WMC's diary pages, 2005.

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2005/07/01. Friday.

I do some useful work today, despite the nonsense about long trousers in interview, but rather tired when I get home. Lots of exciting building going on - they are starting in the front now. Burst water pipes and stuff...

Get P from sch 3:30: M brings E back from a leaving do at same time. Later, Gemma comes round, while DN are at B's. But I spend much of the afternoon asleep in bed, or half asleep, listening to the kids happy chatter. EG have a discussion of pink: I think it began by E saying all girls like pink; G replied that she was a girl and didn't (this is a lie...) and has friends who don't.

Cook dinner; hoover hall; de-gunk hoover.

Bed early.

Realise I'm not going to sleep without painkillers. 2 asprin is surprisingly effective.

2005/07/02. Saturday.

To rec: cut to shape and knock in wood ends for the ramp. Allot: pick broad beans: growing well, some blackfly developing.

Back: M still playing but has mostly packed. Fin packing; off about 12 in the end. To Ma's 1:20 and sit outside for lunch. My tooth is still painful in the jaw when I'm not painkilled.

Quiet pm. DE watch asterix conquers america cartoon. They speak with yorkshire accents. I'd probably watch, but I'm v tired - not just tooth. So retreat upstairs to sleep away the afternoon.

7: off to the ferret racing! Fun fun. In the village hall, we see the ferrets in their cages when we arrive and stop to look. They are like big weasels, many albino. Inside, the racetrack is pipes interrupted by wire mesh so you can see how they are getting on. Each race has four ferrets "owned" by someone paying 15 GBP. There is one spare in the first race so Ma buys it, and after some confusion D decides to call it "weasel". Fair enough. And... great excitment! Much shouting! It wins! Hurrah for weasel. So we get our money back, plus a bottle of champagne, suitable for M's party. The ferrets run slowly, exploringly, in fits and starts, so the race is far more fun than if they just ran to the end. And a twist is that the tail has to come out - in some later races one gets to the end, pokes its nose out; another does; they touch noses; a third gets to the end and comes out completely and wins. In yet another, a ferret comes out tail first to win.

At one point D jumps up so excited he bumps me on the chin with his head!

BTW, I forgot my camera this weekend, so no pics.

2005/07/03. Sunday.

Up 9. Ma off to church at a bit before 10; M still abed. Painkillers are keeping my tooch in check but I dare not have my cereals-with-excess-suger as I normally would. Drag DE away from the TV - they are having their occaisional sunday morning fix - to breakfast.

Proper cooked lunch, good as ever, with a new rule: you (the kids) are allowed to skip one thing. D skips brocolli. E isn't really sure what to skip but feels obliged to skip something.

Next door, the garage is slowly turning into a small house. The roof is off and being strengthened.

2:30: Ma takes D off to pitstone windmill. We pack and follow about 1/2 h later. I've never been to it before. The setting is idyllic - down a narrow track/lane in the cornfield, with a big tree to be under and a gate to lean on as you look at it. Its a beautiful old thing - huge lumps of shaped wood, very old, from 1627 some of the original bits. The centre post is 17' high and 3' thick at the bottom. Only stopped in 1902 when broken by a storm and it was obvously uneconomic to fix it.

Coming back: and image of D: running, skipping, perhaps even gambolling with joy, ahead down the track between the ripe fields of corn; ahead the gate and the trees; in the distance the sunlit slopes of Ivinghoe beacon; a piece of another happier life. Beauty. Peace.

2005/07/04. Monday.

D sch; E p/school, then M has a day off work with her.

Phone dentist for emergency appt: tomorrow. Good. Work misc; J still off. Junk about long trous in interviews. Sigh. Home 7. Foundations! How deep?

E: "goodness me!". M laughs.

Soir: webby stuff till past 11. Bad W.

2005/07/05. Tuesday. Rain and wind.

To smoko, to break up the morning, with E (M's still off).

To dentist, 2:20: nice Mr Cilliers is very kind and doesn't even mention that its all my fault for staying away so long. I get x-ray'd. He isn't sure quite what it is but I get anti-biotics to take and the check in 3 weeks time remains. Also looks like I need a filling in the top too. E gets looked at too, initially reluctant but then giggles charmingly in the chair. Her "long tooth" is loose: probably root being re-abs, and will fall out, but OK, says C.

