WMC's diary pages, 2001.

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

October 2001 (Miranda)

Mon 1st

Come home just before 5. RS have dorked up the swing, delivering only 1/2 of it. Hmm.

Collect D from evil McDonalds (Ellas party) & take him to pick up electric train - great excitement. Back home, it just about fits in, with furniture moved back.

Soir: tidy stuff to upstairs.

Around Daniels b'day cake Tues 2nd

And so the great day arrives. D wakes up & goes downstairs for presents; is recalled; comes into our bed so we can both be there while he unwraps. He is delighted with all: books from Fran; rest from us: pencil case, dolphin, marble run duplo, saxophone thing; bouncy ball thing. But mostly the marble run thing: D & I go downstairs to play.

All too soon time for p'g'p, & D has to be dragged away. To town in rain: germ cafe; rs for playdo (emergency wet-weather toy); arj & elsewhere for twiglets. Cb1. Home just past 12, meet D, M & Ma just coming out of school. Walk back with them. Set to sweeping up patio & then to putting up climbing frame. By 2, swing set is up. Decide to get ambitious & put up climbing frame bit. This is harder. Still going at 2:50 when C+H arrive. H helps me, & we're still going as others arrive. By 3:15 its usable. Whew!

Now everything gets hectic. Kids on the swings, climbing, on the train (ordered by D the ticket inspector with his captains hat), dumper truck, etc. Ma guards the drive on the new bench; H guards the swings & the route to the pond; M inside. Rick & Ewan, Andrea & Niamh arrive. Most do drop kids & leave. Weather, fortunately, stays clear & even pleasant. Most outside, a few quieter inside. JKLR arrive, as does Jo.

And so it goes, well. Food about 4:15 on, cake :40. All going so well the pre-wrapped pass the parcel is not needed. Parents start to arrive & the crowd thins out. Jo stays to help tidy & talk. A has locked herself out of her car & calls a locksmith. Ma washes up.

And so all is quiet. I start putting the slide on. M cooks. Get slide on just before 7 in growing dark: D loves it.

Dinner; marble run. Ma puts D in bed & leaves 9:30. I have a bath then sit outside to cool off & commune with the full moon. A good day: just the baby now...

Wed 3rd

D is tired & fractious this a.m. & we arrive at p'g'p at 9:30 after a prolonged battle of wills. Leave the pass-the-parcel.

Today is blue skies. Work: xaasn is troublesome but beaten into submission.

Home. M goes upstairs. D & I play quietly. Ttte. Go pick apples outside for a little while. Then about 1h cleaning mud off the train tracks.

Thurs 4th

Still no baby, though M reports a few contractions in the night. Limbo.

Allot briefly: dig a few pots & look around: well enough. Pick up D: at flats stop to play on newly cut-off tree stumps.

Fri 5th [ Miranda]

A lovely day dawns. I wake up alone. M has been downstairs having contractions. She comes back to bed & says so. D comes to join us bearinq 'nigels numberless world' which I read. Then we go downstairs to let M sleep. Read paper while D plays, & the govt's 'evidence'. Phone J & warn her. Phone Ma who is miffed, but also off to visit Donald & Barbie. Get D ready for p'g'p & he cycles off. Tell various of M's progress. Meet M'a: she will keep D till 3ish for m+j. Back home: decide to stay here though could as well go to work. But in fact I'm waiting on some runs.

Coffee & more paper. Very relaxing. M crochets. I get sent off to tip to clear some junk that could well wait for the dustman... but is more likely to get recycled this way. Back via work (fruitless search for cf2pcmcia card). Search at home; find; empty cards onto my & M's pcs.

Go into the garden to dig while M has a very very lonq shower. Clean up middle bed & the cardoons. Inside: time M contracting in the shower:


for example. By 2ish, its time to head off, or start to. I bathe quickly (M had filled it up) put bags in the car & we rest in the sun. J arrives :45, we say hello & go. The Rosie is the Worlds Worse Signposted place so I get mildly lost, but by 3:30 we're in a room (3) & M is C'ing well.

Me saying 'relax' & 'breathe deeply' seems to help. M lasts about 1h without gas+air, then does pretty well on, except on the bigger contractions. On our request (staff are ok but seem busy) M is checked & found to be 8cm. Good. Some end in sight. At 18:01, after a lot of bellowing by M, the ermine, female, is born all in a rush, weighing 3.68 = 8lb 2oz. She is given a little ox (for 1 min?) as she is somewhat blue. For a while there are 4 bods in here & it gets crowded. Then we're down to 2 & M is being sewn up, having torn in a way that confuses the midwife & the doctor has to put the puzzle together. This takes a while: perhaps 1h.

