WMC's diary pages, 2003.

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

October 2003

Wed 1st

Last before D's b'day! To school. The S question. Back via bw. 10.30: to town. As we pass school, D waves, so we stop, & DBNS drag us in. Playground folk unsure if we're allowed: Mrs S says yes. So E & I stay to watch them play, & indeed E gets dragged off with them (except S, somewhat forlorn, who is not allowed up the field; but he makes no attempt to follow).

Town: whs for party bags, oxfam. Arj/cb1. E good as ever.

Counting invitees: Adam / G+E / N / B / Tayler+C / L+D / Catherine Fox.

Germ t/s (now Icelandic, apparently): wooden s'roller & car transp; & threading kit: for E.

RS: jumping beans, Indian headress for P (like D's - mistake?).

Back via N (drop off h'dress; talk), & pub: 1/2 cider while E is zonked.

Since its now nearly-3:30 to school, leaving E in her bikeseat off to one side and worrying those who should know better. Make sure that S *is* invited; and that others know its tomorrow... apparently my 2/10 on the invites looked like 21 10 to some. Hmpf. M arrives and there is some friction about this. Anyway, she walks back with D and I cycle with sleeping-through-it-all-E.

Home. Strim back bit around slab till all looks OK, then sift earth into the gaping cracks. Hmm: as a lawn, its poor. As a wild area, its fine... Lots of other outdoors tidying, sweeping side of house, etc etc.

D and I make a wigwam from canes and sunflower stalks, and drape a drape over it: goos, but needs more cloth.

Soir: misc inside tidying too. Carry chairs upstairs.

Thurs 2nd

Skip work in favour of tidying up pre-party. But first a little cup of coffee till 10:30. Then up and out, look over the back garden and decide its about OK for a bouncy castle. Sweep and weed patio, clean out downstairs loo of junk so its usable, move stuff down to shed from bike shed so that can be used too. Good! 12: time for another coffee. Upstairs: tidy bathroom; hoover corridor etc. Ma arrives 1:30 to help set up so we set to living room and all is OK, house wise. M and N back 2:30 and the actual set up for the party begins, with Mr Bouncy Castle arriving soon after and doing his stuff. Find the purple blanket to complete the wigwam.

3:20: to school with Ma, me (self) painted with stripes rather too colourful to be indian, and in a fine headress intended for D, to collect D et al: the al being an ill-defined collection of his classmates who we are to bring. So I sit outside and go whoop! occaisionally and quietly, and Ma restrains me from putting head outside class window. Out they come; collect them up, with some parents following; off we go (A becomes sad after a bit because L has his bike... oh dear). Home, and off they go. I become busy face-painting kids: N's own, I notice, is RYBlack: aha. So the first child becomes RWB; N gets RYBlack too; etc. Briefly, face painting is fashionable: a "queue" develops as everyone wants to be next, and my skills improve, though its easy to put it on too wet so it runs. Next off is balloon blowing: modelling ones for swords and hats, then the caterpilar ones, then the ones that go plwarrphpppll and zoom about. Most of those disappear. All the while the weather is threatening - there was light rain a.m. and now cloud - but it never quite rains.

And so people rush around having fun, and all is well, with the main menace being the 2 person swing which is in constant danger of clobbering someone but never does. I video and photo a bit but am too busy to do much. N organises some games: bang-on-the-pot; and at the last a tug of war is quite disorganised. Food: pop corn and pizza. Before that pass the parcel, then cakes (Ma has made a big one for D, and a little one for each of them).

Parents start arriving and yes, its 6: as ever, just when things are settling down and fine, it ends, but slowly, as people get their party bags. D can be restrained no longer and opens some presents and we have to rely on Naomi to tell us who gave what. At last, alone again, in a fairly quiet hose. M compiles list with D of what-from-who; I tidy a little, just enough to regain habitability.

Mr Bouncy returns for his castle in the glooming.

