WMC's diary pages, 2002.

[January] [February] [March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August] [Holiday: Quiberon] [September] [October] [November] [December]

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

September 2002

Sun 1st

September! & all good fr kids are getting ready for rentree, &/or enjoying last freedom.

Yesterdays pure sunset becomes todays pure dawn. M wakes with kids & proposes walk to cote so I rise too & at 9 we head to coast via slightly odd but quite direct path avoiding roads, sharing the carrying of E.

Cote is somewhat wilder by early light, though campervans parked by road do somewhat dispell the illusion. But they are all still asleep as we clamber on rocks & watch quite big waves - D worries at me if I go down too far.

& back at 10:30. Second b'fast. Have a slow day around house. I read go in heat of conservatory. D plays with hosepipe so I use water to 'clean' path but this fails as nowhere to sweep water to. E climbs on clothes frame. MfdJ shop. Mfd reads Just So to D. Fred 'falls' off the balcony & I decide he needs his tail splinted, though D is desperate to put a plaster on.

At 4, with E asleep (though she wakes as we leave) I take D out to beaches new.

Lion fish

Tues 2nd

Another fine morning - so much so that we manage to leave by 10 (including nearly-leaving & coming back for D's trunks).

Towards Etel; to alignments of Kerzerho, which are interesting. About 1/2 h drive, inc leaving Presqu' Ille, which always takes 20 mins or so. Take first slide of hol, I have to bribe D with being carried back to get him to stand in place for the photo. The stones just stand, at the edge of the village, ignored by the road which ploughs through & cuts off one corner. But its quite quiet, & more so up a shady lane to the larger ones. D climbs on a ?fallen? block.

To plage de Kerourlec, which extends forever - we are near Roche Seche. 11:30. Hot. Install near bunkers. Walk out to islet on low causeway. Once shown, D enthusiastically tricks sea anenomes with shells. See, v briefly, a large kingfisher. Find sea urchin shells.

The Nazi bunkers are like beached whales or Ballard fragments. Or crashed alien spaceships. Later, J buys the Big Boys Book of Bunkers but ours isnt in it.

Suddenly its time for lunch, & after photoing by me, while others to car, its 1:30. To Etel, which is quiet (now post-season) & we are late-for-lunch, but find somewhere rather good. Mfd has plat of fruits de mer, M langoustines (oops, how do you eat them?), I a more prosaic galette.

Then bumble around harbour onto mole to end, wonder where/when little ferries go, & leave via p'cards & boulangerie, past-4. Back 5, iced drinks for me & D, M does E.

D writes 2 p'cards - N & B. Or at least their names & his. Then does some of his letterland work books, & his yellow book for Mrs Leeper (nb she is Mrs L, at pgp it was Tracy & Linda), with M - I am rejected.

6:45: take a quiet walk to cote. I havent had much time alone - or with just-M - this hol, since unlike Lescun there is a lack of obvious to-do. Now know best route: peacefull track opp house, across road, down short street, left around back of camping, to equestre, right & to coast road/path. Sun, blue, heat, sea-cool, rocks, gentle waves. Peace. I am wearing my druid hat to shield me from the sun.

Find trou du soufleur - a through-hole in which the sea burbles.

Seen: a lizard (medium), a rat (brown, amongst rocks), birds (various), trees (windshaped).

As test (rather late...) take comparative photos with big & little nikon: choose seagull against sunset. Looking, its v hard even to see. Discover that the 3/4 zoom the 950 comes on with is about 105mm.

3rd - see tosh

Wed 4th

Today is our day 'off'. It dawns grey & late: as I get up at 9 D comes down; M wakes E later. Entrust enfants to care of J+Mfd, leave 10:30, intent Etel & riviere.

Going through St Barbe as minor short-cut stop & view chapel, which is small & cute. Especially small blue window at back (another comparative photo; also main window at 28, twice, at 1/30 (correct exposure) & 1/60. From chapel go down to fontaines & lavoir, where marshland beyond is being managed ecologically by local chasseurs. As I over-photo the lavoir M walks down a little lane & discovers another, with bright green

frogs. All this is pleasant & very restful.

