WMC's diary pages, 2004.

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

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

Septemnber 2004

A quiet pic this month

Wed 1st

First sept! And a fine crisp morning to a sunny day. M work, D is lego chessing, but he needs more practice & so do I. E is sleepy & decides to go up for a lie-in.

DE want to play DVD that came with cornfalkes (little robots) but it suffers the same fate as voiding the touch and won't play. Need M to try to install DVD codec or whatever?

Work smoko with J & Amna - de behave. Town p+r: 'write bus' says E, so I have. Write 'bus is going' says E, in an attempt at sympathetic majic. It hasn't worked yet.

Pool 12-2 inc eat there (ugh) cos D then E wish. E v sensibly leaves her sickly-sweet yog. Outside: de build new-cut-grass barrier across path.


P+r is late & E has weed on me & a bee has stung D (but he is taking it bravely; and indeed after not too long has forgotten it). But then the bus comes and all is well. Back to P+R 4 then speculative visit to N, who *is* back at last: midnight yesterday it seems.

She has visitors: Wiebert (argh I can't remember her parents) and Niklaus (guess spelling for both). N and P and they (not Ne, who is inside with Dk) are about to play hosepipes and water slides so D an E get into their swim costumes while I join the 3 adults for tea, forcing them to speak English :-(. Its a beautiful sunny afternoon: srtong sun but not too hot.

Home 6. As we left, P invited E for a sleepover sometime... not sure how that would work but must ask N. D v keen for N to come now to play lego chess but implausible.

M is in playing piano - she came back 3:30 and has had a lazy afternoon.

I do 1h gardening - pruning into the green bin, mostly the vine. Discover some large bunches of white grapes that are tolerable, if not enticing.

DE bath; E to bed at almost the right time and ditto D: school tomorrow for D and (excitement) E to pre-school for first time for real.

Thurs 2nd

D *&* E to sch. M&I up early to sort E's bags etc (actually M does it, but I write on E's name). D rides (proudly) to sch & races B for the last bit. E to pre-sch ok: she plays mostly w'out me. I go to look at fp2 & return-to-leave: she is a bit sad/sulky. But ok.

Work till past 1 (I was in late of course) then cb1.

Fri 3rd

Work till 2 then back.

Sit outside reading the economist, sci section still v poor. M'a drops off happy E just before 3:30 so off to sch with E to pick up D and friends. Today I get NA and as a special treat B and P too (but I asked for P). N is sad/whiney at first: nearly in tears of self-pity because she has not cycled but D and B have. Hey ho. After a long play (waiting on H for A's epipen should-we-take-sch-one) we haead off home and essentially have fun. Its *hot* so first order is iced drinks for all esp me. Then some food - apple then melon. This settles them down and they play and I get to rest, mostly.

A keen to play cricket - he knows how and knows all the names of the plays - more than I do - but others won't join in - miserable little sods - so I do. Our garden is not suited: no space (we fill it all up with junk of course). But we play, and happily: he gets 30 runs and I bowl him out (catches) 5 times. He is good. Others join in, and at end of A's turn B tries, then (I think) D. But they aren't as good...

M back about 4:30 at this eases the pressure. With so many here (6 infants) they just have to entertain themselves and do. M cooks dinner - pots etc - and we eat outside to avoid having to clean up mess, but perhaps this encourages them to be even messier. BAND sit at E's table and look cut together, until I get the camera out, whereupon D bares his bottom.

7: send B home and N collects the others and her extractor.

8: tapping away (at Hobbes L part II) when suddenly H stops working. Then ', Odd. Notice water: D et al have been careless. Take apart and dry but doesn't help. Hmpf. search for spare: fail. Hmpf. We have loads of computing junk around but no spare keyboard. Well: continue, cut-and-pasting the odd h.

Sat 4th

A perfect morning, which I waste lying in bed till 9+.

When they were last in town ND noticed a charlie-and-choc-factory "event" at library today, so M assigns me to take D while she w/rose with E.

