WMC's diary pages, 2002.

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

April 2002

Mon 1st

Another pleasant day, & once again we are having so much fun here we don't get into town.

Lie-in: longer than I realised since bedroom clock still on old time. Leisurely b'fast then to allot & D decides to come so off we cycle. Finish off bag 2 (kestrel) pots then do general tidying. D eats some rhubarb. Just when he is insisting on going he discovers a section of old apple I'm using to hold down a bit of carpet & spends the next hour digging out the rotten sections to remove the core. Meanwhile I weed/dig the front & side.

Home for late lunch. Then pm D wants to go to rec; do (via Orchard for marigold seeds, but q too long). See if N wants to come out but instead D gets sucked in to watch Peter Pan. N makes us coffee & we talk Bennys, at end of which kids still enthralled so by grace of N I go off to dig some more - oh my back. Finish at 5, & anyway Nelson sent to recall me.

Go out on rec with N&N too. At end, D & N are silhouetted against the sunset on top of the climbing net - beautiful.

Tues 2nd

Up with D at absurdly civilised 8.30 - our internal clocks still off. D invents 'breakfast pudding' to justify eating e-eggs. Phone ml/js in search of elusive nominations, then town for 1st time in week. I think my habits are changing, or maybe its spring. Arj/cb1/rs/ws/ox.

Back at 1. M obliges me to oblige D to eat fish, which he won't, so goes (quite happily) up to bed. While he's asleep, Sophie phones to invite us over, & when he wakes we (& E) go. I leave D (after talkinq builders for a bit), & take E to allot. Get the trad 2 rows pots in (short ones behind currants) while E sleeps; & a bit more while she is sad. But then take her in at 1/4 to 5.

D instantly runs upstairs, but comes down when I say its not time to go. & anyway S has a 1/2h extension. So, hold E while Honor sweetly feeds her & S kindly entertains D. Then time to go: I'm taking D to rec so invite H too (S is just off to collect Ben) & so we go. Windy; looks like rain. DH have fun with E on the whirlybird.

Home. Cook. Various GP phonecalls as nominations start to unravel.

Wed 3rd

Work (first for a while). Vacs meeting.

Home: v quick lunch; M off to her first real work post-e; I take De out; we're off to Shepreth (Willers Mill 'wildlife park) with Helen+C, or rather they are, while I collect sigs. So via H's & off we go. Hc have been before 'but only when its empty' - today its busy.

Drop them at entrance & head off for my 3rd set. No more fun than ever, but becoming familiar, as is the guess-people-by-their-houses (poss to some limited degree). Don't do bungalows. After 1h, have 10! Hurrah.

Back to wm & go in. Past a rather hot looking Arctic Fox I find DC in the rabbit hutch (this is allowed) & E asleep & H unfrazzled. Me: 'd, come look at the sweet little monkeys' (& they were); D: (looks for 1 sec) 'yes i've seen them'. Hey ho. Also 2 tigers, looking powerful but bored.

Later: to play area (v good) with great sandpit-to-water. And rickety carts running on rails down slopes: also fun.

Drop off hc & take her red climbing frame.

Back 6.15. M cooking. I have Bennys meeting at 7... fortunately it only lasts 1/2 h. We'll go for rss.

M off to pub. I sort forms, then read Martinson. Or some of.

Thurs 4th

No lie in: to H's to get computer & her (& aj's) nom forms.

At the electoral office 'doing' my candídates, all well so far. Gt Shelford to go... Ah, a hitch: one Linton signature has signed for someone else. Argh!

And so after, cycle off the GtS. Had pondered the train, but really it only 20 mins to cycle. Start well (remember we have members here, and in a fit of efficiency I've even got the membership list!); slow down later; then finish well with people who might even want to join! All on a lovely warm (even hot; I'm walking in the shadows) day. Back to town: now its 3; phone JS and arrange to get her forms from Milton. Cycle along the river and get mislead by the half-finished new cycle path; you still need to cross at the first pub bridge. A pleasant (somewhat bumpy, as JS warned) ride, and the path from the river to Milton is good too. And even follow her directions to house without loss. There just before 4; whe offers welcome lemonade. Then back to town; much faster now I don't get lost or hesitate; to Elec Office at 4:30 and hand in Histon and GtS. Just Linton now... or should I bother? Resolve!