Drive to tennis, since E is still asleep in the car. Get there early: its full of frenchies. E sleeps on. Light rain, so I go back to car, DB start tennis. After 1/2h, its raining too much, they stop. Than restart, but again it starts, so everyone inside for the last 15 mins doing wet-day playbooks. B "boring" but everyone else is happy so he joins in. Meanwhile E awakens and I bring her in.

Back: DB want D round to play so ask A; OK he says, so I get rest till 5:45 when I collect them. Dinner: pasta and eggs. E still loves pasta, D doesn't really like it. A recipe for harmony.

E: (while I am in the bath): look at me! I've got both legs in one trousers! And so she has. Doesn't that make it hard to walk? Yes! I hopped up the stairs on my hands! she says, pleased by her silliness.

2005/07/06. Wednesday.

A Miranda day, and a happy one. Since we went to smoko y'day skip today and stay longer at home. E plays Orly. To Germ, swim (E v chatty to the mother of a silent little boy: she is determined that we will play sharks, E is the mummy shark, I am the boy shark, that makes the woman the girl shark, at which point she laughs....). Cb1, lib. Down to only 2 books overdue! Sch. Its cherry picking time: the trees overflow. The naughtier children (D) climb up to pick cherries. Adults (me) can reach up and grab handfuls: lovely.

Soir: to informal gov meeting to play with the new Ofsted self-assessment software, or (put another way) us doing their job for them but not getting paid for it. Many of the questions of the sort where you struggle to decide which is the correct answer. Don't get there till past 8. Pub after with Andy.

2005/07/07. Thursday. Rain then sun.

Raining as we leave for school. Harry sits in his car, quietly smoking, waiting for it to end (its easing off). We're early, for once. Settle D in (he doesnt need any settling of course, but E likes to play there and I chat to Mrs S). E to p'group, we stop to stroke Molly-the-dog. Daisy has a toy lion.

Work: a bit rushed. Mags at 10 to explain Grib to her :-), smoko; talk Higem with JCK; rush to town to buy white T for D's sports day tomorrow; lunch with Alan Iwi and chat, since he is over.

Meanwhile, bombs in London, for unclear reasons. I reckon its the French, in revenge for not getting the Olympics.

School 2, to finalise Home Club notice with MG. Then home and a chance to relax. Harry and Les-the-generic-guy are digging. My "ice" by Fred Hoyle has arrived: its bilge. Order one of his refs: but this one is GBP 30. hey ho, with abebooks its so easy...

Pick up DE as usual; M'a complains about the new edging to the road as well she might: its doesn't do much except look tidy, and it restricts their parking.

Cook; M back late.

Soir: wiki etc; stoat: on the House of Lords.

2005/07/08. Friday.

Start off with sports day! Its grey but dry. Fun. The track is on the playgrounds, on the slope, with a long round track then a short straight track diagonally across this. Kids on one side (in 3 teams: RWB) and parents on the other. D is in White. They win the first race I think, but in the end come last of the three teams - a bit sad. D gets a silver - second - for one of his races, good. Cory wins his race and I shout for him, even though he is a blue. About 1/2 way through there is some rain, but not too bad. I take lots of pix and vid. Some of the tinies are still holding their teddies. There is a pre-school race and E runs (she said before "I will run very fast and then fall over") and comes 3rd and gets a green star for it. M is here too, but somehow we don't stay together - mostly cos I'm wandering around for pix.

The work, about 11:30, missing smoko :-(. Back 2:30, then collect DE, and also N, briefly, because her auntie-from-germany is around. E is sad because P can't come too. Home, little trouble, N does splosh and DE misc. M back 4:30 ish.

JB phones me up re home club.

2005/07/09. Saturday. Grey then sun.

Up 9:30, just as D (a bit belatedly: M and I have words with each other) heads off to be taken to f'ball by Andy. I tidy kitchen and breakfast and web; M takes E to w'rose.

Collect D a bit late, 10:35, just as its finishing. Leave him playing with Joel and get bbeans from allot and give some to the stall. Collect lots of cherries from the school trees - yum - with D's help up in the tree. ME come back just as we're there.

Lunch, nice fresh bread.

1:30: finally put down the pooter, gather up the infants, and drive (sorry, and perhaps a mistake) into town for a swim. We seem to have completely switched to Parkside: its better as a pool, and much better afterwards. E completes a milestone: her first go on the (blue) flume ride, with me of course. D has many goes on the far faster green ride. Fun.

