WMC's diary pages, 2002.

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

March 2002

Fri 1st

Unexpectedly good at work: making piccies for the meet with the director on monday is easier than expected and I get most of the morning to work. Tom is on an HPC course but confesses at lunchtime that it was "mostly terminology".

pm: Can't persuade D out to play on the new net on the rec (though it has safety surfacing, now) but does come out briefly to plant some broad beans with me, and to play in his tree house while I trim it.

Soir: manage to spend about 7-11:30 hacking away at the model: bit-cf 32-bit atmos under portland yaauf/g [which may have been a waste: try the 64-bit and it fails again, even though identical to fuj code. Odd that. Send a message to new list].

Sat 2nd

The sun shines, the sky is pure blue (if I look the right way...), the birds sing and make an odd noise as they fly by, the washing is drying on the line, and its 10:30 and I sit outside in the warmth, providing the breeze doesn't blow, and drink my coffee and type these words on my portable, because I can. Mind you, the sun shining makes the screen hard to see (will that sound odd in a few years time?). I'm using the portable because I *still* haven't replaced the palm, though I often miss it: I'll get a clie when I stop vacillating. Despite the warmth, well the relative warmth, there was frost this morning and ice on the pond, thin. Last night the baleful just-past-full moon stared down - usually I find it friendly.

Med off to D's french class then into town, where I will meet them for lunch.

Sit a little more in the sun rading The Golden Ocean. Down the garden: a solitary bee; frost in the shade.

Decide to allot, since I have time. Dig a little - just a little; stoatavate all the dug areas - not sure how much it really helps but it does make all the areas look tidy. I think I've misunderstood it: its not for breaking new ground but for tidying old. Plant at the back: a line of broad beans; a line of garlic the onion; a line of peas. I must sort my seeds by date, so they get planted, all the ones I got from HDRA. Also put a line of braod beans at the front along the R (looking towards the track).

Back home; shower; leave in a bit of a hurry to meet Med at 1:15 at w/s; get three just as they join the queue for coffee. It is (today) rather like the evil starbucks: one serving, and 2 lounging in the kitchen; it wouldn't happen if the boss was there... also, it can take a surprisingly long time to make a frothy thing. [interrupt: M brings E, sweetly sleeping, down to cahnge; she has a brief screaming fit at being rudely awakened but it now suckling happily]

So, after a while (enlivened by me buying D the wrong sort of cookie and he sweeping it and the palte off the table to strong disapproval) we go downstairs. Then Me off. I take D to janets book launch, which is crowded, but eventually I get to buy 2 copies (one for Ann, perhaps) which I'll get autographed on monday. Rather nice to just sit down in a corner and drink tea quietly. Folks there: mostly oldish; a few BAs people (well quite a few: Simon; Marion and Mike; Rachel; Stephan, who talks to D in french when D shows him his "salut!" badge). That was in Jesus lane, to which we walked; walked the other back via oxfam (no JV) to w/s for more books. They put the Jungle Book on and D is entranced until dragged away. Too late! by 5:40 arjuna and the dry cleaners are shut. Still we go to cb1.

Home. M has cooked tofu and rice and green beans; good with beer. E is asleep, having had a tiring day. D to bed; I burn a backup cdrom of piccies, having had something of a fright the other day when the disk wouldn't auto-remount and needed fcsk'ing. Then login and play gently with the models.

Sunday 3rd

D in bed a while; then gets wriggly so we get up.

D playing under E's playgym Mfd phones: reminder re holiday. Go online: book car+cabin+back on sunday. Such efficiency: normally wouldn't have to both until a month ahead. Trains forever...

Take D out. Clean out bikeshed: D helps to sweep leaves. Make bonfire and burn cardboard and clippings from apple.

pm: to Grad Pad for 1:20 to register for trigantius r2. Lucky I'm "early" (having guessed a start at 2): it starts at 1:30 and they are just doing the draw. But there I am: wmc/3d/bas (not having played at any other club enough to warrant saying so). See Mike; Jaime. Get Tim Hunt; he plays faster than me; I make a joseki mistake in corner 1 and get a low position; he fouls up later (I forget exactly where; late on; oh yes: I live a group) and win by 5pts, after 3 rounds of overtime. Phew. Coffee. Hello to Richard, Alan, John R, Tony W. Etc.