Then things slow down: they are short of staff & kit - they have to send out for towels. Toast is promised... ah well, we have biccies.

At long last, by 10:30 M is bed-bathed, re-clothed, & lying down resting. E has suckled to M's delight & been photoed to my hearts content. E is resting/qurglinq happily.

Move to mat ward 11ish: Christine. M settles down & gets sandwich & oj &c. Kiss her & E goodnight.

Home 11:30, wake D as promised, but he is sleepy. Talk J. Look at piccies. Bed 12.

Sat 6th

Wake 7:30, tired. What happened to my D alarm clock? Look in: D says: I want to sleep more. Fine. B'fast, & D comes down for 'elephant chocolate'. Try to explain whats up: he will come visit this pm & hopefully we can go home then. Drive off just before 8 via G this time. Hello Fee & E.

M is much better than last time: she can walk ok. We sit, talk, E feeds, doesn't sleep a lot, I walk her up & down.

By 12:30 M & E have been inspected & pronounced fit. M needs her bloods results then we can go.

At one to concourse for lunch, leaving E in nursery. M walks there (on my arm) but is tired.

Back, & M's shot is delayed, & then they change shifts... at 2:30 D+J arrive. D rushes to look but rapidly abandons E for the video-phone unit. He wants to wake her up, & is indulged. He holds her a bit, & more later.

J & I take D for a run down to the concourse ('g'ma can't run, because she is old') but wants to go back soon.

The discharge procedure is long-drawn out: by 4:50 we are nearly there awaiting one last thing they have forgotten.

Home 5.30. Whew.

Put some photos up. Mail relatives, work & green. Bed 11.

A somewhat hard night: E won't settle after repeated feeds & cries. I put her on my chest & she roots blindly like some alien beast. At about 2 I take her downstairs to give M a break. Wierd in the flooding moonlight. Lay her down well wrapped & after ineffectual coddling just let her cry. After a while we both sleep, I lie beside her.

Sun 7th

Now quieted, E sleeps well - surprisingly so. M gets up 8ish & I sleep with E, as she gurgles.

Finally, M comes to take her for a feed & I get up 11.

12:30: Take D off to model railway day at the pumping station.

Meccano, model trains, tiny steam enqine, traction engine, steam car (which occaisionally blows off steam, to D's shock). Not so many pumps - D a little miffed.

Ride in steam car.

Back via nd, obs. Rain, wind.

F, Mfd. M up sleep. Eat. F holds E asleep. 5. Dont finish M+C. They leave 7. Rest. Bath. E still sleeps.

M sleep sofa. Mail pub & friends. Print for D. E *still* sleep. Will change her.

Mon 8th

A better sleep.

7: new table arrives & just fits in. Also 6 chairs.

Tues 9th

Another couple of hours downstairs in the mid night under the moon.

Rick comes round: it was *Euan's* yellow jumper. R impresses by recognising The Hissing Of Summer Lawns.

E now has a name: Miranda Hermione. One for M, one for me. Though I like Miranda, & M understands H. For the palm, abbreviating to M would be confusing so I shall stick to E.

Pm: take D off swimming to meet C+H. On way stop to watch earthmovers at C west.

Cb1. Mackays - holecutter - useless. W/s.

Wed 10th

D plays inside chair box with screwdriver making holes. Regretfully he smashes chair making dent & then becomes sad when I'm annoyed.

Take D to p'g'p. Back: sit with coffee, M & E; read paper.

Ma comes at 10:30. Show her E (coo) & I head off for work 11:15 for a rest (just kidding folks). Yaara,b,n,o still running & all different. Bas back to amber (sigh) which causes hilarity.

Back 4. D bouncy. Ma off 5. E sleeps. I'm tired. Disagree with M re getting-d-to-bed tactics. Guess who is the nice one.

Oil table & one chair. Easy enough.

Thurs 11th

D to p'g'p. Bees busy. M & I sit quietly: E gurgles, moves, sleeps.

Flowers from Ann.

Cook: onion/pot/sos.

Flowers from Virata.

22:30: E barely wakes up when I change her: such placidity.

Fri 12th

Hmm. But she won't sleep late night so I'm under the morning moon...

A battle of wills with D again (sigh) does at least give me time to write. He wont go to p'g'p & is slowly discovering how dull lying down in the hall is.