And so we cycle (hot) to town for 11: to lib: where we find that it is a story-reading. This is fine: D sits down to listen and I wander off to browse books (St Nazaire raid; Tik-Tok). Reading is OK but not riveting. At the end D gets a Golden ticket! Which entitles him to something from Thorntons. But where is T's? On the way we pass a fire engine collecting for charity - not as big as the one at coton fair says D. Find T's: get a little choc bag. Then: lunch: where? Give D options and he chooses W/s, OK. Its now Costas (and the better for it). end up there quite a long time: D heads down to kids section first; I finish coffee over "the full cupboard of life" then follow still reading; and leave him to do as he wishes while I read 2/3 of the book. Well its a/c in here and *hot* outside. D keen to buy Gruffalos child to share with school (OK) and a Dr Suess - negotiate that one in exchange for some tidying at home.

Drag ourselves out, buy granary at fitzbillies, back to coton (talk on bike about hols: D is now definite about prferring beach to mountains, though a bit confused over mountains-skiing vs mountains-summmer) (pick balackberries over m11: hot) at 4ish. Stop by N's for fun: Nk is picking plums, they have an excellent crop, but N's bees are useless and she has no crop to spin :-(

Sit and talk a bit. N wants D for sleepover - of course he wants too. N/Nk OK too (N comes flying back happy) so, it will be. Leave him there.

Home: ME long back from shopping. M a bit worn by E and fairly soon after declares herself townwards: E in tears/tired but soon OK as soon as M off. Quiet time: some tidying.

Take D his s/bag t/brush etc about 6:30 and stop to talk a bit then off as they start their barbecue. M back not long after and beds E while I wiki then bathe.

And so it went: a rather pleasant father-and-son day, such as I haven't had with D for rather a long time. Perhaps not ever, at this stage of his dev.

Sun 5th

Pick up D from s/club 11 & end up with N too: only fair. Hannah & her sister there too - new to sch & H in D's class.

DN cold bath!

Hollyhock is 3.5m tall.

D: I'm bored of the computer. Me: I'll write that down!

Hot hot burning sun: stay in shade or inside.

Tidy (joint) l'room.

N comes for N 5:30. We eat pizza out 6: E has eppy & is taken up, tired. She comes back later but still tired.

9: out. Still. Dark: read by l'room light.

Now that D has given up piano M has re-started.

Mon 6th

W: reawaken the uls paper. J is tired/sick so no Y.

Eyes tired. M phones q-to-6: she will be late: can I pick up DE? So I rush out.

Ch in weather: cooler + wind.

7:30: to pp meeting where we encounter the now-there-is-no-funding problem.

Meanwhile, drafting the school-mast notice for the CCN whilst the school itself is a black void.

Tues 7th.

Unexceptional day... Home from work 2-ish so get lunch and sit out with coffee and my grapes. Sch: DE run around with various inc Oliver and Charles-who-should-know-better. But we come home together: about time they had a day at home.

Wed 8th

A fairly normal E-and-me wed: D sch; BW briefly; home (connection down); smoko (Kathy F enthuses over how sweet E is; and indeed she is, with her two piggy-tails); pool.

Pool: E bosses me: sit in the corner where I put you! Etc etc. Then she pushes me under water. I float head-under for a long time but she isn't worried: sits on my head. Hmpf.

Cb1, and E is good. We go to amnesty books after (I am looking for the famous 5 for D: but no) and find some stuff: E keeps on pulling out books at what appears to be random and saying: would you like this?

Back. Stop at rec. Then to sch, go look at fp 2 (still not re-instated). By now its nearly end-of-sch so sit on the wall in the sun and chat to folk. M comes up. D comes out. Running and playing and tree-climbing.


Soir: 8: M has the book-club round and they discuss stuff in the l'room whilst I sit by the pooter in the hall and enter Lev bk III into wiki: its an easy one. Prev to this there has been l'room (and kitchen) to tidy; lawn to mow; patio to sweep: all the things we never do unless someone is visiting.

End up to bed quite late - just before 12 - and M has a fairly sleepless night.

Thurs 9th

D sch; E psch; OK. Stay with her a few mins then off. Work-as-ever. Phone Tom: yes sailing is on.