R3: Alison Bexfield. OK game. Again I play slowly. She runs groups away madly but eventually successfully. Late I surround and kill a bit group but flag falls with 7 stones unplayed :-(.

Tired. Home. Med reading snow white. Have some hot chocolate. Sit. Make pancakes for dinner. D to bed with "postman pats sore nose".

Sleep on M's lap while she scratches my hair. Good.

Tues 5th

Well. Now I have a new toy to replace the palm: a sony clie 625. After some hassle I have some old stuff installed, via M's portege sadly, since my linux installation can't cope with usb/irda sync yet :-(.

Impressions: bigger than V. Comparison shows the palm was thinner (most important), slightly shorter (next), & a bit wider (least!). But the clie has beauteous hires colour: download D & E to demo. Feels ok in the hand. Build seems ok, but how will it take knocks? Worst bit is silly lanyard sticking out. Seems smooth (too smooth?) in writing area after old worn palm. Up/down button is far too small. But can use the jog dial, which is prob better. The pen hold is better on the palm.

Garden: plant garlics in 3rd row. Will they survive cardoons? Also 2xtoms & (despite promises) aubergines in tray in bike shed. Then, in lovely late sunshine, take E out in her squiranda-suit so she can watch me cutting brambles around the apple. In 5:30 when she became restive.

6: feed her milk/prunes. She is sad. But eats it. After inconsolable: put her in hall; she sleeps.

Cook: arj pre-pasta; sos; onions. Good. Md back 6:45. Soir: M out to pgp meeting in pub; back 10. I pum - 32bit.

Wed 6th

D sits in tree awaiting N First day of new regime: I get up with D.

Play compare with JT, who has a journada.

Home 1:30. Surprise: Ella is here. K comes at 2 while they are out on the c frame. E won't go, & is little trouble so she stays till 2:30. M off to town; E upstairs asleep.

D sit outside in tree, awaiting Naomi he says. Its unusual for him to sit anywhere so long. On cd: Loudon Wainwright III; from JT: a pleasant change from FZ.

D's first act is to hit N over the head with a thin stick, twice: he has prob been plotting this. N bursts into tears & N isn't too happy, oddly enough. So D is dragged down (he has run up the climbing frame) & threatened till he appreciates seriousness & must apologise. Then he & N run off happily to the apple tree house.

And so it goes. Out a while: nd play mummies & daddies: ie D is dad & N is the baby & asks what to do. & vice v. I get some bramble clearance in, & E obligingly sleeps inside.

To pc: quotes have finally come in but are complex & will prob need delay. Mr camb pres soc powerpoints about the countryside park.

S'dale: was 21/8 against. Bennys was only 3 against, & several strongly for. Subctte formed, with yrs trly onboard. Centre swing removal delayed.

Thurs 7th

D and E together inside D's 'playhouse' box D up early with M. Photo: D holding E in box.

Yoga. Tiring. Town (put up a poster for H); cb1. Sunny; warm. Arj.

Home at 4 (via stop at rec, crowded with kids on the new kit in the late sun, an idyllic scene. Talk pc with Nikola.

M is just bathing E. To allot, for last push, since rv going back tomorrow. Work till 6: pile up earth in new corral; dig behind blackcurrants; plant j artichokes. Phew. Tired. Home. M tells me the new regime has me doing 7-8: hmpf. Bath.

Soir: fail to find gp things. Do piccy. Phone kr but a/phone.

Fri 8th

Home. Lunch. M drives off for a swim. Read 'iron hans' to D: odd.

D: 1, 3, 5 have a middle. 2 & 4 don't.

The enthusiastic audience. Why do my science presentations never get this response? The audience, so excited that their limbs exceed the speed of light Take D to O's party in G'chster; we arrive at 10 past & Mr Marvel is in full swing: D joins the others screaming 'there it is!'. To allot. Plant a row of pots (early) & another of onion sets. Put r/v (just remember outer vanes) in car & take home. Wash it. Now in hurry. Shower, pack. M feeds E. To party, pick up D, off! Ha ha, no. D wants a drink so M forces me to drive back home. Irritating. Long trip to M+J, traffic poor.

Sat 9th

[E wakes, screaming, at 12:30 & 1:30]

Up v late - 10:30 - since I can. D is up (6:30) with mj & M later with E. Sun. Wind. B'fast.

D & I go out for a little dig. M+J have spade for him.

Ernie arrives with Si+B.

