WMC's diary pages, 2000.

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See-also: http://www.wmc.care4free.net/diary/.

March 2000

Wed 1st

I took 2 4k memos for dec, 3 for jan & 4 for feb. A trend...

Slow morning. D in bed then drawing on his blackboard &, I suspected, elsewhere but was too sleepy. Just a bit of chalk on the walls.

To mothers: took down c'mas lights from tree & filled her salt cellar & a few other tasks that are hard for her with one hand. Also Tring for auro & even some gloss & spend ages browsing the shop - they even have rubber wedges.

Back via J&J who haven't seen us for a while. D sleeps in car but nonetheless we go to the castle with a+s & (later) dinan. Somewhat fractured with only me to look after D. But we last till 10.30.

Thurs 2nd

D sleeps late (surprise!) & dawdle in bed till roused by M on the phone.

Work am, yoga lunchtime (Janet is back, hurrah!), basils then home pm. Laze by fire, pick up D, we eat together (well, grapefruit & orange) then his bedtime.

Later: long past midnight & I am still awake... tending to our washing machine which did not want to spin due (I find eventually having taken lots of it to bits) to the drain motor being corroded. Well I can't fix that so I have to run it with 'emergency drain' option... Now done. Clothes out, last drink, & bed. I shall take the phone up in case M called.

Fri 3rd

M phones: will be home in 24h which is good.

D is having a no-walking phase which is irritating. I try to carry him upside down or some way he won't like but its not enough. Also he has sussed the going-round-the-corner trick. However it is all done with such a smile that it is hard to be annoyed.

Foolishly I decide to demonstrate my mastery over the washing machine by using it even though the pump is broken. Will I ever learn? Win out, at some cost. Bath & read Swann in love, the apparently interminable bit about his love for odette just before meeting the p. de laumes at a party. Good grief its bad enough to read, who would have the patience to write it.

Bed at 12.30. M should be back here in 9 hours!

Sat 4th

M arrives early while D & I are in bed still. Hello. After a while D & I cycle off to town, first to lammas land (whose name D now knows) then mill road to gan elec who might have a new motor (but don't) then octopus for mirror tiles for the late afternoon sun.

Back 3ish & wake M who is sleeping off her jet lag. What did I do then? Collapsed with a book & coffee, I think.

Sunday 5th

Wild excitment, though of the wrong sort: we are in Addenbrookes because D has bashed his nose & sub-eye on an edge at the swimming pool. Probably nothing beyond a knock, a lot of blood from a nosebleed & some swelling (& lots of screams) but in this age we must be safe. Now he is in the childs play area having fun with a workbench & a big play house. His pulse is back to 110 (which is apparently ok) & his pupils react as expected.

The upside of all this is that one of us (M) gets to visit jr & see how he does.

So: the rest of the day: to begin: up with D. When M takes over I sit outside in the sun - pleasant - & read 'the subtle knife' which is the northern lights follow up. Good. Down the garden the bees are v active - coming back with pollen on their legs - I wonder what flowers - give them some honey to help them along.

Then we cycle to the pool - first time this year by bike. Thats where we came in.

Just been seen by Dr Yasmin who feels D's nose, eyebrow bones & below his eyes & pronounces him ok & his nose unbroken. Good. D is now happily playing & won't be dragged away to find M.

Back to pool by taxi then cycle home. Try to make D sleep but fail. He plays as ever & is obviously ok. Plant M+J's oak in bank by pond, taking out pine there to make space. Put chestnut near shed on not-our land - take out some sloe, may need more.

Fix washing machine - pleased with self - motor will run after spring bearing is oiled & eased a bit. Reassemble.

Mon 6th

Peninsula w'shop: prepare am, at it all pm.

Bring D home an hour early so we go via the swings. Later, in the dusk, D lags behind & runs amongst & around the trees & it is v comic - in the dark & distance he looks speeded up like an old film.

Tues 7th

4x10 in 27.2, 28.4, 29 & 30.5. A bit slow. Home a little late.

Hmm... I may have been a little premature declaring my mastery of zer fartung noise (sorry, just a little homage to spike m there). Anyway, its the washing machine which is unfixed: take it apart again (at least I can do this quickly now) & adjust & re-grease the pump motor, which had stopped. Order a new one on the phone - 67. The old one now works, but noisily, & won't go much longer.

Wed 8th

D has done what you are supposed to do: mistaken the mountain in the photo of the bransfield for a cloud.

Bring D back from Michaelas via the slides: takes an hour, but we're not in a hurry. Day grey but warm. Bees active, forsythia beginning to bud, snow drops nearly over, frogs (toads?) in the pond. While I try to rescue a bee from a spider, D plays pouring water from the pond.