Then cb1 for a bit, then head off for our 4pm appointment with ACBGS at Pop in the Park, on Parkers Piece. We don't find them, but we do find a mixture of music, funfair, car boot sale etc. And now the sun has come out and the sky is pure blue... I wish I had my camera. Its good - a bit like strawberry fair, but with fewer stalls, and perhaps a bit more mellow. Less drinking, as Andy says, when we do find him.

DE have a go on the bouncy castle, then the bouncy slide (there was a bigger slide, and D debated with himself, unsure; eventually went with E). Both good fun. Then look around, get some food (from Leon Lewis! very good) and some drink. Last DE have a go (or two goes, for 1 GBP) on a good old-fashioned helter-skelter. They would have done more but I've spent enough on them... just as we're heading off meet Billy, so stop for a bit, and E spills G's orange juice onto Clare...

Home, M takes over (she has been practicing and sleeping, in unknown ratio). I sit out with a bowl of cherries in the sunset with wireless.

Soir: all too much of it by the pooter. Stoat on london, poss unwisely.

2005/07/10. Sunday. Sunny.

But its comfy in bed. Get up a bit past 9, and come downstairs to do the tidying I should have done last night. Sigh. Then sit outside with coffee after M gets up about 10:30.

Billy comes round to show off his new bike with - 18! - gears bought yesterday. D is clearly envious, but not insanely so, and they take turns to try it out. Its a bit too big for either of them, and (of course) neither of them really understand about the gears. So I show them that changing it down to a low gear makes it a lot easier to ride. With E on her bike we go out to the green and I sit under a tree eating cherries, now slightly mushy.

Retreat inside... DB teach E to shout F*CK! which is funny, so I video her, then tell them all never to do it again, at least in my hearing.

Finally join wiki-en list, after reading a particularly egregious post by Ed about the pseudoscience cabal.

Cory comes round to play with DE. When D leaves at 3 with M for the childrens piano concert (Ilga) C stays to play with E. They are rather sweetly playing mummies and daddies, with various toys being ill, sick, or just looked after. They do play very nicely together... about the only pairing I've ever found who never argue. C invites E round to his house, and goes to check, but sadly she can't be accomodanted today, so they stay here. C is rather attached to E, and when two of his friends (of his age) come round to see if he wants to play, he elects to stay with E. I've printed out a pic of C running in his race (which he won, against Joel and Sam) for him.

2005/07/11. Warm. To Reading.

Up 7:15, to station (TV camera filming people getting into trains), to London (tv camera filming people getting off trains and into the underground...). Not quite sure what I'll find, given the bombs, but fairly sure that there will be more disruption from over-caution than from bombs. And indeed... metropolitan line is open, so go down, just to barriers... beepbeepbeep... "All out" shout the staff in a fairly resigned way... its another alert. NO ONE sprints for the exit, worried about bombs; instead we sigh and head out. People are wandering around wondering how to get to whereever it is we want to go; I walk to Euston, then (on advice there) to Euston Sq, then metro to Baker St and ch to Paddington, and get (I think) the train I was intending to get anyway. Taxi to uni; HiGEM meeting. I am sleepy, due to late bed and early rise: I fall asleep quietly (I hope) in the back.

Home time: share a taxi with TJ; then (with the 18:56 cancelled and the 19:03 late) a train with DS/IS. London: tube back to Bakerloo

2005/07/12. Tuesday. Hot again.

3:30: off to tennis in the hot hot sun. D and B are happy that this is the last session (but is it?). I ask D is he is bored with tennis and he says sort-of. Well. While they are waiting for the cones to be put out for the warm-up exercises, B starts chanting "boring".

2005/07/13. Wednesday.

Fairly usual wednesday. By the time we get into work, its rather hot, and we're gratefult for the "a/c" in the German Cafe... though curiously they have the blinds open so the sun streams in and the door is open too. But we're off to the pool anyway so can get cool. Meet Ruth and Eve there, and E has great fun playing with Eve while I talk to Ruth. Arj/Cb1. While I do the Sudoku, E chats and plays games with Jamie and the waitress and all 3 are happy. I've forgotten the library books and we're out of time so head back to sch, where we find M and D. Cherry time is now mostly over.

Soir: to pub with A+S. Have a good time, discuss Proust and Art Theory; hiring Z in August; A's patent; M's job; stuff.

2005/07/14. Thursday.

