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Wake dry. Up with DE: D watches kids tv. F down 9.30. Record les2alpes to video.
All out to town for D to santas grotto (v shy at first). D plays with brio in toy dept so I stay with him while others home.
Leave 5; back 7+. Play bg; D watches till too late.
Work yoga work. Soir: M to yoga; I bg till 9.30.
D&E not up till 8! D goes downstairs & insists M doesnt: to eat xs cocopops?
M to work; D to school. Soft grey day. Push E back; misc (not inc tidy, sadly), then walk off to p+r with E for our swim. She is cute on bus smiling at folk, & (having turned round) plays peekabo in the pram. Good swim: now cb1. E sleeps. & on... Arj.
Bus: nasty driver makes me fold pram so E wakes: nice old lady holds her: she is dopey but happy (E). Home 3:20 in time to pick up bike, take E to school & leave her with M, & to work for useful talk with JG & JR.
Home 6. Make advent candle for D. DE bath; I abandon puny mage & become fighter.
Soir: M php; I igs once.
Work: wme / drift / aice.
Pick up DE 3:30 & Oliver too. Get Billy on way home. Pm passes well enough: toast; excess bounce in l'room; E sleeps 5-6; 3 play computer, mostly Blinky Bill. Food (instant mash + peas) at 6; M back.
O is noticably older; B younger. O can read.
Soir: pub with A+S. M still up: I bg naughtily till 1:15: bad W: but clear the Nashkel mines. But I am *not* to play this late again.
Work: new ctrl sans ghg inc! Aice saga cont. Yoga. Home. Bg briefly; lift dahlias (still alive in dec); more bg: Ulcaster.
Pick up D from happy home club: to piano: jingle bells.
Home early today (compensation tues) & shamefully waste it on bg: Durlags above ground.
Btw: my back is much better.
3:30: pick up happy E & walk with Claire & kids until D heads off to B's.
M back 4:30 ish.
E wants a banana *& she points to the fruit bowl on the piano*. Also plays 'jumping off the stairs' into my arms.
Town: cb1/arj/shops. Get cmas cards oxfam: M has vetoed recycling this year. & we're too busy.
Realise I'm playing bg too much: was supposed to be light relief not obsession!
Do some cards: persuade D to sign some.
Up with DE.
Take D to Christingle service 11: fortunately Billy there too: I don't think D understood much of the true content. BS encourages me to stand for PC. After to parish room.
Billy to play after 1h at his req. E sleeps; M takes B D to bw then home. I sit by fire.
Hacked! Or wormed. Online 2h at 2 ish looking at Morrowind etc; when close down apm is missing. & ls. So is all: equiv of rm -rf / done :-((( Oh dear. Last piccy backup end-oct: all nov gone :-( Also igs notes & games. I feel: angry; stupid; surprised (that someone could get access to do that, & yet do something so essentially dull once in). Surmise that root p'word (dict) cracked but jpr points out mon that rsh doesnt allow root: more likely service hack. Hastily back up clie to M's portege.
Soir: install rh8: smooth. Turn off most services & on firewall.
Beautiful cold day. Work-y-work: M at home sick/tired. Soir: Castle go: phil beck 1d +-; yetta 4k -.
Talk with Phil re igs: he has played 11,000 games!!! He tells me that AlanT: slapper 1k*; BaronA: barbermoon 3k*; philby: 1k*; alex s: icecream/cardboard 1d*.
Cold cycle home.
D to school; back with E briefly; then to town with E. Its cold! E keeps pulling her gloves off & getting red hands, but doesnt seem to mind. Drop in on smoko, E is cute. P+r; pool; swim till 10.30 as ever. Cb1: E stoutly resists sleep but eventually succumbs.
Soir: decide to dual-boot so re-inst wdze; split partition (*fips* not fdisk); re-inst rh. Leave 4g fat32 empty: what might I use that for? :-)
am: make sure vid charged & still.
Work, home 1:15 to meet Ma who expected me at 1 & is reading Taki in car. Lunch; scratch around for spare tape; walk M'a to get E 2; to school for D's play!
He is a magpie, in bw trous & white T & magpie mask-hat. Story (gleaned after): mice wander around for stuff to decorate tree, & ask dog/magpie/fox/cat. Get 15 mins vid. All v sweet & fun for doting parents, & grand-.
