Saturday, June 23, 2007

Soup-er Spouse

You have to admire SuperSpouse's focus. He was telling me about the Katovice delegation, as I was fixing something in the kitchen. I don't think he noticed what I was doing.

*I cut jelly squares
*Dissolved them in liquid
*Liquidised some peaches which were going to become a Jellied Peach Smoothie
*Mixed the whole lot together, put the dish in the fridge, then transferred the milk from the milk-jug back to a screw-top milk carton so that the jelly smell wouldn't taint the milk. "I'm putting the milk back in the carton because of the jelly", I said firmly. I know it looks nicer to have milk in a jug, but needs must ...
Then we started getting lunch ready. "Boys!" yelled SuperSpouse, "Would you like soup, beans or spaghetti?"
"There isn't any soup", I intervened.
"But I've just seen you making it!!!"
I have to concede that peach jelly and tomato soup are very similar in colour. They just smell different.
(Soup image from
Good thing SuperSpouse has a good sense of humour!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Katowice was hit by thunderstorms today, and the bold lads from STTS were briefly stranded at the airport. The European weather forecast predicted the storms - but didn't give the details of thunder, lightening and flooded runways.

So there I was, pondering over what would happen if SuperSpouse didn't return tonight. I'd had a panicky phone-call from his work yesterday, begging him to go in tomorrow because his deputy was off sick.

I started trying to work out what would happen if he wasn't back, and concluded that there would be no alternative but to take a day's annual leave from my work in order to cover his work. I've hardly any left in my entitlement, but that would have mattered little compared to the inconvenience of his crematorium being without music for a day!

Anyway, he's home again safely, so all is well. All those dozens of mourners who'll be at funerals tomorrow are blissfully unaware of the crisis that has been averted!


Ohmygoodness! I've just discovered that someone else has a Super Spouse, too. (They have a space between Super and Spouse. A spaced-out, vegetable gardening Super Spouse, then. ) I am about to have a look at this duplicate Super Spouse. I didn't imagine there could be two of them!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I must be sickening for something - I've actually had a relaxing night. It was the church choir's annual end-of-session dinner. I couldn't find a babysitter, but it worked out just fine, because one of my altos "volunteered" her grown-up son and daughter as babysitters. So my two youngest sons went to her house, and played PlayStation, electric guitar, keyboard ... not to mention playing with a lovely soft cuddly poodly kind of dog - a water-hound of some sort. They couldn't have been happier. Now they're off to bed, tired, but very contented.
I shall make a cup of tea, and do as much ironing as it takes to drink the tea. Then there's probably j-u-s-t enough of that Chardonnay left for me to have a small glass before bedtime. Cheers!
By the way, these pictures shows a new sport - extreme ironing. Due acknowledgement to the image sources.
In case you were worried about the STTS guys in Poland - have no fear. The latest report is that they had a fabulous time in Cracow and are reluctantly heading home to the UK tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SuperSpouse and his tram friends are still in Katowice, but tomorrow it's time for the citizens of Cracow to watch out. They're coming to experience your tram system next. (Image from

When you think about it, there are so many tram systems out there, simply waiting to be explored. Where will it all end? Will I come home one day to a note saying, "Gone on world tram cruise with STTS (the Scottish Tramway and Transport Society). See you some time ..."?

(The image is of a railway track outside a northeastern Polish village.)

I couldn't find a tram widow joke, but everyone's heard of golf widows, so I'll just tag along with them. Question:

What do you do when your husband leaves you at home alone with the baby all day on Saturday so that he can go play golf...again...for the 3rd weekend in a row?


You'll have to visit for the answer. (I love it!)

Monday, June 18, 2007

If I have ended up with a neat pile of papers on my desk, at 23.59 pm, then it's a miracle. And I'm having a glass of Chardonnay to celebrate. You see, I took today off, to get some serious study done.

Boy, did I work! I got through the Dahlhaus book on nineteenth century music. (I can only take so much on the aesthetics and philosophy of nineteenth century music before I lose the will to live, but I read thoroughly the bits I thought were relevant, and skipped large chunks about Wagner opera.) I've got a clutch of word-processed notes at the end of it.

I read the articles on Zuccalmaglio that I'd managed to download. I gathered citations. Made notes of things I wanted to follow up.

