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And so to a new year! A grey beginning weatherwise (floods elsewhere) & I am still slow, unwell, headachy. But at least I haven't vomed since the 1st day. Again, broken dreams, this time fragments of Wishstone & Wonderworkers.
Mfd drives us to F's 10-12, good time, little traffic, I couldn't find the route again.
F is in; J in town getting photo reprints from F's 90th; Med off towards park (though its pouring with rain). But they are soon back, having been sheltering under the 'arch': E walked back!
I have a lie-down after lunch, whilst E sleeps & M takes D to whitgift (d: but I want to go by tram!). But survive rest of day & feel, say 80% by 9.
Dinner (D likes turkey) & champers that would have been last night if we'd been together.
Perhaps 90% by bedtime at 11. M has patched her wiki. Read in bed till 12: central heating creaks & whooshes.
Slept well, when we slept: you have to be tired to sleep over the roar of the ch.
Ticket lady to D: are you at school? D (brightly): yes, I'm in reception, I'm the oldest in fact. & we're on our way to sci mus, despite a landslip due to rain further up the line at redhill.
To sm. Fun, but quite tiring: lots of time in loud launchpad. M & I get sucked into logic & phys puzzles. Wander amongst steam engines & daily tech & ponder how much kit is needed to support.
Soir: dinner & watch 'indep d' (because F wanted 'orse whisperer, but got the wrong channel, & when id starts I shout ID! hurrah!), & we all get sucked in, even though it is pap. F creaks under pressure & we all help finish washing up.
[Ch wheezes again but I sleep better]
Last day. Take DE out for little walk. Back: D watches ItE - & so do I. F makes her slow painful careful excessive preparations for lunch.
Another car pack (prob more than 1 man-day of pack/un in all) & off, 3pm. Home before 5.
So: *still* havent found my keys: will need to tidy house... start by looking, then cleaning, behind cooker.
Home again, h a, jiggety-jig.
At last, a beautiful sunny a.m. lie-in. Lovely.
M takes de to w/rose: D is over-bouncy & nearly misses by spitting (!) on M. Sent to bedroom in tears, but reprieved.
& so I sit in the sunshine on the (clean, tidy, thanks to M's tidy last night) floor & drink tea with paper quietly.
Discover damp under wash mach: investigate: argh! A drip, sodden. For how long. Clean, fix. Perhaps only since water back on?
Hello to Dot.
Back 1; de stay in car; M makes up a sandwich or 2 & I find s/kit & we head off to Impington raft session. Quiet at first. C arrives with B & G. & all have fun. Swap cmas with C while db play & G clings to her.
Bring B back with us & he & D play: misc; in puppet theatre; Oz on computer; while E sleeps. Tidy hallway around them. Affix doorstop near back door.
M makes dinner: pots/peas/fish (not for me!) & pudding choc trifle from F but not much apprec :-(.
7: still playing but take B home. D comes; they pretend monsters. I see: snow! Gently, thinly, falling. Hurrah.
E to bed; D watches some iwd as his story (yes really).
Soir: M wikis a bit. Start Wazir & Witch. Eyes still a little tired.
A second lovely day. Outside, a hardish frost and perhaps a tiny trace of snow if you look hard.
My turn up! First for ages. Hear D get up & run downstairs: why? Go in to cute standing up E: hello. D is under bed eating chocs... and so it goes till 10:10 when I ask D to get M up; she showers; somewhat belatedly we go:
11.30: to Andy&Claire for 'do': many there & it is fun: mostly 'with kids' & we know hence ready conversation. Poor D: traps thumb in hinge of sunroom door and wails most piteously! Really does wail, pain and fear, not just a little cry. But initial fears (broken/crushed bone) unfounded; sympathy/plaster/calpol soons puts him right, or at least forgetful. Meanwhile Stanley sleeps through it all until wakes to feed near end.
Leave D there as we leave at 2: E down to sleep at home; rest. But I cannot! No! because a fever dream takes me: to build a commodious under-stairs cupboard, and yes! Today! This madness has me measuring and thinking and then off to B+Q to buy 44x44x2100x4 and 44x18x2100x6 and plywood 606x1220x18 (=2'x4'). And so home, though a pleasant sunset: a day for walking quietly in the fields given time.
