WMC's diary pages, 2003.

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

November 2003

Sat 1st

Lie-in till 9.30. While I'm abed hear D race back up (having forgotten tooth) & "say hurray! I've got 1" (it woz me).

M to work pm.

D circles 86 things in Hawkins Bazaar & sci mus cats.

Phone N: yes, N *would* like to come to Legoland tomorrow.

D and Naomi in front of the knight-and-dragon lego sculpture in front of the Dragon Ride Castle D and N tired on the ride back home Sun 2nd

Den phones early: raincheck: yes, but we're all set. Off past 9, pick up N, & arrive, easy drive, all sane, 11. Wait a little for Datew.

Inside legoland. Down the funicular. Rain! Torrents! Oh no. Visit 'magic parlour' (a bit naff but dry) then go to lunch (should have done this *first* instead of standing in rain putting brollies up). Anyway: ok food, good coffee, & lots of duplo for kids. Good. Watch Jack Stone stunt show at 1: Den & I mock quietly in background but DNT liked it (datew have annual pass & have thus been before).

N is wild for the dragon ride (Nelson has been twice) so we do apprentice then dragon: good. Excellent lego models. Den & I go with DN - they are under 1.3m so can't go alone.

4: datew off - discover this when I phone them (I've developed charge of DN). Mobiles v useful for this.

Candyfloss. 'driving school'.

N tired, wants to sit. D on the go, miniland. Unwisely walk to castleland: queues too long now on dragon & pirate falls :-(. Leave 5:30. We haven't seen: mazes; make&create; much of shop. Etc etc.

6.15: N wee. She was too scared earlier apparently. Restart: moans continue: she was still too... something. Ok, :40. Oh dear. 7:50: home, & all ok. Kids fine o'wise: better than one could expect really.

Fireworks seen on way back.

Mon 3rd

W / Y / W. Eyes tired.

D needs leaning to do piano 'there is so little time' he complains, for all the things he has to do.

Soir: M yoga. I repair Eds efforts at uhi & tidy l'room. Sigh: only ever manage top-level tidy, never down to duster.

Gravestones in the churchyard through the beech tree in sun Tues 4th

W, town. Arj, fireworks, cb1.

Soir: M brings new cpu &! It works (with memory in slot 1). But: windoze won't boot (inaccessible_boot_device). Linux happy.

M email till late.

Our guy made from sacks, painted with D's help Toasting marshmallows (thank you N) Wed 5th

Misc day with E. To work 10.40 (delayed by key), talk hkr while awaiting others from 'lower atmos' meet, but delay. Home, via school, where DNSBA & Albi are playing & suck us in.

Sam: 'I know, lets play 1st world war!'. Others: 'yeaay!'. Me: how do you play? Adam: 'well you have an explosion & all fall over'. & indeed they do (how realistic, sez Clive, later).

E sleep. I rest. Prepare bonfire. H phones: can she come too? Of course.

6: Clive arrives; Andy+Cbgs; Andrea+N; nnnp; ha; hc: a good crowd. Pancakes started, head out to start bonfire! It goes quickly, Andy goes inside to call latecomers, D arrives as the 'owl' blazes up. I'm busy letting off fireworks & letting kids choose. Sparklers. Marshmallows in embers. All good. After: talk inside. Then after, pancakes for us. Late: plans.

Thurs 6th

W, town: arj/cb1.

Fri 7th

W: uls & ssmi disagree. Photocopy & send plans to m+j.

3:30: pick up E & see D to multi-sports. Watch a bit then home. Return 4:30 for D & A (N sick) & they play. A is quite loud.

Soir: pc: triumph (repair xp ok) & disaster (it just dies. rebootable for a few times but then totally dead). Decide between us: time for new.

Sat 8th

While Mde to w/r early, I look for flies in loft (few) & tidy a bit there. Then clean our window sill. Mail woc re computer.

With D, hoover/dust under our bed.

2: with D for walk back way to N: sewage farm, smallholding, stream. Meanwhile, E sleeps & M reads by fire. Meet Paul with A & O: walk with them to Footpath. Its a contemplative late autumn day.

Wangle D a play at N (violin prac). Talk Nick. Home, briefly.

