February 2009

Like any good Brit abroad, I’m going to tell you about the weather.  The last two days have been windy.  Regular readers will probably know that this means that our entire house is now covered with a thin dusting of… er, dust.  It’s not particularly pleasant to walk on/through (but I still can’t bring myself to wear shoes indoors).

The big payoff is that, walking around all day in a yellowy fog (not a thick fog, but definitely foggy nonetheless), the sun often doesn’t reach us.*  The wind keeps the temperature down, too.  So, at last, we are experiencing temperatures in the twenties again!  Hooray!  This morning, I felt cool in the shade!  (Not in the sun, that’s too much to expect.)

In case you were wondering, a haboob is a dust storm.  And if you know the places to look (YouTube, I guess), you can find fantastic videos of impressive ones rolling in over the city.  Today’s isn’t impressive.  Just fog.  And wind.  And occasional grit in the eye.  And coolth!!


*Keen grammaticians among you will have spotted that I just claimed that the sun has been walking round in a fog all day.  Give yourself a pat on the back!

Really should have broken the news to you sooner, I am sorry.  The fish has suffered an untimely death.

What happened was E picked it up.  Poor thing.  I guess it took off some of the protective coating they have (don’t they? to stop them taking in water?) – or perhaps the poor fighter died of fright.  Anyway, it was most definitely dead by the time I got home from school and heard the story.  It had gone rather grey and was half-floating at a strange angle…

We buried it in the garden.  Dug a hole, put it in, threw soil over it and said, “Goodbye, fish.”  Why did I do that?  Mainly because they asked if we were going to throw it in the bin and that didn’t seem quite right!

Woken today at 5:30am by E jumping into bed with me chatting away merrily and asking if I could cut her nails.  Her teacher’s been telling her they need cleaning and cutting, apparently!  Another small thing to make me feel inadequate…

Every morning has its challenges, motivating the children to get ready so that we can be ready to leave by 7:20am (not so hard when you’ve been awake for nearly two hours by then).  This morning, R just wanted to slump on her chair and chatter quietly to herself.

Me:  R, could you please put your pyjamas under your pillow?  (Lily is militarily efficient about washing pyjamas, if nothing else.  Or at least, about putting them into the laundry pile and smothering them with dirty washing.)

R:  No, because I’m your baby that’s not been born yet and I’m still in your tummy.

Me:  Oh.  What are you doing having pyjamas, then?  Erm, unborn baby, could you please put Rosie’s pyjamas under her pillow for her?

R/UB: Ok.  (Obliges happily.)

Me:  E, where are your trousers?  It’s time to put them on.

E:  I can’t, because I’m your unborn baby, too, and I’m inside your tummy.

Me:  Ok.  Can you swim over to the other side of my tummy, then, and get the trousers?  Look, they’re over there.

(E swims off with a big smile on her face, happy that Mummy is playing and not being boring and bossy at all.)

Ahhh…. success!  Actually, I’m starting to wonder (with horror) if I might not be at my best before 7am.  By 7:10am, I was ready to return to bed.  And by 1pm, here I am avoiding work entirely and blogging!  🙂

Still haven’t cut her nails…

Got two emails recently which caught my attention.  The first was entitled, “Slow Dance” – you may have seen it yourself, I’m sure I’ve seen it before:


Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into fading night?

You better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?

When you ask: How are you?
Do you hear the reply?

… and on it goes – I won’t print the whole thing here as you probably get the picture.  I wrote straight back to the person who sent it to me (and everyone else she knows) and said, “You’re probably right, I shouldn’t work here next year,” which was not at all what she had expected!  It does apply to me to some extent – although I do make sure I have enough time to dawdle with the children…

The second email was from some official person at school and it basically said, “Sorry, you weren’t well enough to qualify for our attendance bonus last semester.”  Which made me feel a valued, respected member of the community, obviously – and in no way made me feel accused of being a shirker…

I am thinking about next year a lot at the moment.  Trying to come to some decision…  Actually, I’ve made the decision, but I’m not telling you yet in case I change my mind in a few days’ time (it wouldn’t be the first time!).  Thinking about whether I’m doing a good enough job at school and at home, whether my health is suffering (I am being ill far too much this year) and about whether the rest of my family are dealing well with my being at work…  Guess I’ve got a lot on my mind – perhaps that’s why I haven’t been blogging for a while:  I’ve got nothing definite to say!