Home. Unpack. S still sleeps. Think. Realise its harder than I thought to joint it all... hmm...
Do some long-delayed EGP web upgrading. And there is a local meeting this thurs...
D back 6:30, my that was a long time. Play a little iwd: its hard in the caverns approaching the fortress. Trolls! Also the machine crashes the game occaisionally: argh.
Soir: M cooks aubergines/pots/onions and this is nice. She reads; I do somewhat, then rouse self and tidy up (long belated) back toilet-way by moving school table upstairs and then tidying. Thus all the wood I bought today is out of the way *and* things are tidier than before. Hurrah.
And so to bed: 22:45. Early, by recent standards.
Work: peace. Informal short yoga. Work. Hack mail down to 120 mess.
Back to normal tues: D to school (no sign of N; odd) flushed with enthusiasm to be *first* tomorrow; M to work. About 10 E & I head off; school to pay D's dinner money (£40/term) & drop off his scarf & gloves. Its a cold day: well below zero; cloudy.
Pause at bas for smoko: E terribly well behaved & quiet/sleepy. P+r in. Maplins to look at mem: £70/256, more than I expected (desktop is getting flaky again; unit 2 decay suspected).
Pool: E has fun, learns to go down slide, climb out, wait at wall for me to lift her, then rpt, rpt. If only there were steps at wall.
Arj/Cb1 till 2:30. Find 'homeland' by R A Salvatore. Bugbears in 1991. E still sleeps but time to start home. But now cold sun.
School had salt down on paths (which many, inc D, mistook for ice). I explain its to melt ice. Home: get out 2 ice cubes: sprinkle salt on one: in course of dinner that one melts more.
D to school: first there, just before they open at 10 to. But someone else goes in 1st: but he seems satisfies.
Odd day: M'a has fam funeral so M does till 12 (snows 10ish) then we swap & she cycles off through cold, leaving me the car to go to Ma's & take down her lights. But: she takes the keys too. So E & I are stuck.
E sleeps 2+h; I iwd: get to ice palace.
Have cleaning phase: kettle, draining board, windowledge.
Cook (pots & onions with bhindi bhaji as sauce); M back 7.
Soir: iwd/read. Bed sensible: 10.30.
Snow still lies v thinly: bleak. D to school.
Yoga: Janet baok.
A little more work on ssmi ice motion, then town: post return memory/cb1/arj.
At Sparkes the locksmiths getting a new backdoor key cut. To xx8pus to look at taps (for F) but fail: diff design nowadays.
Home: half h to read online. Pick D from home club; piano. Go get E: when I get back D is being naughty.
Soir: gp (despite H's best efforts to cancel).
Cold fading to rain. M'a (o'slept) comes to pick up E; D to school.
Work: finish ssmi motion. Play adding pc to cluster.
Home 2. Toast, paper, coffee. Iwd. To school for E & to deliver D's toothbrush & jams: tonight is his first sleepover, at N's. Rain restarts.
Home: where's M? E happy. Points at cornflakes until I understand. Cd: pgcd4. M back 5.
Soir: beer fest with C & Andrew. But, its crowded (& oddly, when you *do* get to bar, you get served instant). AC become dissatisfied, so to Cam Blue & join 'friday club'. S arrives late.
Lovely dawn, esp seen from bed! Quiet with no D. Quiet am: toast & (briefly) paper. M takes E w/r; I get router & vac from loft & make a test joint. M back; leave E to sleep.
1: to N's to take DN to pool: but N cries N off: blotches on legs. All has gone well; D has been good. DN onto rec for 1/2 h: play with puddle ice. Still gorgeous blue sky & still, but cold. Pool: B arrives 5 mins after us: good. & now after swim to playground nearby: D's objective for weeks. Half moon. The sandpit is frozen: D & B collect 'energy': lumps of frozen sand. Getting cold now sun set.
Up 8 with E; D had come into our bed half h earlier. Shave off moustache. Why? Unsure. Not right sans barbe.
To ss 11 but! Its off. D gets to go collect wood with B.
Put stormguard around front door to supplement: have to remove hinge side. Think its better.