Mfd, Er, Si & D take on another out to the playground. J & B go shopping. M sleeps. I stoatavate until petrol runs out. Just possible to sit out: warm sun & not too windy by wall.

Later: bathe E, & D gets in. Read Kipling to him, or so I claim. The one about the kangaroo, then the king crab.

Sun 10th

E wakes us o/night with gurgles not screams, which is better.

Lie-in again: luxury.

Xan+P (but not E, sick) then Ma arrive for extended brunch.

post-lunch: Ma is playing penguins-&-polarbears nouqhts & crosses with D. D now knows about diagonals. E is asleep upstairs, bar a little noise. D, sadly, keeps making the same mistakes.

Leave 4. Home post-6. Tired. D flops by fire & I join him.

Mon 11th

All alone at smoko: all those other lazy folk at work...

Soir: M off to yoga; de sleep. I do gp picture #n, quicker but duller. Then a start at the bennys comparison: seems to be all in the covering - hideously expensive. Also view the country park .ppt show kindly sent to me by pres soc.

Tues 12th

To town. Misty. Outside Kings a crane so Huge its top disappears in the mist. RS for vids. But they don't do the pc120 :-(. Jessops do but at 1399, a bit steep. Vacillation. Cb1. Arj. W/s: coffee & read photo mag: no help. Council for nom forms. RS: get pc9 for 994. & some tapes. & get firewire card from Maplins. & a cable. Home.

Kitlchen smells of kipper. Plug vid to charge & have coffee & toast while reading manual. Take some stills onto mem stick & view them on clie. Benefits of 2 sony toys!

Billy comes to play briefly brought by his father who stops for coffee. Then with D to town. Stop to watch Giant Crane, which towers above us.

Pool. Play with D; then his lesson & I do 40l (crowded again, though less so). Inscribe him for next term.

Coming back from D's swimming we watch the Giant Crane again.

Soir: cycle to gp chez H. Puncture on way back across field.

Wed 13th

Try vid on work tv: good.

Busy day. Pm try to make sense of playground quotes while E complains I'm ignoring her :-(

7: to bennys meeting chez Rosemary: just the subcommittee: jeff, r, dot & I (G away). Decide on wicksteed with mattas/grassguard.

Gp: redo leaflet piccy. Draft newsletter.

Thurs 14th

Work. Yoga. A bit more work... Home. Coffee, toast, paper. De with M'a, M off in town. Put 80g disk in home machine: fine. Begin linux install on it, being v v careful not to trash existing. Use my rh7.2 cds but they are a bit scratched: get most of way but v2 won't mount :-(. So have semi-functioning install (but without breaking old). But at least have extra area to backup some dos stuff to.

M back. De back. I was going to go to allot but weather poor. Do skis (at last) - clean off skin glue residue: wd40 works well, & wipe down with meths. Check new inners fit (yes) & sew up lose eyelet. Bit concerned about right big toe bone.

Gp: get mailing list. Get forms for kr & marion. Review Mary photos & proc. M does packing lists.

Fri 15th

Work: tie up lose ends. Rain. Home. E sleeps, M is trying to.

To p+r in car since rain continues. Grafton C for Euros: first sight, bar chocolate. RS: buy lego car-with-friction-motor for D (instead of modelling clay; he changes mind) & spare battery for vid for me. In their frame shop finally crack & get 8x10's. H+B for bread & choc. Oxfam. W/s.

Home before 7. M has cooked.

Soir: pretend to pack (well M really does some) but just do packing list. Do gp letters + web.

Sat 16th

Packing. Me: this for chopping daniel in half. D: oh no (its not), its an ice axe.

Some packing done. Sun: off to allot (fail to persuade D to come): 2 more rows of pots, & 2 garlics. Some earlier rows are coming up, hurrah! Lovely weather, others about; Ivan hoes his immaculate acres. Dot shows people another; mr tractor looks at next door.

Finish pack, & leave just before 4, only 2h behind M's rather ambitious timetable. <2h trip, despite works on m11 & lots of rain. D says interminably: how long now? E fine. M asks me if I'm looking forward to hol: yes. D? 'a bit. Not v much'.

F. Eat! She has provided D's favourite 'crisps', mini-popadoms. Rest. Watch 'was noahs flood in the black sea' over dinner. D worried. D bed, a little late. Repack.

