It's been a full month. Although I took a full 2 weeks off over Christmas and New Year, much of this was occupied with visiting Helen's family and friends in Manchester and dealing with Helen's car. I did all the driving over Christmas, because I find sitting in the passenger seat utterly terrifying. This involved driving Helen's elderly grandparents (as opposed, presumbaly, to some other, more juvenile, grandparents) home to Sunderland and then driving myself on to Edinburgh. It felt like 1989, the year I first drove unaccompanied all over again. And the car was knackered, so I spent a day taking it to be fixed. As I walked into the evil hall of metal and petrol, the man saw that I was wearing a long coat, and a scarf, while carrying a bag that probably contained a book and smirked, knowing that I was uncomfortable in his domain. The shallow twat.
After a week back at work it was Helen's 40th birthday. She had hinted she would like to be taken for a night's stay in an authentic Scottish castle hotel, but a week beforehand, when I lazily got round to booking, I discovered they were all closed for refurbishment. In my panic I booked a break in Dublin with lastminute.com. lastresort.con, more like! It's very easy to book with them, but their customer service is so terrible that I was in tears and then in a rage on Friday as I vainly tried to find out what had happened to my tickets. They're now blacklisted.