Monday, November 28, 2005
Rebecca was pretty good, but I must re-read the book as it was quite unsatisfactory in parts - too much story to condense into a play without losing some explanation, and I was left wondering...she was what? And he did...huh? A lovely theatre (but very badly organised catering facilities: a bar that doesn't sell crisps - despite crisps being visible on the coffee-shop counter about 6 feet away - and a coffee 'area' without enough seats. Oddly, the service in the cafe was my big gripe on my only other visit to the Lowry, for an exhibition shortly after it opened.) Nigel Havers was quite good; the new Mrs de Winter was very good (oh so wet, but that was expected). The small parts were excellent and the sister-in-law was very funny, which I don't remember from the book or the classic old black-and-white film. Wasn't too struck with Mrs Danvers, though, she was Very Angry and unbalanced, but not creepy. The staging was clever, a seascape backdrop with a staircase behind. It was lovely to have an evening out being me not mummy: I even put on shoes with heels to celebrate!
I have to go into town this afternoon to pick up some copies of some mortgage forms which, despite being posted Friday morning, haven't yet arrived. I am turning into a mad old bat and am sorely tempted to lurk in the shrubbery tomorrow morning in order to leap out and harangue the posty (and give him back all the red elastic bands he leaves on my drive while I'm at it!) I don't know if it is just Warrington, but the post gets monthly less and less reliable. Did you know those elastic bands are the single biggest cause of complaints to the PO? Why can't they fashion a small bag around their waists and drop them in to re-use?
Just realised yesterday (how slow am I) that there were two friends I promised to see while I was home last weekend, who completely escaped my mind while I was there. I blame the vomiting but it is not good enough. So, Kavitha and Mia: I am truly sorry and will try harder next time.

Friday, November 25, 2005
Funny isn't it - you don't go to the theatre for about 4 years (can't actually remember the last time I did, but I'm pretty sure it was before we went to Japan), then you go twice in a week. Rebecca at the Lowry tonight: Miss Saigon at the Palace on Wednesday. I am very excited.

Thursday, November 24, 2005
A most successful day: Maggie has really got the hang of clinging to my back as I swim now (anyone seen Whalerider?), and today we managed it under water! Tomorrow we are having some underwater photos taken (like these) so I am hoping she'll be feeling as cooperative. I do wonder if it related to her being born underwater: would be interesting to do a survey. The teacher's daughter was also born underwater and is also completely unfazed by being submerged (that's a survey of two, pretty conclusive I'd say). Many of the other babies in the group don't like it, or don't like it all the time.
Lots of jobs completed (haven't yet unpacked, but don't rush me). Reams and reams of forms filled in and taken to the solicitor. Phew. We even had pie, made by my own fair hands, for tea. Smug.
Maggie has also constructed her first unambiguous* two-word phrase. Mummy up. Mummy-up. Mummyup mummyupmummyupmummyup.
*She's been saying 'issa' before naming things for ages. Issa cat. Issa daddy. Issa door. It might be 'it's a'; it might be random babbling.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Have been in Surrey for 6 days: can't cope with the dial-up slowness so no updates from there. Saturday we mooched; Sunday we dealt with a very sicky little girl (I won't give nasty details, but we are talking projectile vomiting all over my dad and spotty legs and all sorts. Poor thing.); Monday we went to Staines - nobody can say we don't know how to live - and visited the most excellent Christmas shop at a garden centre. M was not very keen on the moving, singing, 5-foot-tall Santa but otherwise enjoyed. Tuesday I abandoned the bairn with her granny for shopping in Guildford, to include a coffee All By Myself (hooray) and a most civilised lunch with two friends from Tokyo days. Am not sure there is anybody left in Japan any more.
Oh, and the owners of The House accepted our offer. Cameron was a bit miffed - he was prepared to haggle - and I am trying not to get very excited while mentally preparing lists of boxes to pack and things to throw away and what furniture fits where. All of which would be much easier if I could remember what furniture we own.

Thursday, November 17, 2005
Having done 200 miles in 2 days round sundry Cheshire villages, we think we might have found The House. Of course I am saying no more until anything happens but please get crossing those fingers again!
The only other news is that my plants have died. Those ones I have been looking at for 3 weeks, shaking my head and saying I really must bring them indoors before we get a frost. Too late.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
There might be something in this aromatherapy malarky. Poor Maggie is not feeling at all well - nasty cough and cold - so, to cheer her up, I gave her some body lotion after her bath. I picked up the wrong bottle: "playtime fun" mandarin and orange instead of "sleepy time" lavender and something else, and trying to get her into her pyjamas was like putting an octopus in a string bag, arms and legs everywhere and bounce bounce bounce. (An octopus on a pogo stick.)
Have just printed out all the potential houses (wish my stapler wasn't in storage). Arg. None is perfect. Why not?*
*Answer: because our budget is about £500K too low.

Apparently it might actually have been a female sparrowhawk. What do I know about birds (I thought it was a kestrel anyway).
And ooh! who heard the Archers last night?!