Most of that was done between 9.20 am and 2.20 pm, then I went to collect the boys from school. (Remember, SuperSpouse is gallivanting in Katowice this week.)

I tried not to feel guilty that I baked chocolate buns when we got home. (The chicken curry was a necessity, but the buns were an optional extra.)

Had tea, took the boys to viola and piano lessons, and eventually got Ocarina-Kid into the bath, and - eventually - both boys to bed.

In between times, and afterwards, I wrote another couple of pages for my thesis chapter. Perfect! (No, not the chapter - I wouldn't venture to suggest that - but I've got down all the facts I wanted to include, so there's a good chance it is not only fixed in my head but also on paper. Paper? Sorry, I meant, on file. Which reminds me, I'll save it to USB as well, before I head for bed.)

I can't calculate exactly how long I spent on research today - but I got more done than I would usually achieve in a week. Research days are definitely a good thing! And I had quality time with the boys as well - what could be nicer?

Meanwhile, the STTS boys (ie the Scottish Tramway and Transport Society) are having a lovely time riding trams in Katowice - so they're happy too. Contentment rules okay.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Katowice, look out!

An eager throng of tram enthusiasts from STTS (the Scottish Tramway and Transport Society) has arrived in Katowice. They'll hit the roads tomorrow. If you should stumble across them, you have a choice. You can either say "Good morning", or pretend you don't speak English. But don't worry - they're quite harmless. They just want to ride trams and take a few photos.

  1. Katowice - see Wikipedia

  2. Silesian interurbans (Wikipedia)

  3. Katowice tram (Wikipedia image)
  4. Katowice webcam

Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, I took the boys to the Glasgow Mela in Kelvingrove Park today. It's based around the traditions of the Indian sub-continent. The whole event was very colourful.

The boys enjoyed a ride, candy-floss and ice-cream, and watched the kids in Kelvingrove Skate Park for a good long while. Cello-Kid was green with envy, and most admiring of their prowess...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Spot the Difference

Now, boys and girls, we're going to play a little game. How many differences can you see between these two cars?
  • Yes, one is black, and the other is silver.
  • Yes, one is a Citroen and the other a Corsa.

Well done! Let's use our imaginations now:-

  • One of these cars belongs to your family and lives outside your house.
  • The other one does not. It has been hired, but you haven't seen it yet.

Okay? So, if you saw one, you would recognise it. If you saw the other, it wouldn't ring any bells at all.


Last night, I came out of the subway and went for my car. As I pulled out of the car-park onto the high street, someone tooted. Super-Spouse often tells me that if I've done nothing wrong, then the tooting won't be directed at me. I ignored it. Indeed, I didn't even register which car was tooting. I looked up the street to make sure it was clear to turn out. The driver of a silver car gesticulated back round the corner.


Oh, I see. He says he's turning left so it's okay for me to pull out. Which I did, and drove home.


As soon as I'd got out of the car, a silver car tore up the street behind me. The driver leapt out. "You %*%!%$? idiot!" (Well, this is Govan, you know.) "You SAW me. You looked STRAIGHT THROUGH ME. You just IGNORED me. How DARE you?!!"


It was SuperSpouse. (Sorry, I thought you had realised this.) In a Corsa, of course.


The trouble was, I assumed he was on his way to the garage, so I didn't expect him to be waiting at the exit to the car-park. I didn't know he was driving a silver car, didn't even recognise that the car which must have been tooting at me was a Corsa (which SuperSpouse was driving, silly me), and certainly didn't see his face. All I saw was this arm pointing back down the street to the car-park. And I didn't recognise the arm.


I really must take more notice of anonymous tooters in silver Corsas.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

HEADLINES! SuperSpouse hits 70!

... so the five of us went to Di Maggio's last night to celebrate. A good time was had by all, apart from the fact that CelloBoy and Viola Kid absolutely insisted they had to have adult portions. SuperSpouse told me not to be so mean (I was paying!) - so I caved in. Did they finish their adult portions? Don't be silly.

Meanwhile, Ocarina-Kid (who is only 8) DID NOT WANT to choose from the kids' menu. I persuaded him - gave the waiter our order - was told firmly by my four Grumpy Males that I had been too heavy handed - and had to go and change his choice.

Pseudo-Supermum won that round: what he thought was his "main course" was actually an adult starter. Did he finish it? You're still being silly.