Somewhat null pm: wed am is always a hard day at work, since it is a long half day (today: acw; sea ice still fails but the debugger now works). Fortunately D is happy to play mostly by himself & I read short stories from 'the twilight of the gods' a cynical collection set in various periods of classical antiquity. Manfred brought it downstairs last visit: we have owned it for ages (from M's side) unbeknownst to me. Very anti organised religion & with the usual hankering after the old gods.

Now in the castle awaiting others. M is tired & stayed home. On the footpath: toads beginning their migration. I didn't squash any. The way home may be another matter.

Thurs 9th

Basils, cb1, work, home. Had intended to run but home too late. Tomorrow early?

Fri 10th

No :-(

Sat 11th

Bees are active: can I quantify this: 29 fly out (& as many in) in 1 min. Must get a seconds timer for the palm. Or write one? No sooner thought than done (the former option) & I download 2 timers.

Lots of frogspawn. Try to explain it to D.

Town: find a copy of empyrio in b'shop & leave it at cb1: hopefully noone else will want it.

Afternoon: with D, tidy up the garden: cut back the clematis, remove dead plants at front, hack bush at back. D wants to help by holding bags etc, & if managed carefully actually is useful.

Go running (at last!) at sunset: ah those old muscles getting some use at last. Swimming is good but it won't shrink the stomach... Go just as far as end-of-woods on this first try.

Sun 12th

Up with D at 7.30. At one point he laughs & says he has a joke but I can't understand.

Bees: 52/min.

Allotment: 1st tortoiseshell of the year. Spend about 2h digging over ground, finding potatoes, putting in a row of broad beans (just beyond chardons at L) & moving stray strawberries as a border at front.

Decide (finally) to move water butt to back of outhouses: but first must take down guttering (done), scrape it down (ditto), repaint (not yet) & put it back reversed end-for-end. D has fun with hose pipe & the gutters when they are laid down to wash. Also need to saw through downpipe (cast iron) estimate about 1000 strokes (done in groups of 100!). Finish tidying up in twilight. Tired.

Sun all day & warm. Sit out with paper. M makes bread. D has perhaps slight sunburn. His bruise is fading - it never really developed.

Tue 14th

Swim: 2x20 in 29.5 & 31. Cb1: beat richard on 8. W'stones: batm. Primavera: buy M her chair.

D is 'drawing a go rabbit - a rabbit on a go board'. Curious.

In the market square with D. He is exploring every faucet on the ex-fountain.

Wandering round town with D is v different. Slower. Time to look at things.

Try to buy playdough. Fail at rs - they only have it at c'mas. Fail at elc - they only have their softstuff. Buy D some more brio instead - up & down bits.

Finally buy nikon 950 (at jessops). Take this picure:

OK, so he has redeye. But he's cute.

C&A are still in el photographic window.

Wed 15th

Back via swings again. Windy but sunny. D breaks up some twigs & declares that they are cat food.

Well, I have finished Proust vol 1. V2, I see, is called 'within a budding grove' - filling me with the fear that ol' marcel will manage to spin out to an entire book one visit to a grove. We shall see.

With D in the garden: tidy up (or more accurately, raze to the ground) the chardons. Plant some broad beans. Watch a bumblebee together. I play with the new camera but conditions (light, wind & D) are not good.

Got bank statement in the post today (revealing that M's 2 emails from the plane cost 24) & *filed it on same day*. Good grief! Normally it goes into the in tray to be filed 'later'.

Soir to C&A's new place in Comberton.

Thurs 16th

Fail to buy compactflash-to-pcmcia adapter :-(

Back at bas for GB's lgm talk which is a mistake 'cos I heard it at rms in jan...

Run: better time.

Soir: m out for drinks with (r wing) yanks.

Fri 16th

D has just started to say 'um' at the start of sentences. I think he is actually using it to think.

Bonfire, in the dark. D says 'like a fountain' as the sparks go up.

M late back (again) & failed to take any of her friday afternoon (again).

Sat 18th

Swim 2x20 in 29.5, 31. Memo to self: pool is 1/2 lessons (hence crowded) until 10. Cb1.

Try all the shops again for a compact flash pcmcia adapter. At last, campkins say their other shop has one & are now sending it over - an odd (but welcome) bit of personal service in this world.

Home. D plays for a while then we go out in the garden. While I dig for real D plays with his bucket & spade & is taught not to dig where plants grow. Then head off to swings but D wants to explore 'where we never go' which leads us to a dead end where we climb a fence to get to the back track. D nearly falls in stream (sorry everyone) but then we head off on the long walk around the big field (sometime I must put up a map...). To my surprise D keeps going (it is sunny but chill & gets colder towards sunset) & doesn't demand to be carried until 2/3 of the way round. A good walk.