Soir: I feel like collapsing but instead there is a met curry: I go off (with face paint: nearly innocently, but in fact M told be just before I left: but keep it), discover its *not* the curry centre but is the curry house, ex-x-star of india. Under new ownership 13 weeks, sez the manager, very keen to please, and the curry is reasonable, good, acceptable, but doesn't rise above the standardness of cambridge fare. Skip pub after and home by 10.

Fri 3rd

Work and home as usual. 3:30 to pick up E, and see D to multi-sports (he has done this himself, and quite forgotten last weeks trauma), from whence he will go with AN to a's (till 7, kind H). So E (who has been sad, says M'a) and I go home quietly and rest/tidy/play. M back 4:30 ish, and we all relax. Go pick up D for 7 and actually prise him out :15: he is watching Maisy, while N and A and P race round in little bobby cars madly. Home; bed for DE; rest for M and I.

Sat 4th

[start to write up from 2nd: busy]

DE into bed till M/D annoy & D is sent to his bed till he can come out cheerful. I get up with E & fail to persuade D to come down. All a bit slow but MDE to w/rose 10.30 & I allot. Windy. Buy pears from stall & dig up pots & onions from front; misc tomatoes at back. Home 12, settle to coffee in sun but! others back soon.

1: to Alisons party: many folk there. D races off. E bounces on castle & thinks it great fun, but needs watching. A+S arrive: we explore the v extensive garden & eventually emerge: I can climb ditches better than M, A or S. Tip of Coton ch just visible below. Leave 3:15 somewhat late to pack (a small selection of D's presents) and off 4 to...

M+J: 6. M and I instantly collapse by the fire.

9: late dinner. 10: early bed; M & I tired. D still awake with his new torch.

Sun 5th

E's b'day: I get a present: lie in till mostly 10. At which point D wants E to open her presents so I must get up or miss this. And so I do.

E has lots of presents, from us, F and M'a, and opens them herself with some help from D and us. Then D has presents from F and M+J (both lego: creatures from F and big crane from M+J: D is very keen on both and instantly starts playing with the creatures, very creatively making his own rather than following instructions. I help. D makes a green thing, initially an insect but later a baddy machine that just looks like an insect. I make a red scorpion with a sting: D says it must be a baddy too so we can be friends. E is playing with her the-tiger-that-came-to-tea teaset from D.

RNLT arrive 12; hellos all round and D invites L to play with his new lego. Ma 1, having got snarled up in Abingdon diversions. Lunch: D and L moderately well behaved but D needs speaking to; its too long for him (them) really. So they get down. E needs sleep half way through (so do I...).

D and Lara in the helicopter 3:30: out to playground: sun: children need to run somewhat; D happy to show L the way. When we get there, they want to be together and for us to "stop watching them" so we do, and watch Toby instead. They come in and play on helicopter.

Back; tea; B'day cakes (Herb's banana, walnut and cocoa cake, "iced" with bright balls by M and me to say Daniel and Miranda).

6:35 (M+J+F are off to concert): off home. Get lost somewhere between Bicester and MK which adds 10 mins and some friction between M and I (we notice that this is happening a bit more than it should recently: both too busy to be properly kind: must try harder): back 7:45 and DE straight to bed. Unpack car and the vast array of presents...

Light dinner by fire; M puts heating on; there has been another power cut while we were out. Mail/tin, saved from wiki by its server being down.

Mon 6th

Soir: M yoga. Late: M sad/tired.

Tues 7th

Day off. But what to do? Talk Cheryl re Baptist chapel. A puzzle. Town: swim! First for ages & I am out of condition/fit. Manage 3*6 & not fast. Arj/cb1: go v Richard. Good game but lose. Rain: more coffee.

Village. Talk N re s'dale council houses & baptist. Talk Ian McG re visit re ext: arrange wed. Home 2.30.

210720 - rotavator.

BW after school, walking back with Claire. Sun, wind. DB&S play vigorously; G is swung by C; Stan sits in his big yellow jacket; E unwisely (but successfully) joins in with the 3.

Soir: expt with table sideways.

