Saturday, January 27, 2007

Great Ex-Spec-tations?
Irritations, more like.

So what's gone wrong now? Three times in the past month, the (only very slightly chipped) lens has fallen out of my "rimless" glasses. If you wear them yourself, you'll know there is a plastic cord in place of the rim. The trouble is, if you're long-sighted then it is blooming hard getting the lens back INTO position again. Especially first thing in the morning! Because you haven't got your specs on to see what you're doing ...

I knew that Boots was offering a "two for the price of one" deal. However, that was only for single-focus lenses. Optical Express just had a "percentage-off" deal. SpecSavers had "two for the price of one" including varifocal lenses, so that was the deal for me. The only problem was that there's no SpecSavers within distance of a lunchbreak at work. It had to wait until the weekend.

This afternoon, I sallied forth, and went to Clydebank. Found the shopping-centre (easy); found the shop (fairly easy) and found two different frames (very tricky). Then produced my prescription to discover ...


Oh, horror - I had picked up our youngest son's prescription by mistake. Oh, sh**! BACK to the car, back home, forage about and find my own prescription, and finally, back to Clydebank SpecSavers again. Two pairs of cool, trendy, new-style glasses ordered and paid for. Right - now I have to hope that the present pair stay together just 7-10 days more!

You know something? I ought to be:-

  1. Helping boys do their music practice

  2. Doing the ironing

  3. Supervising bathtime

  4. Getting on with my research.

I'd better get a move on!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

More silly socks:-

This time from - happy to acknowledge!

They never made socks like this when I was little!


If a boy is knee'd in the stomach during a playground football match (when he's nowhere near the ball); if the opposition kicks and hacks their opponents' shins and ankles; if they shove and punch and generally play dirty - well, obviously complaints have to be made.

The boys complained to their teacher three times in recent weeks - and she complained to the teacher of the opposing side. Nothing happened. I phoned the mother of a school-pal to check my facts, then phoned the school.

Things happened. Viola-Kid and his pal were interviewed by the Acting Head. The opposition were "talked to". Football was banned for a couple of days. So we shall watch with interest to see what happens next week. It was certainly taken seriously enough. But - full marks to the Acting Head - she remembered that the same troublesome ten-year olds (thugs in the making) were trouble at the age of six! Yikes!

I've been to work; been to the Uni for a wonderful lunchtime concert of Scottish music; been home for tea; taken a choir practice; nipped into the supermarket for - erm - liquid refreshment - so now it feels like time to remove the cork.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Is there a mother anywhere else in the world who is expected to sew name-tags inside her own socks so they can be identified?

I truly thought that buying black socks with green, blue, pink and purple toes would differentiate them from yer average sports sock, school sock or Big Man With Big Feet sock!

Next time, maybe I should get Girly Socks? But I'm not a "girly girl" ...
Image from
I need your opinion. The following statement was recently overheard. How would you react?

"Just because I've worn a jumper every day for a month doesn't mean it needs to be washed ...."

Well, I can assure you that the Irish washerwoman in me was - well, her Scottish cousins would say she was "black-affrontit". Doesn't need to be washed, indeed! As long as it lives under my roof, it will be washed. Regularly!
Besides the full-time job, the young family, the research, and the church choir - this week, I've played for two funerals, visited the osteopath, visited my research supervisor, and have just spent the evening feeling like the proverbial Irish washerwoman.

SuperSpouse is out playing for a Burns' Supper. PseudoSupermum thus becomes SuperTaxi for her offspring. In between times, I hung yesterday's and the first of today's laundry loads on the pulley, and put another three washes into the machine. (Please note, this has all accumulated since last night. Barely a day passes but I don't deal with laundry.) I did most of the ironing. I set the bread-machine to start early tomorrow morning. I supervised music practice. And I put together a car-bootful of junk for the charity shop.

I'm knackered! I just thought I'd do the osteopath's recommended routine of icepack then water-bottle then icepack, but am stuck here with the icepack and the realisation that each boy is slumbering peacefully with a hot water bottle. There isn't one left for me! The icepack is blooming chilly, and my neck is now sore with cold as much as anything else! I've just been reading a blog by someone living on a remote Scottish island, feeling his aching age at the age of 38. Try being 48, Sunshine!

Maybe I could steal the waterbottle from the boy who has been asleep longest? He wouldn't be any the wiser, after all ...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What a week - and it's only Tuesday night!

MONDAY. Ploughed through a load of cataloguing, answered dozens of queries (well, it felt like it!), and gave some thought to a forthcoming training day which will take place a fortnight from now. Worked late, to make up some hours ahead of today. Because today was going to be - well, hectic.

Spent a bit of the evening preparing for a research supervision meeting that would take place today.