Soir: home alone: M is at work... Spend an hour deleting most of the 50-odd photos I took today. A fool can take more photos than a wise man can review.

M home just as I write this: 11pm. I hope the increment to the share price makes it worth while.

Sun 19th

Morning: grey initially but sun by 10. As usual I do early shift & M comes down 9.30 after a hair wash. I sit out & read. Then scrape & paint board where gutters go, then paint gutters, all with auro organic blue which is deep - 'cobalt' as it says.

So warm M comes out & lies/sleeps in the suns radiance.

Last w'end I trimmed the grape vine & one cut near the base oozed sap so fast it dripped out at a drop every few seconds. Vigorous, good, I thought. But its still going (much slower though).

At the orchard. D's phrase is 'I want a help' in the outdoor play area. There is a set of beams about 1 foot above ground to balance/walk along & he needs persuading that he doesn't need my hand. Now a ?3-4? year old girl & D are happily taking turns on the slide. She is giving D a little push at the top (err, but not in this picture).

They are doing some rebuilding here - the old polytunnels at the back razed - & there are lots of silent plant for D to gaze at & I try to explain caterpillar tracks.

Note to self: r'way sleepers are 2 paces long, 2+ palms wide & 1+ palm high.

At 3, I go off for an hour to the allotment: it will be in order this year if I can keep this up.

Back home, we await Mr Primavera who is delivering our new chair bought with a fragment of M's sale of 100 shares (as was the nikon, in spirit at least). In fact he brings its sister too & as we 1/2 expect we decide to take that too. They are surprisingly comfortable for solid wood. Mbule, & with protestations of sustainability.

M puts D to sleep at 4.30. I re-put him about 5. At 6.30 he is so fast asleep he won't wake so we don't.

Some more gardening: tidy up 1/2 way down & remove grass from around trees.

Try to take photo of full moon with nikon: this proves tricky. Need to use self timer to avoid camera shake (or so I thought) but button layout makes both at once impossible. In fact button layout is a weakness: the f801 is much better. Eventually realise that the moon is quite bright (essentially it sunlight, but dimmed to about 10%) so need 1/500th. At full tele, moon is about 50 pixels high. Taking this highlights some of the cameras flaws: its designed for point&shoot & is not so easy to navigate in manual mode. But discovering the 'command dial' helps. It took an excellent picture of bees, earlier. The compct flash to pcmcia is brilliant: much faster than serial (a few seconds rather than many minutes).

Mon 20th

Day: interuptions inhibit work & f is misbehaving (as are parsys). Get wp & exceed installed after a struggle.

Soir: M still at work & has missed her yoga. D 'daddy put down your palm pilot'.

Tues 21st

D gets me up too early & in revenge I am grumpy. Hmm. Doze by fire. Now M has taken him to playgroup (first time) & I decide not to go to town. Later will allotment but for now sit with coffee outside in sun. Bees at 40/min & many with bright pollen on their legs.

Spend 1 1/2 hours digging & it is good. Sunshine is hot. Neighbours have rotavators. Hmm... should I ask m'fred? Clear patch right at the back & extend it a little. Also lift top 3" of soil/grass to clearly define one raspberry row & transplant a few strays in. Clear 1/2 way round blackcurrants.

Afternoon with D. Give gutter pipes & soffit boards (so tlc says) a second coat, then cycle off to Rick + Jo (via footpath; its dry) to see their week old baby boy, as yet unnamed. Small & cute & stays asleep. Tom from Jo's school arrives at same time. Back: dredge out lawnmower: it starts first time! Do front & some of back.

News: lastminute.com is down 50p on its float price. Ha ha. Mind you vrta was down to 130 yesterday.

Reading email at home: suddenly reminded by curry-mail that the met-curry is this evening! Now, in fact. Hastily cycle off.

Curry club at Victoria Av curry 12b

General: food good, service slow.
Ian 7/10 food 2 ambience
Vic 7-3
John 8-4
Val 6-4 (+1 for menu on web)
SRL 6-3
jt 8-4
wmc 8-6

After: to the Firkin & ?ferret? - a mistake - only one beer on.

Wed 22nd

Pick up D. M'la says he has promised to sleep & indeed he does. While D sleeps look at pond. Sit on stone & see a newt peeking out. Sit still: 2, 3 & then 4 emerge. One waves it frilly tail. One is less spotty & paler green: female I think.

Soir: order 'lost in trans' by eh for ma at her request from amazon: marginally cheaper than w'stones (though, with packing,more than shop price) & faster delivery.

Thurs 23rd

Grey day, rain later. Work, basils, M goes back to work :-(, browse, w'stones (who have emphyrio!), home: run: better time. Shares erratic progress continues: back up to 160: less than a month ago 124 was a giddy rise.