3: walk, alone. D plays spider; M assists; E sleeps. T: just above zero. Thin but effective cloud, tantalising hints of blue. Put on new x-bas SA rblt's; over stream; around field. Quiet. Now sitting on bench in mem David Oakden Brown 1955-96. Gentle rustle of last y leaves in breeze. & m'way noise. Bomb m11, not iraq!
Work/yoga/work: egs abstracts. Warmer.
Soir: iwd till 9.30: out of the fell wood!
Disturbed am: D wet into our bed but won't settle.
E walks from car & then, while I'm folding chair, gets on bus & sits proudly on a seat. & walks quite a bit in town too. Pool 11-12: slides then middle pool.
Arj/cb1. E sleeps 2h- happily. Buy M htbg in Browns. P+r: drive to school. Talk to Penny while awaiting D; E wombles. Watch bush shredding then home. D play jay1; I wash up. M back on time: 4.30! I sit & relax.
D was bad in piano: sent upstairs & banned comp till next good lesson.
Soir: iwd: into underdark! Finish 'night watch'.
Awake slowly. Tired. All happy downstairs.
Work: egs abs deadline. Play with new node (tlc pc) on cluster: fail try 1 (pxelinux.bin): arch? Try nis-ism with jpro advice. Needs k rebuild (actually it needed me to spell nfs in lc in fstab) which needs k sources, cpp... Meanwhile, egs server is too o/loaded tu accept abstracts :-( I'll have to do it tonight.
Which I do. Have Sam over pm. Watch tree loping a bit, home. D&S to tree house - its not quite dark. They come back for bics&water. Then come in & play with D's pirate ship, then on comp (adiboo, D reprieved while S here).
Take S back 6 (he asks for music & doesn't complain at clash). He invites me to see his room (& for some odd reason I go sans asking Jeff) & tries to trap me inside.
Soir: iwd, flowerdust. Some tidying: but more remains.
Work/yoga/home. Iwd: defeat beastmaster. Spend 1h digging up bed & planting tulips-from-si&b.
D hops & skips to school, as ever.
Work, plus 1h, on uls comparison. Home: lunch, iwd. Pick up E then DBN. On way home B complains of tummy & N of something: N says they should go to D's bed & D can pretend doctor.
Home: they disappear upstairs. M soon returns & gets E. I rest. Then go up to move E's cot out so they can play. Then comp: oz & adiboo.
M cooks s/eggs & broccoli; N wins eating food prize. B taken 6.15. 6.30: Me off to F. D & N play 'going to bed' upstairs.
D: N, want to see my bum? ... there you go. Meanwhile, I'm downstairs sorting photos.
Finally, 10 ish, they are asleep, after a long succession of 'we want a tape' (N let them listen to one, as an expt I didn't), we're too hot, the blanket is too small, etc. But all v happily. Meanwhile I waste another eve on iwd: into underdark: kill drider-generator.
Bed 11.30 after tidy kitchen & set out b'fast.
T's b'day. Fortunately M sent a card, drawn by D, 'cos Ma reminded us.
I lie in till 9.30, while D & N b'fast. N arrives at 10 so N has to hurriedly dress & find socks. Then D & I manage to pack with such dispatch that the taxi gets us to the 10.45.
With D to sci mus. Cafe first: D allowed pepsi as he's been good. Then Penrose tilings: blue/yellow. Blue are 1/5 decahedron; yellow are arrow-heads that complete a diamond when fitted to one b. Done like that, tess rept. But if rule is: yellow spans angle of 2 b's, get non-rept. All this not expl: I am appalled.
Up to bulgy things on 1st floor but these are dull. Down to launch pad where D has fun as ever, it is hot as ever, & I watch the bubble-columns.
Garden: water, then giant lego blocks.
Then out, via shop, which I dont deny D as he has been good. He selects an 'amoeba' & regrets it as soon as he opens it. But plays anyway.
F's 6ish. Dinner, then M takes de to Pable's 1st b'day next door.
Soir: bath & wash hair to get dreadlocks out. MF watch tv trash so I hide upstairs.
Up with ED. When M gets up, back to bed! I feel tired. I work at work; I play iwd at home (hmm, home goal there); I play with infants. Not a lot of time to relax. Poor me....