5 mins down road (past *another* lavoir) we return to kerzerho, this time passing the alignments & taking a circuit of menhirs, whose 1/2 way pt is mane braz, a 4 chamber tomb. M says: is it just chance-of-construction technique that let these things last 6kyr? Ie, did they build them 'forever', or was this just the only way they knew?

And around circuit: now 1: time for lunch: Erdeven: resto-pizzeria prat-en-bras. Good. V quiet.

Then (2:30) over passage nouvelle & to E side of mouth of Etel. Walk along sand away for maybe 1/2 h; high tide; find a shell; walk back. Lovely. Look out: barre is under water. There is a tide-race just offshore.

To St Cado. Walk over famous bridge (legend: the devil repaired St Cado's shoddy work in exchange for first soul, a cat). Cute chapel. Little house on little island. Back across: uninspired painters. Bar: peace; coffee; p'cards to mj, datew, pshd.

And so home a little after 6. DE v glad to see M (& to a lesser extent me) but have had a fun day.

To town for butter (epicerie), bread (other end, good, 'our' end shut) & times of Belle-Ile ferries:

20 a/r adulte

q->le p 8.00, 9.30, 11.00, 12.30, 14.00, 14.15

le p->q 14.15, 15.45, 17.45, 18.45

q->houat 9.15, 11.00

h->q 11.40, 16.30, 18.50

Soir: read 'an outpost of progress' & work (indeed) on y'days & todays photos.

Second recharge for camera batteries.

Thurs 5th

Today, Belle-Ile: mostly because I feel like going there & drag others in my wake. Grey, but mist: hopefully it will clear. Leave 10, port 10:30, to get 11 boat: Vindilis. & indeed after a misty crossing we emerge just as we get to B-I. So the town & citadel loom out of the mist.

Lunch (carry pram upstairs only to discover 2nd entrance on other side...) then citadel. Which is impressive, & big, & confusing, since you walk in between the petals of various demi-lunes. Nothing like it in uk.

Musee. It would seem that we took the citadel by breech in 1761. So does that mean all those fancy demi-lunes were obsolete? But we had 18k vs their 3k. But Vauban recommends 10-to-1. But we had ships.

Vast renouvelled interior en chene, used as gallery space.

So: citadel is all we see of B-I. & we dont see all of that.

Minor panic on return: path across river is raised to let boats through & way round is out of sight. But wait, & it lowers, using the magic biro-top on the control panel.

Return crossing, this time in sun. 45 mins is a good time, time to look but not get bored.

Now its 6 & we're on the beach. At least Med are: I'm in le retro, having a welcome rest after attending to DE this last hour or so. After disembark we decided to split; MfdJ to shop, I took DE to beach & above M got her rest. D & I (well mostly I) dug a big sandcastle & E-attractor, then began a canal to the sea (v high) but it retreated :-(.

Now D is sad because he has sand in his eyes.

Inspect T-shirts but vacillate.

Walk home: M carries D much of the way.

Soir: M & I escape at 8 for an evening out! To porz guen to see the setting sun through the arch, the surfers like incompetent seals. Portivy, but decent resto is complet & M doesn't fancy the tapas bar. So St-Pierre where we find a nice creperie & get bierre breton (britt) blonde & rousse.

Home. Review photos. The 950 is a strange beast. Often its tree-greens are poor. But sometimes (eg 5280, which I thought washed-out junk when I took it, but whose sea-blue & sand-orange is good) its superb.

Fri 6th

Last day! But grey. No great rush-to-activity, least of all from D, who wants to go to the main beach but only once he has played draughts, & ...

12: Mfd & M head off for the Great Seafood Lunch.

1: E has become sad so gets put down to sleep, & does. D goes upstairs, & its quiet: J & I read. Then.

D comes downstairs: daddy, there's something i want to show you. Which turns out to be that the odd purposeless pipe sticking onto the veranda is merrily leaking (D has bent it back & forth until it does), & continues to do so when duct tape is applied. & starts to drip into the fuse box... I locate the global off, & discover the tap-top is loose, but fortunately I brought pliers.

During all this D says: but i didnt mean to. Thinking about this later: the leak is so big that it must have been a small leak after some bending, then grown, & eventually D must have thought "ohh... ooops".

So J phones Madame Adam (not in), Mrs Gite (ditto), local office des gites (useless) & finally a plumber underlined in the book. Who recognises the address. At 3 (Mfd & J still at lunch), D & I head off for beach, E just awoke (at least she slept through the leak).