Wed 8th

D to school, E carrying D's teddy which she has adopted. D refuses chance to go on with B: I must come. Mrs S says Kate will come to assembly tomorrow. Home with E: drizzle. She plays 'giggles', I tidy then read paper. To work for coffee: E to shy to say hello to kathy but has warmed up by leaving time & say g'bye charmingly.

Town: w/s (E sleepy), arj, cb1. Past 1, but E vetoes leaving.

Home 2: E to sleep. Lunch. 3.30: quickly go get D while E sleeps. & sleeps, all through IMcG's visit.

Thurs 9th

Day off. To town (stop to photo yellow leaves in sun): swim: 8,6,6 in under 30: better. Arj / cb1.

Home: pm shed, interspersed with rests. Screw on back wall slab, etc, & paint on some more oil. Xtnd roof cap to 2.9m from 2.7.

Get D (from home club: they say: he is integrating better)at 6. E is 'out with Kay' sez C so go home to wait. Start (rush) cooking b'berry & apple crumble with D, but it goes ok. M back 6.30. I rush around looking for gov papers; E arrives; all is confusion. But ok.

7.30: gov meet: a bit slow after 1 1/2 h. Goes on for 3h. Argh.

Fri 10th

Stay after lunch for uav talk. Surprise: there is rice 'Nasi Gorenge' style. Ok. Uav talk/project from soc chap: fun.

Pm: M is 'on' due to wed. But I pick up E since I'm passing & go to cake stall. M goes to school 4.30 to get DNA from multi-s. Meanwhile I extend roof pole again by a few cm (sigh) & affix door 3 as table.

6: pooter goes phut! Oh dear. Not graphics, mobo? Oops.

4 hairy planes: spitfire, mustang, ??typhoon??, ?? Sat 11th

Lie till 9: beautiful morn. Am: misc, since we are meeting Datew at...

Duxford at 12.30. But where are they? & where is my mobile. Ans: 1/2 h late (traffic) & in breast pocket. But evil bt phone swallows 50p *&* 10p. Anyway: Dux is fun, & they manage to stay till 4, so we do h1, tea, play & american. D & T play together, Em is scared of me, W toddles. & we get along well with DA, who we haven't seen for... a while.

We say g'bye at Am & walk to land hall. Weather is gorgeous. D & I enjoy tanks etc (I can name most) but M's spirit is oppressed.

Sun 12th

Up DE: ugh. At D's req, make bread, indeed poppy seed br, using our saved seeds. Inbetween, make 'paper tricks' pecking bird & jumping frog.

12: JoE with paper & they come in for a roll, & to return borrowed duplo.

Med to w'rose: I to put shelf in l'room for D's multiple toy boxes (M's idead). Now where is old kitchen shelf? Vanished. Hmm. Find another (plague of flies in loft: why?); sand (its poor stuff, b+q quality going down?) oil. Cut brackets from ply, leaving 2 circles & one 'fish'. Med back.

3: to trains, stopping to pick up N, who is bouncing with eagerness to be going: we are late. N to D: do you draw or write better? D: if you ask me, I'm pretty good at both. D & N are drawing in little book of N's, & when we arrive they are first eager to find a place to 'be': I go to get a tea. Now after 1h they are sitting together where they can o'look the tiny trains. For no obvious reason D has brought rope & wooden disk (from my w'work) & he & N climb a tree to play with it, D singing 'haul away joe'. So far todays trains are an excuse for DN to play together. & for me to have a rest! 2 (then 3) rides: I go on 1st.

D's robot dream: in his scrapbook.

Ma re c'mas. Oil brackets. M mail. Early bed.

Mon 13th

W / Y / W.

D, at supper, pondering his unwanted sardine: Daddy, why don't you eat s'corn, since you're vegetarian?

M to yoga. E to bed. D allowed to stay up quietly making lego ant.

Eat; email; wiki; read pc papers.

Just some woodwork on the beamed house in the High St, Coton Tues 14th

E puts own socks & shoes on! (thought the shoes are wrong-foot).

