After missing the session a fortnight ago I decided to attend tonight's autism group. I'm glad I did because we had some interesting discussion. I got lucky with the subgroup I ended up in.
On Saturday I went tramping. We ascended Mount Climie, which was a bit of a climbie, to an altitude of 840 metres. The autism group is starting to take over the tramping club: of the seven who did the walk, three of us attend the group (Danielle, Tom who has been to my flat a couple of times, and myself). We were blessed with good weather.
I saw Julie at her rest home on Saturday evening. It was the first time I'd seen her after her shoulder operation. She was in a lot of pain - more than before - and didn't think it would improve. It was sad to see her life reduced to an eight-foot-square "cell", especially as she's still got all her mental faculties. She talked about ending her life; it's hard to know how to respond to that. She was struggling to sleep so I gave her seven sleeping pills (they were prescribed to me years ago but I never took them). She's since taken them all - presumably one at a time - but it probably wasn't a clever idea for me to supply them to her.
This third test between NZ and England has been a great battle which the Kiwis have dominated. They ran the English bowlers ragged earlier today and then held two stunning catches just before stumps. NZ now need "just" six wickets in the final six hours of play tomorrow to secure a shock series win. I hope they do it (I suppose I should have mixed feelings about that, but I don't, probably because NZ were huge underdogs before the series started).
Update: What a match, and what an absorbing last three days. Forget the "tee twenty" crap, this was proper cricket. It was a shame the Kiwis couldn't quite finish England off but both sides performed admirably today. Just when the game appeared to be fizzling out into a slightly tame draw, Kane Williamson popped up with two quick wickets to create a grandstand finish. The NZ team go to England fairly soon - it's a shame they'll only play two tests over there. To me a proper test series needs to be three matches at a minimum. And they're playing the shorter formats after the tests - what's all that about?
Yesterday I saw my cousin and her husband (I attended their wedding three years ago) with their two daughters, the eldest two-and-a-bit, the youngest just six weeks old. They now live in Auckland having returned from an extended OE in London. The puzzle stuff has given me a chink of light on the horizon; that's probably why all that family stuff yesterday was just about bearable for me.
Mum is coming up here on Thursday. My sideburns have got even bushier since she last saw them. If I were a betting man (!) I'd put up odds of 3/1 that she mentions my sideburns within the first five minutes. I'm probably being generous with those odds. I'd give at least 8/1 that she doesn't mention them at all in the time she's here. I'm looking forward to seeing her though.
I spoke to my brother tonight. He's staying with Mum and Dad, just for one night, and will be off in the morning. Until last Christmas I'd never known him to have a sustained period of unhappiness. It's upsetting to see it now. He plans to fly back to the UK, permanently, at his earliest opportunity.