Work, then leave 2 for town. Firstly to Heffers for a nice sit in CN, with the paperback algebraist, which is still go out to 2/3 of the way through. Then time to buy M a present... get a little heart box from Arcadia which I like. Skip the card, realising that I can make one. Buy "paradox of choice" sandwich bags from Lakeland, and a crap sci-fi + New Maps of Hell from ox. Home... B*ll*cks. I've forgotten my keys... I know, they are at work. Rats. Head back there, find keys, drop in on Tom and JT discussing the Nature submission and sit in too, since JT shares the computers a/c. Then do a bit of work, timing it so I can pick up D then E.

Brief bath to cool down.

Over dinner, phone from Jill D: she has a swarm of bees. Are there many, I ask, always suspicious that its not a real swarm. But she says hundreds. So I go for a look, and indeed there are a fair number... on the top of one of her chimney stacks (Chris is in Morocco or somesuch). Hmmm. Well thats going to be tricky. GO up a ladder to look, but couldn't reach them. Hmm, well decide to leave them tomorrow and hope they go away and trouble someone else. I'm no longer keen to get new swarms!

Soir: update B-t-B.

2005/07/15. Friday.

Work; no builders today. Back 2. Put up the BT notices in the phone kiosks.

E from M'a to sch; leave with N. Go see Jill D's bees: happily, they have mostly gone, so I'm spared the effort of climbing amongst her chimney pots.

Make M's card... search around, decide that I want an early-ish picture, to remind her/us of some distant days; settle on a nice on with her and a young D in the mid-ground, and the Aigs d'ansabere in the background, beautiful. We will go there again one day...

Leave about 7:15. E initially a bit loud and annoying, as she sometimes can be, and of scourse she and D wind each other up. D asks a riddle: "Miranda, what is small and loud and annoying?". E answers, with no hint of insult, quite the reverse, she says proudly "Me!" because she is the answer. Coming into MK "Should I stay or should I go" comes on and I turn it up full blast and E says "Daddys favourite song" and we all clap/sing along. A bit later E sleeps.

There 9:30. DE to bed. Talk.

11:30: M gets D up; I drive us into Ox for the HPvi launch. Lots of people around - more than usual? Who knows, I'm no longer familiar with late night Oxford life. Anyway, Borders and Smiths and W/stones have q's; we have a "reserved" copy in w/s but this turns out to be meaningless... we just Q and there are plenty. Q is oddly slow, but its sort-of fun; D is v good, just shuffles forward with his head in the end of HPv. Back and bed, about 1.

2005/07/16. Saturday.

Don't get up till 9:30 - oddly, I feel a bit tired... E came in a few times to try to persuade us to get up but with little success, poor her, we wouldn't even get up to open her apple juice when F couldn't.

Mfd+J have a small paddling pool which we fill and all the children go in at some point, though E is the first to get naked. Much squealing and happiness and only a few tears and not too much spilt on me.

Breakfast, and just sitting out with coffee and Sudoku when D+A arrive. Oh good, looks like people will come... a little later P+S; then Ma; then RNLT. Mfd+J aree doing most of the work and have of course bought all of the food etc; so we have an easy day.

And a good time is had by all. Sitting out in the garden in the hot sun and the shade we chat in various groups. The children mix, after a little initial shyness. And perhaps we do, too... When LT arrive, DE pair off with them a bit, especially DL, but this is OK. D+A need to go around 1... Den only flew in from Hong Kong today, and had somewhere else to go this afternoon, before flying elsewhere on Monday. So he seems to be doing well. And ?Edward? their youngest appears to be growing well. P+S are in the process of buying a new house in Goring, from Helens headmaster.

P+S leave for the Goring regatte about 3; RNLT stay till about 5 and Ma somewhat later. Then its all rather quieter...

I do a "samurai sudoku" over dinner. Elaborate, but not really all that hard, I get it 9 mins short of the 58 they gave you. The interlinking doesn't really work too well... I think they would need to set them better to make them rather more than 4/5 that happen to share the same grid.

2005/07/17. Sunday. Sun in the garden.

Lazy day. We have no need to get home for any particular time (I feel no great enthusiasm for cutting the grass, though it needs to be done) so just sit around till about 7. Its warm and sunny so try to sit in the shade as much as possible.

11-ish Mfd went off to a dig in the north porch of a church, but D didnt go too (I expected him to want to). Mfd told to buy some poster paints on the way.

