I did have a lovely day yesterday. Slept till I woke, got up and went to the market (which I rarely do anymore since I get a vegetable box delivered now). Stopped and returned all my empty bottles to the supermarket on the way and brought the non-deposit ones to the recycle bins. Just bought one or two things at the market, treated myself to some turkey salami and strawberries and got the tomatoes and bread I wanted to bring to the gathering in the evening. Stopped by the optician to pick up my repaired glasses (lenses got scratched when they flew off my head after I flew off my bike) and get the new set slightly adjusted. My eyesight is back to where it was before, the half a dioptre my eyesight improved by before seems to have gone away again and I'm back to the prescription I had for years and years (-3.25 and -3.75 in case you're curious) so I got new lenses for my sunglasses, too. All covered by the insurance - the new lenses for the sunglasses and a new pair of ordinary glasses. Since it seemed like it might be handy to have two pairs of glasses to use I went ahead and paid for the replacement lenses for my old frames. So in total, I've paid 60 euro and now have three pairs of glasses (two ordinary and one sunglasses). Funnily, the new frames I chose (I make things easy on myself by only selecting from the frames that have no extra cost involved, no designer surcharges for me thank you very much) are almost exactly the same as my sunglasses, which I got a year ago. So I may have found the frames I'm most happy with, I think.
After the optician I was actually starting to feel a bit tired - silly really but there's a bit of hayfever happening at the moment again and my eyes are getting very tired very quickly. Also, I really missed my holiday afternoon naps during this past week back at work. But I sucked it up for just a little while longer and brought my bike to be repaired. Need to make sure the accident didn't knock anything out and at the same time they're going to move the front headlamp down so that the basket my sister sent me will actually clip into place. I brought the bike to a place I haven't been to before but a friend recommended it and it's just at the end of my road. My first impressions were really favourable. We'll see what kind of job they do when I pick it up next week. That was one thing I liked though: when he said he'd have it ready by Wednesday and I asked if it would be okay if I didn't pick it up until Saturday, he was fine with it. One of the other local places I've used in the past charges you storage fees if you don't pick your bike up on the day they tell you.
After all of that I did actually manage to get home, grab a quick bite of lunch and have an afternoon nap. I slept solidly for over an hour, so it seems I did need it. Once I got up I rushed around preparing the chickpea and tomato salad I was bringing with me and then heading off to the summer solstice ritual. It was really lovely this year. Mostly meditation, which I was able to really relax and enjoy because I was well-rested enough that I didn't feel like I was just going to fall asleep. All about looking back on the spring and what you achieved during that season and then opening your heart to summer and divining what your wishes for the coming season are. We also danced and sang (in case any of you wondering what kind of music we end up hearing, this was one of the first songs that had been chosen - feel good music all the way):
After that and after some more meditation we had a crafty activity. Each of us got an A4 size sheet of coloured paper and there were markers and pens to draw or write about what your wishes for the summer are. Once we had done that we did a kind of origami type folding of that sheet of paper and ended up with a little boat. The idea is that we each take our boat in the next week or so and set it sailing on a body of water (so most of us will end up at the Rhine) - sending your wishes out into the world as it were.
After some more singing and dancing:
we finished up the ritual part of the evening and got down to the other important ritual: dinner. Everybody brings something and we sit and eat and chat and laugh for an hour or so. After that was done at about ten o'clock, I headed into town, where the girls had been enjoying themselves at the "Long Table". They set up tables all along the promenade and there are various stalls where you can buy food and drink. It's good fun and it has been a while since everyone was out together so there were laughs aplenty and conversation flowed easily. At midnight, when they closed up, we adjourned to the Irish pub and although the music was really too loud one of the girls talked/terrified the DJ into playing good music, i.e. music we remember from when we were younger. So it was a bit of a 90's fest but we all spent hours on the dancefloor (well, it's not so much a dancefloor as a small section of the floor that the tables have been pushed back from). Great fun. Even when the music stopped because then we started to head out of the pub and realised one of the owners had arrived so we joined him and his girlfriend and went across the road to a cocktail bar. The rest of the staff joined us shortly afterwards. The music there, to be honest, was pretty bad and too loud but we still managed to keep ourselves amused for another couple of hours. And then I topped off the evening/morning by walking home, stopping on the way to sit by the river and read my book. All in all, not a bad day yesterday even if I am tired now and feeling like my knees night never be the same!