Home. Print out Linton lists. Drive off. Perfect evening. Get sig from first answer (mind you a rejected several houses first) and so I can go home... even more perfect; clear sky with that curious skyline haze so I can't see the thin clouds until the sun edges them. Lovely.

Soir: Martinson review.

Fri 5th

Up with D, then off to town to deposit the Linton paper: all fine. Work. Finish off Martinson review and mail off. Russ gets the Laws Prize, good for him. Home, not quite on time, as I (must) stop for a drink at the Plough to Russ etc.

pm: decide, finally, to do the Big Sandpit for D. B+Q for wood; was going to get plain, but treated (with what?) decking was thicker and cheaper (though when cutting it, it cut so easily, as though barely there). Get 5 25kg bags of sand, reasoning that I can get more from Orchard if I want. Should I have phoned Madingley Mulch?

Cut up for frame and screw together; begin to level ground.

Sat 6th

Well, electoral stuff over for the present, phew, and I get a lie in, how nice. Can I afford to go into town...? No. Sit outside in sun 10-11 with sea wolf and coffee instead. Head to allotment and 2 more rows of potatoes: King Edwards now. It hasn't rained since we've come back from skiing; the top is very dry, but moist less than an inch down. J Artichokes starting to come through.

More to frame for D's sandpit. M+De have been to Smiths and D has new sandals.

pm: take D out to orchard to buy more sand (only get one bag, but at £4.11/25kg its more expensive than B+Q)) and a liner (ok; £1.49/(2mm^2)) and some marigold seeds. On way back go to Rec and invite N out to play; she and D play happily though its Chilly, and Suzanne (Jo-Jo's mother) and I say to each other as we huddle in our coats watching the kids run. D (to his distress and mine) can't run as fast as Naomi (but distinctly to my distress he gives up 1/2 way across when he sees he is behind); we try to talk about all this in the car back and I emphasise the virtues of practice.

Sun 7th

Still not quite the peace and quiet desired... since I have beeking in the afternoon, plants to plant, and D's sandpit to finish... Hey ho. Sunny as yesterday, but less wind and so warmer. Sit outside with coffee at 12 when I can, then rise up to start Potting (sunflowers; artickoes I found from years ago; cucumbers; pricking out tomatoes; etc etc), in my usual semi-competent way, and hampered as ever by lack of space, and poor organistation of what I have.

Bob Lemon and a bee. The bee is carrying pollen, and Bob is lecturing us upon her 2:15: off to Nikola's to go with her and JC to the CBKA open apiary meeting in Wandlebury, my first in ages. Nothing terribly new, but interesting to watch the calm unhurried way in which Bob Lemon opens the hive up and looks through, all ungloved (posing; reassuring us, or just habit?). At end, leans on hive & talks: a bee with pollen sacks sits on his hand as subject.

Back just after 5. Down the garden and hack about half off the elder shading the hive (my bees are not as vigourous in this weather as I could wish). Then finish off sandpit, which I just do slitting open the bags with D (or rather, with his help...) but sadly not within my time limit; this earns me Words of Reproach from M later, fairly.

Soir: bath (the sea wolf). GP/EGP web. Sci.env. Piccies (reduce the 20 taken at CBKA to about 5). Diary, sadly out of date due to Hurry.

Mon 8th

A make-&-mend day, by intent. Doc some runs, start some others, fail to make AH's method work, get qt_pos probs in yabad but don't know why.

D to bed, his botty a bit sad.

Soir: quietly. Finish sea wolf - hagiographic? E happy to be changed at 10:30.

Tues 9th

Up early for E, noisy but happy. Paper is late during hols. D wants E in bed with him for a bit.

'Sleep' by fire a bit, then up. Have I enough brood frames? Yes.

Town. Cb1.

Soir: gp. 'Strategy' for campaign. Tom & Mary give me a lift.