'the gift of christmas', c leeson & g hansen, little tiger press.
Home after, with Billy.
6: about to feed DB when M phones with puncture. I dump feeding on Ma drive into traffic (*not* getting caught on traffic camera unlike naughty M: her 3rd fine today). Rescue M & return 6:45 as Andy is trying to tear B away from Oz on pc.
Cold expiring into grey rain. D to school; E to M'a since Megan sick; me back home: day off. I have a cold/cough & feel uninspired. Play bg (get out of durlag l2), read paper (n korean scuds siezed by spain/us released to yemen on grounds of no crime: what I thought but papers didn't predict: should I set up as a pundit?)
Town. Find but don't buy iwd2. To cb1 to meet M. Feeling sick-with-a-cold.
Not at my brightest. Home earlyish.
D to B's pm (with N), and M helps to look after E.
Restful am: M p+r's kids to town for bath balls & piccy for ma (D tells me they get The Rainbow Fish, & tells the story).
To school for 'kids picnic' which is going well so far.
D a reindeer: but (he now says) he wanted to be a tiger :-(
Queen of stories does princess-with-golden-ball-&-frog. Break, then soft puppet theatre. This works. Magic clouds: little balls of ?real wool? D, & some others, has seen them before at G's party, but still good.
5: walk to school, pick up car, to N's, beat her video over its metaphorical head & rec D's play to tape. Leave it at B's on way back.
Grey, rainy. & thats my mood, matched by the day. Which rains out of an unrelieved gray sky all day. Fortunately my mood does improve.
Making plaster molds with D. E spills oj & poos on the floor, but I fear I bear responsibility. Still bad for mood.
D: i wish it was christmas, i'm so excited.
M comes down 10 ish & life becomes easier. Take D to s'day school. D is not sure he wants to go - 'its mostly sitting down' - but he is persuaded to give it another go. We trudge there through rain, D under big umbrella, & he says cheerfully: 'last time I went, everyone said: "look its daniel!"'. & indeed it happens this time too.
Lie by fire when I get back. M tells me I should really take tomorrow off if I'm this bad. But I need mon to prep wed. Will try to make it short.
12: get D, & onto N's (D on my bike, N cycles hers quite competently), xfer play *2 onto N's tapes, & help with her pc.
Work: am: foam prep. Yoga: Jennifer visits. pm: Dentist (OK bar tiny to-be-filled) then spend ages fighting the b*st*rd laser printer which is far far far too dense on transparencies: yellow appears dark orange, bridght green and bright blue hard to tell apart. Anyway, draw piccs for weds.
Home. Fix M's bike, ie change tire. Who said Sturmley Archer hubs are elegant? To change the tube you have to unscrew the brakes from one side. A right b*gg*r, in dark.
Soir: to C+A for cmas do; just us and them (its Jane Austen night for A+S). Niamh is in bed; E ramps around and D plays happily; we lie and chat; M and I cough in an ill-sounding way. E to bed 9ish; D 10ish; Clive gets the whisky out (it was Scottish: no "e": correct?).
Home just post 12; realise we have no Mr W! Argh.
[This written on M's portege; I still haven't got round to reestablishing mine fully]
I phone A 8:30: no, she can't find Mr W, inside or out. C is already off at work. Oh no. I check the car again: no.
D to school, I come back with E.
Phone M so she can check her bag. Where can he be? Another of those mysterious losses where you make wilder and wilder searches, and eventually doubt what you know full well, ie yes we did take him yesterday.
Leave for H's, to try to fix her computer, with the mystery unresolved.
Chez H: F back from Brasenose enthused with the life there. H is having a cleaning morning: hmm, I wonder, if we had one, once a week, would our house be tidy? Anyway, I poke and defrag her comp, but it gets no faster. Hey ho. I get coffee and a lunch out of it, and she teaches me 2 new card games, one for adults one for infants that she invented for C.
Back. Phone message: Mr W has been found! By Clive, as he left for work. Relief.