TUESDAY. Went to work at 8.30 am. Prepared for a session "training the trainers", then trained them. Stayed until noon then went to church to play for a funeral. Back to work (briefly). Out again to see my research supervisor. Back to work again - stopping at a Subway en-route to the [real Glasgow] Subway at 5 pm, because I had just realised that I'd never actually had lunch. Worked until 6.30 pm then decided that was enough for a day.

Strangely enough, I didn't achieve much this evening - a bit of boring domesticity (laundry and putting away a supermarket delivery), started planning church choir music for the next session, then spent 15 minutes having a research brainwave. Can't wait to try it out.

Bath, aromatherapy oil, then red Tiger Balm on the base of my neck where the pain seems to radiate from. And now - supper!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I've just deleted Recycled Postgrad and Pseudo-Supercook. There simply wasn't time to maintain them. Then after that, something strange happened to my sidebar - it went blank - so I have adopted a new layout and will have to put my sidebar links back again. I'm afraid I have lost my friends' links, and I apologise that I'll have to ask for them all over again!

Viola-Kid has been burning up with a temperature today, so I've been at home with him. I've tidied, and sorted, and done a spot of mending. I've made soup (not that the invalid was hungry). In fact, after all my bending and stretching, my back and shoulders aren't quite as sore as they have been for the past couple of weeks. Maybe I've actually helped myself!

What I haven't done is any research-reading. I think I'm still in "I've delivered a paper at a conference so now I'm on holiday" mode. Perhaps when I get back from the church anniversary service this evening, and after I've put away a supermarket delivery, I might just open a book for some light reading. I have plenty to choose from.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Was I intending to "take it easy" yesterday? Fat chance!

I cleaned, cooked, baked, washed, ironed, put away, dismantled the Christmas tree ...

Got up early today (because it's Monday, and Cello-boy goes back to his halls of residence at 7.20 am) - rushed around like the conventional dervish that I am, and finally found myself sitting on the subway ... and realising I had forgotten my office key.

I flew off that train before the doors closed. BACK to the car, BACK to the house, found the office keys, gulped a quick coffee to help the headache tablets do their work, then rushed BACK to the carpark and BACK to the subway. Phew! Nothing like a good rush to keep the circulation in good repair!

My head, my aching head. Not to mention the neck and upper back. I haven't been comfortable today, but I have worked hard. I'm off to a meeting in Dundee tomorrow, and it needed preparation. I'm prepared. (I also found a couple of books that were allegedly missing, traced another book that someone thought we didn't even have, and ordered a few replacements, before cataloguing a whole pile of readers' requests that accumulated while I had the brass neck not to be there last week!

My laptop is fully charged, my online shopping order is completed, and I am ready for my supper, then bed! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Happy to acknowledge source of image:-

Saturday, January 06, 2007


NO flights from Bristol today – new runway too slippery! The plan of action?
  1. Phone Easyjet - advised to visit website.
  2. Visit website - advised to phone Easyjet ....
  3. Executive decision! Don’t go to last morning of conference; instead, try being a Human in a Queue at airport.
  4. Reach Airport 7 hours before flight.
  5. Glasgow flight cancelled – not redirected via Cardiff
  6. Advised to get express bus to bus station and head for Gatwick.
  7. No seats on the coach at bus station
  8. Taxi to train station
  9. Train at perfect time!
  10. Train withdrawn from service at Bath
  11. Wait for next train – change twice more and get to Gatwick on time …
  12. Easyjet to Glasgow delayed.
  13. McDonalds for lunch at 4 pm.
  14. Modest G&T while waiting patiently …

Home, sweet home - loving family waiting at airport to ferry me home. (Show me the way to go home - I'm TIRED and I want to go to bed ... )

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Time for some Rest and Relaxation!

First there was the run up to Christmas. Then, having enjoyed Boxing Day, I had to gird up my loins to finish background reading and then write a research paper. The conference starts in Bristol, tomorrow.

Between Thursday and Saturday, I wrote 7,400 words. A friend thinks I must have kissed the Blarney Stone. (I didn't, honest!)

Between Sunday and Tuesday, I slaved over a hot computer keyboard, cutting the paper down to a reasonable size. You see, I only have 20 minutes in which to speak. I might, just might, manage this - I've reduced the paper to 3,250 words. I don't know if there'll be time for playing musical examples, mind you.

My neck and shoulders are so stiff that I had a dreadful night's sleep last night. I dreamt I was in bed beside a shrouded Virgin Mary, who got up and wandered off, only later turning up in a single wardrobe. By this time she had shrunk, and was clutching a plastic-wrapped Power Ranger model, which she wouldn't let go of. I wasn't supposed to let anyone know that she had (a) wandered off or (b) shrunk. But what I don't quite understand is why I had climbed into bed beside a shrouded BVM in the first place! Was this supposed to imbue some special grace or favour? Goodness knows!

Image courtesy of