And as far as I can recall, there wasn't much more to it than that, we didn't leave the house till we left. J remembered the old double-sided easel that Ellis made for Si+M and I got it down out of the garage loft (which prompted a visit up there by D and E, always fascinated by lofts). And DE then painted enthusiastically for hours.

At some point J found some face paints which were rather good. I did E as a Sad Cat at her req; and D got one hand and arm painted as a snake. Both happy with their paintings. M played piano.

Mfd took F to the P+R to catch her bus home but they were all full so they had to go into town, poor them. F should have waited another day.

Beautiful weather for driving home...

2005/07/18. Monday.

Work all day... J still off sick, poor her.

Soir: to pub for HC committee. Annette invited and talks usefully, then we continue. Longer than I expected but actually *useful* which is the point.

2005/07/19. Tuesday.

7: to Mrs Browns retirement do - well done. Spend most of it talking to Sonja who is efficient and useful it seems. Excellent!

2005/07/20. Wednesday.

Fairly typical Weds; work, cafe, town, swim, cafe, back to school...

Soir: to pub (M would go but is busy with pre-school treasurer stuff). A+S and Andrea are there and we have a good evening. I've forgotten Andys plaque and S has forgotten the river book.

2005/07/21. Thursday.

What with one thing and another I've been busy recently, and am only just writing up Sunday onwards. Sigh. The Home Club stuff is taking up time.

So: today: work as ever, (TLC and JT are interviewing today: I'm not on the board due to R Hansons absurd trouser rules) then spend about 1-2 hours finalising the DC1 document and sending off. Well at least thats done. Various other HC emails to deal with. Finally, about 3:30, I get to leave for town. Spend quite a long time in Heffers with The Alegraist, which is heading for a finale. Ponder this vs HPvi: is it a better book?

After picking up DE, start dinner, M comes in, so I get to go and chat to Jackie and check she is OK for next year (she is). Good.

Suggest to D that he writes Mrs s a card; he gets enthused and does bees and bee jokes and also wraps up a jar of honey for her. E gets into it and does alove-you-heart card for Nicola and Linda in a fit of love.

Make up and put on new super. Start williams-bees blog.

Fill out the HC grant form (tide-over version).

Soir: stoat on Fu MSU and NOAA-12. M is busy on pre-school finances, poor her.

2005/07/22. Friday. Cooler.

Last day of school! Somehow, M and I oversleep, waking up finally at 8:50. Leap out of bed. D is quietly on the sofa reading HPvi; M is at home this morning so she can do E. I get D to school by 9 just on time. Whew! Then... some HC photcopying to do, and... might as well stay for the leavers assembly. So I do. And, as last year, it is rather touching, as they sing songs and generally say goodbye. Only just get to work in time for smoko... Amna is back, cursing Egypt Air who bumped her off for not greasing palms it seems. Get CM3 running under g95 on opteron. Till 2:30.

Brief lunch. When I get back, Paul is tidying up and generally emptying the room of builders gumpf. It isn't finsihed, but it is ours to use now. BtB turns up and chats (boy can he chat...) and incidentally asks for his cheque, so that saves a stamp out of 5k.

School: Janes leaving presentation at HC; also Traceys. I show my face but in the background. I get some cake though... We're in no hurry to go. They seem to be making dust houses, Genevives tube of smarties has become Mr Invisible Owl living in one of them. EP and DN are playing, and I talk to them to, and Genevive, and P shows off his cartwheels so they all do. So I do a headstand. Which then leads to talking of yoga with Ruth, who seems to be Iyengar too and knows (of?) Janet. Stay for a bout 1h then home. Hoover up the room - Paul swept - and move in some chairs, beanbags and a rug. Meanwhile the children are playing inside and out and ignore this new thing entirely.

After dinner to pub with cjildren about 6+, to find A+C and Helen and then some already there. Children run off and play mostly (G hangs around a bit) as we drink a bit and so on (M has come so I can). Finally realise about 7:30 that I ought to phone N... so I do... she has been round to ours. Oops. Anyway, all is well, and Nelson is sent to collect NP about 8. Then stays himself.

Bedtime: DE sleep in the new room of course.

2005/07/23. Saturday.