Work am. Pm take D off to town. Stop to watch digger at C west. Library (spend most time on computers, D playing btb & I tricked it into letting me read email). Cb1. Home.

Sat 13th

V tired: a restless niqht. When M comes down I go back up to sleep.

M+D off to w/rose leaving me holding the baby. Or rather she is lying on the sofa.

Take D off to Charlie-as-in-Michaela's 3rd b'day, a quiet affair: C+D+Sam. They live in "tied quarters" at the Vet School. After a cup of tea to settle D, I go back home and tidy up the vine some more, then stop off on way back to do more to "Howards corner".

Pick D up at 2:30, more to HC on way back. Home again.

Pm: at 4 off to A+S official housewarming.

A pleasant a/noon / e/ning by the river on their lawn. Very quiet there, once the eights have gone away. Am introduced to Anne C, a slightly odd experience since we just make small talk, since I judge that asking her about the progeress of the war would be impolite. Or possibly might lead to intemperance.

M plugs herself into the net and Miranda into herself... Sun 14th

A better night: no getting up.

But, I'm tired and sleep most of the morning, well until 11, on the sofa.

Pm to model train rides off Grantchester Rd. Not often I feel proud to be english but this is the quintescence of e-ness & it is good. There is a ticket office and station; a cafe and several train tracks. The main one is about 300m long, perhaps, and 50m wide. Part of it disappears off into the woods. The track is double for some of the loop near the station. And there are about 5 engines, plus some others only for display. Most are genuine steam engines, two are electric. Just like real engines, at the end of the day they need to go over the fire put, let off their steam and dump their fireboxes. The track looks about the 5" gauge, then engines about 3' long. There is also a secondary smaller track, perhaps 2" gauge.

And so we spend 2:45 to 5:30 there, having great fun. Only 2 train rides (no, I get 2; D gets 3) which last about 5 mins a time (and cost 70p) but just watching is lots of fun. And anyway the queue is very long. We've arranged to meet Charlie and Helen there, and see a few folks from Coton.

Cycle back slowly: a quiet still evening much like last night.

Home: M and E happy in our absence.

Dinner on our new table: fish and haggis. Followed by the remains of Ma's choclate pudding.

Soir: for the first time, I'm writing stuff on the (linux) pc that I intent to sync onto the palm. A touch clumsy since I haven't got IRDA working at the moment so have to plug the docking station in. Meanwhile, M suckles Miranda whilst mailing on the sofa.... this is so ..something.. that I photo.

Mon 15th

M takes D to pgp with E to show off. Make appt with Dr P for thurs.

To work, just about as ever. Rebooting cluster cures probs, mostly. SiteGet.pl: also restore my dos/internet onto linux.

Home 6, picking up D. Oil 3 more chairs to clear out hall.

J arrives 7.

Patch portege & sites somewhat. Restart a,b,n,o killed for testing. Change E & up to bed.

Tues 16th

Cut one of M's stiches.

Swim only 30 & unimpressively: 29, .5, 30. Cb1.Diary 2001/10 #4 (16-)

Meet M,J,D,E at germ: crowded. After to rs with Me (new code: M with E (=Miranda) = Me) for tablecloth: go for 'spices'. Then to bodyshop for moustache wax, oxfam for pratchett for M. Meet J+D w/s.

They go home. I fail to find beowulf book - seems to be off o'reillys list - then fail to find router.

J cooks their chard. I contribute haggis & we use up rest of M's sauce.

Soir: bath & beowulf on 'f'.

Weight: 73!

Wed 17th

Bad night: E wont settle. I spend 4-6 downstairs with her.

M up with D. Later, me, & have civilised b'fast on table with paper & coffee. M takes D to pgp & E to show. Comm nurse arrives & does the usual, slowly. Meanwhile I tidy bikeshed.

Catch 12:15 to kc with tlc. He has he portege & I fix his model. Walk to zoo lecture rooms (1/2h) for rms ipcc meeting. Nothing much new.

Fin 5:50, late. Say hi to Doug C on way out. Walk back then tube with tom & jt. Train. More model: more fun than reading.

J gone when I get back at 8:10 & D just going to bed. Bath

Thurs 18th

Take D to pgp then rest with paper then to Dr P. Mistime it, have to cycle fast & sweat like pig. Allow 25mins min next time. Describe; examine. Steady as she goes.

Work, briefly yoga. Cause gcm_32 to redo configure_all_sects then chased out by alert re my bike out front, & we on amber & all. Cb1.

B+Q in case they have router. No. Then think of argos. But where is it. Oh, just next door. And they have it.