Beach. Grey clears: some sun. Have fun: tide is near full. Dig castle near sea (which gets washed away), then channel back towards y'days distant castle. After much effort (& a nice high tide) get the sea moated round it.

Memo: add to beach repertoire: pyramids (inc sphinx); & citadels-a-la-vauban.

Home (shop en route) to find nice plumber has fixed all (by removing the totally pointless pipe & one other) & Mfd+M had a nice lunch.

Soir: put coffee cups down at 9, then a frenzy of packing (bizarrely mostly trying to find things to fill the vast spaces, partly because E has used 2 packs of nappies & some food. Fin at 11. Bed just before 12.

Sat 7th

In the night: storms. I get up cos D's window slams. M restless due to coffee. Grey, rain am. B'fast, finish pack dribs & drabs. D sits in car for much of this, singing with Mr W & lusting after a pack of biccies. 10: take group photos. Mrs Adam arrives by bike, & seems friendly enough, not the salt & pepper stealing gorgon that was portraied. Mfd & she do calcs & MfdJ are painfully honest over pipe: about 30. 10:30 D & I are in car, ready. Goodbyes! Leave :45.

At Ploermel the main road does a wide bypass so go through & stop 12-1 for brief lunch & look at exterior of church. Then on through rain & scenery, with happily 2 sleeping infants, to St Malo at 2:15 & drive along 'plage' road looking for parking space &/or hotel. 126 miles & 6310.

Well, I'm pissed off. M has made us a pointlessly crap choice of hotel but we have invested too much time to change.


SORRY! SORRY! SORRY! (writes M) (all this seems less important from the distance of the ferry).

A (long!) walk along the beach (past numerous hotels) helps, & D decides that rather than dig he would walk the ramparts. So, to cafe. D orders chocolate & toffee ice cream, but then realizes he really wants t & t. & then that he likes neither t nor c! Oddly, this doesn't worry him. I go off to wander & photo (ostensibly to shop) but paths lead me back after 20 mins.

D & I decide to rampart, Me to shop, meet in 1h (6:30) at cath. & we do: with doodling & dawdling 1h sees us back to the Grand Porte & a splendid tour round - my humour fully restored. Just watching the shifting rooftops & chimneys is worth a great deal: St M is a lesson (universally ignored) of how to build densely but well.

Dinner: tiny pizzeria, we are sole cust. But pizza is good. From nearby shop I buy ermine T! Would it be nice to buy D a t? He doesnt seem to want one.

Long walk back to hotel annoys, as M points out several we could have booked. So if you knew where they were, why didnt we go look? Sez I. Coz I didnt know, sez M.

Back. D to bed. Brief read, then E needs pinning down, then past 10, bed.

Sun 8th

E wakes somewhat early by our standards, is soothed, but by 7 is unsoothable & eventually M is obliged to take her out. D elects to go too, & at his insistence they look round the hotel. Then D returns & ME go out to the front - I feel somewhat sad I'm too lazy to go out - & D draws piccies. When ME return past 8 & I get up it turns out he's drawn really good 1/2 piccies of clowns, crocodile jaws; which M is to draw in the other 1/2.

B'fast & things are happy again.

To car, pack, to port, & before we know it we are inside, which is a slight mistake 'cos we wanted croissants + p'box but hey ho. I only have time to blunder around a little before our q is off & we go into the large intestine of the ship.

And so to cabin. D explores, E wurbles harmlessly on floor, M flops, I leave, taking D for the play area then on deck to watch depart. Much videoing (when will I find time to *watch* any of it?). St Malo fades, we zig-zag around buoys & lighthouses to the open sea. ME appear & take D to playroom where I later find them in the cinema bit, watching a blank screen.

Now on english time: 11:45: magic show is about to begin. There is something v sweet about a row of infants, sat on carpet expectantly.

Mr Magician is making ballons. He makes animals & first to guess (hands up, no shouting) gets it. One: bobble at end, pushed inside, twisted off, forms a separate balloon inside! All are amazed (inc me) - he lets us look a bit, then says: when I first saw that I was too surprised to applaud too... & so we all do. Competition: make a swan. When it becomes clear that his lungs are well-trained: he blows them up with no apparent effort, while others cant even start.