D unkeen to go to football but then happy when he is there. I stop to chat with Bram - J/E are there playing - for rather longer than I intended to: the plan had been to go straight into town. Much to my surprise, B turns out to be a young-earth creationist, effectively, though he is a bit label resistant. Good heavens! I am delicate with him, of course. He is a nice chap and the first person I know at all - let alone a technical person - who believes this stuff. Might be interesting to talk at more length.

Then I do go to town and finish The Algebraist, which takes most of my time, followed by buying new light bulbs and a shower thingy from RS.

Back 2. I had intended to go swimming about immeadiately but JE are coming over to play so wait. They turn up at 2:30, or rather J and Martha do, E was apparently naughty (at least by there standards, he always seems pretty good to me). EM paint outside, tidily; D plays in sandpit while J reads the Asterix Omnibus; but then they get together. Some bubble blowing: finally playdo for all of them.

Then! Time to get going to pool or we will be too late: pick up N (P is off with Oliver) and drive in. No bands this late. Have a good time: DN do green flume a bit. E and I do blue, and I manage to tip boat over and slide down on our bots and the boat gets stuck inside! We were the last of the day, too. I leave E with DN and get in 2*3 lengths in - gasp - -15, -10 and -10 secs. Exhausted by that. Then CB1.

The new room has become the childrens standard bedroom now.

2005/07/24. Sunday. Cool/rain.

2: well its still raining but its time to take D to Sams pool party. Take him, and E, in the car in case I need to take him to Dry D. But, at the sch, Jeff and Penny are there. "Plan B" is to go bowling it seems, and happily they don't need me. Slightly unhappiuly they don't want to take E but that is fair enough. So we go off home, with me promising E that I'll ask if Katie can come over some time.

Misc - a bit of tidying up, some moving of stuff into the new room.

5:30. Take E to pick up D. But thye are running late - just back. E gets some time to play with K, though not always, K is a bit naughty but is also mindbogglinglu cute so gets away with it. Late food so don't leave till 7. M has cooked... happily E still hungry so eats fish and I get Nicks beetroot leaves (like spinach) and M gets the beetroot.

2005/07/25. Monday. Cool.

M is up early to get off to piano lesson: I'm not.

Home 4. Cleanup for M's party. Stop 7, bushed. Whew. NNNNP arrive first, 7:45, closely followed by CANK, a bit less closely by AS. I forced S to skip a dull ctte meeting by making it tonight, but she doesn't seem too miffed. Drink M's champage, amongst other beverages.

Children settle down to bed... oh, past 10. And Nelson eventually falls asleep in the l'room at 11.

2005/07/26. Tuesday. Grey/cool.

Up to make M's b'fast in bed, skipped y'day due to piano. D and P are playing on the pooter, entranced, so N does M a nice card and E does one too and N writes the words for her... her handwriting is good! No present but the two new cups (yellow flower and purple heart) that E and I bought, D slightly miffed because he didn't get to choose.

Do the washing up. To work in time for smoko, but I need a coffee anyway.

pm: new super on hive 1. Cut lawn.

Go to PC meeting at 7 but... it was at 6:30.

Soir: yadta on bslcene (runs FAST even under g95); stoat: on stupidity and polar amplication; try sage (from Sarah).

2005/07/27. Wednesday. Wet.

So much for summer. Its raining and its cold. But at least I can get up late.

In to work with DE; by car as we're going on to...

The dentists, as 11:30. I get a filling and a descaling and an appt with "the hygenist" in 3 months time. So E and D get to see someone having needles stuck in their mouths and not complaining. He has a quick look at D and spots a filling, so appt for next week.

Then... to pool. D would have liked to invite B but logistics don't fit. Swim happily, though pool is on the chill side. Thence arj/cb1 as ever. D wanted to go elseswhere but since it was raining I vetoed that. And I like cb1.

Back to Coton. Stop at B's but they are out. Home. Eventually, it works out that B comes over here at 5 till past 7 for dinner.

Cut grass.

I then feel rather tired (having done more MSU stuff).

Soir: HC meeting at 8:30-10+. Good.

2005/07/28. Thursday. Wet then sun.

M takes E to M'a. D goes off to B's to go with A to his school, for fun. I to work, feeling a bit slow.

Back at 12:30 to pick up D so sit down instead; A drops him off soon after. To Science Park (lost again! I hate it there) for Conexant closing bbq... well, OK I guess. I really shouldn't go to these things. M never comes to met curries, after all. Also unwisely drink a can of stella.

After: swap car for bike, cycle to town, browse Heffers but don't feel like sitting down. Home for 4; meet Mr Box.