M takes D to town to buy toy & get hair cut. F & I try to control E. Who is fairly good: rather less random pulling things off surfaces, and more cuteness. Sleep E 1ish. D comes back cut and happy with it. He also has a big box containing a plastic toy fort, to which I react badly at first, but then D and I still it together and it looks quite good (if anachronistic: there is a cannon). But first lunch.
Post lunch, play a bit with D's fort: various item shoot little plastic balls; there are horses to pull things and carry knights; etc. D likes it.
Leave mid-pm. Quiet drive home.
Home & quiet. Iwd till 9 only! M wiki's. Wash clothes.
Work. Heavy day: get stuff ready for wed which takes (as ever) rather longer than expected.
Soir: M to yoga (first this term).
To Ma's after dropping D at school. Rain. She has had an electrician in and he may have sorted her problems. I finally read her trip switch: it says: 'earth leakage circuit breaker' / current op / 30 mA trip. So there you are. More rain: sit and drink coffee. Finally stops: out with ladder; take lights off the gingko while Ma walks E down to the shop (she walks there and back! hurrah for E). Then clean out some gutters at the front: oh joy. Lunch: home made soup by Ma, with *my* potatoes.
Talk about her getting an emailer (.amstrad.) instead of a full computer. Also see .traidcraft.co.uk - share offer note. Must have a look.
3: head off home. E sleepy. Stop at JJ briefly: they seem perhaps somewhat better. E sleeps on the way back; good. Stop off at work to pick up some stuff I'd forgotten; back just before 5; MD preparing for piano.
M cooks: pots in eggs. D not keen; I can understand that. But he's good.
Soir: iwd till 9 (the guardian dragon defeats me); M baths; download Moz 1.3 for windoze. Tidy somewhat.
M has day off for tax form. I to bracknell tiggering, which goes ok if short. Main building: I am bluecarded & talk to pc-isdn ro. Early back: home pre-7.
Soir: pub: A+S.
Back hurts somewhat on wake: why?
Work/yoga. J announces India feb.
Town: puncture outside bh. Buy new inner & swap. Cb1 at 3.15. Spend quite some time in there, finishing Homeland; then realise that I'm in a hurry to post Ma's keys and F's photos; and go to xxOcto in search of keyhole saw; fail.
D from HC to piano just on time; "concert"; arrange Adam tomorrow. Home.
Soir: put up pillar #1, hacking plasterboard to do it. Action!
Work, home, 2ish. As I cycle past the school D's class shout out "its D's dad!" and they are lined up on the bank, doing a traffic survey. Mrs Leeper says: thank you, we needed a bicycle. Down garden: its warm: bees buzzing from outside and wonky hives; old hive shows small activity, but some. Dots snowdrops are coming out (the bluebells are beginning to come through; have been for weeks). Sit outside in sun with coffee and paper till time to go.
Pick up DE from school; take Adam back and he and D play happily. On the way back they take the long cut through the cul-de-sac; but don't emerge; I find them talking to a BT engineer fixing the phone lines.
I am looking forward to a relaxed afternnon with D and Adam together and M to help with E; but no! No M! And no M till 6:15, a panic at work, grump grump. But its not too bad. Fix dinner (unappreciated and mostly uneaten till I do).
Adam off 6:30; D piano; misc then bed. Despite best intentions iwd most of soir; but get through most of dragons eye levels 1-3, except the bits I can't get into: Sseths eye protected; prison; closed doors. Hmm.
MED to waitrose after b'fast; I sit inside in sun with paper and coffee.
At 1, bundle D and E into car; go pick up N and Nelson (am I mad?) and we all go swimming. It turns out that I am mad: 4 kids is too many when they all really need watching. E obviously; Nelson because he can't swim and doesn't wear armbands though he is taller and more in depth and holds floats; D and N because you never know. So its a somewhat fraught 1:30, especially as E tries to eat the floats and D and Nelson have to be reproved for exclusing N, who sulks and is sad, poor thing.