Lunch: good.

2: Mr Magician, who is quite good. D says: Mr Marvel can do that trick! & then the magician talks to him for a bit. & on the next trick he wants 2 kids, & the first is called Daniel, so D shouts: I'm called Daniel too! So he gets called out. So I video (poor light, sadly). A trick with balls & a bag.

4:30: passing I of W. I got 1/2 h to watch & read. Heart of Darkness in bright sweltering sun. Risk: what should you do in face of unknown? If life is dangerous, & safety in following experience, then perhaps extreme caution is only possibility.

Take sad E to cabin for milk. E picks up a drain cover, tries to eat it, *then puts it back*.

Mon 9th

Work. Yoga. Work. Home. D seems to have enjoyed school. Dinner. Work :-( on sun version. Fail.

Tues 10th

Today new regime begins: I have DE till 3:30, though D has his 2nd day of school pm. M off 8:30, we wurble. Sun.

Take DE out for walk, slowly & pleasantly. Heading for rec but only get as far as g'chester road bridge, via flowery horse-meadow with no horses. Back to school 12; meet by intent Billy & Andy; begin swaps by D staying chez B till school.

At home, fairly quiet with just E. 1:15: go pick up D & take him to school. After, talk to N to try to arrange N (difficult) & talk PC; end up going (being sucked in) to parish-room meeting, & taking Patrick & E for a walk. But E is asleep in my arms: put her down at home at 3:10.

3:40: leave for town. Rs for scales. Cb1/arj. Head home. Find med at rec. Stop a while; home via allot & onions. Cook pots & onions. Med back.

Wed 11th

DE to M'a. Work.

Pm: to 1st bas seminar series, ganopolski/schellnhuber. S: 2911=41*71. G: 1192=8*149.

Pick D up from school; M'a has brought E. Pick up B chez-b & home. Easy a'noon: E sleeps, & D/B play happily together. Fudge a dinner; E awakes sad with red bot; M back. Take B back at 7.

Soon after: cycle off to Toft for Gp but! H has forgotten S. Oops. Talk anyway: Marion completes our 3. Cycle back, warm in t-shirt.

Thurs 12th

Work. Yoga. Nurse sun. Town: brownes/amn/cb1/arj. 6: pick up happy de; home. M off collecting iron pills. D did 's' in school so draw Spotted Snake for him to fill.

Soir: bath; print *4 for N; photos (up to 5280-ish, st cado).

Fri 13th

Work, home 2. New rota: I have till 3:30. V nice. Coffee, toast, marzipan: lunch. Read paper & economist, or browse: too much depressing Bush.

Bees! Do them.

3:30: pick up DE at school, & Naomi too. Walk back with B, since Louise is by, & all 3 walk hand-in-hand. Stop by req at Bennys for a little while. Home: they run off & play; I am left with E, or she with me. They go to tree house: I go to clear fallen apples & find them all naked (bar shoes, for once). M is at home; time passes happily; they play nicely & come to play in paddlling pool; & discover that slide, wet, has no friction: N whoops, B keen, D won't try.

M cooks all dinner: sos + pots + broccolli. 7: I take BN home.

Soir: read tmotab. Addictive.

Sat 14th

am: M takes DE to town. Sadly brass rubbing at round church is no more.

I allot for 1 1/2 h & clear about 1/6 of front. Still thats satisfying. Get lots of pots & onions & some garlic. J arts not ready yet.

At D's req, onto shed roof. Cut vine & p'flower back heavily.

Get toy cars from J C while E sleeps, then put up Bennys posters with E.

Soir: M to bed early.

10:40: about to go to bed: tmotab is quite addictive: just got to: 'the italian nav has landed in the new world'.

Sun 15th

My turn to get up: 7:45 with E, D about 9.

11: to allot for 1h+. More at front. More pots: lots from a small area. & onions - star of the year. But only 1 squash. One strawberry! Make compost heap from sunflower & jart stalks - useful.

Post-lunch: take DE for a swim. But! Parkside closed. To Abbey: have a good time. D quite confident: floats by self on back (with small armbands). E floats with bands, happy but confused. Mouth under: ok.

4: lammas land.

Mon 16th

Work-yoga-work. Home a bit early: have a grant to read at home.