5: back home with D, rouse E, & hasty pack: off :15. Ma 6:40 & join throng to rec for fireworks: 9 for us 4. Find rlt & ma. Bonfire huge, fireworks a touch disappointing: as though they ended early.

Watching TV Sun 9th

To church, all of us, after some thought: initially would be all but ME and poss me.

2.30: to Ashridge for walk, or rather a wander, as D & L are happy playing woodchoppers. Cool, moist, still.

Leave 5:30 ish, DE sleep in car. E straight to bed; D lies by fire for a bit then bedtime story.

Mon 10th

My snuffly nose continues: overnight my nose is blocked so I breathe through mouth so gets v dry and unpleasant.

W / Y / W.

Soir: M yoga. I cook shamefully neglected aubergines with pots and this is nice.

Tues 11th

A day off, or at least morning off, for me. I finish the Grey Prince whilst lying by the fire, and am charmed again.

Lunch; tidy a little; try to order parcih (rec) papers for this evening: where are minutes for 19th aug?

3:30: pick up DES. Talk to Mrs S and leave with her piece from Grauniad M cut out re "C'mas child".

E: "I'm naughty". Then changes her mind: I'm not naughty. And continues... Daddy naughty. But she is trying to press keys on the keyboard. Meanwhile, DS have disappeared upstairs quietly.

D (to S): when I grow up I'm going to be a scientist.

M back 6. Dinner pea-throwing. D & S have to be sep.

7: rec meeting: hedge finally sorted.

Wed 12th

Another snuffly broken night.

Rain am, feels like it will last for days but sunny by 1.

E & I quietly at home, me mostly asleep. Lunch: E likes stilton.

Walk outside in sun like an invalid.

M back with D 3:40.

I sleep upstairs 4-5.

7: bathtime for E, then D under protest but happy now.

Thurs 13th

Fri 14th

B'fast: E's chair falls over backwards & she is sad. I just say: "silly E, don't do that again", then realise that she really is sad. But, up we pack for school.

11: summoned from smoko: M'a says E too sad. Pick up E who is sad but happier to see me. Home. E just wants to cuddle so we sit in sun together.

12-2: E sleeps. Then E & I play quietly.

4: realise its E's tooth/lip that are the problem (not bump to back of head prev suspected). One tooth loose! Dentist? Await M. Who says "what could dentist do anyway?". So no.

7: pick up D; 9:10 to M+J. F. D orient exp 'skiddoo'.

10(!): DE to bed. But E sad & brought downstairs.

11: bed for us. Just as congrat on E sleep see small pink form run back to bed giggling.

Sat 15th

Bed till 11!, with interruption when M brings tired E back up but of course she won't settle. While I was abed it has been decided E to dentist in summertown who has emergency 1-2 today. So (F having threatened to go) ME & I go: D busy making sauce for grated carrot. Meanwhile J2 & Noah have arrived, N being quite quiet, 5 1/2 months, v dark eyes & quiff of hair.

Sunny day (shame to be in). Arrive 12:45 & dentist agrees to see us first as E is small, as soon as nurse arrives. I go for 10 min walk & find exam in prog when return, E sits on M's lap in chair, ok. Dent says: ok; 2 loose; will prob re-sit ok; no bottles; might die (the tooth, not E). Back (n, via ring rd, better than town) 1.30 earlier than expected in time for lunch.

J2N off 4 ish.

8: DE to bed (read by J) but E back down 1h later - by which time M to bed so I comfort E who slowly calms & eventually back to bed (D is disgusted: 'next time E cries can *I* come down instead?' No). I have to lie between them to protect D from E who hits him.

D walks along the path after the church M balances a happy E Sun 16th

Up 10: luxury. Mfd+J are making a transistor circuit for a wire-buzzer game (from a kit) with D. But! When all together it won't work (even with my help). Subsequently I find that cap 2 should be attached to 8 not 9 then it works, hurrah! D made scones so I have last (which later annoys D as he didn't get one).

Walk 12.30: D (who has to be dragged out) & I, & Mfd, then M & E join us. E is v clingy to M & has been. Sun. Walk past church to fishponds & back. E won't walk & will barely tolerate anyone xcpt M to carry her.

Lunch: E eats yog & couscous: recovering?

Post-lunch: D E go off & play upstairs quietly (so q that I go check, but all is ok).

