Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Flat out! All the way to Aberdeen and back to discover that the very nice 19th century book of flute tunes didn't actually shed any light on my research at all. You win some, lose some.

I then worked my afternoon and evening duty, got home around 9 pm - shattered - had tea, pottered about a bit before bedtime ....

This morning I woke with fearful indigestion and my stomach tied in knots. Plainly too much tea, too late at night. I ate nothing until lunchtime, and will certainly be ready for my bed tonight. This evening after tea, I took no.2 son to his guitar lesson, then we went to a meeting at church. Got home past his bedtime, chased him to bed, did cello practice with no.1 son, chased him to bed [REPEATEDLY ... grrrrr!] - and now for some "me" time. Half an hour or so?
Aw, shucks!

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I'm done in! No.2 son is eight today. Last night, I got in from work, had tea, baked scones (for Noble Spouse and his friend who was visiting us last night), prepared the shopping list, baked two sponges for the birthday cake, got two boys off to bed, and went for the supermarket run. Forgetting the list! Got a couple of last-minute things in Toys'R'Us, then managed the shopping without the list. Back home, heaved it all indoors and put it away solo (since the visitor was still here), and eventually calculated that I had been on the go for 16.5 hours. No wonder I was dead on my feet.

This morning was taken up with making curry, assembling and decorating the cake - you should see it! - and getting up to date with laundry. Noble Spouse took our three and three more to see Scooby Doo 2, then I went to help ferry them all home for tea.

I vastly overestimated how many chicken noodles six little boys could get through. Had to cater for two non-curry eaters, so I gave everyone chicken dippers, curry for those that wanted, noodles for ditto, and fried potato stars for the boy that ate neither curry nor noodles. Phew! The volume was rising all the time. Ice-cream Vienetta for those that still had room, cake for even less of them, slices into party-bags for the abstainers, and then their Mums arrived. Yippee!! Still, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

I feel brain-dead now. I was arranging a colleague's piece of Scottish music for choir the other night, and I got it all entered into the computer - so I just need to spend an hour or two to finish the details, then I can print it out. It's a gorgeous tune - and my arrangement seems to work quite well. I hope he'll like it.

Tartan teacosies! I sold two, plus a non-tartan one. Re-listed the rest, and am gratified to see another two have been bid for straight away. This is not a Get Rich Quick scheme, it would appear. But I have more ideas up my sleeve. Would I have made an entrepreneur?

Off to Aberdeen tomorrow afternoon - just for an overnight stay, so I can look at a book of Scottish flute tunes on Monday morning in the University Library. Then straight back to work - I have to work the afternoon and evening. I'll be dead on my knees again by then!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Tartan Teacosy Trader optimistic!

Two tartan teacosies have been bid for, so far. I'm not sure if I should be cautiously optimistic or not!

As weekends go, this one has been quiet. School begins again on Tuesday, so the kids were packed off to bed at a "sensible time", to reestablish the normal pattern of bedtimes that we try to stick to during school terms. A little gentle music practice took place this evening - just easing ourselves back into the swing of things - and we'll have another go tomorrow. There's also the Grand Sorting of the Schoolbags to get done!

Now Pseudo Supermum is going to be Pseudo Studious Supermum. Excuse me while I go and read a textbook, just for the hell of it. I must be mad!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Pseudo Supermum is having a bet with herself. Can she sell tartan teacosies on Ebay? Mum says no-one uses tea-cosies. Noble Spouse thinks I'm wasting my time. So ... if readers of Pseudo Supermum know anyone with the surname Stewart, McDonald or Lindsay - and whichever clan uses Black Watch tartan ... please tell them to go and look on Ebay within the next week. All made by Pseudo Supermum. For good measure, I have added a turquoise clamshell patchwork tea-cosy (handmade but not by me) and a simple red-on-white floral print one, which was produced commercially some time in the 1980's. Help me prove my relatives wrong!

It has taken three days to get through the backlog at work occasioned by my week's vacation last week. The students return after their vacation next Monday, and I want to be on top of everything before more requests and queries come flooding in. The boys, meanwhile, are still on holiday, being shared between Noble Spouse and our trusty childminder, depending on Spouse's work commitments. They had a water-bomb fight in the back garden just now. I haven't looked to see how many tiny, brightly-coloured burst balloons are lurking in our very long grass!

Now, Pseudo Supermum needs to phone Sister of Supermum. I've been promising to phone since Tuesday - I really must keep to my promise!

Monday, April 12, 2004

TWO blogs in a day? That proves it has been a bank holiday. When I looked at my last posting I noticed (not for the first time) how the Google ads that appear at the top of the page are always linked to subject matter in the blog posting. So, we had - er - a certain white machine found in a kitchen - and little furry animals. Now I shall experiment to see what Google ads will appear if I mention something totally different. No.1 son returned from his sleepover, jubilant at having been stomping about on the moors all day, getting MUDDY, DIRTY, TIRED - and you should see his white sports socks after stepping into a peat bog up to the ankles! I've cleaned his trainers and hung them up to dry. The socks are soaking in bleach (phew!). The clothes are ALL in the wash. Who's complaining? He and his friend had a fantastic, out-doorsy time. Which is just how boys should spend their sunny holidays!
When the kids get too argumentative or fractious, I read once, head for the open spaces!