I was perfectly prepared to spend what it took to get a fantastic meal, but I do object to buying adult portions for kids who then cannot finish even half of what's on their plate.

Home we came. Eventually, it was bedtime. At this stage I learned that Viola-Kid had a party invite for Sunday afternoon. He only has two prior engagements. I had already rearranged the guitar lesson once - and the exam is on Tuesday. We had also agreed, weeks ago, that he would play viola at his teacher's charity concert later on in the afternoon.

He screamed, bawled, howled ... and was still in a furious mood today.

Now (middday), Cello-Boy and Viola-Kid have gone off to a Christian rock music event in Edinburgh, and peace reigns.

Mind you, despite going to the leisure centre and booking the kids summer camp, and dealing with a whole load of washing ... I still have the supermarket run to look forward to. I went last night, at 11.15 pm. Got to Asda, parked the car, and had a Bright Light moment. I was thinking of the Apprentice who walked out the other day, Katie Hopkins. Alpha female, high-flyer, high earner. And that was where the inspiration came to me:

I know Katie Hopkins depends on her parents' help. But she could afford paid help if she wanted it.

If I could afford a paid, live-in housekeeper or au pair, would I ask them to go shopping at 11.15 pm on a Friday after a meal out? I would not. So - why should I? I bought the bare essentials, and came home again. Enough's enough!

Image of Katie Hopkins from the BBC's website:

(I'm curious to see who will finally win The Apprentice. It's rather compulsive viewing!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

As sexy as a piece of haddock?

I walked into the house this evening to the appetising smell of Bird's Eye Simply Haddock. Three cheers for SuperSpouse, who had the meal almost ready to serve up.

"If you don't mind my saying so, dear", SuperSpouse said gently, entering the kitchen behind me, "you could do with a shower. You're sweaty."


(This is the man, I might add, whom his best pal calls "Sir Humphrey", alluding to his tact and diplomacy skills ... )

I'd walked out of the Subway feeling fat, frumpy and forty-eight, and arrived home to be told I smelled. Is it any wonder I don't feel in the least bit feminine, let alone attractive?

I sniffed my own armpits. (Tricky, but it can be done.) No! my anti-perspirant was still working just fine.

The penny dropped. "Are you sure you're not just smelling the Bird's Eye Simply Haddock?"

A guilty look. Then embarrassment. "Ah, yes. Sorry. [mumbled, sotto voce] Yes, that's it. Of course."

I wonder how many SuperSpouses, worldwide, can't differentiate between their wife and a piece of haddock?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Forgive me for a little self-pity this evening. I'll just enter two sentences:-

"Thank you for doing ALL the ironing."

"Thanks for bailing me out and bringing my music across."

No. There's another sentence. Unspoken, this time:-

"You're a mom [for that, read Mug]. You're expected to do it."

Sigh! (This evening's image is from an American exhibition called "Apron Strings", by the Mid American Arts Alliance - I wish I could have seen it.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Aaarghh! Just when you think you've done everything - bought the ring-binders, the poly-pockets and highlighter pens, the snacks and "healthy" drinks, and done all the washing and ironing ...

SuperSpouse took Cello-Kid back to his halls of residence for the next week, and what did PseudoSupermum find left behind?

Grade 5 piano music. Scales and arpeggios. And his new watch! As I said, Aaarghh!

Well, I've supervised music practice for Viola-Kid and Ocarina-Kid, given the latter his supper and tucked him up in bed. I had intended doing some reading now, but I think I may be going to take the forgotten music fairly soon, so is there any point in starting reading? It looks like a great book, really useful - but it's going to have to wait ...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Brring, brring!

"I'm ringing about the cello you're selling..."
"You see, mine's is broke. Would you like to hear it over the phone?"
"Not particularly. So - would you like to come and see ours?"
"Can you play it over the phone?"
"Sorry - I can't play the cello."
"So - can I buy yours?"
"Certainly" - and I named the amount, emphasising that we wanted payment in cash.


"Well, I was thinking of buying it for £50 less than that." "But you saw the price in our advert?"
"Well, I'm haggling with you."
"No, you're not. We've named our price."
"Oh, well then ..."


30 seconds later .....

Brring, brring!



Evidently blowing a trumpet raspberry at us. Ah, well - Whatever! There's nowt so strange as folks, is there?

* Cello image from

* Trumpeter image from