Work; home 2: coffee, lunch, paper, Little, Big. School 3.30: B to S so D to home: we stay a while so he can run round the p'ground. At home he is called out by Tayler, then asks perm to visit an unknown to play lego castle: 10 Brookfield. So E & I have a quiet time.

M brings back new mobo (pcchips 825lu) but no time to play: dinner then to pc 7-9.40: but substance.

Its E on a swing! Spot the sundog: there, its easy now I've told you Wed 15th

D to school: its quiet since y4+ are off at camp. Trim path round school. Carry E back; bw; talk JB. Home. Gorgeous day, late summer sun pushing into chill winter: yellow leaves in blue sky; E cute.

Home a while, cycle to work, coffee, consult ipcc '90 re t reco for 'hockey stick' nonsense. Hkr persuades me to take Gillett to read. Town: arj, germ (no octopodes!), cb1.

Back. Set to fixing computer:

Remove misc
label & remove ide etc
remove board
new board:
jp2 to ok
jp3 at 100
xfer cpu: hmpf: no heatsink paste :-(
swap memory
hoover heatsink
swap backpanels
mount new board sans cpu

Ho hum. Discover that a board with no cpu does nowt: await paste.

Thurs 16th

Home 2 (pointing out key to IM on way: he has thoughtfully put toybox under l'box).

Having borrowed heatpaste from work, apply to cpu (first time I've had to: always been on heatsink before) and try it: but no go. So cpu is dead? On refl (and from a couple of sites) the paste had dried and crumbled just under the cpu, and thats not a good sign. So give up for now.

Sad. Why? Computer? Certainly an irritant. Too-many-things-undone? most notably tidying house. Or more: time, but nothing I strongly want to do with it. Which burns, when I know there will soon be much-to-do but no time. Misc work: t3e evp, no progress on evp paper. Well. In-a-rut? Turn of the year, perhaps.

Clear out near bed & add sifted compost but this doesn't help. Why not a walk? Just the day for it. So do: over stream, follow grass sea to W: & up 'hill' where I now sit, wind-blown & sunny, o'looking Coton still hid in trees & distant city. M11 roars. Cold: on. Red & Gold & Blue.

Pub for f+c: crowded. Dark inside.

Fri 17th

Work, then Mill Rd in search of athlon... & a coffee. Suceed in latter at least :-). & could have the former, but at xs cost. It being such a sunny day I venture out to pc world just for the ride. & so it proves.

Pick up E from school: arrive somewhat early, and help 2 infants measure the path, they amking the obvious mistake: one rod, then another, just too long, gets translated into "2 and a bit" so I point out its "a bit less than 2". Then they go in for story and I sit outside in sun, huddling into my coast, basking.

D to multisports (running this time) and I take E home; brief tidy; M back; then Andrea and Niamh come round for coffee and exchange of presents, hurrah: books for E and D. N is quite diffident but plays with E.

D and E at the lego Just E, duplo Sat 18th

Me to w'rose, D stays in, I remove Apistan from ungrateful - indeed angry - bees.

Take D to town: clothes shopping. Ha! Neither of us keen & quickly distracted. Get some socks. Falun gong.

Somewhere today the new shelf for the living room gets quietly abandoned, as it doesnt seem quite right. M gives no indication that she realises I've spent some time on it... I clear out the top of the bookcase instead to put D's toys on, discovering that we have been storing 2 empty useful wooden boxes up there, one inside the other, for all those years...

Sun 19th

D: can I have some chocalicious wheetos please?

11: D to S'school (initially reluctantly: he was afraid of being in play; but reassured he skips along). I to wild garden to help tidy, which is in swing (Ian-from-arj is there as wildlife trust). & is fun. 12.30: med & B visit, then D off with B for lunch/play. So I can stay longer (till 1.30). See shrew/vole.

Back. Upload photos to school site.

Shed: fix up pane as window, hindered by guard bees (why??).