But we survive (oh and I bought D some goggles, which he wears off and on). Back to N's; despite Nelsons and D's desires, invite to us is only for N; and back she comes. She and D play on computer quite a lot, and all is happy, until dinner time, when neither eats much (N's honey sandwiches went down well). N borrows D's BtB lunchbox, which D doesn't need.
Soir: resort to Mr Google to solve mystery of Mandal, see sunday.
[All of fri-now written now; sunday evening; nearly 11; time for bed]
My up-early day, at 8; D is in bed with us and E no longer satisfied with her musical cow demands to be de-cotted. So I do.
Down with her and D for a fairly civilised breakfast of cereals: dry fo D and E, copying M. I have my customary Arjuna de-luxe organic museli.
11: take D to sunday school; when nearly there encounter Andy and Billy who drive past; B is recovered enough to go, and will be back at school next week, recovered from his fever etc; D pleased. Leave him there happily ensconsed and return; just time to kill high priest K-who-is-a-child; get there then screw it up. But at last I've "solved" the dragons eye: which was tricky, as the game "cheated": and since I've spent hours and hours on this, I'm going to explain. Since I didn't guess/find the rack-door-opener, I did levels 2 and 3 before returning; so I *knew* Mandals corpse wasn't down there; but it *was* once I'd talked to Nheero. Argh. Ditto the mandrake root wasn't in the ancient wyvern pocket until his shade showed me. Argh 2. Anyway.
Pick up D; they are late coming out so we (A, N and I) chat about stuff: swings. Then the kids all play together outside. Drag D away; walk back with A+B. Home for quick lunch, then off to visit Moody Mansion, M coming since her tax form is under control. With Phils excellent directions and map we arrive with no trouble in perhaps 1:15. And it is a mansion, well quite big, part of a new homes estate. 5 bedrooms, large, etc etc. So we admire it, have tea, D plays with H's toys and E wanders around. David is asleep for this bit. Phil needs to return a video so P, H, E and I walk off to the local shop, which is good cos I get to see the area, which is a bit like Cambourne, perhaps, except the houses are larger? E is quite a fast walker, but uncertain in direction, so has to be carried. As does H for some of it.
Lovely sunset as we return: its fairly level like here so you get a big sky. And then home: again quick. D begs to watch "the fighting game", though he doesn't really like the fighting; I offer to call it "the adventuring game" but he doesn't buy that. And so we kill the high priest again. He's tough, being immune to almost everything, and worth 3* the dragon, which is wrong. Dinner; piano; bed for DE.
During, I explore a little further the crater; then soir: woodwork! Having finally got the main pillar up; I experiment with the router doing mortises till I get it right, then cut pillar 2 and join then with a beam. Splendid. Takes all evening. But what takes a long time is working out where everything will go. Smell of cut/burnt wood from the router.
[All this (re)written thurs soir, since powercuts today zeroed my palm while is was recharging: motto: take it out of the cradle if the power outs!]
Work / Yoga (last before J goes into purdah for a few weeks) / work.
First of new regime: M swaps T/W to accomodate a meeting. So to work.
Pick E up from school; D goes to B's. Quiet time at home; tidy. M back slightly after 6:10; D 6:30.
Soir: Kirsty (and Ian?) arrive 7:15 to babysit (D says: I hate being babysat; but won't say why. But seems happy enough when K is here). M and I off to LOTR II with Andrea, who arrives fashionably nearly-late, having had trouble getting N to sleep. But this gives us time for a coffee. Get popcorn, which I munch throughout the 3h of the film. Verdict: superficially spectacular, profundly corrupt. Fin just past 11; home we go.
Some notes: trivia: bows are not kept strung; it would wring them. Nazgul don't work well: just nasty, not all-pervading terror. Worse: gimli becomes silly. Entmoot decides against, then reverses decision: stupid. Faramir doesn't let F+S go, but takes them. Why? Stupid dream sequence for Aragorm, who uses his real name too freely. Saruman should not possess Theodred. Etc.
Which is a tuesday. So, since M has kindly left me the car, I drive E to p+r and in we go: E likes the bus. Keen wind in town as we cross PP; pool, happily. Wed is not so good: the middle pool is lessons.
Arj/cb1: after resisting for a while, E sleeps, and I get to read mail and read junk book. And so we head back, E sleeping on the bus; to school just as M arrives. Give her car and take her bike home.