Mon 17th

M'a off to Nan's funeral, but this is fortuitous as E might not be fit anyway - but she is much better, gulping down oj as soon as M leaves.

D to school, walk back with Claire & E plays in bw sort-of with G.

To work 10.30 to meet GP & for outing. E happy/shy till bumps lip: then sad. Home.

12:30: to child-in-need sale in comm room: take old clothes & get E mittens-on-string & she chooses some bags (pink).

Home: small lunch (E banan) then E to bed, but gets up when M home soon after.

Work: GP/cluster. /var/yp & .rhosts: so easy to forget!

Soir: M yog.

Mon 17th

M'a off to Nan's funeral, but this is fortuitous as E might not be fit anyway - but she is much better, gulpin #3 (18-)

Tues 18th

D's tee's: D is getting fussy about his clothes & only really likes one long-sleeved stripy on: hell when its wash.

Work. GP coming along ok. I myself have a Wang.

Back 2, via allot, discover grapes! still good & chard: pick for tonight.

Lunch: coffee, fruit, bread, humous.

Pick up DEB 3.30: ok. DB run in p'g'd with NN, Joel, etc till 4. DB play happily together.

Woc say pc ready: fwd to M but she can't do today.

Manage some tidying: I feel good today, energetic: happy contrast to prev ~3 weeks. In fit of enthusiasm try rending honey/wax in oven again.

6: A arrives for B & we chat while DB finish h'work. He is going down thurs.

6.30: D asks me into l'room with odd grin: his surprise is M back & let in through patio.

Soir: read/tidy.

Wed 19th

D sch, E M'a. I drop sci nev slp with Sarah, who is out, then w/s for expresso. Arj for a lunch apple (& choc!) then mail & quick coffee cb1 & just catch 10.45 to London. Currently waiting for loo :-(.

(11, jubilee gdns)

Traf sq, 12:20. Whitehall closed off, misc police, a few people. ?. In the distance, a few protestors whistles. I shall sit. 1: a few placards, but the action (& the helicopter) is elsewhere. Off down the mall.

Ah! This ib more like it! Uk/us flags to the lamposts, people, & a plod per post. Just to buck h & a limo convoy! Is this Bush or a decoy? Just to be sure I thumb my nose. Bicycle-bourne pols tell bi protesters not to cycle in the park.

From here to Green park, to ?Regents? thus to the meeting with a few mins spare at 2. And its a good meeting, JCK's talk especially clear and well done, SD's on A-S poor but he only had a few days. Skip out at 4:50 to get to KC on time. Forget we're on the road just inside the park so miss the turn to Camden town entirely and end up walking all along the long E side of the park, getting more and more worried and thinking the map scale must be v small! Arg. End up at Gp Portland St, and at KC 5:25 just in time to miss delayed 5:15. Get :45, which is a few mins late, but to PC meeting at 7:15 in time for debate on pavillion which is OK and goes OK. Close at 8 but stay for interesting chat-round-table.

Soir: M has new computer back! (ie old disk wrapped up in new chassis by wok). Read mail on portege, relunctant to take that step, but then get it out of car and unpack, and... its fine. Good. Play lego racers, just as a test you understand...

Thurs 20th

DE to school, somewhat more harried than ever, D esp gets little b'fast, which may account for... called at 11 (again!) but this time for D: he is poorly. When I arrive at school he is asleep on the bed in the home corner (is the bed there to make the corner, or is it for the littler ones who get tired sometimes? Must ask D). His friends are models of kindness and concern, a contrast to the roughness of their tumble in the playground and their often unthnking unkindness at play. Wake him up and take him home and give him drink and sandwich and put him to bed, where he sleeps for 2h soundly. Then he wakes up (2:30) and pronounces himself well (previously, apart from tired, his complaint was "tight forehead" - I promiesd to look that up for him but never did. Hmm [looks on web: nothing useful]) and so we read more "we didn't mean to go to sea" (near end now: Daddy ex machina, touching), I play some lego racers (D likes to watch), he plays some lego inventor, and lego constructor, and Frankie. And all is well and the pm goes quietly.

Manage a bit of email, and a bit of house tidying, while D asleep: this is only fair.

M back 6:20 with E, who M's says has been in pain all day, but who seems OK now. Phone Ma, who has made it onto the internet but not email.

