Friday, November 26, 2004

Don't mention balls! This evening, when we were out at choir-practice, our youngest son swallowed a small metal ball. "I've swallowed a marble, I'm going to die! Then who will feed my hamster?", he bawled. The babysitter and his two big brothers freaked out, but the babysitter recovered enough to dial 999. Apparently we had flashing lights and sirens, paramedics and an oxygen tank, within minutes. Impressive.

"Where's the casualty?", they cried, dashing straight past him to his middle brother - who was looking more distressed. "It's not me, it's HIM", middle-man informed them.

Anyway, they pronounced him okay but suggested the babysitter should ask me to ring Yorkhill just to see if they wanted to see the invalid.

I got back from Yorkhill at midnight. He thought it was a great adventure, stotting round the hospital in his dressing-gown and getting a metal-detector scanned over his tummy!

Tomorrow, the construction game from which the magnetic ball came, will be removed from the bedroom. If he can't be trusted, then he won't have access to that particular game.

What a night! And not even a bottle of Lambrusco for comfort at the end of the day!

Friday, November 19, 2004

It's the school Christmas bazaar tomorrow. So, not only did I have to work yesterday - I also spent the afternoon trying to be a research student, went home into parent mode (briefly), baked buns after tea, went and took a choir practice, then back home to ICE the buns. Please note, I didn't have to resort to distressed mince-pies as per my heroine, Allison Pearson!

So all three boys took iced buns to school today (Friday), which granted them permission to "dress as they pleased" instead of wearing school uniform.

But it doesn't stop there. Tomorrow morning, we have to GO to the school Christmas bazaar, which is just about the low spot on my social calendar. Every parent has offloaded toys, books and videos that their offspring don't use any more. And every parent's offspring bounces home with a carrier-bag full of someone else's junk that they've spent their money on!

So, how is tomorrow shaping up? Christmas bazaar, then run along the road for no.1 son's orchestra practice. Back home, hand over no.3 son to Super-Spouse, so I can take no.2 son to town to get his replacement glasses. (He said he'd lost them, last weekend. We found them after I'd organised the replacements. Still, a spare pair is probably a Very Good Thing.)

Superspouse and no.3 go to collect no.1 back from orchestra.

Back home for lunch, out to tea with no.2 son's godmother, back home after tea, and THEN I can do the weekly supermarket run. Research? Um yes, sometime .....

Friday, November 12, 2004

Sunday lunchtime, I set off for Norwich by rail. A poster at Glasgow station said that a derailed freight train between York and Doncaster was delaying everything. Brilliant, I thought. It's bad enough to have to go down to Carlise and then across to Newcastle on account of Sunday rail works. Then to have to change onto a bus between York and Doncaster? Surely not!

Indeed, it was surely not. Got to Newcastle, got the next train, and was delayed by an hour - because of a derailed freight train just outside Durham. Was late to Peterborough - but there was no derailed freight train between York and Doncaster. We just never caught up after Durham. I eventually got to Norwich at 10.35 pm, to be met by my tired but willing brother!

I had 36 hours in Norwich, then had an easier but still tiring trip back to Glasgow again. It was good to see my family, and great to find that my SuperRev. Father is definitely in better health since his hernia operation.

Don't ask about Wednesday - I was on my knees with tiredness. You see, I'd spent most of my travelling time catching up on research reading! On Wednesday evening, I couldn't motivate myself to do anything at all.

Excused myself from a meeting in Edinburgh on Thursday - that gave me a chance to catch up at work. And felt as though I had caught up by today. Hallelujah!

I had the opportunity to speak to a reporter from the Sunday Observer this afternoon - all about whether I regretted my decision to be a working mum. This is the Observer website - wait until Sunday or Monday to see if an article is published about working and stay-home mums.

I found this website today - FamiliesOnline.co.uk - and here's their article about "Stay at home / back to work - the debate". See if it says anything new!

This evening, Pseudo-Supermum was in Family Taxi mode. Super-Spouse is out at a tram meeting, so I took no.1 son (accompanied by no.2 son) to Boys' Brigade, dashed back to collect no.3 son from Anchor Boys, allowed them to chill out whilst I did some research - until it was time to go back out to collect no.1 son again. The two smaller ones were in pyjamas, dressing-gowns, and with a rug over their knees in the car. It is the coldest night we've had yet this autumn - quite frosty.

Okay, I've had my little break - back to the research again...


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Well, yesterday was Guy Fawkes' Day. Only the British would continue to celebrate a planned arson that never took place, hundreds of years later, by spending vast sums of money on fireworks and watching them go up in smoke.

Also - only the Scots would proudly boast that their parking meters would soon be going over to "solar-powered". Does that mean free parking except in May and June?

Yesterday was the day from hell. Starting with a little list of "things to do" in the office, I seemed to develop a version of the Midas touch. Everything I touched became more complicated or time-consuming. Right down to when I phoned a colleague to explain that their order was too expensive - to which they made no objection. Then added, "While you're there, please could I order another seven items?" Yes, right. So that's the value of the cancelled order, plus some more! When you're adding tasks to the bottom of your "to do list" at such a frenzied pace, how do you tackle the tasks that had the misfortune to be at the top of it?

I ended up doing my bath-bomb impression again, fizzing more and more until I felt as though I'd vanish down the plug-hole.

Went home, hoping the kids would allow me a few moments peace. No comment. Then out in family-taxi-mode, back home again to transpose a piece of music for tomorrow, and out at 10.20 pm to do the supermarket run. Friday evenings are so restful!

Can't wait to get on the train to Norwich tomorrow. Forty-eight hours of a kind of relaxation - except that I plan to do research reading for the whole journey in both directions. Got to catch up, got to catch up.

Talking of which ... maybe I could do some reading now, too ?


Monday, November 01, 2004

Going stir-crazy! I simply want to visit my parents in Norwich. It is going to cost over £100 by rail - twice as much as travelling from Scotland to Warsaw! What ridiculous times we live in.

Halloween is over for another year. We had no guisers, so the kids took their green buns (with green and red marbled icing) to school to share with their friends. Everyone seemed satisfied with this arrangement. (You see, I'd looked at Halloween goodies in Asda, but they looked so cheap and nasty and additive-laden, that I decided I could make my own colourant-filled cakes for less. And at least I knew WHAT additives were in them!)

I simply must do some research work now. I've washed two boys' hair, and spent two hours trying to sort out quick ways of getting to Norwich. What a waste of an evening!