1. Today we have sickness in the house. Not serious sickness, just a couple of colds, but as we are usually bizarrely healthy, it’s not a scenario to which I’m accustomed. Pippi woke up complaining of a headache and she had a bit of a fever. And later in the morning Betsy took herself off upstairs and was found to be asleep on her bed. Calpol has been administered, duvets brought downstairs and DVDs put on. Is it bad that I’m enjoying the quiet and snuggles that come with mild unwellness?
2. Last week we had snow. It was marvellous. The small people and I spent two lovely afternoons sledging with Anna and her kids. Here are some photos courtesy of Anna. (And for those of you – I’m sure there are many! – who’ve been holding your breath for the vulture fact, I can only give my apologies… I have neglected to ask her about it. We’re going to count these pictures as Anna’s contribution to the blog for today!)
3. Observing my children’s sledging preferences made me laugh. It’s quite funny how one activity can sort of sum up their personalities. The first afternoon, Betsy would not sledge at all, although she had fun watching everyone else. After a fair bit of persuasion, she agreed to go down with me the next day and loved it. Then after further persuasion, she plucked up the courage to go down by herself, which she did, shrieking all the way. She had a whale of a time and was heard bemoaning the fact that she had allowed herself to miss out the day before. The Boy spent both afternoons mostly pottering around by himself, rolling around in the snow. He went on the sledge with me a fair bit and always enjoyed it, but he wouldn’t go by himself or with anyone else. Pippi was an enthusiastic sledger from the moment we arrived and had no qualms about going solo. By the end of the second afternoon, she and Anna’s daughter were hurling themselves down a very steep snow ramp that someone had built up to a picnic table launching point that then proceeded down the steepest bit of the hill. (I think you can just make this out in the penultimate picture above.
4. I’m currently working on a little writing excercise which involves composing a poem based on a template from this poem: Where I am From by George Ella Lyon. I’m not sure I’m really getting anywhere with it, but has been fun dredging up old memories from the past. One thing I’ve realised while working on this is that I don’t have a very good sensory memory. I consider myself to have a very very good memory. I have great recall for trivial facts, days and dates that past events occurred. I have quite a lot of memories from very early childhood (younger than 3). But trying to dredge up the particular sort of sensory memories that this poem calls for is driving me nuts. I don’t remember smells or feelings. I am more of a fact remembering sort, I guess. It’s been an interesting self-discovery.
5. Birthday season is upon us. I hate having three birthdays all so close together. I don’t enjoy any of them properly. At my birthday, I’m busy feeling guilty about my lack of organisation for the kids’ birthdays and wondering if I should bother to make myself a cake when I know that have loads of child birthday baking to do soon and will be baked out before the end. Inviting friends to two birthday parties on consecutive weekends feels like an imposition on their free time. And all the celebratory traditions feel like a big to do list of chores rather than celebrations. I think I need to find a way to enjoy this month more since no one’s date of birth is likely to change in the future!
6. Pippi was given a science kit for Christmas where you set up a little tank and hatch the eggs of some tiny creatures that are only just big enough to see. With much ado, we set it up this week dutifully following all the instructions, and nothing happened. No eggs hatched. It was a failure. There was great disappointment and consternation. I think we’ve all taken this harder than maybe we should have!
7. I have temporarily given up on my reading of The Iliad. I downloaded a free version onto my Kindle, and it turns out I was reading the most awkward, difficult translation available. I had to sit down to read it with the computer nearby for looking things up every other sentence because I’m not familiar with the Roman names of all the gods. (It’s a story about the Greeks… who uses the Roman names in a Greek story???) And the language used was terribly archaic and difficult. After a while, I did a bit of research and quickly saw that a different translation would make the whole thing much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, our library doesn’t have any copies of a decent translation, so I’m going to have to purchase a copy. But just to save you all some trouble if you were planning on reading Homer anytime soon… just say no to Alexander Pope versions!
8. My washing machine has just started making some very unpleasant noises. I seriously do not want to purchase another major appliance this year!
9. I’ve been listening to this song today. Lots of food for thought in the lyrics. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” Good stuff.
10. What’s been going on with you lately?