Home, quick lunch, then (lazy) drive to W'beach: takes 1/2 h: would have been little slower and much better for me to have cycled. Meet Tom at sailing club: I am a few mins late. He has his Merlin in the water: we sail up and down on that twice, Tom a little nervous that we might capsize: we need to lean out sometimes, and the wind is strong in gusts up to force 4 (no club boats out above f4). This is fun, and the sky is blue and the banks green andd its very pleasant. But! I'm not at the tiller, no, I am crewing. Then I get my turn in the (club) Topper. This time I make sure I do all the rigging myself (under Toms eye of course) and then I'm off after a bit of advice which I didn't really understand. And it works, again. Splendid. I can go up and down the river. Some things are confusing: what exactly determines what course I can steer (partly I think its the gusts and lulls that confuse). I tip over: this turns out to be good, as the water is warm and does me no harm and I quickly re-right it (swim round to the keel side; pull up on it to reach the top edge; pull out and down on this and it rights easily). Now I'm wet but warm (also I'm wearing Marys life jacket which probably helps the warm). Stop and talk to Tom; he goes off 4-ish; I keep going another 1/2 hour. Ground at one point on the dreaded lee shore: flounder somewhat before pushing out again. Fun!

Back in about 4:30; take boat out, stow sail (slightly but not very wet) and pull boat out and cover, probably correctly. Now fairly confident that I could do all that myself.

Kingfisher! Seen from merlin.

Drop off l'jacket then home. M is back! Since about 5. Looking forward to her piano playing. Brief food then get E (wearing psch T: hers got soaked in wet play) then D just before 6. Home; dinner (tortillas and, for me, refried beans). D and E wind each other up somewhat; both too bouncy. D eventually flops down to reading his Asterix omnibus.

Bed E; M does D but takes time. Eventually they both go up to sleep. M comes down 10 to play when D has finally gone to sleep. She is very excited about the chance to be playing again.

Fri 10th

M'a drops off E then sch. Slow as kids conker. Will N take E? Ok. & it works.

7: pc: #4 bw & fp 2 letter. Short.

Sat 11th

Allot 10:30-1:30 with cider after. Pots from front & bonfire start to reducing huge pile of misc nettle roots. B'currents & carrots.

M town 2-4.

Dinner pizza. Must learn: de won't eat much.

D watches me browse lego techic on ebay so wants a go.

Soir: I wiki mostly and M plays the piano once the children are asleep.

Sun 12th

Up with infants. D wants me up early so he can play with his craft box but I resist and when I come down he has forgotten it.

1: off to Houghton mill, a perennial favourite, at M/D's suggestion. Phone B but he is out; try N but she is off to look at impressionist painters... D is rather sad at this and says we might as well not go if he doesn't have a friend... M's thought that he has his loving family doesn't seem to comfort him much. And anyway we have made a picnic. So off we go. My temper is somewhat tried when I go the wrong way on the a14 on auto pilot (minus 10 mins) then further when I realise that if we wanted to go *that* way (why didn't my nav say?) we didn;t need to do the there-and-back but could have gone via the crematorium instead (anther 10 mins). Then another 5 mins in jam at Bar Hill. Sigh.

Still after that we get there OK and look around and it is interesting as usual. DE play with the various hand flour mills. Picnic time by the mill pond. Starts fine and all happy: then I initiate a minor water fight with D which he unhappily decides to continue by throwing a cup of home-squeezed grape juice on me. Which is a disaster because my uncertain temper can't take this and I become out-of-sorts-for the rest of the visit. In fact as soon as M brings some tissues I go off for a walk leaving them. Past the baots bit to the lock and the stage we tied up at and then a sluice a bit further. Stare down at the water with the edge of my anger taken off but still p*ss*d off. Walk back. MED in car. Since I've said that D in punishment can't have owt from cafe (he accepted this at the time but seems to have backed off now), and M won't allow us to go otherwise, we go back home despite poor E's "but I've been good".

Home. I have a coffee. M (presumably to expiate my righteous wrath) puts my clothes into the wash; E is asleep in the car and D stays with her.

Lose a couple of items on ebay (lego and yet another portege) which is fine.

Everything calms down and we are all happy I think. D goes to bed "early" but this turns out to mean with E sometime past 8 so in practice not very much difference.

Soir: M practices. I rearrange some papers, bathe, and hack again at the annual report of the gov.

Tw: tonight I think. Last one.

Mon 13th

W / noY / W.

Soir: M out to yoga & then piano. I can't face the arotg (& haven't got the new figs yet) so wiki:global_warming_controversy instead.