Read manfreds ep paper.

Fri 24th

D comes down after a sleep. He notices that his 'house' - the one from fuzzy - leaves a square mark on the carpet & then experiments by putting it down & making more marks.

D has discovered 'I' rather too well: 'I wanta...' etc. Another phrase is 'Im afraid...', used properly.

Sat 25th Sun early from o'night rain:

Just a lupin but they catch rain.

Swim: 40 in 29.5, possibly a record but I don't do 40 often. Cb1, various bookshops for Proust v2 & fail! Oh Cambridge! French cafe where I sit out a rainstorm & home, where it had hailed.

CB1, where I drink coffee and eat coffee cake (when they've
got any) after swimming. You can play go there, too.
And read your email (now, in April, down to 5p/min).

A little townwards of CB1 on Mill Road is...

Arjuna: as it says:
Wholefoods, and a workers co-op.
Here I buy yoghurt, bread, pasties and other stuff.
The chap in the front in the brown jacket is Mr Baker, organic market-gardener exraordinaire, who sells his stuff outside Arjuna winter or summer, rain or shine. Go early or he's run oout of the best stuff!

Talk with M for a while. D pours his tea onto the carpet so its bedtime for him. M to town, &. I fear, work. D sleeps perhaps an hour & 1/2 & I do nothing useful.

Later: cook sausages & my potatoes (one with a centipede in - I don't cook that bit!) which D refuses to eat - too squashy he says, & indeed they lack the structure of a meat sausage. But they taste good.

M back v. late (past 3!) & I stay up past 12 reading.

Sun 26th

A good day, & when I say it could have been better I am reminded of Calvin who tells Hobbes (yes, sorry, that Calvin) "happiness isn't good enough for me: I demand *ecstacy*. Also the chief way to improve was for me to be less grumpy about D getting me up early. Anyway the clocks change today.

So: I lie in sun & try to sleep & D plays & sometimes we play together. Go & look at pond & bees. When M takes over I sit outside. Then play with guttering - put it partially back up to check water will flow ok - then wire brush off the supports - I forgot them & they need painting.

p. m. to allotment with D & lawnmower. Mow for about 1 hour - D doesn't like the noise & stays well clear. Then dig - remove more sod from blackcurrants &c. Then a little bonfire which D enjoys to burn off old cardoon heads before 100 million of them invade the neighbours.

Home: D, sweetly, says the lawnmower is like a snail.

At home bread that I started & M finished (with salt crystals: works well) is ready as is M's soup. Also rhubarb that I cut from a'ment: fail to teach D that it is not plurable.

Mon 27th

Work: finishing off acw, shepherding mr parsys (who finds simm with errs), & fouling up my pc which seems to have become allergic to linux :-(

Pick up D. Penny (as in sam) has a new daughter, Katie, & now D is saying 'daddy have a baby' & 'daniel wanta little baby'. Hmm.

M late. Acw at home.

Ma phones: she and Ann will come over on thursday.

Tues 28th

(3 days to hand in paper!)

Swim: 4x10 in 27.5, 28.5, 29.5 & 30.5. Which is to say, all 0.5 below my best. Ho hum. Pool quiet as befits a tuesday morning. On the far side the kiddies at their lessons, about 6 years old perhaps, struggle to swim a length one by one. Most make it, though the pool begins to become cluttered by the pale staring drowned corpses of those who don't... no no, they swim along the side & the teacher trails a pole anyway.

RS has some good tables-with-space-in, around the corner, so I write it here so M will read it & look.

F cafe. Home.

D can recognise & name many letters: he just did p, t, h, l & failed on a. He can usually recognise Daniel. When you ask him how many legs does the cow have (pointing at a picture) he will count them & not worry if he doesn't get 4. But when he counts a persons hands he does notice if one is hidden.

Peters revenge is upon me: I find myself telling D not to fiddle with things, not to pull his puzzle apart (further than it should), just as P used to me.

Thurs 30th

Eve. Ma & Ann have been over - they picked up D from M'a at lunchtime, he ran straight to Ma, & they took him to the orchard with Jen & hers, sadly she'd gone by the time I got back - & now I can finish off the 'last' read of the acw paper.

Finished 'emphyrio' today. A disappointing end I think - but the first 2/3 is good.

Fri 31st

Most of morning making 5 tree-killing double spaced dups of the paper for agu. But now its done. PC still gummed up though. Oops.

Pick up D. He has his long-delayed sleep (he was up till 11 on wed & had no mid-day y'day since Ma had him) & I rest & read Grauniad. Realise I'a allowed civ again & make a few stabs at a large game.

M back at 7 & I run. When I'm back J has arrived for w'end.

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