In as D back & E wakes. Lego: make mobile crane for/with D. D later inspired to write in his scrapbook "D and D maed faentaestic legoe craen".

Supper: M, greatly daring, makes fish pie. Her artichoke morsels were good.

Soir: 9: tidy l'room & hoover! Hurrah. M does w'up.

Mon 20th

W / Y / W. Gget stuck into enso corr/comp all pm and produce something: but is it useful?

Home, somewhat early, 6:30. I tell M I've taken tomorrow off: she says: Well Done. Yes indeed: nowadays we congratulate each other when we *don't* go to work, or manage to work shorter hours.

A milestone: D does his homework, correctly, & almost without prompting, while I was changing E. Also some piano practice, so as promised M phones up Mrs B to see if she can arrange a restart of lessons: but needs to rephone later. M to yoga, DE to bed. I do minor tidy of l'room and its *still* clean: how delightful: can we keep it up?

Tues 21st

Grey start, then sun, & still. DE to school, drop record with Beryl, home. Coffee, wiki. Then shed: fix up t+g to side oi window. Ccffee #2, in shed: warm, though only about 1 1/2 sides of 4 in place. After, put up one blue shutter, but unsure. Then fix trapdoor for D's t'house. Total ~2h on shed. Lunch: coffee #3... soon time to get deb.

So the long sequence of golden afternoons continues.

School: photos of instruments from Mrs S, while E plays. Outside, DSB run around & there is a cake/pumpkin/toffee-apple stand. Danielle. D sad: SB 'being nasty' verbally: teasing: ignore them I say but he can't. Buy cakes & pumpkin: N has bought last apple. Home: E sad 'cos no 'carry': well the pumpkin can't walk. DBE, D'lle & Alex play outside (misc; hide-pebble-in-sand) & I garden a little then read. 5: cold: inside: lego & brio while I tidy kitchen. Going well. 5.30: D'lle & A summoned home by GD. I start cooking.

M back 6! Dinner: pots (boiled), aub, eggs: good. Then I rest: read/wiki. M does most of bedding.

Wed 22nd

Cpu (in a matchbox) but no grease: ebuyer cocked up address to citylink. Hey ho.

Soir: Claire babysits, so both to pub: good. Andy has been playing medium format in Venice.

Thurs 23rd

pm: retrieve watch: 45 new winder plus engraving phone & email. Swap batteries at Jessops. Borders: read Hairy Pooter: ok. Home 4. Don't do much, & don't feel need to.

Rain as I pick up D but stops when I go for E. M back. I cook.

Fri 24th

M claims her lie-in in lieu of driving back from pub. Which seemed a good deal at the time.

Off slighly late 11.20. Trad disaster of London traffic. M: 'we have to tolerate these things'. How do people tolerate this every day? To Mickey, & then str to museum: fortunately she knows all roads & its quick.

RAF museum is good, & has a spiffy 'experimental area. Lots of planes, mostly british (oddly enough). Staff jibe slightly: unlike Dux they don't seem to keen on visitors. Thrown out at 6.

7: s mimms services after fighting our way out. But m25 is diabolical (good omens) just before bridge & to F past 9 :-(. 5+h in car today, which DE took remarkably well: better than me.

De tired: E str to bed, D eats a little & watch prog on ?illushvana? - gory zulu victory. M bed early, I wiki/mail/fix-metlog till 11.30, leaving F still up.

Miranda is cute Us (not me) and Fuzzy await tram Sat 25th

Sleep well. Lie in. Slow am. Out 11.30 to...

The temple of mammon: Whitgift. But its quite pleasant. Lunch cafe venezia, which is *not* a plastic fake. Game: Silly Willy Weasels. But the W's aren't well drawn. E xformed from screaming sadness to smiles by being put on M's lap.

Worm Farm. Bicarb volcano.

D buys: screwball scramble: 10; playmobil fireset 12.99. Harry Potter in latin?

Sun 26th

Sleep *v* badly, or rather don't sleep till past 12, as E fails to sleep & lies in bed burbling happily & talking to herself which is tres cute *but I can't get to sleep*. Argh.