Wed 10th

pm: home. M off to work. D wants to 'polish metal'... errm. Well. We do the silver teapot (E down to sleep). I have lunch & read paper in intervals. D decides to paint; but we only have small quantities. So! town. M has car, so D on seat, E in sling, & cycle in. It just about works. Resolved: to buy a trailer! To p+r; bus in. E well behaved (D too). Heffers Arts has special on poster paints so get some. D on fire to get back so do. E sleeps on last leg; M passes in car.

7.25: M takes de up to bed. I get rest (I'm skipping rec agm). 'famous flower of serving men' on cd; by fire; outside fading blue.

9: shaken out of reverie by phone: ah is at pub & why aren't I? So hurtle off into night & have a fun evening.

Thurs 11th

Yoga: mostly-silent forward-bends class. More work on ocean mp-1 absence. Town. Inquire of bh re trailers then front seats. Which? D would enjoy a trailer more, & it would strain bike less. But more hassle in town? But useful for loads too? & would have to order.

Arj/cb1. Rest cut short by ugamp conf from 4:30 - disappointing :-(. Still I beat clie at palm-5 2 out of about-15. Talk to pv & ls-c & cnow-p after.

Then to pub for 6:30 for tv's 'leaving' do, though he is going in 3 weeks. Med arrives after a while. E is quiet (stunned by the noise?) & D pretty good - he has brought fred the lion in case he wants to sleep, but in fact we leave 8-ish.

Fri 12th

Happy b'day to me! I get a lie-in, coutesy of M. I also get b'fast in bed: teacakes, coffee & oj, which D finds great fun, as do I.

But off in hurry to: ugamp again. Stay all a.m. Talks better; talk to ai briefly.

Home. Postman has brought new cards (rnlt) & pressie (ditto). I must sit in l'room reading paper while md prepare 'surprise' cake - a proper icing-&-marzipan fruitcake.

E is restive; sleeps briefly. D wants to make playdo - I don't. He also wants to make the wooden owl: we start it.

Outside, briefly. Water plants; make up 2 more frames.

M bathes E. I take D to rec via allot: Bens has been ploughed! My onions are splendid; b beans good; j arts coming up, as are a few pots. More planting needed! To rec: megan & lydia there. I sit on bench & let/watch them play. D tries to boss them - or better, D just says what he wants to do & expects them to.

Soir: Kirsty b'sits (with b'friend); M&I cycle to town for curry at India House which is as ok as any in Cam. After to Granta for a quick drink. A very light rain as we sit out.

Sat 13th

Lie-in again. Rain, a little.

Allot: 10:30 to 1ish. Oh my back. Pots (inc relocating volunteers); 2x broad beans & carrots.

Pm: E sleeps till 4; M to town till 5:30. She has bought a front seat & a rear light.

Its quite cold out: but sun, mostly.

D's bedtime: D: you can't come into my bedroom. You're not cool. And indeed, the sign (from a cereal packet) says 'cool people only' (it used to say 'cats' but has been carefully overwritten; D doesn't understand cats). I'm not cool & neither is my beard, it seems.

Sun 14th.

As I get up to get E, D appears, and demands her in his bed. OK. But I have to stay there too... no sneaking off to bed :-(

Earlyish: D wants to put on the new child seat so I do. Its quite tricky getting it onto the front; eventually adjust it down but not too forward to avoid leaning on it. Test: take DE down to the rec; all OK.

Finish off the 10 brood frames ready for when it gets warmer.

And in fact we do get time to do the bees: D gets gleefully into the spare veil & is tied in. Turn on smoker, get out video, M runs it while E sleeps on far side of pond. Remove supers, put the new brood on & hope they will climb up. Put 1 super back on & stop.

Main event of the day is the Grand Opening of the rec, for which I am to be Official Photographer. It starts with a Treasure Hunt from the school to the rec: Nikola has tied up bright cards with names of flowers on: you have to find 1-30. Easier because of the stream of people all finding them... I leave Med and head off to be there in time; Nikola and Gordon are talking to Ms Wren; Dot is doing the refeshments; balloons are tied to the kit (sadly these are popped by the time to photo). People stream/dribble in, Gordon hands out the Wicksteed goody bags in exchange for mostly completed forms, people play and eat and drink (Sally has made a playground-cake).

