Archive for the 'modern life is rubbish' Category

:: right now ::

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

(a la Earthenwitch). Right now I am:

cuddling a sad and bruised youngest daughter and wondering where all the blood came from (update: she’s fine, just got a huge fat lip. Teeth all intact.)

Packing. And fretting. We appear to have extremely nervous buyers who have now sent three surveyors round (and the third, this morning, warned me that a fourth might be forthcoming). Fortunately I have surveyor-charming skills and have made them all tell me what they find (I’m not supposed to tell you but). Seriously: they are buying a 110-year-old house, it is going to have, ahem, quirks. Features. Oddly, their solicitor does not seem to know they are doing all this. On which note…

waiting for our solicitor to call me back. Nothing so far has led me to believe the poor woman knows how to operate a telephone.

reading umpteen magazines (crafty homey ones, mostly) while resolving to kick the expensive, pointless magazine habit.

trying to get a reading group off the ground: who’d have thought it would be so difficult to get more than two people together in the same place, with books, at the same time.

making (a mess, ha ha) – lazy-days skirts. Flowers for M and hungry-caterpillar circles for T.

editing some nonsense about dogs

using up the contents of fridge/freezer/cupboard with weird and unpredictable results.

Saturday, three children no husband

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

(who left for China at an exceedingly unnecessary 4 am, just as I settled the baby back to sleep for the I-don’t-know-how-manyth time)

6.30 – M awake: the tooth fairy has been (hooray!) but not replied to her note (boo!) go back to bed it is still night time {brief argument about why Tamsin is in my bed but asleep and whether the baby is still asleep – answer she was until you came down}.
7.00 – give up, all downstairs for breakfast and telly.
8.00 – Jenny has a rather lovely toy, a “discovery cylinder” – basically a portable hidey hole that she is supposed to put soft stuffed shapes in and out of. Just retrieved my car key, an old shrivelled bit of cucumber and 4 raisins.
9.00 – come on come on come on we have things to do! Co-op (croissants, paper, blueberries, cash); market (ice cream, bacon, steak, bread, tea cakes no we don’t need fairy cakes today; yes they are very pretty; yes I see them); home to put ice cream in freezer; costa coffee (where I remembered I had forgotten to eat breakfast myself so had some toast, what an excellent scheme). I can’t imagine what possessed me to think that would be a pleasant and civilised start to the weekend: not only was the only available paper the Mail (eurgh), the children hoovered their babyccinos in record time then set about being slightly too loud for the poor chap at the next table who clearly did like a civilised start to his weekend. They weren’t bad, they were just not operating at coffee-shop volume. Hobbycraft, where some sort of financial shift in the time-space continuum ensures I never come out without spending 20 quid, despite only needing some elastic. Tumbletots for Tamsin: I did actually read a bit of my paper, Jenny ate cereal and practised walking (just a few steps at a time, from chair to table to chair to table to chair…), Maggie read and coloured. Rather relaxing actually, despite the squawking recorders in the next room.
12.00 – home, exhausted. J asleep, girls have a plan: let’s play with barbies all afternoon! Which means their bedroom will look like a barbie bomb has gone off (and for some reason the bathroom is invariably flooded) but on the bright side I have peace and quiet which I feel I have earnt.
1.30 – I seem to have spent an hour on the PC without even opening the manuscript I intended to finish today. Microwaved leftover takeaway for me (momentarily glad C is away so I don’t have to share!); boiled eggs and soldiers for the big girls. J still asleep.
3.30 – dishwasher unloaded/filled; pots washed; laundry on tumbledrier on clean laundry folded ironing done; kitchen wiped down and swept (only because I had the news quiz on – otherwise wouldn’t have bothered as I am planning to have the kids make tea); Jenny’s entire breakfast and lunch picked up off the floor. Nice cup of tea with paper…3, 2, 1 Muuum!
5.00 – have finally opened up that word file, although I don’t have to listen very carefully to hear the wine plaintively calling my name from the fridge. When Cameron is about, we often don’t drink at all apart from at weekends (and there is a Wednesday ballet exclusion clause if necessary). When he is away I mostly have one glass around teatime every evening.
8.00 – One baby asleep (which is fortunate, as daddy has put her to bed since early December – wasn’t at all sure I could remember how); two big girls in bed in a reasonably barbieless bedroom; one manuscript near-as-damnit finished. One glass of wine drunk; homemade pizzas consumed. Washing dishes can wait until tomorrow. I am off duty!