Tues 14th

E to M'a then back for D, who cycles (he has every day so far this term) quite well, though he cannot yet cyc & watch-out-for-cars at same time.

7:30: to new parents evening. MG: recep is 21 (due to people moving in). After all that hassle!

Wed 15th

Chill. Not quite the true-end-of-summer day (we had that with some nasty rain a day or so back) but this is the first day I feel cold even with my coat. But then, weirdly, by this afternoon the wind dies down and its warm and sunny again - though the kids complain when told to play outside.

E & I to pool (and somehow or other we/I contrive to lose one f her sandals. Did someone steal it? Why would anyone do that?) / arj / cb1. Then to the pharmacy next door for tw supplies :-(. Then try RS, Clarks and OA for sandals by the first 2 aren't doing them this late in the year (wimps) and OAir doesn't go down that low. Oh dear. And a trail of helpful people helpfully tell me that E has lost a sandal: yes, thats the trouble, I say.

Get to school at turning-out time and bring home NB with D (E insists on staaying with M: she fell asleep on the way back). Cory & Dk turn up (first in ages). N marries C. M to her 1st piano lesson with Olga. Kids end up in tree house and C and Dk are (apparently) very impressed with our apple crop.

Dinner 6 is tortillas and re-fried beans (for M and I: kids won't touch rfb: sillies).

Soir: 29 wiki edits and start project Ecrins! Also manage some stuff for the ann rep.

Thurs 16th

Work, fitfully.

Cb1 for lunch.

Ant penin meeting, Spri

Domack: Larsen a: Brachfeld 2003 Open marine 6.3kybp to ~450ybp. Larsen b: sub-ice-shelf throughout holocene. *but* due to ice-dome on penin? Canal Hodgson: mid-holo hypsothermal ~4k-2.5kbp.

Meet Rick. Then back. Cut off another bolt on rec then pick up D then E.

Soir: a break from school rep. Bed 'early' while M pianos.

Fri 17th

Kids to sch, then slowly cycle to spri for the 9:50 by Phil Jones. But the prev fish talk o'runs.

Jones: era40 better than ncep but lots of pre-67 data missing. Don't use their sfc T's (though better post-79). Crutemv2 shows continental warming 58-03 or 79-03. JT queries.

Then, St'astna sets a record for tedium & over running.

GJM: bell upper: bell/fara different. Bell ua warming larger than avg but strong seasonal dep. Winter: little trop/sfc corr.

Ridley: insert fresh sub-sfc / ? Awi reg paper - ask him

instability of ross saline - less dense when outflows under -1.7 water: ask AJ.

Storms (& sam?) with max/min ice. (ss? min ice -> +ve sam. Jgr nov 03?).

MvdB: inc w'lies leads to rainshadow

Try 0.25m thick ice?

M vd Broeke: -era40 p-e is -ve in interior! -rain shadow of peninsula (& ross coast)

& have to leave at 4:30 to get E by 5. To bw. E spots 'her' letter m. She wants me to write 'zip' but it is there already: her vocab is near complete: gaps in list are as likely to be due to me not writing them as her not knowing.

M goes to get D from A with E. D returns in tears/sulk & E goes rapidly mad.

Sat 18th

After much indecision (born of fear probably) get D to want to go to tennis 'taster'. Which is at 9:30 so I have to get up. We cycle off (D on mine; his is left at sch & anyway he doesn't want to).

Its warmer than it seems in the bright sun. I sit at the side of the court & watch the wind shake the silvery trees & take my coat off. Hamish, Emma & Lucy are are; Ella & G; Kezia & Mr-Hannah (James). & others.

Technique is interesting: start off with throw ball in circle calling your name; reverse; walk along lines of court; back; stand on one leg (tree pose); hop; run; etc. All fun & ice-breaking. Thence to throwing balls in pairs, then egq-&-spoon. Now to bouncing balls with raquet. James turns out to be a vat-man (& is also 50%) so I describe our rec/pc probs to him. Then hitting ball in turn over net. Towards the end D is off collecting balls & after is not keen to come back. Hey ho.

Town: w/s; lib (I have forgot my bag), lib cafe for lunch; r/s to look for leqo; home (liqht rain; stop at m11 to blackberry).

pm: home.