Now its time for the Grand Opening. People display their usual reluctance to stand in a photographable way... Gordon does a speech; Nikola and ms W cut the tape held by kiddies. Here I relearn the lesson I really ought to know by now: if you're the photographer, ignore advice from your sponsors, but do ask them carefully exactly what they want. I take prints with the 801, after N had complained she could do nothing with digital photos; N subsequently emphasises that the main point is to get photos to CEN by tomorrow... sigh.

After this, kids play; N, D, Joel Sam, others play grass fights and carts, all good clean fun; I take a stick away from D. We leave quite late. Walk back with Claire; discuss trailers. She invites us to try hers.

Back. M entertains D; E has fallen asleep; I tidy outside and plant out-of-date parsley, coriander, etc etc behind D's sandpit.

Mon 15th

Nikola phones & rescues us all by offering to take photos in to dev. Drop film off as we cycle in.

Work: hard: new coefs, & filt mod.

Home (via N to look at photos: which have come out well: she gives me 1 set plus negs). Med at dinner.

Soir: play with model setfil1a. Etc.

Tues 16th

am: D to pgp (first of term) & me to allot. O'night: light frost. A few emergent pots are a bit black. More pots, onions, garlic. Dry on top (no rain since ski) but damp below.

To pool just before 5. But! Unwelcome (& f*ck*ng stupid) new regime is in place: pool shuts 4-8 except for lessons. Even paddling pool is shut 'cos there will be lessons there soon'. This is cr*p. Others think so too & poor woman on desk is reduced to 'dont blame me'. To cb1/arj fills our spare time nicely, get to lesson for 5:30, & I just sit + watch.

Home. It seems less important now. Pot some toms then dinner by M: cabbage&cashew, which D won't eat.

Wed 17th

Home 1:30. M off, E asleep. 2: go pick up D from Billys, but he doesn't want to come & Andy happy for him to stay awhile. So home for coffee. Get him back just before 3. N comes to pick him up 3:30. N & he play in sandpit until we chase him away. E plays in sandpit. I try to sort out dripping tap & toy with cycling in but settle for tidying living room instead.

Pick D up 6, where D is watching Maisie. Drag him away; play on rec a bit, E happy; home. M is cooking.

7: to pc meeting. Bennys nodded through. Grasscutting of rec takes up much time. Stuff. AGM 7-8. Then normal meeting resumes. Till 9.30, ending with N's path.

As we go to bed: light rain.

Thurs 18th

Work. Yoga. Cb1. Xx8 for pipe 'ends' to fix tap. Cycle to Grantchester & start leafletting at Burnt Close on Coton Road. Hit a dense patch & when rain stops play I've done 110 in 40 mins, good. Hide in the Green Man (how appropriate!) as the hail comes down mixed with blossom. Rain continues, lighter: home.

Cut off inner tap & solder on end (with difficulty).

Fri 19th

pm at home. E sleeps to 3:30. D paints, messily but happily, not really pictures, experimenting with mixing colours & shapes. Fix o/flow on sink.

N brings round paper with rec & my photo in it. Talk a bit. Reuben (who astonishes with poor behaviour) & Nelson then Patrick play a bit.

Make pizza for dinner: D eats all his.

Soir: quiet.

Tadpoles from close up. You can see the poo! Close up of tadpoles. Did you know they had golden flecks? Sat 20th

Another 190 leaflets, in Barton this time - 300 total. Cb1. Arj (while cb1 brews). Home.

Pm quiet. 5: take D to rec (invite N out; Nelson + P too). Home via pub.

Sun 21st

Slowly up. A warm day: summerlike later.

11:30: to parksids. M forgets E's swim-nappy so D & I swim. D is happy & more confident: lessons? Lunch in pool cafe. To b+q for sand. Home.

3: D to Billys party. I read, then to allot. A row of leeks & a bit else. Ben is out: Mr tractor has done his allot. Pick D up 5. Quiet time, misc in garden.

M leaves me: !!!Hello from me!!!

Mon 22nd

Work: model. Soir: finish vacuum flowers.