Intentions for November (a shameless list)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Shamelessly ripped off from Earthenwitch:

– My main aim this month has to be Retaining My Sanity while Doing It All Alone. Cameron has four – four! – overseas trips lined up, totalling an estimated* 16 or so nights away, interrupting three weekends and let’s not even talk about how rubbishly jetlagged and knackered he’ll be in between.

Given that, the rest of my list is fairly low-key:

– I seem to have taken my eye off the ball and accidentally gone back to work. While this is a very gentle few-hours-a-week, these few hours have to come from somewhere and I haven’t yet quite figured out where that might be.
– find Shoes to go with my Dress (and preferably without having to visit every single shoeshop in Cheshire)
– T’s birthday (including parties etc); J’s naming ceremony
– make a few little pressies for a few little people, mostly Christmas-related
– buy or at least decide upon the rest. Oh, and provide various family members with great ideas for me, Cameron and the girls without, of course, giving away the best ideas and leaving me nothing to get people.
– find out who is going to be here for Christmas; people are being irritatingly coy about it. I need to plan meals!
– make something festive along the lines of pudding or cake or mincemeat. I am not very big on celebrating the birth of our lord through the medium of dried fruit, mainly because I can always find something else I would rather eat (apart from sprouts), but it is trad.
– make stollen, which is entirely different and freezes divinely
– clear away old sad tomato plants
– muck out the playroom including all the way to the bottom of the huge toy box
– get rid of outgrown baby clothes.

* he hasn’t shared the details of the last one yet but given that it is to India, unlikely to be an overnighter.


Friday, October 8th, 2010

Mostly, having three is great. Apart from never quite feeling like you have your eye on the ball (which is probably a good thing from their point of view), it has much to recommend it. It all goes to pieces, however, when one’s husband is about as far away as he can possibly get (I got a middle-of-the-night text “in Sydney on harbour cruise”); I am half-expecting him to announce his entry to NASA’s astronaut-training programme in a bid to get even further. When one has put the baby to bed at midday mere minutes before the school rings to say the 6-year-old has been sick and is very pale and can I come to get her please. I managed that, even persuading the baby back to bed on our return, but the collection of the 3-year-old from nursery was just beyond me. Fortunately we live in a Village with a Village Ethos and my very lovely friend not only went and collected her, and collected another friend’s little boy from school who I had been supposed to be looking after, but gave them tea and kept them until bedtime. And picked her up this morning for preschool. And brought her back again afterwards! Meanwhile, I have been trying to cuddle the poorly one as much as she wants, although 9-month-old babies are not entirely understanding of that. So it’s been cuddles during baby naps and pop her up to bed for some peace in between; I have consumed much cake in compensation for the two flights of stairs and can feel the cabin fever mounting. She is much better today, so I haven’t felt I have to check her quite so often – her breathing was scary yesterday and she wasn’t keeping anything down, not even a sip of water. I couldn’t have a medicinal glass of wine last night because I was slightly concerned I might end up driving to A&E, though by the time I went to bed she was relatively peaceful and her chest sounded rattly rather than wheezy. And she has eaten a bit of toast and a bowl of my smugly medicinal home-made chicken and fennel soup.

What a week!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

And yes, it is only Wednesday. Morning. After a very productive weekend (damson gin, plum wine, 3 loaves of bread), Sunday night was mostly spent listening to Tamsin cry with earache. Cameron sloped off to the spare room but I don’t think any of us got much rest. Irritatingly, the next day she was perky and bright while I moped about waiting for bedtime and wondering whether the day would ever end. One night of proper sleep then the school rang at Tuesday lunchtime for me to go and pick up a very poorly M. White, hot, headache…so I spent last night listening to her breathing, which didn’t sound very good. Occupying one child who wants to lie all sad and cuddled on the sofa at the same time as another who is rapidly developing cabin fever is something of a challenge – and C is away – and I have a stinking cold, did I mention that?

Moan moan whinge whinge.


Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

What am I supposed to do with this? It’s Maggie’s First Ever sports day this afternoon: she’s been looking forward to it and practising for it (and quietly worrying what if I don’t win my race?) for weeks. I need to go. Only Tamsin is poorly on the sofa: sore ear, disgusting runny nose, sporadic vomit (though not for a few hours, touch wood). Cameron is in London, where he doesn’t answer his phone – and realistically, even if he did answer his phone (it is a good job it is not a real emergency), he can’t do much from there.

I think I have to bundle T into the buggy and we have to go to sports day. While hoping she doesn’t have anything wildly contagious and that I am not being horribly irresponsible. This is only going to get worse when there are three of them, isn’t it?

In other news, while I am keen that this blog doesn’t become a “cute things about my kids” thing, I have two things to share. The first, Maggie trying to decide what everybody’s hobbies are* – mine, apparently, are knitting, cooking, gardening, and getting things off high shelves.

