Monday, 28 June 2010

i thought it was over, but it still isn't....

You would have thought that a 4-1 defeat would have put the men in our house off watching football for at least a few days.  They might watch the final but you'd think they would lose interest.  No.  They haven't.  It's 8.45pm, I've re-arranged the greenhouse, fed the chickens, weeded my pots, strung up my cucumbers, washed up and they're watching Brazil play someone I don't even want to think about.  I've wanted to reduce my telly watching for years, well, the World Cup 2010 has done that for me.

As the kids get older, they have more opinions and they want to express them later and later in the evenings.  Time was I could get away with putting the clocks forward in the winter months and get them into bed by 6pm.  Admittedly, I was usually woken at 6am but I had the luxury of a long evening in front of me.

Now they're 9 and 12, I find I have to compromise my evening's entertainment to satisfy the demands of their televisual preferences.  I'm getting more gardening done now but I am wondering about the ever approaching autumn and winter months.  They just don't seem to go to bed and my quiet evenings are being eroded little by little, minute by minute.

Don't get me wrong, I like snuggling up under a family blanket in front of the woodburner as much as the next mother but not only do they have an opinion on 'Antiques Roadshow' versus a repeat of 'Top Gear', they're getting bigger and our living room is not.  If I end up on the sofa with J, I'm invariably used as a pillow replacement or, horrors, as a foot rest.  J has toes that are mud-magnetic.  They are something to behold.

If E is my sofa-companion, I am subjected to an evening of wriggling and fiddling.  If I'm not brushing her hair, she's asking me deep and meaningful questions about the pros and cons of various imaginary pets.

G & I appear to have got to a stage in our relationship where we rarely sit on the same sofa together.  I'm not sure when this development occured but it may be knitting related.

It's funny how family routines change slowly over time.  We're definitely in a period of transition as J is heading towards teenager-dom with his little sister snapping at his heels.  I've realised that we haven't taken any photos of them recently, probably since Christmas so I'm hoping to get the camera out and try to make sure we've update the photo album before they really start to grow up.

Now I think about it, J may only have one more World Cup at home.  Next time he'll be 16 and in 2018 he'll be at college or somewhere else that isn't here. That's scary.  Note to self:  take more notice and allow sprawling on sofa.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

staring into the abyss...

Two weeks in, and I have developed loafing into a fine art.  I have been busy but busy in a very leisurely way.  It's such a treat, I feel quite guilty.

Last week was lovely.  A knitting workshop on Monday; haircut (preceded by a little antiquing in Tetbury) on Tuesday; domestic pottering on Wednesday; London, the V&A and the Saatchi Gallery on Thursday; lunch with a friend on Friday; garden visiting on Saturday and a very civilised picnic and a bit of dancing at Blondie at Westonbirt on Sunday. 

Several questions have been raised:

- is middle age the only time that you can appreciate quilting and punk in the same week?

- why were all the artists in the Saatchi gallery based in London?

- is there any hope for a middle aged artist with a provincial degree?

- how has Deborah Harry managed to keep her voice and is she really 65?

- what is going to happen when we all want to listen to 'The Clash' in our nursing homes?

- could I wear my snakeskin wedges every day or just for dancing?

- will I ever live in a house with a view?  I think I would like to and it occurs to me that I never have.  Of course, there is a view from every house but I would like a vista, at some point, I don't mind what of.  Perhaps the sea, perhaps a city, perhaps rolling fields.  I have the urge to live on a hill.  M, my lunch friend, lives in a house that looks across a valley near Bath.  It was beautiful.  It made me quite envious despite the fact that I also live in a beautiful place and appreciate it very much.  My place, however, is flat - full of trees and greenery but, well, flat.  Maybe one day.

- will the football ever end and can we all start caring about something else?

This week?  I'm taking a trip to Frome with S&J on Thursday and it's Embroiderers' Guild this evening. I am placing my fingers firmly in my ears before George Osborne starts reading his list of nastiness and until the England football squad has finished it's match on Wednesday.  I am going to stay in my little rural bubble and sort out my sketchbooks and all the things I've collected in anticipation of my return to study. 

Enjoy the sunshine...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

rain, rain, go away....

I bought two sun loungers from B&Q on Saturday.  A big decision as there are no more pay packets on the horizon.  I have always wanted my very own sunlounger.  My Aunty had a pair of floral ones that my sister and I fought over for most of the 1970s.  I've wanted one for sometime.  My new loungers are a little modern for my liking but they were the last ones in the shop and it was very hot when I bought them.  I needed them and I needed them right at that moment.

Anyway.... here is the weather forecast for Swindon for the next five days.  Rain, followed by more rain, followed by showers.  Yippee!  At least I'll get all my paperwork done.

Apart from the small matter of the impending fete on Friday, rain will not affect my plans.  I think I'll have another 'at home' day tomorrow, followed by a private view of this year's fine art graduates from Swindon College and then Thursday S & I are off to Stroud to have a look what's going on as part of Site10.  I hope to be inspired by some amazing drawing.  We're planning quite a few Thursdays out and about.  We can go anywhere as long as we can get there and back between 8.30am and 4.00pm.  We got as far as Compton Verney last year for an amazing textile exhibition.  It's amazing how far you can get along country roads if you really want to.

I had hoped to get started on bike rides and walking but the weather is putting me off.  In the absence of exercise I have been eliminating caffeine from my life - one coffee yesterday and one tea today.  I slept till J's alarm went off this morning.  Bliss.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

number crunching....

2 days into the half term...2 afternoon sleeps...I know!  I've definitely retired.  My excuse yesterday?  The rain and a whizz around in the morning.  My excuse today?  A sunny walk and then a read of my book.  Should I feel decadent or decrepit? 

I've now acquired 5 copies of 'Her Fearful Symmetry' by Audrey Nififnfnfiengigniengegger for book club from the library.  All free - how good is that?  Just have to write a 100 word-review and I think I've signed us up for all sorts of library-related activity but it's worth it to get free books, all at the same time.

4 of the 6 cherry bakewells have already been eaten after our 1st trip to Westonbirt this holiday.  We met Granny there and had a very pleasant walk punctuated with my constant and incessant reminders to my children:
- 4 'stop moaning about your ankle, there's nothing wrong with it's
- 3 'chew with your mouth closed's
- 7 'speak properly's
- 204 'leave each other alone's

All good fun.  Apparently I always say 'we can make that home' when asking the kids to choose cakes.   These are things I have learned to day.

This is my 404th post.  How did that happen?  I have no idea.

I know that from Monday there are 7 weeks until the end of term.  That's, potentially 35 days comprising 6.75 hours of time all to myself (TATM) between the hours of 8.30am and 3.15pm.  That, if I can find my calculator is 236.25 waking hours. 

I have 8 hours each week committed to knitting and several days out planned at exhibitions near and far but apart from that, I have time on my hands, literally, for the first time in ages.

My mind is rushing with all the possibilities.  I could maintain a tidy and hygienic household.  I could enhance the productivity on my allotment.  I could, in fact, doze for a at least an hour a day as I've proved I'm so capable of doing.

There's so much time available, I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  My initial list looks something like this....

- write something
- make something
- move something
- play something
- grow something

We'll see how that goes shall we...if I can stay awake long enough....