Tues 23rd

am: measure loft. Cb1. Arj. Ridgeons: order flooring for loft. Grantchester: another 60 finishes it off. Home. Hot sun!

pm: by the pond. Sitting still I see: a big frog staring at me. Numerous newts (m&f): more than 5. Tadpoles. Bees. Pondskaters. Hot sun. Some underwater plant sends up a constant stream of bubbles.

M back & sits outside. Mangonel: but break it :-(.

Write/print letter to pool.

4:30: get ourselves ready & head off to pool for s/lesson - D quite keen to go. Stop on way for ice cream on backs (it *is* hot - I have just t-shirt on) & walk with it to river: punts. And so pool. I stay by edge & video some.

Wed 24th

am: grey. D complains he is cold in shorts.

Awake! & in the washing machine of spring / the winter turtle of uncleanliness fling. Lines inspired by M washing her t.

Work. Home. A pleasant pm: blue sun. D is in the tree house with Billy; neither have trous on; they have been playing weeing. Bees buzz. M off, E sleeps. Make coffee & toast & sit outside: I can hear DB in the tree so they are ok. & D knows not to stray. 2: B thinks its about time to go, & lo! Louise arrives. Quieter now. D plays in sandpit.

3: N arrives & is told *not* to take her trous off: D is still as was. & so they play. 3:30 - E wakes. Feed her 4-spoonfuls, then milk. Later 2/3 a mashed banana, & more milk - N arrives & studies my 'tesuji' newsletter (also arrived: 'inn touch' of which Rob is editor! Such gloss!) but refuses to consider learning.

Soir: pub. Just me & A.

Thurs 25th

pm: cycle to Penny's to look at her bees. They are indeed in a huge vertical pipe, & as we look a swarm arrives. But what to do?

3: off to H to leaflet, arrive sweaty & tar-spotted - they were doing a rolling roadwork laying new tar & chips between Hardwick & Toft, a bizarre procession moving at walking pace headed by a huge bald man bearing aloft a standard inscribed 'go'.

Do various bits of Bourn, in fact I run out of leaflets having underestimated: about 110. But only about 20 houses left to plausibly do. Home.

I forget exactly when I did this, probably now (this written sunday), but sometime I cut down the nearest Leylandii out front, because I wanted to sit in the evening sun on the front doorstep. Anyway, just as I'm deciding to do this, Dot and a man I recognise by sight as living nearby, but who I now know to call Bill, arrive I D's car with a load of garden implements which are going free, freed by Ivor, and I select a rake, etc, and a nice hatchet. So after sharpening this providential hatchet, hack down the tree with it - easier than my rather blunt-bladed saw. And it entertains D. There: I can sit in the sun with a coffee now. How nice.

Fri 26th

pm: M phones to say off to w/rose so I can be late. Stop via allot: todays rain has moistened. Pots emerging, a little blackened by last frost.

Home. Coffee & toast. Rain restarts & turns into downpour as Dme return, trapping them. E put to sleep. Mr Ridgeon arrives with wood & I bring it in, the top layer wet, to the hall. It'll have to go into loft today: space if nowt else.

D & I to Orchard for a wisteria. First stop the cafe: coffee & hot choc.

With M's kindness (and D's "help"), wood is moved up into the loft, where it is at least out of the way.

Sat 27th

Lie in. Coffee. Helen arrives at 10:15 to deposit Charlie and collect me: off we go leafletting merrily (or not, in H's case) to Cambourne. Do almost-all of Upper/Greater Cambourne, in fact so many that I realise that many houses must be unregistered: hey ho, its image-awareness-building. UC is odd: varied styles; some decent "townhouse" type bits (some leafletters heaven: 4 postboxes all together!), some tedious detached gunk; no obvious shops, cafes etc. I had thought that Lower C was "more" built but doesn't look that way as we have a quick look: certainly nowhere to satisfy H's lust for a coffee. So we say "b*gg*r it" and go off and do 1/2 Caxton instead. Now its 12:30: home.

H stops for coffee and D/C serve the chocolate and cornflake cakes "they" have made. H leaves us C's old digger/dumper that D had so admired. They are a bit battered; D wants to paint them; I put him off for a while.

