Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I feel like a balloon that has been unknotted. You let it go, and fizzzz - up into the clouds it goes, getting smaller all the time. That's me.

Honestly! I work all day. I come home (admittedly to a tea that has been cooked for me) and then put away a veritable mountain of laundry etc, sew in name-tags in new holiday clothes for the boys, and finally nip to Asda for a few essentials that I omitted to buy last Friday.

Home comes the hunter. "Come here!" calls the resident caveman. "Look at this."

("This" being a complicated formattted document that was created on an Applemac. We use PCs. You've guessed it - it wouldn't go right.)

I wanted to read Stenhouse's book on Scottish lyric poetry. Research-y stuff. Could I? No, I had to to have a go at sorting out the problematical document.

Then what? The friend who created the document on his Applemac, sent Super Spouse a nice, neat, Word-compatible file. Bless you, Bill! My friend for life. NOW I can get back to Stenhouse and his lyric poetry.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A few weeks ago, we received two suitcases with the last possessions of Super Spouse's deceased Australian uncle. The kilt was the biggest surprise. I wasn't there when Super Spouse tried it on, and it promptly slid off him. SS isn't slim. But the Deceased Uncle was very stout indeed.

Well, the big news is that the kilt alterations lady has measured SS and is altering the kilt and jacket. He needs various other accessories to complete the outfit, but you can now be fairly certain that there will be a “kiltie” at the christening of our latest niece. I hope Norfolk is ready for this.

The boys have one more week at school, so things are winding down – and there are “fun days” galore. Not much work being done, needless to say. Tomorrow, sons no.2 & no.3 are going to the school church service, but no.1 son's class (for some reason) is going to an athletics event somewhere else. Ours is not to reason why. It has been wet and windy here, so I don’t know how enjoyable the athletics will be. Then on Friday, no.1’s class is going swimming as a reward for good behaviour, and no.2’s lot are going to a big park. Unless it rains, when they’ll go to a museum instead.
I haven’t heard about no.3 going anywhere – yet!

I took my car to the garage yesterday to find out why it wasn’t riding the bumps very smoothly. I left it there before work, walked to the Underground, and found that the Underground was “off” in both directions - so I had to rush for a bus instead! I think it was a minor miracle that I was a mere ten minutes late.

The car wasn’t ready last night, but it didn’t matter as I was being treated to a meal with a handful of colleagues who’d been on the job evaluation panel. (Better still, SS & no.2 son had been to a concert, so they picked me up and taxied me home after the meal.)

This morning, therefore, I still had no car. I would have walked to the Underground, but it’s a good 15 minutes’ walk on a dry day. It was wet and windy, so I took a bus. At lunchtime, after the mechanic had concluded there was nothing wrong with the car apart from being an old lady, I took the Underground from work to near the garage, walked the rest of the way, got the car, drove to Govan Underground (so it would be there for me to get home with) and took the Underground back to work. There is nowhere to park in town – the nearest multi-storey is closed for renovation – so it would have been daft to take the car in with me.

Anyway, at least that meant I got home at the usual time this evening, ready to do the dash to no.1 son's piano lesson. I took the other two too, since SS wasn’t feeling well and wanted to sleep. Well, I tried to do my customary 15 minutes’ organ practice at church while no.1 had his lesson. Some hope! The joys of parenthood? (A colleague deputised for me as organist a couple of weeks ago when I was in Dublin. She was wide-eyed with horror as she recalled watching her 4-year old coming into church with the rest of the Sunday School. Well, I've witnessed this every week for the past nearly 11 years. And the little monsters are still capable of giving me kittens on the organ stool. It's the realisation that one of your offspring is doing something Dreadful - but you can't do a blind thing about it!)

I think it’s time I went to bed. Night-night!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

So there I was, all geared up to go and continue the Tidy Office project (imminent arrival of new boss, don't want office to create a poor impression!) - when no.2 son awoke with a temperature and snuffly nose. Was I going to make it to work this morning? No, I wasn't. Super Spouse was already commissioned to take sons 1 & 3 to school, wait for no.1 son's cello lesson to finish, and ferry him off to the orthodontist. So I simply had to stay at home until Super Spouse returned after all that!

Incidentally, you should see our new pocket paper hanky packs: "pocket tissues for bunged up beaks and snuffly snouts". Even I couldn't have dreamt up that slogan! Why did I mention it? Well, if no.2 son would Blow His Nose instead of sniffing constantly, then he wouldn't feel sick in his tummy, now would he?! Hopefully he'll be okay for school tomorrow.

What wouldn't I give for a free and gratis day off, just lying around in bed snoozing gently. The UK doesn't do duvet days. Lucky Scandinavians!

The orthodontist has just booked another appointment six months away, still undecided as to whether a dental brace is needed. No.1 son actually WANTS a brace. Eh?! I hated mine. My sister flushed two down the toilet (only admitting it twenty years later), and the dentist said that since Hilary clearly didn't want to wear a brace, he was not willing to make her a third. Wise guy!

Anyway, here we are, still not knowing if a brace will be needed. And to think that I opted for him to learn cello rather than trombone, for fear a brace might get in the way of blowing! Ah well, I like the cello more than the trombone. It was a good choice for him.

I made it in to work for 12.30, which wasn't bad. Did a bit more work on Operation Desk Tidy. Pondered a few imponderables before it was time to come home again. Had tea, watched a bit of TV, went to choir practice, went to Asda, bought enough food to last us until a proper shopping trip on Saturday. Tomorrow evening we are being visited by Super Spouse's Canadian Second Cousin and her friend. My sole concern was to ensure that I could feed them with minimum effort and at short notice! Being at work all day means there's no chance of trying to be a Domestic Goddess or even a Pseudo Super Hostess. Just an off-duty working mum, doing her best, as ever ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Virtually no time for being a Serious Researcher in my spare time, because Pseudo Supermum had no spare time.

We're halfway through June, and what have I achieved? Not a lot! Went to Dublin for a conference last weekend, which was nice. Networking was every bit as valuable as the serious sessions. And the sun shone - can't be bad. For all Monday was mostly taken up with getting home, I was shattered on Tuesday. Had a splitting headache by the afternoon.

Paracetamol wasn't helping. Neither did getting up in the middle of the night to see Super Spouse off on his day trip to the Hague with a crowd of his pals. Neither did the paracetamol at 4.45 am. I hit Boots the Chemist at 8.45 and bought stronger pain-relief. Bingo! By coffee-time I felt normal, which was just as well. By that stage I couldn't have taken even one more tablet before I hit the daily limit.

My Last Boss But One came in to see us all unexpectly this morning. What a nice surprise - he was slim, tanned, and looked amazingly fitter and better than when he retired nearly six years ago. Beaming, he assured us that he didn't miss us one bit.

I whizzed the boys to the childminder before school this morning, whizzed them home from the childminder (via the chip-shop) this evening, whisked them to no.1 son's piano lesson (and ten minutes' organ practice for me while we waited for him), then whizzed home again for homework, baths, milkshake and bed.

My talented mother has just sent another gorgeous quilt - this time for no.2 son. He is delighted - what other little boy has a hand-made quilt covered in multi-coloured aeroplanes?! No.3 son has his zoo quilt already. No.1 can't wait to see what he'll be getting in his turn!