PACKING Remember:

    dishes in fridge - 2 + 1 jar + grapes + 2 freezer
    packs
    Miranda's blanket
    D: blanket + weasel
    Alarm clock
    Sponge bag

Sun 17th

Alarm 4.30. Up. Why didn't palm go off? Cos I set wrong week... Brief brek, the taxicab (forced on us by F, but quite welcome really) just late enough to worry, but there on time & embark with little waiting.

10am Geneva time, we have landed. Flight ok, I even got a window seat after a bit. Cloudy, then clear over Geneva. Look down on fields, woods, roads, patterns. Then mountains: Jura, then lac, then the alps white & spiky. Mt Blanc?

Baggage reclaim. MeNt camp. D & L run a bit but are forbidden to ride on conveyors. I have 2 bags & ma has none so I win. Out through scrum (I try to steal someones boots by mistake but fail) to coach sit out in sun; board; get told another 20 mins so sit out again.

[clie notes: screen readable in bright sun. On-off bette.r than palm. Feels harder to write, somehow. Stylus annoying]

Brief lunch break. Sun. In the chartreuse. To S, mountains, but which. D plays on a bank with dried grass by a drainage channel. A rail line: tgv's pass, but not at gv.

[coach speech. # is1257]

And so we go on, past moderately familiar landmarks: sere reeds & silver birch; the geology of bourg d'oisans; the gorges & tunnels; lac; & so we are there, painlessly (E sleeps; D floppy on my lap watching toy story 2). And since we're all going to the same place there is no trailing around the town. Hold bags are taken up to our room. Look around & unpack. Rooms are spacious: D & E will sleep in a somewhat-separate bit. Now its 4:15.

Feeling (& being) somewhat guilty I get myself ready to go. D doesn't want to go out yet, so leave him with Ma: they will go with RNL to get skiee for DL: they are not 'officially' skiing but will play.

So: head up Moutet (our side). Quiet. Trundle wundle, all seems to work fine, skins stick to skis & snow - have to press them onto top though. Get 2/3 of way up, sit & rest & admire view. & turn down, & I can turn, good.

Back. L going sledging so take D out on his skis. But he soon decides its too hard, does a bit of sledge, then determinedly marches away with a ski pole to dig in the snow.

Settle infants (D fine, E not, I'm left with her but have to bring her down) & have a hearty dinner. After, to bar for hot choccy & early bed!

Mon 18th

M awake so gets up with E, D. I get to brek at 8 & stuff self. T in high chair but E passed around (mostly M). D wild to go to playroom so take him at 8:30, L in tears cos she can't come: N wants her to pack bag. D plays with the trainset, then we have to go up & get his bag.

See D to kids club where he is happy. Bye to Me & head off, over & up road, to edge of snow; put on skis just betore 10. Go up mid-slope (quiet) then head for road/run when it steepens (note: when it steepz I have to edge; so I lose skin area; so its even harder. Top of this slope (or what I though was) 11. Traffic on the blue run thin (good) because the snow is too. 15mins rest. Up, along ski road by need to just above lac du plan 12.15. Promise lunch in next resto 250m up. Sun. But, just here, a chill wind.

2: tired. At (but not in; I'm outside) resto at 2600; ie slowed down! On, or back? Prob on, after more rest. Turn round at 4 latest? Magnaminously leave change then discover I need 0.30 for a shit (if I'd paid for than first I could have symbollicly spent my first euros on the loo). Inside, sit in a corner: I'll have a cafe if a bod approaches; one does; on return he queries me on my clie! Inspired by this I try: get as far as bscomp 'welcome' message then dies. 2:40: on!

Well, replace 'by 4' with 'by 5 at latest & be in sight by 4:30. & so it is. Go up by a side-road, then the edge of a little-used red piste. Views of Aig du plat de la Selle looking close & spiky, before being shut out. Views superb; black hills & white snow & blue sky & subtle shadows so beautiful its all worth it. Ahead, the promished land: a cluster of telepheriques+resto. Higher is cloud. There 4:40 but! Resto is shut :-( Cold: my thermo says -4. Sit, rest.