Absurdly warm: have to take off coat.

Fri 19th

pm to c+h with D. Rick+E arrives by invitation. Try out Tom's Mamut steam traction engine with some trepidation. Hisses & steam, and once we've sorted out the valves it runs, but not if the drive belt is connected. Hmm.

Sat 20th

Prepare for visitors. I to town: boots for D's minadex; rs for lego for N's tomorrow; arj for pizza ingredients, & Spice Gate for tinned aubergines. Early: not yet 10: kill time in bookshop. Get M 5th smellephant & me 'marrow', intrigued by its opening. Cb1 for a while. Home. Put pizza together, clean a little.

12: rnlt & ma arrive. Rob looks unmarked by his trip but talks about it a little. Evidently settling back, & he has 5 weeks off. Toby surprises me by not yet being one. Coo-ings over E.

4: date arrive, intros all round, though they remember. More coo-ing over E. We are 1/2 outside, which helps the crowding.

Rnlt,ma off. Impress Den with palm-to-mobile, but alex is resolutely baby-orientated (& into #3!). D drags out the steam engine & we give it a go under Den's expert eye. Once again, runs but without load. Den suggests oiling it. Also, lamp oil is not a good fuel. Further impress Den with scroll saw & router: perhaps he is pining for a workroom.

T is growing up. E wobbles but is cute.

Soir: do little!

Miranda in her sling with
Miriam; Daniel in attendance Sun 21st

D is a cat: he licks/sucks milk from a saucer.

Sleep quietly after M comes down. Rain. Do more to router table.

After lunch take D to N's for her b'day. It is *still* raining, hard, so drive. Took look at stream at back: highest ever. Fun at N's: wet treasure hunt in garden fired by nikolas enthusiasm. Then I leave for 1h. Back for coffee & read more marrow. Pick up D who has had a great time.

Back. Still raining. Dots garden has standing water, there was a spring by the school, & bin brook has broken into the field on the far side. Never in memory etc etc.

Do something towards the 'bulldozer'. Dinner. Just as am finishing up with router the wood gets caught & stupidly I snatch at it. Argh. Slice off some of left index. First feeling: anger at self, feeling of inevitability. Then fear that it will hurt in a bit. But, though it bleeds quite a bit, the pain is just a dull throb. Anyway, have got as far as a quite good bulldozer-body for D, just needs the blade.

D to bed with, as usual, ttte: this time: t & the trucks. Then he sleeps, tired & happy & adorable. E too, at the moment, though perhaps not tired.

As usual at the moment, M to bed well ahead of me. I shall give E a last change & go up.

Mon 22nd

A nice day. Work. Jt is obliged to mention the bike incident: it has come down the mgt chain. Also something else about a pass that I deny.

Get ph going: it was just an undef after all.

Pick up D at 6. M has taken E off to dr P to check for throat thrush as part of her pattern-searchinq. I'd just have left it a while & by chance I'd have been riqht.

Finish (or get to roughed-out state) the little bulldozer. But the glue has to dry.

Bath, despite finger.

Confirm tomorrow with H & Fuzzy.

Tues 23rd

M gets up with E. D comes into bed with me. A beautiful morning. Bfast then chase D out: pick up ch, to station, catch 10:15 on a family railcard: 29 all told. C+D happy on train: spot floods, diggers. Eat: h has brought s/wiches.

Kc, Sc, tunnel: sci mus. Q, but shorter than it looks: only 10 mins. Inside, less crowded than it looks. Do 't garden' then to resto for lunch 1:30 & meet fuzzy. After, agree meets at 3 & 4. F, D & I wander various: garden again to show F, clocks, food, farming (I nip off to met/climate (there are icecaps at both poles) with bas piccy of eric x.

4: meet in cafe again for coffee & welcome sit. After, H wants to show the interactive bit but can't remember name or where. Find it: the launch pad, and it is excellent! Especially the circular multiple grain elevator. D loves it, & runs from one thing to another unable to decide what is best.

We are kicked out at 6, time to go, via shop, since D has to spend his b'day money. H finds an 'iq builders' hydraulic kit - a bit capsela-ish - & after humming & haaing I say yes. F buys a little space shuttle for C, & for D.

To sk. Bye F. Long tube to kc, D & C play but are hard to keep under control. Kc: ignore delayed 18:45 - too full - in favour of food & 19:15. Weary. H stands jauntily in boots with bottle of fanta casually in coat pocket & could be from model shoot. Crowded: I stand, C sleeps on H, D has to look at books by self until train gets emptier at royston.