Sun 19th

E: (to me in bath): Daniels got one of those but Mummy has a proper bottom.

Sort lego. Its a sort of tidying up.

pm: out blackberrying with D: first in the garden, then behind the big apple, then (with E and M) over the river and far away. Its getting v overgrown there, except on a narrow path. ME go back; D and I continue to nearly-at-the-church: he busily chomping blackberries, I sort-of looking out for Eugenes house. But no.

4: to cam Sailing Club, first time without Tom, to... go sailing. Just me of course: even D isn't tempted. Somewhat awkwardly inquire of the members there (racing has just finished so people are still around, though not many) what the wind speed is (club boats not allowed out above f4; its gusting 3-4 so I'm OK). Get out boat. Chap helps me a bit (I wish he wouldn't but prob just as well he did: I forgot about attaching the centerboard and the kicking strap). And, ahem, off we go. Takes me a while to get used to the wind, which is up-and-down, and I have to start off reaching down which is confusing, but OK. Then! The tiller extension pin disappears. Oops. Sailing without it is harder... so I go back. No-one terribly keen to help but someone does cut me a length of rope that I feed in to replace the pin: OK. MDE can't get through the gate to walk down to the lock so are sort-of hanging around; so I do another 10-15 mins and in. Good. Put boat away OK (D helps get it out of the water) and off we go.

So: went OK. I only ran aground once. And I coped with the broken tiller OK. Should have talked to the club folk better.

Back. E going a bit mad: inventing nonsense to herself. Set to making blackberry and apple crumble (one cooking thing is enough: first course is stir-fry and pizza. Not mixed). This goes OK (pre-cook apple (in honey) and strain juice: ditto blackberries but aslo liquidise/strain them) and tastes nice. Very filling.

E to bed; D and I out for bonfire and D has his own little fire of which he is v proud. he hasn't quite got the hang of blowing up the fire yet.

Soir: bath with IPCRESS - somehow a bit disappointing after HUW: I recall them the other way round.

Stub for HUW into wiki.

And so, as Miriam gets past her exercises and onto her piece, I hotsync and add some text... the last dramatic chords fade away... and she starts again.

Mon 20th

W / Y (1st for ages) / W.

Ebay lego - D I KNOW WHAT IT IS - but no.

Tues 21st

E to P: sometimes I like my daddy & sometimes not.

Wed 22nd


#2 ch cl: go for a look. Seems a good plan to me (of course the *really* good plan is to buy land back in the 60's & build a cheapo flat-roof bungalow on it).

In the pool, I am baby (sometimes Noah) & E is me, M & D, sometimes at the same time. Arj/cb1.

To r/s for Brooke pres: look at duplo/lego/playmobil but end up with nice metal bucket & spade for gardening.

Printer: ours hasn't worked for a while - annoying - & we need to do invites. So get same canon I got for Ma. Last they had. Can just cycle with it.

Cycle back: blowy. Very.

take pr apart

Thurs 23rd

W (form mostly)

Fri 24th

'village moment': chatting to N outside WI hall & postman drives up & says 'are you 28 s'dale?' cos he has my ebay capsela. 'leave it the shed' sez oi.

Much running about at work seeking sigs for Haines e-sci prop. Jrd helpful. Then AJ re next fri's higem. & even a moment to talk sci to tlc.

Home 2. Coffee & bread. Play with the capsela 500: the motor is indeed u/s but I have one from the 175 & anyway can prob/maybe fix it.

M back early (even though not needed cos D to N). Good. She gets a rest.

M'a brinqs E back :20 & we dress her in her party frock from F.

Sch: sheperd D to multisports & pick up P who is doinq his blond bimbo impression.

E & P to Brookes party. 35 kids there, inc the older siblings. 9 mothers & one me. Start with entertainer, same old simple stuff which qoes down so well & has kids shouting & laughing. E a bit confused at first - she hasn't seen this before - but seems to catch on. For some reason Nelson is here too but he is too old. Length slightly misjudged: 1h too long.

Then food; then dance a bit. Only realise after: no games.

D sees 'man'.

Sat 25th

E into our bed o'night before returning to hers.

Up 10:30: M 9:30.