Down (naughty E still asleep) to find somewhat despondent D unable to find anything on tv to watch.

After, I download some vid to tape, & M takes DE out to play. I find them: D & Karim are playing in the leaves. He & K to K's house (green door) for 1/2 h before lunch.

Home: quickly in 1:40. Unpack car inc bed.

Fit E's bed together & all seems well.

Tired. To bed 9: M+J arrive soon after.

Mon 27th

Stop & watch bits of IMcG's house being craned in.

W / Y / W.

M home early to bed, sick. As I perhaps am, though less so. And this continues all week, though I continue to work.

Tests: old cpu new board, & new in old: nowt.

Tues 28th

M stays home: sick. Eternal sun a.m. but grey pm.

Pc power supplies, courtesy of Russ's PC:

+5: red / +12: yel -5: blue / -12: brown +3.3 org / +5: vsb purple grd: black.

Network freezing.

Town: brownes (unless: c shields for M), arj, cb1.

Home, 4. E hasn't slept & is tired. M in bed: when I take E up to see her

Check our PSU: all ok there.

D and N like pigs in a trough of popcorn Wed 29th

J takes Mfd in to bus early. M stays home mostly in bed all day. Poor M!

D loses tooth #3: upper. But! We forget to do tooth-fairy type stuff.

Naomi comes to play 11-2:30; I take her back when I go in to work for a few hours (partly to take the chocolate cake F gave us to smoko!).

IMcG comes round when I asked him, ie 6, when we're in the middle of dinner, since when I arranged it I wanted it to be early so we could go down the pub... but neither of us is in a fit state for that. So apologise, and arrange for him to come back at 6:45, and we have a good chat about them, and draw on top, etc etc. He has added 2 blocks, not an L, to side and front; and the front looks nicer than I'd thought; there is a huge problem with moving through the house thought. Should the kitchen or dining be the inner room?

Thurs 30th

Work as usual, though a little late in since I wait for Andy to come collect D to Wysing.

M to work thursday pm, beginning her recovery.

M says: when J took E round Wimpole, E walked almost all the way, but had a tantrum at one point, and had to be picked up. E then said: "i better". E has started using "I" somewhat, instead of calling herself "ana".

Lte: look at the plans with M and J and try to make sense of things: not enough dead-end rooms, too many doors.

Halloween (Trick or Treat: tort: geddit?) Fri 31st

Overnight: rain. But my shed holds up.

9pm in front of the fire; Terrence going in the kitchen; D finally to bed (it is TotT night) so time to catch up with some diary. I've been somewhat sick all week; not so sick that I didn't function, but rather below par. Anyway, remember that much of the past week was patched in now.

Day starts: J takes D and E off to pick up Billy and take DB to Wysing for Monster, day 2. M to work; me too, though I'm unsure if I'll survive (I do; complete hadcm3 figs re-work). Back 2, J has just bedded E and is getting ready to go; off with thanks for all her looking-after.

I settle down with lunch, coffee and papers/economist by the fire. I might be better sleeping perhaps but don't feel like it. Upstairs the sound of E coughing, poor thing: my cough still exists but it no longer painful.

D back 3:30: he is happy and has had fun, settles down to lego/mechano. M back 4:30. We make D pumpkin mask to go with the skeleton suit pygamas (fortunately I bought some bright orange powder paint a while back).

Take D to N's, they are just getting ready, N is indian (as party); Nelson "the dark" (face black, black clothes); P gets a green face cos he doesn't want to be a king. So: I leave D in her hands; Adam joins, and after an orgy of photo-taking by me and N I go, passing Ben (grass skirt) and Sophie (I forget, but it was good).

Our pumpkin glows and attracts various people, some of whom we know; M arranges for E to hold out the sweeties back which she does gleefully.

NNP come round 7:10: have we seen D? No. Hmm. He got separated into the other group. But he turns up 10 mins later OK.

Later: M looks at the plans.

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