Honey has been rendering down all pm and I am now (9) near the bottom of the bucket, hurrah, and managing to contain the mess, just. But its slow.

Childs not sleep till 10, groan.

Fri 21st

'uniform day' at school (we forgot) & all look odd. & of course the disparate uniforms aren't.

1:30: to school to vid cl 1 for Mrs Leeper: the coronation: role-play. She has a web-cam, & apparently there are spare...

Briefly home, then school for E & see D to multi-sports. M'a says E v happy today. Borrow cam from Mrs McG.

Pm with E, M back 5.

Pick up D from N 6:30 playing h+s outside with torches.

Soir: throwback: civ 7:30-3am with 5min break for news. Get to robotics & unloseable position first go but only on 'king'. *do not do this again* (err, except one go at deity perhaps).

Sat 22nd

Awake guilty at 10. Rain. D insists I play lego racers for him though at the moment I'd rather not...

Town 11 (at least in part to get away from compute into weather), rain, borders for hp&tootp, arj, cbi. Back for 2: more rain.

M to town in turn. E to bed, but doesn't settle. Read with D, & play lego racers a bit.

Jo+E drop sw round & come in briefly: we show off r-c digger & discover its shovel is broken. Oops. Later, take to bits & (surprise) fix.

Sun 23rd

Rain rain rain. All a bit grey. D doesn't want to play with any of his little friends so we stay home and do misc, fairly happily really.

At 12 I make the mistake of deciding to get more wood from B+Q (I really want to go to Ridgeons but an never available when they are opn: should phone). Surprise: E wants to come. Measure up door: 33(84) 77(196) in case I want a frame for that too and off into *appalling* traffic: everyone else thinging same I guess. Anyway, this puts me in bad mood even though E is behaving well. get wood (T+G but their quality is rubbish and depressing, still I'm here now). Home 2:30 too late for E sleep.

Evening darkens early but things are OK. Bathe DE.

*Finally* get round to tidying up the blue box we packed away for D's party, and discover cottages brochure: oh yes, holidays!

Soir: finish review (mostly) and look at cottages a bit (really need web, and M is emailing). My bed early, hers late.

Mon 24th

Finally sun, after 2 days solid rain. Though rivers show little sign of it, formerly so dry. DE to school, late, about :5 ish, oh dear, must try harder: D was hard to raise because he was sad that he hadn't got up early...

W / Y / W.

Back just on 7. Me: "E, you're very happy" (a pleasant contrast to a week ago!). E (smiling): "yes, I've got (ch)eese" (holds up her cheese).

M to yoga. I sleep DE with ch 2 of Secret Water which D eagerly laps up, while E plays with Baby (her dolly) and piles books into the bed (why?).

Hmm, its 23:20 and I'm just writing this after a hard evening playing Civ, reading Jack Vance (lan pao), fixing wikipedia (t recon last 1kyr, sepp, etc). Sigh. Perhaps the Civ was a mistake. I still have the review for Allan to write up sometime.

Tues 25th

To school early for once!

Sch st: th 2/9/2003

Home for 2 & coffee.

Sch. D's L eye & surround odd: sore?

Back home with Sam. They opt for lego racers. D absolutely refuses to play 2-p & watchs S play with constant advice: S near silent. D: wouldn't you like to watch my dad play? He's really good & on l2. S (silent). But later I do get to demo my skills & come 2nd in round-the-volcano race.

D & S have such diff chars (but I prefer D's uncertainty).

E hangs around or plays by self. I cook (my) pots & frozen peas for supper (eaten) & avocado for pud.

P arrives 6, M :30, & we eat the pots+aubergines for us. Play a little (deity) civ unsuccessfully. Sew another spot on dino while D pianos.

Soir: wiki then write rev for Allan.

Wed 26th

Even more rain. DE to sch in rain. Go in at D's req: one day I'll have to leave him outside. Home in rain.

Day at home.

E vague sleep 3-4. MD back then.

Civ, interv, prep pc.

Pub 8.30: me, A, S. Colour & justice.

Thurs 27th

Interviews, with a small amonut of time at home to play Civ and other useless pasttimes...

Collect E then D. Tell D we're off to F this weekend: D says: hurray: Choc & fav bread! I try to suggest there may be more to it than that...