So while no.1 son has been away on a sleepover, we took the younger two to a country park this morning. They clambered and scrambled over all the lovely wooden structures in woody clearings, specially laid out for the enjoyment of kids from 3 to 13! Wore off lots of energy, had a picnic and an ice-cream, and no.2 son tried the stepping stones over the stream. But stepped off them. That's why we left that treat until we were on the way back to the car....

Stopped off for a quick coffee with no.2 son's godmother, then went home to enjoy the rest of a lazy bank holiday.

So, David Beckham has fallen from his pedestal and GUESS WHAT? Posh Spice is being blamed for trying to be a working mum rather than a breeding mare. So, working motherhood is becoming unfashionable again? I could have told you so! We can't have it all - if you try to do everything, be a perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect careerist - something has to give. I could list the friends who have tried and eventually decided that part-time working is the best solution. Unfortunately we can't afford that option. I could also mention colleagues suffering from severe work-related stress. I can't afford to be sick, either!

Okay, fellow working mums of the world unite - grit your teeth and get on with doing your best, as we've all been trying to do all along.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Sleepovers. Ah, the word that sends a chill right to the depth of the soul of any sanity-preserving supermum. Tuesday night was riotous. No.1 son wound up no.2 son and friend. There were pillow fights, quilt fights, sleeping bag hi-jacks and high jinks too numerous to mention.

Wednesday morning, I woke up and resolved BEFORE my feet hit the ground that I simply had to take them all out somewhere, or go mad. Accordingly, we went to The Big Adventure, a huge soft-play place where kids can run, jump, slide, squeal and scream to their hearts' content without endangering their parents' furniture. It wasn't a cheap morning, but it was more peaceful for me!

Noble Spouse returned, triumphant, on Thursday afternoon, having had a wonderful wife-free, child-free week, and enjoyed the life of a carefree bon-viveur. Well, all good things come to an end, don't they? He returned to prawn curry de la maison, then disappeared off to a meeting in connection with one of his interests.

Obviously, he was FAR too busy on holiday to remember a wedding anniversary on Friday, though I must say that the floral peace-offering did mollify me somewhat.

The last two days have been low-key. Somehow our house is suddenly full of toy guns, which fire caps, plastic pellets and now yucky bits of potato too. This is despite my valiant efforts to keep the house free of any kind of toy gun other than the watery variety! I think I have to give up on this one. Mild comments like "why would you want to pretend to kill someone else?" have no effect at all! What it is to be the only female in a very male household.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Monday. A week's holiday, Hallelujah! The morning went fine - dental check-up, returning library books, going to the post office - then everything turned pear-shaped. The fridge interior light wasn't working, and when I took it out then screwed it back in (in case it was a loose connection) - there was a pop, a bang, and the whole ring-main fused.

While waiting for the engineer, the fridge decided to start again after all. I didn't know fridges had automatic cut-offs that closed everything down for an hour, but I know now.

Whilst playing with one of the gerbils, it escaped out of our hands, and just while a madwoman and three over-excited little boys were leaping over the furniture trying to capture it, the engineer arrived. He took one look at the situation and just said laconically, "I'll go and look at the fridge, shall I?"

I paid £50 to be told that my assumption about the automatic cut-off was correct ... then had to go out and buy a new interior light for the fridge. The engineer didn't carry spares.

After all that, we went to the swimming pool - where we bumped into no.3 son's best friend from his nursery days. That made the outing all the more enjoyable for everyone.

Today, no.2 son is away playing at his friend's house, but the friend is coming for a sleepover tonight. Am I a glutton for punishment? Meanwhile, no.1 husband is visiting a fellow tram enthusiast in London. It sounds as though he's having a ball. (Did I say no.1 husband? Absolutely correct. There won't be another - it would take to long to train one!)

Friday, April 02, 2004

We have two new gerbils - they've lived a week, so they're doing well. They have a new draught-free cage, and are very frisky. Too frisky - the "loving brothers" turn out to be brother and sister, and have been copulating by the book - so we anticipate lots of little red gerbil pups in about a month from now.

Tuesday was a Bad Day. Owing to a slip-up on my part, my mobile phone contract wasn't cancelled when I changed to pay-as-you-go in February. I had an argument with the phone firm before I even went out to work in the morning - and they weren't giving an inch. Got to the underground station and found the outer circle was off, so I had a crushed journey the long way round. Had a fairly futile day at work, came home and found that my computer didn't want to go on the internet, no way, no how. Took no.2 son to his guitar lesson, and had my wing-mirror bashed before I even got out of our neighbourhood. The street isn't really wide enough for parked cars on either side AND cars travelling in both directions. The moron that bashed me must have been over the white dotted line, since I know I was on the correct side of it!

Come to think of it, my Revo should have had a little bed symbol beside the date, to indicate that I wasn't meant to get out of mine at all.

Ah well, yesterday I took a half-day's leave to make some phone-calls about the computer. Eventually I had made four calls to the ISP and six to the computer firm, resulting in the promise to replace my modem next Monday. Which would have been fine except ...

Fifteen minutes later, I just doggedly decided to try to get online one last time. Bingo! No problem. Was there ever a problem? And I got home from work TODAY, to find that I can still get online, but the computer firm hasn't actually got the right modem in stock in any case. It's an ill wind that blows no good, as they say.

I've done the supermarket run, put shopping away, chased the boys to bed - the amount of "me-time" left at the end of all this seems to dwindle increasingly (or should that be decreasingly?). This time I have forty minutes before we subside with a glass of wine and some supper.

Someone write and say something encouraging! It hasn't been a good week.