Soir: M to her 1st yoga, comes back happy. Read prop (my 1st) till 11:30.

Tues 17th

M takes D early to N; I (perforce by bike; but its easy & pleasant with the f'path open) take E early to Dr: M'a has diag thrush. Too early: stop for walk/crawl in woods. Seen 25 mins late by nice Dr Mills; confirms thrush instantly, with infection of c'pox sores. Poor panda! Not that it seems to worry her. Waiting creams: E toddles round surgery happily.

Wed 18th

Work till 2. Home: lunch, paper, coffee.

3:30: school. Pick up pleased-to-see-me E from M'a & happy D from class. Drop him at B's.

E wurbles around garden & house quite happily. I read quietly.

5pm: E is playing with D's old shape sorter, almost intelligently. She brings it out onto the patio. I find the bits, show her how to put them in. She opens the box & fingers the pieces.

6: E getting a bit ratty but too late for a'noon sleep & early for bed. M back soon after, predicting she will lose her job next fri.

E to bed, bottom improving.

D: did you know that Billy, & his family, & M'a, & all her family, all eat meat. Yes, he has nearly discovered the truth.

Soir: out with Andrea: in the bizarre way of life, I go out more often with A than M (not really true, but feels like it!). Cycle to Castle: pint (equinox: good) then curry: experiment: cafe naz: a chain as we discover: but good. On first impression, a cut above cam avg (but well below moonlight). Talk: A is reading 'you just don't understand'. Total: 25.15 for 2.

Thurs 19th

Lots of farts: a good curry! Work: the mess that is yabey/ne. Yoga. More w. Arj (31). Cb1. 4: meet M at w/s. Home via pick up DE.

Soir: to pta. A bit wurbly so far.

7 teach 3 ass t 2 learning sup ass 1 cook 1 sec 3 lunch 1 clerk 1 caretaker. Punctuality. Attendance. School Council. Segue: pta agm. Want workers for pool rebuilding. Become formal charity.

Mrs Leaper: parents rota book bags - can buy sounds folder (eg snake) pe kit at school cup with name for water fountain 22 childs

Last y of school is 11.

Fri 20th

Work. Yabey says Evp probs are in stressprep. Odd.

Home. Me out.

3:15: Me back; I go to collect D. Buy bookbag (3) & get 'the enormous turnip'. Collect B.

4: tidying up toms at front, which need severe pruning since I didnt stake them properly. E wombles, carrying D's cup. *she starts collecting fallen green toms & putting them in the cup*. Though she does keep dropping the cup.

D & B play happily as ever. Strange words: exploring conversation: 'i love you. Well i hate you. Return B with D past 7. They run: D faster.

Stop at Bennys on way back: Elena, Amelia & Robert there; E & R get to play on the palm.

Sat 21st

Allot: meet Terry; tea with Ben + T. Dig onions & pots for stall.

To F's: leave 1:30. F seems well (as can be expected...) & happy to see us, esp ED. Josh over to visit.

Out to dinner in Whitgift: Auberge: good for ED to wurble round in.

Sun 22nd

Esther to visit in the morning. Brunch, then leave after 12 for Guildford. Stupidly decide to take short cut through london: *never do this*.

To P+S 1:30 just as they are off; follow them to 'diversified farm'; in a barn is Rokers Little Angels Playground. A very very big kiddy-gym thing - full of shrieking kids. Good. D whizzes off, & though I search is hard to find again.

After a bit, food & cake time upstairs.

Feeling rather faint: I've just drunk xcs slushies - D & Thomas's - & my brain feels cold. This is phase 2 of H's party.

Back late: traffic bad. Probably the serfdom & subsidy people. (Note from M: huge pro-hunting march today, called 'liberty & livelihood')

Mon 23rd

Work. Home 7. Kids to bed, M to yoga.

Xfer hol pics to desktop & cut cd for J+Mfd. Write BW fundraising note. Sync palm.

Tues 24th

Wed 25th

Work till 12, then home: M'a sick.

1:30. E to sleep. Put on a bit more plaster, then finish paper, then go up to paint. 5 mins ok, but then! Disaster! Step down onto edge of paint tray: splat! Paint on wall, carpet, basin, me :-(. Clean up somewhat but carpet isnt worth too much: lets get a rug instead.