Fri 28th

Work: Gisst2.3b and the principle of evil.

After school multi-sports again, D goes happily as ever. I bring E back home and am then cruel enough to phone M and suggest that as she said she might be home on time today she could collect DNA and save me a trek to school with E, and she does, though marginally late and not too happy. Mrs L gives me a vid to tape my coronation vid over the end of, & we talk about pre-s in the pm, and E, and starting early, and stuff.

N collects NA just before 7 and we frantically pack and leave by :30, arriving quite well on time: < 2h. But still a little tired. MfdJ not there yet: they have a meeting re their (first) oxford flat and its roof.

We go to bed early but might as well not have bothered as the Central Heat is left on all night and wheezes and whumps away and we don't sleep for ages. Argh. And it turns out next morning that F wanted to turn it off but didn't want to come in and wake us. Argh!!!!

Sat 29th


About 10 we are recalled to our duty, which is to take the old rowing machine (quite a good one, tunturi, as it turns out, I v briefly ponder having it...) to a hospice shop F has found. M and I lift it in OK, though F has made J bring a little trolley so we could wheel it out... F directs us (badly! She only ever walks/bus) to Hospice shop on Lower Addiscombe Rd to drop it off. Driving hell. E came too!

Anyway, thats pretty well the end of our duty for the day. D's eye ok, I notice, which is good, without any eye drops.

So about 11:30 or so M and I walk into town, for the purposes of a little cmas shopping, a little list making, and a lot of sitting in bookshops. First Books etc cafe, where I get up to about p400 in Hp&tootp. Its quite good.

After a while lunch beckons in the shape of Cafe Giardino with M - good. C'mas lists (sigh). M does most of the work for this and I try to pretent to pay attention. M buys Hobbit-on-cd to replace the borrowers when that wears out.

In w/s I browse the Profanisaurus and discover: morgan (cockney rhyming slang: morgan stanley dean witter = shitter). Ho ho: must tell Den.

Back 5 ish much better. all seems well. J has bought a small but very expensive chocolate log and some icing and (for some reason) I am the obvious person to write "noah" on it. And so I do, quite well. and get so carried away that D and I ice names on some coffee biscuits too!

Dins, then out for... 8:30 for :45: Master & Commander - the far side of the world. Tosh, but fun, for 2 reasons: spot-the-error (spot the accuracy more like) & general swash.

Review of same: this is a tiresomely bad film, in the sense that I kept thinking "why oh why oh why did they have to get that bit wrong". Much like some of LOTR II I suppose. Well, thats what hollywood does I suppose. Some of the more obvious: JA far too chummy with the crew; ship never seen sailing properly sails always limp; poor cgi of man in sea fading in and out like ghost; too many telescopes; *captain* beats to quarters in most circ I think; JA needing help to think of disguise, evolution crap, why does the Fr ship start running away? Etc etc etc. But, with all that, its watchable enough.

Miranda and Noah Sun 30th

& indeed, sun. Up 9, shower. B'fast, amid confusion, as prep for Noah's party in slow commence, & D is watchine "He-man, master of shite animation" while I tape class 1's coronation role play.

Out. D certainly needs dragging out before he gets stuck to the TV. A good demo of why its bad for you (but good for parental rest...). Anyway, to the little enclosed green with D and E and 3 balls, and we play a little, slightly hampered by E wanting to hold all of the balls at once. D knocks up his friend behind the green door and they play for a bit. Then friend goes in and we go back, about 12 I guess.

People arrive later than planned... 12:30-1, with Mickey delayed on a train somewhere but arrives 1:30. And so we say hello and coo over Noah and each till we're stuffed. Josh brings James who turns out to have been at Queens when she was, but for history.

Somewhat later some singing starts, probably provoked by Mickey, but I'm in the kitchen washing up so I'm safe!

People trail out, tilll 6ish just us, MfdJ and Jeff+K left - and they stay after us. Should we leave now or... let D stay until 7 to watch Robot Wars? He's watching scrapheap challenge at the moment... oh well, inertia wins. And RW is quite fun and M is asleep, as are Mfd and I at various points. All feeling rather stuffed of course and F brings up an implauibly large choc ake whcih only D wants a slice of.

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