Archive for October, 2009

Ships that pass in the afternoon

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

So, Cameron spent 2 weeks in Switzerland on a course. (No I have no idea, you’d have to ask him.) Fortunately we had had enough notice of this one that I had my parents booked for the first week – always good to have extra pairs of hands for the small fee of meals and coffees out; Dad even pickaxed-up two patches of very hard lawn, which now very much resemble freshly dug graves, for me to assemble my raised beds, ex-allotment (boo hiss), next spring.

The middle weekend was spent with about 20-odd people (friends and friends-of-friends) at the very lovely park hall; highly recommended if you need somewhere to accommodate so many people in the middle of nowhere, want a small pebbly bay within walking distance and a lovely sandy beach a 10-minute drive, don’t mind having no phone reception and fancy fresh air and silence. The girls had a whale of a time, I got loads of sleep, what more could we have wanted?

The second week actually passed surprisingly peacefully, despite me having a  looming deadline (which was supposed to be my last as I have awarded myself some maternity leave). Oh, and we just won’t mention me locking the keys (car and house) into the car boot and spending a good 3 hours organising and then waiting for my rescue service. If I hadn’t been quite so pregnant, and hadn’t had 2 small children to watch me, and had thought of it (!), I could have probably managed to get up onto the roof and in through the bathroom window. It wouldn’t have been elegant.

Friday morning, Cameron had to get a train right across Switzerland to catch a plane: this got him home a mere half-hour later than anticipated which allowed us an overlap of approximately 25 minutes (I wrote a briefing note) before it was my turn to go! On the train to London to meet Pewari and attend TAM.

Great weekend. Great. Even though I am truly abysmal as a modern woman and missed my children (we are all supposed to be champing at the bit to get away for some Me Time.) All the speakers were exceptional, without, um, exception; a couple of the comedians on the Saturday night were not entirely my thing but given that we were at the conference centre from 8 am and didn’t get back to the hotel until 1130, I was feeling quite jaded by then anyway. My quote of the conference goes to Glenn Hill (son of the Cottingley Fairies photographer) who described people of religion as “human goslings”, imprinting on the first thing they are told. In context it was quite brilliant. My heart was warmed by the delegates’ reaction to Simon Singh announcing his wife was expecting their first baby: proof positive that sceptics are not cynics.

In no particular order, my impressions were as follows: great shoes, wacky slogan T-shirts, i-phones, twitter. Geeky yet pleasant and very friendly. How can they expect you to eat sausage and mash without a knife (and why no ketchup?). Dehydration. Bad coffee; good choice of teas. “Breakfast” does not equal coffee and a pastry in my book. Richard Wiseman hilarious.

Maggie asked Cameron on Saturday whether I would be home this week. Apparently if I was (I am, obviously) we would “be like a proper family”. Way to layer the guilt, child. May I just point out that the last time I went away overnight leaving Cameron to do childcare, I was expecting Tamsin?