E sleeps. Lunch. Bg: get off the wolfwere island, back, kill the demon (about 3rd try: wand of monster summoning helps and the resilient sphere; don't forget to kill all the accolytes *first*). Nearly there. Back to bg; tediously through the thief maze; get Sarevok third try "honestly" - ie no shooting fireballs unless you know something is there. Leave final screen to show D the end movie.
E wakes just before 3:30, as I'm sitting down with coffee and sandwich. Hello E! She comes down, lies on the sofa on her back, and giggles.
MD back; D obliged to do his cmas cards. Show him movie, then in gesture of finality, de-install game. There! Done!
Soir: I sleep on M a while, then we wake at 9 and finish off cmas cards, hurrah.
Bed: brightness in sky: moon, so cloud is thinning.
At last a bright frosty morning.
School: panic: where is M'a? Oh, in the hall for concert. She gets E, I drop D with the last of his cards & presents for Mrs L & H (who is leaving).
To Hadley Centre for seaice meeting and indeed with hopes of meeting several other folks... on cycle path: quick check: wallet? Oops. Divert to work, borrow £45 from Tom. Will miss 9.45 but get unexpected 9.51 (is it late?).
Good meeting, & pre-meet lunch, & talk with mw. He has a linux pda: perl! shell! vi!
Home 8:30: 3 1/2 h there, & back, door-to-door. Tired. M off to works drinks.
See D&E. E sad: D has taken her blanket, cos its bigger, so he should have it... swap back. But when I go to bed, he has taken it again.
Bath with book of ptath. But! Watch has stopped. Oops. Realise this & rush off.
D's concert: Mr Baldwin is invited in to listen, which he does, most carefully. Afterwards, we clap, & D comes forward to bow, & he has a delighted smile on his face: are they clapping me (yes!) & do they mean it (yes!).
Decide to play with lego: impossible: E wont leave it alone. Give up in disgust. So E goes away. Grrr.
E has molars! Grown by stealth, it seems. Accompanied by rattiness, but that may be her cough.
Work: intended to tidy, but no: set off yabwo, & fail with ltetadot: sigseg 11. Home: 1h rest: go pick up D & E, & Billy. D & B play happily all pm, E sleeps 4.15-5.30, so fairly restful. Just about to eat at 6 when A arrives early for B: G needs to go into hospital :-(.
Veg sos & my pots: good. These ones are excellent & not beast-ridden.
Soir: drive to M+J, just under 2h. Mickey, F, Si+B there so house crowded: D&E in with us.
[E wakes 2am again :-(]
The solstice, not that I noticed until later.
D off early to help blow up the ballons: I lie in till 10.30, because I can.
J, D & I last to Abingdon, to guildhall ex-council chamber decorated by Josh's balloons: superb: see photos. Nicks side late: nav probs I think. Present: F, Mickey, Mfd+J, Jeff+K, Nick, Ma, Me+M+D+E, Si+B, Jo+Yakob, Josh, Esther, Ollie+Irene+I-M, Sarah+Sid+R.
All goes well: vid grandchildrens words. D & E both behave well: E sleeps 2nd 1/2. She wanders around with balloons tied to her.
Back, sitting talking eating drinking.
F, prompted by J: my 1st memory is my grandmother, supervising the man who milked the cow, because she was afraid he would dilute it. This was in Calcutta; she was under 1. Boarding school was fun, day school less so: she liked sports, hockey, & won a prize for goal-shooting, a silver-plated box. Sold after the house-building disaster with Tiny.
Baths; E to bed; D follows after Sarah-Sid-Ruby & Irene-Olly-Isla_May leave. Relax in l'room, then voice from above: I'm hungry: gets 3 weetabix.
[E wakes in night, but only a bit, & not sad]
Up late (well, up 7.30 with D & E but J generously lets me go back to bed, for which I am properly grateful).
Quiet am. Si+B off 11-ish.
Relaxing by fire. M+J making lunch. D has decided to have a mid-day sleep, he must be tired poor thing. E also asleep: she has been unchar ratty this am: teeth or tiredness. F, Mickey, M, J+K upstairs watching y'day on video, I having beat yet another system into submission (scart input; press jog dial '-' to select l2).
I noticed, when writing cmas cards (I rarely write enough to notice) that my writing is similar to Ma's.