Back 8:45. A good day, but a long one.

Wed 24th

Lie in for me. Mr plumber replaces b'room radiator. To town: day off work. Cb1/arj then home for lunch. Ma is here. D is delighted with his new stripy/holey socks.

Pm: ma,m,d,e off to burwell barns. I take up some carpet & lino tiles in b'room & end up routing smoothe the floor.

Soir: 7: meeting in wi hall re allotments. We shall have to tidy up.

Thurs 25th

D: 'you haven't made a face in the pumpkin so all the soup is still inside'.

Work: why does bsend vn freeze on 3 proc? Attaching with gcc proves interesting. Gcg_split a possible.

Cb1/arj. Borders to meet Me: read traditional w'working.

At 4 to allot, pausing only to sharpen scythe & an old spade, the latter a billhook substitute. Find raspberry.

Set to, make fire & start burning elder-heap. Hack at nearby grass & next-doors brambles. After 2 1/2 h, most of brambles are gone, hurrah!

Tired soir. Bath.

Try but fail to get sense out of orange re are-data-calls-in-inclusive. Then ch sleeping E.

Fri 26th

Work, dropping off D at Nikolas for the morning. Pick him up on way back at 2. Stay to talk Bennys & Allot. Home 4. Lunch.

E sleeps much of the pm, but is getting more restive. Put her up to sleep in her crib.

Cook 6. Dinner at table. 7: D to bath. I hack pi-4 & am eventually rewarded: its the f*ck*ng timer.

Brief go at baby gym.

bbc announcer: "the bombing of the red cross compound will cause problems for the us..." but not of course any probs for those there...

E very definitely does *not* sleep through her 10.30 change, as she did y'day.

Sat 27th

pm take D to allot & get some clearing in while D pick blackberries. Hot: take off shirt. Lovely. Sundog.

Sun 28th

D to Genevive & Arthurs party in wi hall 12. Settle him (for no obvious reason he won't sit down for lunch) & home.

Psh arrive at 2, H v shy & big-eyed.

Pick up D at 3, now madly enjoying himself. Back. Teacakes.

H & D play outside a bit, but H prefers the slide & D the swing. Psh off 4.30

Gorgeous still eve as light fades.

Mon 29th

Work. Ocean/coupled.

M does fish for D & eggs for us.

Soir: hack coupled all eve & get tantalizingly close...

The family Connolley; their portrait; on the occaision of
registering the birth of their infant Daughter; Their Son showing an appropriate sense
of Occaision and the Head of Family suitably Attired Miranda, asleep in her pram Tues 30th

[I insist that my life is worth recording. I must now go back & fill in from sat, having been lazy]

Hottest oct on record, says paper, in its impatient fashion.

Prolonged battle with D to qet him to pgp. Then he complains when there that no-one comes out to greet him - though N does.

Town: arj/m's dry cleaning/cb1.

To carphone warehouse to try to sort out my data call charges. They confirm that they thought data was included. Orange repeat it isnt. Cpw offer refund. Hmm.

Home. Meet Med on way. Allot: hack elder & hawthorn. Dig some Jerusalem artichokes which look like sunflowers above & dahlias below. Good crop. Med turn up at 1:40 & leave D. Back; quick shower; off to register E who is Miranda Hermione Lucy, the last for D.

Castle hill, looking over c. Windy, clear, sunny. Could pass for summer.

River. Flood residue: sunk punts, 1/2 sunk cabin. Barge in mid-river & sunk repair barge. To lock. Flooding on greens: wade. Photos. D on flooded bench. W/s. Catch p+r back. Phone M & she comes to get us from coton layby.

Cook: art fried plus garlic plus sos. Good. Soir: piccies sort. Aug & sept.

E sleeps soir in pram & through 10.30 change. There isn't too much E in here, because M does her mostly. Nights are settling, for me, more interrupted by my cold/cough than E... M would prob say o/w.

Wed 31st

Lounge at home with coffee & paper in the sun'cos I feel like it. Me takes D off to pgp.

3: allot meeting.

4:20 take D to nurse for jabs & colour blindness except they deny all knowledge of the latter. One jab is the dreaded mmr. D takes jab 1 ok but does not want #2: I'm fairly sure he is angry I let that pain happen to him. Has to be held in the end. D promised icecream in exchange for bravery but prefers shreddies.

7 sets of trick-or-treaters come round: inc megan/jodie in one lot & a slightly lost-looking naomi in another. D does most of the handing-out. Perhaps the pumpkin attracts.

8:30-9:30 db re bennys.

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