Quick diversion to Jo Clegg, who has Bee Trubble: some of ?her? bees are forming little clusters, like mini-swarms, of 10-20 bees each, maybe 5-10 groups, in a bush near her hive. How odd. Don't fix it: tell he not to worry, just leave them.

M goes to town 2-6; its the only way she can get any peace, otherwise D talks to her and she will talk back; oddly I can be in the house "off" and he doesn't bug me much...

Get a bit of lofting done: cut 3 boards to length (and one cut around the new "door" I made), which generates enough offcuts to measure from the edge, and lay down; having thought long and hard I have ended up with the easy option of using Danish Oil to proof them, and D helps me do the accessible 2/3 of these 3.

Sun 28th

End of day: 11pm. M feeds E. I realise that the "connection" needs to be set to cradle, and so am able to type in this, filling in the past few days.

Today: D wakes up E about 7 (why?) so we're all in bed together for a while until D wiggles enough to get throw out; after a while I take E down and M gets some rest. D listens to Grimms Fairy tales on CD which M bought yesterday; he sits through both CDs enthralled, though he skips Snow White for some reason. M down 10-ish . After a coffee over D'Arcy OGAF, I go into the loft (sometimes with D) to do a bit more planking, and end up with 3 screwed into place, having needed to rout out the end of one to fit over a hard-to-remove remnant of the construction of the roof. Down for lunch.

Outside in sun after lunch (note: up till the first rains, about thursday, it had been so long since rain, we had got used to leaving stuff out, and all was dry, it felt very S of France or Californian. But now we're back to wet again). D says Mow Lawn, and why not? Do so.

pm: 3:30: off to the Rec/Allot, D cycles, I puch lawnmower which is carrying the water tank Dot gave me. After a bit D realises *he* was going to ride on the lawnmower and does, for a bit. A the pub we part company: Med to rec, I mow allot and just get in 6 Chinese cabbage (I got these on Saturday after M asked for a "herb" for her neglected front herb garden, but she didn't much like them) and rearrange some raspberries before, simultaneously, rain starts and D runs along shouting "Daddy" and falling over in his sadness. Rain gets heavy quickly, so we all go off to the pub and are happy. So I miss my chance at the rec.

Home: the washing I hung out is wetter than ever :-(

All sit by fire for a bit. Then M to bathe E (and D too) while I loft again, and end up with 5 planks down, hurrah, just about a floor area (each is about 145 mm wide, so the total is about 3/4 m wide, enough for me to lie down and contemplate the roof, and feel that I have made something). Me are now downstairs and D is in a full bath, as I discover when I come down to wipe him after he does a poo (on the loo, fortunately), and when he sits down it comes up to his neck, and he is happy.

By the end of bath its 7:45 time for his bedtime, then I shower and M and I can come downstairs to be peaceful, once we've got over discussing how I exploited her time today...

Mon 29th

In the q for coffee & it looks like another long one & Toms stolen the best bun :-(. Day turns into another its-going-well-i'll-go-early-oh-i'll-just-do-this-oops-i'm-late day.

Tues 30th

Up early - 7.15 - heavens. Grey.

Town: cutlacks for paint for donated tractor; arj; cb1. Rest. Home 12: D at Billys; Me at w/rose. Coffee/lunch. Loft: plank 6 in place; need to rout out hole for wires. Go down for coffee with M; mistake; she reminds me that I'm on at 1:30 not 2; I query this unwelcome feature of the new scheme; M is obliged to write it down; it turns out to be replaced by 6-7 becoming 'both'.

Get D at 2. Rain. 2:30 - to dentists for, as it turns out, brief re-registration check. My root canal is disintegrating & needs crown. D quickly checked too: we must brush at the back better. Back via Oakington garden centre: get w. sinensis while D plays in puddles.

4:30: M takes D to swim; E down to sleep. I sit by fire. Finish Eating Fox: excellent. Make pizza. E wakes 6; Md back 6.30 as p ready.

Soir: sort out digital photos of rec for NB & put on disk for IanH. 10.30: M brings E down for last feed.

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