Lunch; toast Karin's b'day (and in fact F's true b'day is tomorrow). Mickey has a bout of singing, which jarrs somewhat when extended.
D too floppy to display his piano skills, sadly. I fear he has done no practice at all since his last lesson/performance.
Leave well after lunch: 5 by the time we're packed. D sleeps long: he must be somewhat sick. M drives: I've had too much champers. Poor D v neatly sick into bin on way back. E still ratty.
Home. Infants to bed.I spend my soir xferring video to disk and converting AVI to MPEG, but (contrary to what I said to Clive) this proceeds at 1/2 (or less) real time. And then I need to do the stills. My first mixed-media CD, including Kate Rusby from the FF. Cut 4: for SS, IO, Mfd+J, and someone else... J+K perhaps? Anyway, this takes till somewhat after midnight: M has sensibly retired to bed, after somewhat ill-disciplined-ly (her words) sitting by the fire till late vaguely reading the paper.
Misc am; D still under weather & floppy, but E fine.
Long slow & somewhat painful packing. But car is large. Where are my keys? Unknown :-(. Skip jck's mulled wine: D not up to it: flopped by fire.
To Ma's 4-5; slowish drive, and the hump-back-bridge near the end is out for repairs.
Carry D in and deposit him on the sofa where he stays, with a warm but not too hot forehead. Some polar bear prog on TV is good till he gets bored, sadly, and we switch to Tom and Jerry. And then The Man Who Would Be King - mountains...
Fire is laid: turn it on. Smoky but good. E interested: peers her whole head forward, looks for a while, then ramps off elsewhere.
D sups on water and a very very small amount of toast. Put him and E to bed (E proving something of a trial downstairs, since there are so many things to grab and play woth, many of them delicate) without complaint.
A somewhat frustrating evening: install stoatoshop on my newly-erased Tosh fine, but whilst Clie installs OK, it refuses to talk via IR. Argh. So backup to M's tosh instead.
Meanwhile more useful people do more useful things: M wraps presents (all done: easy tomorrow) and mother ties sweets to the tree.
Conversation: Jenny Hunt is dead, cancer. Not that I've seen her this many a year.
Put here in case (I hope not) in turns out to be prescient: Ma discusses her electrical failures: the trip switch goes every other week or so. I say get better electricians: dodgy electrics is bad. Ma stays vague and I attempt to explain the diff between fuses and trip s.
How I write this diary: a mix of written at the time, on the palm, and on PC (and very rarely added to at going-to-web-time). But increasingly I go back and forth over days, adding stuff as I remember it.
This is the 1st cmas D has really cared about (did he last y? I forget). M worries if he sees a present in case it shakes his faith in s claus.
Up 8.20: luxury: D has slept in Ma's room: I can hear them. E is awake & standing up in her crib happily. M sleeps on.
D: watching footage of the battle of midway: "I like this".
Warm weather: to playground in sun with foam rockets. Balmy & mild: Ma's thermo said 12 oC earlier. D: girls are good, boys are bad: they are, really. E smiley & climbs up with no shoes on.
E sleeps till 3; D watches bobthebuilder & tom+jerry.
To J+J. D takes some persuading (heavy santa-claus related threats) but is good when we're there, & is quite happy to be.
Back 5: Rnlt since 20 mins. Hello, etc.
Discover (with little surprise, true) that I'm the only one (M?) sympathetic to firefighters.
Till past 12: embroider snowflake on D's pillowcase (his sock is too small...).
Hear scrunching noise from E's cot: she must have found her stocking! D comes in to us for stocking (pillowcase) opening. Some (hairbrush; satsuma) are cast aside; others (misc lego bag) are seized on with joy.
All bar me, D, E to church. E is a menace ramping around.
T speaks: 2 & 3 words.
Cmas dinner ok: kids under control & anyway good tempered: E sleeps.
Mrs Queen: D & L know they they get their pressies after. & they do: l'room is carpeted in gifts (too many) & wrapping paper.
E plays with baby pushchairs & the pram Ma got: putting in placemats; taking out; &c.
Bath time: D weighs 20kg by Ma's scales: L a trifle less (I weight 85 :-(). Dlt together.