Soir: more woodworking. Connect HP tape and start backup; says 8h to go! But I can play iwd at the same time. And so I do: out of the caldera, at last, having realised the way the time loop works: I had been getting frustrated, but now I think it was clever.
Bed late: backup finished earlier than it said, but still late; then it wants to verify to leave it going.
Chill am; heads down as we walk to school. Oddly, my face feels colder than my legs. E to M'a; Drop off D, mentioning that snow is forecast for tomorrow, to his delight.
Work: puzzled by yabww, until I realise it is 2 overlapping runs. Notes for SCAR talk. Home 1 in the middle of a snowstorm: decide against going to town. This turns out to be a good decision. Sit by fire with coffee and watch the snow swirl around outside. Slowly it dies out with about 1cm on the ground. Iwd a bit: fields of slaughter. Get out camera and photo a few snow-covered bushes etc; its all very beautiful under white sky and wind.
Get out router and cut sidebeam groove to hold shelf, slowly. Finish and tidy up; more snow is falling, thicker now. Off to get D; about 2" has fallen; kick snow off my sandal-toes. Get D, who went out at lunchtime but not a'noon break; to Mrs B; realise I've left music at home club :-( Hey ho. Her roof-windows are almost covered; D thinks it looks like: I forget: water? cloud?
Go get E; more snow. M'a says cars having probs getting up Madingley road; have to drag E backward since, like in sand, the chair won't go forward...
Get D, home. D plays outside while E and I watch from safety. Where is M? Oddly, delayed. D sits by fire, then has cereal. E has cheese (brie...) and stuff. Then a bath (up the stairs, she repeats "up we go" quite well. Mr Box arrives (to my surprise) so D watches E for me. D goes out again to play; then bed for all.
So... M still not back. Hmmm. Iwd some more: finish FoS.
M back 8:45! having left at 5:30: 3h in the car: walking would have been quicker!
Snow still there in the morning, when D comes bounding in wanting to go out and play. M gets up with him, and even I get up only just after 8. I get skiis etc from loft, and go out to join D; even M E come out. It is a snowy wonderland, all covered in white: lovely. D climbs his treehouse, not sure why. I ski in back garden. Over little meadow, D talks to G and goes into her garden; ME back in. M'a phones: school is shut, so...
err... we don't want her to take E do we... errr. Sadly (?) M takes the call so E stays at home. However, there is no hurry to get to school now. I go fetch D for b'fast, and to tell K about school; D has got v cold hands and suffers returning-circ pains; tears by fire; poor D.
I must to work, since have to write scar talk for monday. So M agrees to cover first half; she doesn't want to go in anyway. And ski in. Fun! Skins to start, but its only-just-freezing so melty snow sticks; remove them. Comments from people as you'd expect. Few about. School empty. Just ahead of me, says someone, was someone else who skiied from Wimpole. H? No. Cross m'way; disappointingly it is open, though snowy, and little except a few lorries going slow. Down to work and leave skiis by door as trophy. Then discover all work unix is down due to powercuts/brownouts/buying cr*p ups's... but slowly DB brings things up with advice via phone from JPR.
Smoko: quite a few of us around, esp since Ian didn't get home last night: several slept at bas, it seems. And as we drink coffee, H comes in with skiis, having come from Comberton, rather further than me!
Home 2, with 1/2 talk done and must frustration at semi-functional systems. But the snow is still lovely.
"Take over" from M, who gets in 1h by wire. B comes round; they play upstairs and D has to be cajoled into playing nicely/together; B has to threaten to tell on him. But after that its better. Play outside; they take a bucket to "collect snow" for a snowman. After a while I go out to help. Its a little above zero; icicles drip from the roof but the snow holds up.
Make bread (continue from M and D's start; sadly I do kneading while D is outside which gets me into trouble later).
Turns into long a'noon; E is a menace, ramping around and needing constant suppression. Or should I be entertaining her? Tired.
Take B home with D; snowballs in Bennys Way. E to bed via bath & M does D. Peace. Finish Sword of t' Lictor: good. Especially well done, to me, is the gradual realisation that when he described the mountains as figures crowned in white he really means they are.
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