Happily painting, when hear happy sound of infants. Can it be... 1/2 past 3!?! Oh no - its 3:40. Down brushes, on clothes (for I paint in my pants), pull E out of her cot, onto bike, rush off. Mrs L says he is in home club having toast so go slow. & he is, & happy.

When we leave 4:20 he wants to stay.

Soir: curry club: golden curry: good. After: Kingston arms: too crowded. Meanwhile M out so Marcus babysits, apparently successfully.

Thurs 26th

Discover after dep D at school that M'a is sick again :-( for her & us. Decide to walk to p+r then town, rather than cycle, so can use p'chair. Pass bas at 10:25 & E asleep so go in for smoko.

RS have a stack of 152x91 in various acceptable colours. 119. But before discovering that I bought a bath mat.

Arj/cb1. E happy & quiet - feed her - but not asleep.

2: wurbling on ParkersP - E v happy " the sun - awaiting M in the car. A rather fun & relaxing morning so far. But phone probs comm'ing to M.

To Mackays: they dont hire tools. Hss do. Down N'market rd & to b+q first: M wants some boxes anyway. Get a black+decker 'mouse' & a cheapo belt-sander.

Home. Sand. Noisy but not too dusty. Belt clogs with floor glue :-(. Cut more crappy carpet away.

Fri 27th

Work till 1: M'a still sick (ish) & so M is with E. Home: E asleep. M thinks her sick. But she wakes up bright enough at 2 so bang goes my quiet pm. Dont even get time to finish coffee.

3:30: take E to school. Pick up DN both happy, take them to B's where they instantly disappear.

Sit with E at Bennys for a bit, then home. By 6, E-fatigue is well in & I'm glad to see M: so many things to do...

M surprises me by deciding to come tomorrow.

Late: sand downstairs toilet seat.

Sat 28th

My lie in but not long. Things to prepare!

Email. Gp meet point is roundabout on S side W'loo bridge. Main assembly is Embankment.

M cycles off early to get Ella a present & some evil party bag things. I leave 1/2 h, which would be fine except for enormous q at station (its the obvious train from C) & needing a parking ticket: leave E in pushchair, D uncertainly guarding her, watched over by a nice woman, while I run back to car; when I return M is there & we get crowded train with mins free.

London: off at Charing C since Emb is shut. Confusion. Follow some Quakers. M notices ranks of police lounging inside their vans: 'but arent they earning o'time doing nothing?'.

More confusion as we reach Emb; which way? End up on bridge. Police dont let it start till 1:15, then pools & lines of people start to unwind. In the meantime we watch from above; eat; change E; look at t london eye & h of p & river. Go down & join when its cleared a bit an hour later.

A slow-down outside downing st as we all shout 'shame!' - or at least the shouting portion of the march does.

3:35: at Trafalgar Square: the march is slow (=good, since that implies more people). We're stopping here to play with fountains & climb on lions (D) & Me have just gone into nat gallery. D chases pigeons; finds empty crisp packet & makes own fountain. T/S has mostly other stop-the-war folk in it: posters, banners. A good feeling. Watch the march go by.

4:50: march still going thinning out. We're just leaving W/s: cafe not as good as C. D is a well-trained yuppie: Oh W/s! he says as we go in.

Kc, in cafe prior to catching 5:45. A good day, M & I agree, & D had fun too I think - we've acquired a poster he carries. Marching is good to reassure you you're not alone (though in fact at work etc I know no-one who supports the Bush-Blair war).

Train back crowded - even floor space scarce. E fed, changed, pushchaired. I read D his new little monster book twice - the piccies are excellent - & now M reads.

Home. M bathes DE; then I bed them. E plays peek-a-boo with her blanket. Download pics - send some of med to mfd/j. Bath.

News: we were 250k+ (org) or 150k (police). Strangely enough the serfdom & subsidy peoples #s were reported unqualified...

Late: D found sleeping in E's cot. Vid.

Mon 30th

Work-y-work. Home 6: M has forgotten her keys & I want to do b'room floor. & do, as much as I can. M to yoga; de to bed. Minutes later... Daddy... I've been sick. & lo, he has. Oh great: all M's scrambled egg back. Clean up: he has missed himself. Set washing going.

Late: first coat of oil on floor. Alea jacta est?

Main | Diary | Email: wmc@bas.ac.uk