Remake into downhill mode (skins off, clean off ice, lock down, tighten boots) & get cold hands. Down, roughly following route up, followed discretely by M. Piste-Penson, since it is late & all is shut. Ski quite well for me with onlyone fall, a fast one, as I ski over my planted pole. Get round the long blue road without needing to push & M. PP has gone. Top of last slope, 2xPP appear to sheperd me down: now about 5:40, sun swallowed by cloud. Choose the green road; ok for a bit, then a river of slush, so awful its interesting. Then mud; mislead by PP who slaps over it with barely a pause I ski onto it, stop dead, & fall :-(. Off road; better; would be better now sans pp. To first buildings; off skis & lost in some upper complex; find ski-path threading down & end up just below us.

Trudge back; wearily remove boots & beret; find others up in kids club. Hello.

Tues 19th

Today is rain: since I'm tired & aching from y'day thats fine by me, & I have a slightly sprained thumb. De to playroom where Rlt are; R builds them a big-lego-blocks house while E plays with wire-toy.

Lunch. Les sapeurs-pompiers mangez ici.

Pm: rain is relentless. As we come back dl are being kitted up so we take them out. Decide to take bubble up but no, its shut - vente d'altitude & pissing with rain. So wander along the bottom slopes. Very slushy - rivers coming off. D loves this - he wants to do work in them - I brought him a ski stick. L less interested so she & RN head off; eventually, after several streams & a renewal of rain I get him back in time for tea.

Wed 20th

Semi-early start: off on snow 9:15. But! 15mins later, disaster: fall out of one side & bindiing is broken: one bale. Irritating, but at least I'm not high up. & it didn't happen high up on monday... Hmpf, a shame on such a sunny day. Down. Stop to collect money which I've also forgotten. Cross with M off to ski, & see (but am not seen by) DL who are off for walk. Bus to far end; after a few tries Venosc sports seems the place. M. at least recognises silvretta even if he isnt sure what to do, but between us we work it out. Lift station: doesnt sell singles. Hey ho: lets go up Moutet side.

Walk back through village as snow is gone from S side. Now glorious sun. Up. Putting in insoles, & plasters, eases pain on ankles. Just before 1 to resto at top: cidre, perrier, crepe sucre. Sit in sun (coat on: chill wind) & watch Muzelle. Can I see Barre des Ecrins to se? All in all, rather pleasant. Send an email! Post lunch, bumble around enjoying view & photoing.

So, skin up to top of ridge (having rejected back combe due to steepness, remoteness, & lack of snow connection to la moliere). This is easy, then skins off & ski down easy blue pampering self, again heading N down ridge. Eventually 'off piste' (sugary, hard work) round towards town. & so back before 3.

Find MDE in playroom. D is content to play quietly in, & does, but its so lovely out we eventually leave E & take D out to far bubble (bus) where rnl may be. Persuade kiosk I really am pieton, since despite no skis I have boots, & eventually the fact they are asolo not koflach wins (?).

D is 'scared' of bubble (is noisy) but is prepared to be reassured & likes it once we're off. Change D into cold kit on way up. Top: where are we? M takes D snowploughing between her legs down green run: I walk & video.

D declares E's v first 'person word' is 'yeay'.

Thurs 21st

Another pure-sun day. But Rob feels ill (not just last nights xs wine), M too (both vom & feel better). Take Ma off to La M but she falls on ice soon after start & feels hurt so we retreat :-(. Back: M somewhat better & reading on balcon. N somewhat glum in corridor: since T vomed last night he is sick & can't go back to pgp for 24h :-(.

So, I go off to La Moliere alone. More ice/mud/snow combinations: perhaps as well Ma retreated early. Its hard work in the mountains. A pleasant 45mins; several pics of combinations of path, hills & silver birch, & I'm there, its v quiet. View!

La M hasn't changed in 5 y: small place, alone, nice wood but unpainted concrete; odd ruins nearby; flat bit then rocks to sit on & look down valley.

Elegant (though somewhat impractical) citron crepe with slices of c, & a coffee. M should be in her ski lesson now: hope it goes well. Prix: 2.74 (crepe) + 1.22. Some people aren't rounding up. M. advises me of avalanche risk around Moutet. Off down to Les Bons.

Down. To shoulder. Look, photo. Encounter noisy dogs later o'taken while photoing by 2 americans, who for some reason walk slowly so re-take. Path is mixture of clear, snow, ice & is quite hard to walk till just abovs Bons. Stride through (time), then to Mont de Lans, passing but not stopping at cemetery (derniere bergere de chez nous) which brings back memories. Around corner & find path up to les 2, earlier than map says, pleasant under birches - but steep. 1h left till 3 - start fast then slow. Views of lac: ice melting.