Monday, November 14, 2005
What a good weekend! Saturday, I was completely relieved of all childcare: as soon as Cameron and Maggie went to tumbletots (tots! tots!) I headed to Chester for a day's shopping with Sara. Very sensibly (and uncharacteristically) I managed to buy casual everyday clothes rather than going-out stuff - ie, I bought clothes that I will wear - and I even made a start on Christmas. Then Cameron brought Maggie over, and we left her with Sara and scarey uncle Ian, and actually went out for dinner. On our own. Just two of us. For the first time since she was born: not bad going.
The next morning, after S-U-Ian's special breakfast and a quick visit to Borders to take notes for Cameron's Christmas, poor C had to go to work (he is working terribly hard at the moment, poor boy) M and I had a very nice afternoon together*, which culminated in us accepting an offer on our house! Woohoo! Shh, shh, don't want to jinx anything. But woohoo all the same.
And then I spent a good 25 minutes watching a peregrine falcon devouring a pigeon on the driveway. How cool is that.
*Even if rather more of it than I would have liked was spent wiping felt-tip pen off furniture, books, toys, my not sure M was entirely as supervised as she perhaps should have been on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Random musings -
It's normal to fall completely in love with your cleaner, right? She said, today, that she was a fast worker and thought it was a bit silly inventing jobs - that my windows (windows!) don't need doing every week - so could she do my ironing? How fantastic is that?!
Cameron is on a plane home, hoorah. My experiment in single mumming has not been a resounding success and I am so glad I don't have to do it all the time. It hasn't been a complete unmitigated disaster (it has actually gone very smoothly), I am just exhausted and haven't turned on the telly or picked up a book all week. Having a rotten manuscript in hasn't helped, I can't blame Maggie entirely. Am planning a big shopping spree, my first in several years, on Saturday, so the manuscript was very timely to ease my guilt. Have never quite adapted to spending "someone else's money", even if Cameron doesn't (always) see it as "his".
I cannot cope with Ocado mithering me to book my Christmas delivery slot already. I am foolishly, recklessly prepared to risk not having one if it means I don't have to decide now what sort of cheese, bread, etc we will eat in 7 weeks' time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

(We are never going to move.)

Sunday, November 06, 2005
Gosh, it's tiring being a single mum. Cameron left at 6 am on Saturday and I don't seem to have stopped since. I had my first "tumbletots" experience on Saturday (quite fun, though M is scared of one of the staff members. Would have been helpful if C had remembered to warn me - whichever piece of apparatus she was supervising was the one that Maggie refused to go near. Very strange.) then made the mistake of going to the supermarket. I never shop at the weekends and have now been reminded why. Was horrific and full of terribly stressed, terribly rude people ramming each other's trolleys, shoving them (mine) out of the way, and tutting at each other. In the evening we headed to Chester for the fireworks. Maybe a long way to go for a few sparklies but they do a special toddler's session with simple colours and no bangs, which was great. Luckily all this activity tired Maggie sufficiently that she slept through all the fireworky bangs and pops, while I lay awake grinding my teeth at my neighbours, who were still setting them off (having saved the noisiest to last) at 11.30. Much as I love a firework, I thought that was a bit off. How middle-aged am I.
Today, we went to the co-op for a paper, it being a Sunday. I have no idea why I thought that was important - when am I going to read it? Then my old chum Pete, who I haven't seen since May, came for lunch. Maggie was oddly shy again (he is quite tall but really not very scary). Then we headed to the blue planet to meet Eleanor, Jonathan (2 1/2) and Mark (10 weeks) for a couple of hours of fsh! fsh! (fish), shack! (shark) and up! (stairs). So sweet, Maggie really liked Jonathan and gave him a big smacker when we left.
Now she is in bed, I have a kitchen to tidy, laundry to organise, parcels to wrap, programmes to Sky+, a paper and two magazines (and a book for Thursday's book group) to read, bins to put out, toys to tidy and a random cat to deal with in my garage, which I can't put outside because of the bangs. I actually thought it was Islay when I spotted it in the garden earlier, and worried she was hurt because she wouldn't come to me. But having counted cats, it isn't actually one of mine. Why do all the strays end up here?
Last of all, we ayt lafskjdgh ksfhfskjh laksjsaljkf. That's me typing with all fingers crossed: we are expecting an offer on the house at the end of the week as long as we are prepared to move fast. Having been on our starting blocks since January, you bet we are. Eek!

Saturday, November 05, 2005
My tai chi teacher remarked out of the blue yesterday that he hates London because he hates southerners. Charming, I thought. I haven't encountered this for some years - I got it all the time when I first lived here; it sounds innocuous and amusing but can you imagine the impact if he put virtually any word other than southerners in there? Sigh. I just asked whether I should leave then class and was told I could be an honorary northerner. (I don't want to be an honorary northerner: it's grim up north*.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005
I've had blogs brewing (sounds nasty) all week but somehow they haven't materialised. Can't remember, now, what they were.
Our main piece of news is that Cameron, rather than being reorganised out of a job as we feared, got promoted (hurray) and has to go to Singapore at very short notice, ie Saturday (boo) - just for a few days. He seems a bit worried (about the job not about Singapore) but I reckon they wouldn't have given it to him if they didn't think he could do it. And I always know best.
One thing I intended writing a medium-length rant about, but find the energy has dissipated, is the spate of articles written by women considering having children. (Like this one for example). Every time I open a paper I seem to see someone making a list of pros and cons; what they are all missing, of course, is that when you actually have one their very existence becomes the most enormous pro and outweighs everything else. And you can't possibly comprehend that until you have done it - I certainly didn't, given that I don't actually like children. (I still don't. I went to a friend's house for coffee last week and her little girl is all smoochy kissy with me. Cute, I suppose, but I find it all a bit repulsive. I am just evil) But as I said, the energy has gone. They are all stupid; they don't know what they are missing; it is their choice whether they decide to find out (but please will they stop sounding so smug and in control of their biology about it); please write articles about something else now.