The second, and this makes me so proud, is this piece of work she brought home from school yesterday. I assume she did it herself in the writing corner, rather than it being a teacher-supervised activity, as it reads: The monsturus** monster had a willey. The pig had a willey. The pig had a wee and a poo. The Watson had a car***.

*It is rather like being back in Japan, where everybody who remembered their school English inquired “what is your hobby?”

**Good use of adjectives.

***No idea.

For local people

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

I felt like a terrible mother yesterday as we heard the sound of the brass band coming up our road and went out to see Maggie’s rainbow troop (are they a troop?) parading past, followed by lots of her schoolfriends on a float in their pretty posh dresses (“the rose queen”), followed by various other people we know. Fortunately the day was saved by Cameron taking the girls down to the village fete and buying them sweets, but she still wondered why she wasn’t there parading. The reason? We have only lived in the village for 3 years which is not long enough to Just Know what is going on. I was vaguely aware of the rose queen thing, as there was some letter about a rehearsal home from school, and when we watched her making her promise at rainbows there was some vague comment about well it’s the rose queen next weekend and you all know what to do if you are walking with us (?) So if I was any sort of proper mother I should have been more proactive and gone to find out but I honestly had no idea what it was, and certainly no idea that they would walk past our sodding house!

On the bright side: Tamsin was actually physically born in the village which might allow her to tap into the collective mind. Give it a few years and she can tell us what is going on, where and when.


Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I have zero energy and less enthusiasm. I’m not miserable, nor do I have any weirdy seasonal bluesy thing: I just want to curl up on the sofa with a book, and maybe have a nap. I do not want to shop for food (though I have done so), put it away (though I will, soon), cook, clean or do any of my usual jobs. I don’t much want to do the school run; I certainly don’t want to exercise. I can’t be bothered visiting my allotment and the spring bulbs are still in bags on top of the microwave. The house is gradually getting more and more of a tip (and we’ve a babysitter on Saturday so I must get off my bum before then) and we have no clean socks. I cannot face going out with the old boys tonight: even less so since plan A – walking to the pub with Peter and Mrs Peter – has been put off in favour of plan B – waiting for C to get home from Germany then going down later on my own. People reckon I must go, it will do me good. I expect they are right


Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Just back in from painting a nice clear cross on the front door. C is in the states all week and he’s poorly too – all the bonus points he gets for combining illness with jetlag and having to work are removed by the lovely peaceful clean-cool-sheets-ness of a hotel. I have a stinking cold and feel very sorry for myself (I have run out of lemsips and am housebound, too); Maggie is not at all well. I picked her up from school yesterday all pale, hot and teary (am slightly miffed as she’d been up coughing a lot the previous nght so I had specifically gone in to say that I thought she was mostly ok but she might not be and if not, they should ring me as soon as and I’d go and get her). She took to her bed and slept from 6 last night – 10 this morning, just waking for extra doses of medicine and drinks of water and cries. She’s been up and down today but was back in bed again by 6 this evening and I honestly can’t see her going back to school tomorrow.

Which is a disaster, as tomorrow evening she has her last ever playdate with her bestfriendinthewholeworldever, who is leaving the country this weekend. We are braced for grief.

Tamsin is perky and bright (it was her turn last week, when she was sick all over me and the bed on two consecutive nights) which is not ideal as I cannot find the energy to do fun toddler stuff. Much cbeebies has been watched today, but I really will have to think of something for tomorrow (even if that involves wrapping her up and shutting her out in the frosty garden for half an hour).

We saw the Mighty Boosh at the weekend: was entertaining but not hilariously laugh-out-loud funny, which was a bit disappointing. Cameron and Maggie enjoyed the Mold panto far more.

To do, today

Thursday, July 31st, 2008
  • Laundry, ironing
  • Pack for long weekend away
  • Book tickets for Klimt
  • Finish and return manuscript
  • Child-wrangle (10 am: one child on sofa with tummyache so bad she thinks she is going to burst, requiring cuddles. Other child with bleeding nose, cause unknown, requiring cuddles.) (11.30: both playing happily and quietly, hoorah) (1.30 driving me nuts clinging to my leg) (2.45 washing kitchen floor???)
  • Plant lily bulbs and last two tatton plants
  • Tidy so we don’t come home to a tip (and I no longer have a cleaner, gah)
  • Order detergent
  • Sow veg seeds for autumn
  • Find book, which I have irritatingly lost with 50 pages left to read
  • Go and look at freecycle slide
  • Make dinner
  • Drive to Scotland

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