Up. Ok till 'easy' flat bit across shoulder at top, which is snow field & I sink & goes poorly with sandals. Back by 3, just. D&L are off with pgp for walk... Oh well. Find Ma & M in jacuzi; Ma is still feeling her fall somewhat; M had a good & confidence boosting lesson & is happy. I borrow her coat - shame to waste the rest of her ski pass.

Go up main side with some slight confusion as don't know lifts. Aim for top: stopped at 3100 again as lifts higher are shut. So, down, just playing.

Soir: out (since chefs night off): la Toura: Dauphinoise.

Fri 22nd

Today is a day of buying a ski pass (mission creep: last time it was just 1/2 day). Ski with M a.m. on the pm side & have fun; we video each other. We ski at about same level, M poss a little faster. At le Kanata stop for drink & discover igloo village. One more run together & M is done. I go up far side & head for top.

At top resto, drag up glacier is open: up I go: new ground; new vistas; a distinctly chill & strong wind, but we are at 3500 & I have Dachs on. Top: dome de puy salie. Right: skins: off on the 'croissiere blanche', easy slopes & superb views when I can raise my head into the wind.

At the end (after approx 3/4 h?) get to shale plateau just above glacier. Below, to S, steep drops. To N, slopes (red) towards la Grave & a tele up. Ahead (E) what I later realise is the pic de la Grave; beyond le Rateau with (I now think) le Meije hidden behind. & all to S, les Ecrins. Windy! But I would have sat for ages except: je suis presse.

Get back to resto before the agreed 3. Sit out. Just hoarding coffee when see M & RL. Hurry: shuts at 3:30: down bizarre ascenseur to underground-like funicular; crowded. To Ice Grotto deep inside glacier.

Sat 23rd

In the chocolate shop. There is: a fountain of molten chocolate; ranks of chickens; a wonderfu marzipan pumpkin with candied-peel seeds; obelix garni; & much more.

D and L with skiis Just D Take DL out at 11 to ski, at base of main slopes. D not keen: he prefers sledging. He is persuaded up button lift with M twice & they & RL ski down together. I get cold feet since I'm in sandals but its better than ankle pain from boots. Next time, more care on 1st day: put insoles in; thick socks. M theory of ski learning for kids is by example. But she isn't *keen*.

Lunch, in la Toura again: D invents the german flying ace, the feared red barrel. Also, he eats pizza with no force.

4:05: out to photo Muzelle (gleaming white; silent; its long elegant ridges saying 'climb me') & sit on edge of slopes pondering end. Sun; but cool wind discourages rest.

4:30: creche presentation: everyone there, all crowded in. DL's group sing twinkle-t-little-star. D gets 'mr sharer' cert; E gets 'little miss sunshine' for being happy: sadly at that moment she is miserable. D is lion; L is tiger; T has heart. Before I forget, D's carer was Gemma; E's was Catharine. I should have taken a piccy of all together...

What more can you ask other than the Muzelle at the end of your street? Tea.

Swim. D does well: with 1 or 2 floaty toys clutched to his chest he swims about with great concentration & fun. Then bath, as special treat from Rob, in with LT, & bedtime story with L. E is less happy: hard to settle; crying.

Some packing: p'cards H; M+J; work.

Dinner; coffee; up to finish pack; bed 11:30.

Sun 24th

E is our early morning call; up at 5.

D: 'I want mummy to sit next to me. But I don't mind if you sit opposite'.

Coach is fine. Gorge down from Chambon; mountains E of Grenoble esp impressive. Ma says: villages could not be english.

G airport. Just below obs terrace, a cut-up breguet 1150 entertains DL. Eerily quiet (bar DL of course - where are rest of plane?). Board: security flaw: I trip gate with palm & it goes through but I'm not re-scanned. On: sadly the plane is a person-count short & so security says we can't take off :-( I say go for it. We have to do a full luggage check: we're 2 1/2 h late so far & we don't seem to have begun. Behaviour so far is good but can it possibly last?

Well, mostly it does, & the plane fails to become a hell-hole. Leave about 4:40, ie 4 1/2 h late. Summon D to see the coast pass under: he watches 5 sec then goes. I watch a lot: the mountains as we left; clouds; field patterns.

All safe back in Blighty Gatwick. E looks cute - papoosed - squiggled - in her pouch. Train: 16:59 to E Croyden is a few mins late.