I eat E's sugar mouse. Soir: the long-awaited iwd begins! Char gen. We're all so full: Ma gets out stilton & pour port into hole I dig in center. But this turns out to be to revive dry cheeses.
Pat, Ben & Dani arrive 11ish, so Jenny&Alex get a days rest with the new Joseph.
After coffee out for play on rec with rockets, ball & D's metal detector. Soggy ground: dogs soon muddy. But they still run. D & B detect metal & the 2p I left in a molehill.
E sleeps 1-: convenient for lunch. Which works, with only a few tantrums.
L has a wand. D: turn me into a slimy toad! L: does. D (big grin: slimes her) Post-lunch: quite quiet, after a period of extended running. Whew. We could all do with some peace. E still sleeps, L & D colouring, D & B play on the stairs (oh, they are playing shadows), T toddles.
M & N both think: is it really only 5.30.
I change E & sing her silly songs: D & B & Dani come upstairs singing: 'we wish you a merry bottom & a happy new nappy'.
Patbendani+skykes off. We have quiet time: L is v tired: M reads her & D animal stories.
Soir: again stilton etc: again we're all stuffed. I iwd.
Up to loo in night: light wont turn on: Ma's electricals?
Lie-in till 9: Rob comes in: elec *is* off: trip-switch won't untrip unless fuse for boiler, etc, is out. Oops. We poke & try, Rob unplugs a radio upstairs, then its all ok, hurrah. But plugging the radio back is also ok: huh? Ma resolves to get new electrician.
Rnlt off to s+s for lunch, after farewells on all sides & group photo. Suddenly its quiet. Being together is fun, esp for D, but tiring.
Lunch. Load car (again...).
D watches T+J, until its time to go.
Stop off at H's (P Ris) for a chat since we haven't seen him this age. Topics: J+J; his last hol. Flooded fields. K Rusby, my new cd: not as good as her folk fest drowned l. & her words are not as good as on my misc cd: this written in Abingdon tesco car park while M buys nappies & thingies.
Si+B there too.
Soir: dinner till late: near 10. Then iwd till the small hours, unwisely.
Up briefly but kind J lets me sleep again.
Pre-lunch walk Abingdon to weir: lovely in sun: D fascinated. Its in spate. Alas sun fades on return & I miss piccy of sun striped through trees. E walks quite a way in her ill-fitting wellies.
Lunch; Si+B off in his giant previa-from-work.
I bathe DE but Mfd reads D to 'sleep'. Go up later: E has pulled out 2 cot bars.
Soir: iwd but not late: partly cos M wants the power.
My 'official' lie-in day. B'fast with E, who is a menace. She shares toast, some water, & some apple - which she has now taken from me to eat & throw around.
All except me out to shop 11: I kill troll (at about 4th attempt: in this game, once you disturb one, all follow). Back with screaming: D was chased into pillar by J & has a large yukky-looking bump on his forehead & tears down cheeks.
Lunch: E amuses all (inc her) by emptying bowl, putting it on her head, & grinning at all.
2:30: to ox: M&I to bookshops (Blackwells for M to look at kids books; then Borders); others to museum. Rain.
Meet by car 4:25: E slept all; D (& M+J?) had fun, esp the uv light.
Home: I make the press-out nativity scene with intermittent help from D; who then does piano, then with M & J makes courgette 'boats' for dinner.
Soir: iwd: take destroyed bridge. Since M is setting up her web site this involves dashing around with the one shared psu.
Enter new years go congress for last day, tues.
Disturbed night with repetitive dull dreams: awake sick: was it the mouldy cheese?
And remain sick all day. Cancel go.
[D goes out with J to ox to shop & see mkt: not disturbed by dead animals].
Begin to come out of my sickness, slowly. MJDE leave for F (D hopes I will get better) 2 ish (they have a slow trip of it, bad traffic). I wave them off: I could prob go too, but might infect F?
Sit downstairs 3-6. Read somewhat. Rain. Crawl upstairs for another sleep. Resurface briefly 7 for dinner with Mfd: he has mushrooms, I have 1 toast, 1 carrot, & 1 satsuma. Another sleep/read, then down 9 ish. Mail/news. Phone M at F but line busy rept.
Happy New Year to Mfd in particular & the world in general.
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