April 2009

Almost forgot to tell you!  In my horseriding lesson last Saturday, we went for a ride on the beach that’s right by the stables.  It was lovely – beautiful light at the end of the day, trotting across the sand and walking through the water… beautiful!  Trotting still requires lots of concentration, but it’s definitely getting easier…


We are instructed not to “give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.”  Which seems laudable, until I realised today that I drive home from church every week vowing never to go back.


The service starts at 5:30pm.  We got there today at about 5:50pm, which is incredibly punctual for us (6:15pm is more our pattern).  I sat down, agreed to move so that R could have a seat too, sat down again, got up to move G away from the water cooler and cups that he had instantly gravitated towards, sat down again, realised there was a nasty smell, picked up G and a nappy, walked to the car (with R in tow who didn’t want to be left behind – E fortunately happy on the lap of one of her favourite people), got the wipes which I had forgotten to take into church, returned to church, walked to the back where there are fewer stones (should’ve had a mat, it was too hot for him on the ground), changed G, took R to the loo – in itself a highly involved operation as she was wearing trousers and it’s a squat loo.  Here’s the process: remove shoes, remove trousers, remove pants, replace shoes, wait – and then afterwards: remove shoes, replace pants, replace trousers, replace shoes.  Having completed all that, I walked back into church, sat down again, stood up to look for G who was nowhere to be seen, found him in the creche room with two friends and a few dusty broken toys, returned to my seat, sat down again, sat for a while listening to the children’s talk, stood up three times during the talk to move G away from the water cooler and cups, took G to creche when the girls went to Sunday School, returned to my seat (he was the only one in creche), showed an interest in the toy he brought me when he came to find me a minute later, followed him round when he asked me to, put him on my lap and looked at a book with him, with one ear on a sermon about Job, followed him round again and ended up in Sunday School with E and R and about 6 others (including the teacher’s child who is same age as G).  Sat down and helped and played and helped supervise when teacher and one child went back into church for communion.  Stopped G drawing on the wall with crayons three times.  Realised teacher’s other two children had made their escape and reunited themselves with mummy.  Returned to seat to get wipe from bag to wipe crayon from wall.  Helped put girls’ shoes on; left.  That was at 7:10pm, and communion was still going on.


Still, I was able to listen to a little bit, in church and in Sunday School.  In Sunday School, I heard that the Israelites had grumbled quite a bit in the desert and that had made God feel cross.  So he sent snakes to bite them.


Does that mean I shouldn’t have written this?

We were having a nice morning… then we came home.


The overflow pipe from the top floor flat is leaking again.  Torrents were coming from it a few months ago – you wouldn’t’ve thought such a thing was possible, but it was like a very concentrated rain cloud!  And it made a big permanent puddle in the corner of the veranda (or whatever it’s called) which was naturally quite a child magnet and stayed so long the walls and ground started to get discoloured from the damp.  So eventually, after much shifting of responsibility (and no action to get the overflow problem fixed), someone from the office came and put a drain there and attached it to the existing drainage system.  Clever, eh?


So I was a mite surprised to come home today and see that the puddle had returned!  And why?  Because the drain has a very snugly-fitting plug in it.  So, instead of putting the shopping away, feeding the children and putting G down for his nap, I had to stand, barefoot, in the puddle, with a shower of water splashing down right next to me, while I battled with this plug with bare hands, then with a peg and then with a kitchen knife (we apparently don’t have pliers here – one of the disadvantages of having a man from the office to do stuff for us is that we’re not fully stocked on tools).  Anyway, the kitchen knife and sheer bad temper finally did the trick, and the puddle drained (with impressive speed, actually – I stayed a little longer in the puddle to watch).  The noise is still there, though – drip splash drip drip splash splash drip.


Still, it’s reached the high 30s here now, so having damp jeans on one side for half an hour is not a major hardship!  Just one of those little irritations, like


running out of electricity at 1am and having to get out of bed, get dressed and go out to buy more


running a bath with the curiously-positioned tap which splashes half the water over the side onto the clever runnel that delivers it all to the floor


having no water for my shower in the morning


having to carry my school bag, G, G’s bag and my handbag into school, when it’s already hot, from the furthest parking spot, because I’m late in because I was dropping off the children at their school because M is away…



Eleanor’s first spoonerism (yesterday) was “spork and foon”!

An important milestone in any child’s life, I’m sure you’ll agree…

Took half an hour off during the day today to go to the pool and swim.  It was the perfect temperature for it, the water momentarily breath-taking, but then bliss.  Ten lengths in ten minutes and out; shower (double benefit – there was no water this morning so I couldn’t shower then!) and back to my office… Lovely.