Walk to F's & collapse: fortunately its a good place to c in. She waters & feeds us & I get a little sleep before I drive back: home 9:30.

Mon 25th

Work. Yoga. Work. Home: D has just had bath. Soir: quiet; gp stuff.

Tues 26th

Up with D. E is slowly slowly getting more mobile & has a lovely smile.

And finally rest. Cb1, relax. Checked garden & allot: onions & garlic bursting out. My body was more stressed that I'd realised: both ankles are scabbed & lips cracked & muscles tired. Really I should have been more careful, stopped to fix stuff, & done less on day 1. Bindings didn't break again: I wonder if I should worry about them?

Oxfam, Borders (briefly), home, passing Mde on the way.

Pm: all to Orchard for tea then compost, & chicken shit & pots which we drop off at allot. I point out to M how well things are growing and she agrees. Naughty Ben has still not done his.

M bathes E. D & I bonfire then bath. Soir: tidy.

Wed 26th

am: get grumpy because I have to get up this morning, in defiance of all the established order, which M has changed.

Soir: GP stuff: get and mail out reformatted new elec rolls.

Thurs 27th

Work: coupled model / Sanae is 89004 / wots wrong with wmc-stations-map.pl?

No yoga, since everyone is off climbing (haha) so come home early-ish. M is out (town? no - turns out she went to work) so sit with coffee in sunshine and read online section of paper.

Hey ho, come on, up we get: to allot: plant in 2 rows of pots (from bag of earlies from orchard), one of broad beans (up at end), end of a carrot packet; radish. Also a mix of broad beans and Daniels anemone at the front. Plus 2 more pots rows on new ground near the back. 2 hours work in the sun: good. Brave onions and garlics and some early broad beans are springingup: the front is in excellent shape.

Home. Another pot, sit out on the bench by the pond, and the economist: a day early since tomorrow is Good Friday. M comes back with DE; D runs up and asks if I can make room for him; yes. Then he goes to look at the frogspawn and dip his toes. Now... do I have any overhanging tasks... oh yes, errm, I need to go collect signatures for the District Council elections. I've been putting that off. Oh well, lets do it: reformat list into by-street, and cycle off to Grantchester. In the end, its not too bad: leave at 5:30; return at 7; a lovely evening for it, trees silhoutted against the sunset at the end and the full moon rising. Everyone was nice, even the few who refused.

Home. M "cooking" a waitrose "bistro" meal. D plays somewhat, then I take him up to bed and we sort through the books on his floor to find "Noggin and the Moon Mouse" which he especially wants.

Fri 29th

Good friday: & indeed the weather is. Up with D, then sit outside on little slate seat in sun with coffee & paper.

To allot, while M takes DE to rec (coming via allot till D bored of digging). Get in the traditional 2-rows-of-pots-&-a-bit-more. Lunch: go to pub. Food: better than std(pub) but not very. Sit out back. After: M back home with E, while I take D to rec. Would N like to come out? Yes: stopping egg-painting in eagerness (sorry). Nelson comes too. My main function is to watch them; to brake occaisional over-exuberance; & to lie under the climbing net & have grass thrown at me (its a hard life). All rather bucolic/idyllic. At one point (unregarded by infants) a vortex blows across the rec, made visible in new-mown grass.

Stay till past 4. Back: M asleep on sofa. D & I play outside a bit.

Soir: some GP prep. Play downloading mpegs from video.

Sat 30th

M up with D. I lazy luxuriant lie in sun. Bfast outside.

Allot again, while M takes DE to w/s. Sweat in sun, topless.

4.30: M back. I (drive) to Cottenham for sigs. C+A are out! Argh. Start on Rampton road but its a poor choice, get 2x the refusals of Grantchester. At 6 (sigs & time) go check C+A: they are in (having dinner: oops): 8. Then get 2 more from one house (poster for local show=nice people) & I'm done; home by 1/2 past. Experience: don't bother old folk in bungalows. Got 1 'explain gp policy' (as last time) & one 'true labour'.

Back (mess: E had ripped up a paper, what fun!, so D did enough to cover the floor. E loved it). Dinner. Bonfire with D. Bed.

Soir: finish naming holiday photos.

Sun 30

Tidy before M+J arrive: only kitchen & bathroom done :-(.

Day with them, good.


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