew there was a chance we may have to go back to Asda anyway to pick up the few bits Aldi didn’t sell. It was obviously becoming a very popular shop and even their own brand products seemed to be getting some great reviews! We managed to pick up most of what we needed, although sadly not everything, but to be honest we just wanted to try some of their own brands, to see how they faired up to our expectations, and it would be nice to see how much we’d actually save if we could make the switch. The big debate was the soft drinks, I was hesitant as I know how ropey cheap cola can be. So when Clare picked up what was clearly Aldi’s version of pepsi max, I thought that it may well taste awful, especially at only 39p, and suspected we’d be pouring it down the sink by the end of the day. After tasting it we did no such thing! Compared to the equivalent £1.98 bottle of Pepsi Max that we usually pick up from Asda, we could just not tell the difference! We were sold, this place was brilliant! I know Clare wants to go back next week to see if she can do the entire shopping list all just in Aldi.

So with the shopping out the the way, the only other plan for me was meeting my friend on the evening for a drink in town, as he is no longer living around the corner from me, and the local isn’t an option any more. Thankfully the bus stop is quite close to our house, so getting into town was easy and pain free. I had already decided to get a taxi home using the Uber app that I had downloaded on my phone. I still had a code for a free £15 ride, so the whole journey should cost me nothing, who could say no to that?! We met up in a more traditional old school pub that even had a dart board and specialised in real ale, the sort of place that would fit into Broad St or Summer Row like a square peg would fit into a round hole! It had a certain charisma though, the prices were reasonable and it had a very unpretentious air about the place. There was no-one stood on the door inspecting what I was wearing, to decide whether to let me in or not, and no thumping music to shout over. Without wanting to sound old, I quite liked it! It was good to catch up, as I hadn’t seen D since he had recently split from his wife. Last orders came, we finished our drinks and went our separate ways, and I decided to take Uber up on the free taxi code. Its a brilliant concept, the app uses your gps and they send a taxi to your location. When you get to the other end it works out the price and charges it to your credit/debit card/paypal. No need for cash, no getting fleeced by the driver who thinks he can pull a fast one if you’ve had a few beers, and it makes it safer for the drivers too, who are guaranteed to get paid and don’t have to carry all the cash around with them!

Sunday turned out to be particularly hectic, but it was nice that the day started with a cold, but sunny 10k run, as Saturday had been grey, wet and generally a bit miserable, making for a less than exiting run. The sky was blue, the sun was out, and it felt good to have put 10km behind me before breakfast. I had a brief opportunity at home to make some tea and toast and grab a quick shower, before driving over to see my friends and look after their son J for a couple of hours. Once I was done there, I left them and headed to the in laws for some lunch. We couldn’t stay all afternoon as we had promised to visit my mom as well, and after a couple of hours there, had to be home again as my sister was coming round to collect a bathroom cabinet we were getting rid of. Eventually they headed home, Olivia was bathed and in bed, and we could slow down and begin to get ready for Monday morning! Goodbye weekend, I miss you already!

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Author: andrewvokes

Husband to my beautiful wife Clare, and father to two gorgeous girls. Cyclist, runner and photographer, living in Birmingham, UK.

3 thoughts on “Try something new

  1. Your weekend sounds like a week with all the activities, but it also sounds rewarding. Great way to spend time with the little ones, your daughter and J. Enjoyable.

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  2. I love Aldi! I started shopping there in my second year of uni and it’s ridiculously good value for money. I’ll definitely be returning to it in when I head back to Birmingham for my final year in October. Sounds like you had a busy but fun weekend!

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