Town: cb1. Ozfam: stack of Dumarest's. Now rain: good for s'williams.

M plays piano well past midniqht like some demented transylvanian count.

Sun 26th

Phils b'day. But we haven't got a card :-(.

12: tell D to go out & walk the streets. Green: what are G&E & their dad doing? There is a parrot up a tree. A v big blue-&-yellow one.

Late lunch. M bought (D's req) a lobster tail. Which he is enthused about. Until she cooks it & it smells. So of course he takes against it & won't touch it. Smell nearly goes with lemon juice.

After: I laze by fire for a bit in xchange for taking kids for walk, though E might be better in bed.

Over stream. Blackberrying. D climbs fallen ash.

4:30: just past sewage works D has found a lot of 'clay' in the field & is enthused. E digs too. Coax them over road, over brook again & to head of ridge-&-furrow where they dig in the rabbit warren. D finds a bone.

Finally to rec (D now shoeless: his red boots too small; he walks all way back barefoot); visit N. I talk to Nick whilst kids bounce on trampoline.

Back: late (I'm carrying E & D is complaining & its getting dark): 7. Clay expt.

Soir: polish tomorrows talk & send out draft ann gov rep.

Mon 27th

Photocopy rept at school. Work. Burn talk. Talk AJ re higem talk.

12: to CMS for sea ice meet. Turns out to be quite good (at first... a bit thin after pw). But definitely good to meet and talk to folk. JR a bit scathing re pregnant modellers.

Tues 28th

To bw after sch. Meet Kesia and Hannah there. We have to leave early because I am due to meet Ian, and just as well we do because he sneaked round the back way and was just about to leave... have a good discussion of the sheds; settling on a re-vamp rather than re-build, but up to building reg standards.

Soir: pc then gov. Whew. Pc planning: correct decision not clear. Gov: wade through ann rep line-by-line because - ahem - certain people didn't send in comments so I could amend the draft. Why not? have a somewhat acrimonious discussion with M about that, she is too forgiving for my tastes.

Wed 29th

Sch for D. Up field to check post (fallen indeed) & E plays happily in dirt making a dog & a spider.

Home, briefly. Joan has sent us a letter re some archives and I look for her bit, finally finding it under missspelt "Prockter". A remarkbaly complete archive. Work for smoko, where E is (as ever) charming and (grand)mothered by Kathy. Pool: once again I am baby (Noah) and told sharply to sit where I am put: "how many times have I told you...". Arj. E then decides against cb1 but I impose on her and she is happy, and near-sleeps on the sofa.

Realise the time and rush back for about 3:40. D is desparate to invite Sam round but in the end he and S go to B's. M gets to take E to duxford to get the car fixed/tested (if you ask me dux f*ck*d up the last brake service, because thats when the trouble started). So I get home peace.

Soir: GP agm. End up cycling, because haslingfield isn't far over OK roads. Takes 1/2 hour ish. OK meeting, fair discussion. Go *back* at SE's recommendation via the track/field path, ending up by the m11 roundabout. Quiet, pleaseant, better than the road but a bit slower.

Thurs 30th

DE to pre/school; talk N, penny and Clarie and tues after school is OK for E's party. Good. Deliver honey to #9. Work.

Home 2: coffee and book.

Phone duxford 4 but they aren't ready yet (sigh): tomorrow. So I needn't have stayed in. Well anyway.

Cory comes by in the rain with his jumper pulled over his head. But D is out. Poor little C. Is he pushed out or does he prefer it out? He'll grow up tough I suppose though he looks small and lost at the moment.

Mr Box arrives 5 and now its sunny so sit in open front door. Pick up E; she and Megan have drawn a spider. Get D from home club. Do invite to E's party based on the spider, photo'd and photoshopped. M elbows me aside to do the text inside...

7:50: bathtime. Read E 'mr happy', abbreviated. D comes up & we invent the Mr Weasel, who lives in w'land, where everyone is a w, & the houses are made of bricks of compressed weasel leather. Perhaps not such a nice place. Leve D in bath and take E down where M reads her story. Meanwhile I'm hacking the ann rep of gov; finish it by 10 and mail to RT for his efforts. Whew.

M is sleeping by fire and says she will be off sick tomorrow. Its the first night she has missed piano practice.

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