Web; then gardening: trim at the front till the green bin is full.

Sometime (possibly today) we planted M's new cherry tree: at the back, on Dots side, just before the "hedge" by the soakaway.

Andy invites B over for sleepover: OK: he comes at 7. E is tired so I put her to bed early over her tears; she is just about asleep when DB go to bed, and they wake her up, and... well eventually she gets taken to sleep upstairs.

Ofsted have returned me the HC forms... argh... some petty slip, and the DC2 forms to fill in. I hate them I hate them.

2005/07/29. Friday. Sunny.

Back to passable weather at last.

DB up and shouting at each other (though they thought they were just taking) at 6: I sush them. E pads around later. M off 9 ish. I hang around feeling slow until 9:45 when Heather shows up for DE, and B goes off clutching his sleeping bag.

Work: much taken up with photocopying ofsted forms; talking to water folk; etc. But! The coupled model is running nicely and undrift-ily so far.

Home 3, via: Sheana; Ian; School.

Rest, peace: E is at M'a; D quiet (hot); M plays. Coffee, toast, honey.

E back; peace continues. D invites JE round and they play till nearly 6 when we have dinner. Then to pub... at Andys invite... but... where are they? Odd. Later, AB turn up: A had forgotten his dinner invite at Kates. Oops. But he stays for a pint or two.

Home before 8, E bed, D soon after (tidy new room), peace. An evening with the pooter, but not too long. M bath.

2005/07/30. Saturday. Pleasant.

A good day at home. Firstly cos I get to lie in past 9. Up a b'fast (toast). D goes off a bit late to football - he goes to B's, A will take them. ME off to w'rose (first I help remove various bits of Virata junk from the boot). I find a honey (for the stall) and my gloves (for the allot) and head off for the rec to arrive before 10:30 to see D play. Well, he is by no means the star, and when I arrive is loitering behind the net, more interested in something obscure than the game. Thats my boy! Talk briefly to A, Bram, Esther, Paul. I wanted to arrive earlier to talk more... Bram pulls bits of stuff out of the skip... Ross is being a bit throw-away ish. D plays with J/E... and so they invite him back to theirs. OK, I'll go allot. Try to get Snickert from N but she is out. Spend a happy (!) hour or more on the allot de-weeding the bit near the heap and the J arts, and unearthing potatoes, pink potatoes. Good. Also a few bbeans left, and the courgette plants are doing v well.

Home, sweaty (at corner, meet kids having icecream with Esther. Say I'll invite Martha over). ME are back - go get Ma (first into their garden to see their tree house over the brook). Ma/E seem happy together, E much more talkative, but as M says En is Ma's second language. Quick bath. Lunch for all (except Ma not v hungry). After, l'room peace till about 3. E goes off to play chez Ma. Then! Brave and bold: to the front garden to cut and trim. Our front "hedge" is really getting far too tall. So hack and cut until the green bin is full. Also sweep up out front. The pavement is falling to bits. Partly the weeds poking through, partly the builders driving on it...

This takes me past 5. Bram brings DE back all happy; I go to back to put clearer boards on the two main hives which goes OK. Another quick bath then dinner - M has cooked again, inc my pots.

Baths for DE who end up in bed a bit late, and downstairs again.

Deliver DC2 to Clare and Jackie; also chez Karen but she is on hols.

Soir: online as ever...

2005/07/31. Sunday.

A varied day. M gets up before me, past 9, I am finding it rather hard to get out of bed nowadays.

12+: MD go out to join Andy, Billy etc at the cinema for Charlie and the Chocolate Stoat. E is adjudged too young (M is keen to see it and doesn't want to take E out half way through) and left with me: she is a bit sad about this, naturally.

2: we go off to the orchard (she wanted the allot; then switched) and have hot choc (her) and apple juice (both). She has a whole big baked pot and I have courgette soup: v nice. After, as traditional, we buy M a plant to plant: some purple things.

At home we find MD back, and B and G here. E shows G the plants and we are enthusiastic to plant them. I get my boots on and we choose the space by the front door where a leylandii was ripped out, and I plant them (with help) in a neat purple line. Then I do more trimming out front - take the willow right down. Meanwhile DEBG play in the front excavation.

Put on the rhubarb from the allotment and the apples from the trees trimmed out front on to cook.

Soir: online again. Various promises of tidying up come to nothing...

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