Monday, 28 November 2011

Well, THAT was fun

This weekend started well and sort of went off the rails slightly towards the end. We spent Saturday and the first half of Sunday at the Corbies with a friend of First Born's in tow. We lazed around a lot and I took the boys swimming in the afternoon - it was a bit too windy to do anything outdoors that didn't involve simply grabbing onto something solid and holding on tight and if I borrow someone else's child for the weekend, I usually want to make sure I can hand them back safely again at the end. Also, going swimming meant a brief interruption in the non-stop stream of chat between FB and his pal. Do you know how long two 13 year old boys can spend doing nothing but trading insults? ("Mole snogger." "Bin licker." "Toenail fancier" etc, etc) Hours. Hours and hours and hours. Long enough to make your ears bleed.

Anyway, we came home on Sunday early enough to get Second Born packed for a school trip to London which required him to be deposited at Waverley Station at 7am on Monday morning. All was going well until Husband's cold/cough/chest infection which he had been carefully nurturing for some days decided to stage a takeover bid. And this resulted in Husband and I spending the hours between 8.30pm on Sunday and 3:30am on Monday in the delightful surroundings of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary A&E department.

That period of time was interesting: the clientele changed over the hours from kids with breathing difficulties and University hockey teams bringing in their pal with a broken ankle to weepy/agressive individuals either stagering around clutching their paper mache vomit bowls or passed out cold on trolleys to sleep it off.

Husband and I spent a long time - a LONG time - sitting around waiting to be seen and this gave us the opportunity to chat about all sorts of important things. Like how your children never tell you anything when you ask them what happened at school today. According to our kids, nothing happens at school. Ever. We make them get out of bed, dress them in stupid uniforms and then drop them in front of a building where they sit for 6 hours doing absolutely nothing before we let them come home again.

As a result, Husband and I reckon there is a gap in the market for an add-on to all the Xbox and online games out there: there should be a parental lock on all such games which, when the child tries to log on, requires said child to provide full details of three interesting things that happened at school today. The system then e-mails or texts this to the parent for approval. If the parent is happy with the information provided, he or she texts back an authorisation code and the game is unlocked. If not, no "Minecraft" access for your poor offspring. (If you don't know what Minecraft is, then you should be happy about that. Clearly you do not share your house with teen or pre-teen boys.)

Fortunately after a multitude of tests, Husband was allowed to come home with a shedload of medication to fight the alien life-form trying to colonise his lungs and we got to bed about 4am. I was up again at 6am to make sure that Second Born was successfully packed off to London for the week and First Born was dropped off at school. And then I came home and climbed back into bed for a few hours.

And that is what I did with my St Andrew's day public holiday. Not that much worse than spending it in Ikea really.

Monday, 14 November 2011

What I did on my holidays

I have received a perfectly polite and well-mannered, but nonetheless firm, slap on the wrist from Isabelle for not posting. And she is quite correct (she used to teach, you know. She is always correct.) As I said to her in my mumbled apology, the muse has been somewhat absent of late but that is no excuse for spending far too much time on Facebook and not enough time churning out deathless prose. Or something like that. Tonight I find myself alone in the living room (oh the luxury!) as Husband is pottering in his music room, First Born has gone to bed nursing a cough (which could well be The Typhus, such is his air of resigned suffering) and Second Born is doing some work on his recent maths challenge problems. I do not understand the questions in said challenge, so am of limited use in providing any solutions. I therefore have no excuse not to sit down and blog. And here I am.

I seem to remember having promised you an update on the doings of Clan Loth over the past few weeks and, given the passage of time, this will have to be in the form of bullet points.
  • We spent the half term holiday at the Corbies. And it was great fun. We went to Holy Island for the day and went to York on a different day (and should have been awarded some sort of Museum Endurance Medal for managing to cram the National Railway Museum, York Minster and two Jorvik exhibitions into one day)
  • With the aid of Sister-in-law we systematically stripped the surrounding countryside of elderberries. We collected bags and bags and bags of them. Fortunately the weather was kind and we were able to sit outside for the fiddly task of getting the wee berries off the twigs and into bowls (the easiest way is to use a fork and sort of tease them off) Doing this outside is advisable as the berries are small, round and prone to escaping. And when squished, they release deep red juice which is very difficult to shift once it has stained its surroundings. The family production line resulted in a bumper crop of berries which I then spent some hours converting into this.
  • Second Born went to school dressed as Winston Churchill - their year was having a VE day celebration as part of their topic of The Home Front in WWII. I wish I had a photo of that for you, but sadly I don't.
  • Last weekend we were back down at the Corbies, this time with my mum and dad in tow. We had a wonderfully laid back Saturday, including a wander around the town of Eyemouth (FB was delighted: there is a good ice-cream shop there). We climbed up onto the Coastal Path from where the views were lovely in the unseasonal sunshine
  • We ended up walking around the little harbour where this little pub is located - the name just tickled me for some reason.
  • And we also spotted this on one of the fishing boats in the harbour: Makes one wonder how they might spell "fish"!
And now I must go and load the dishwasher and make sure all the lunches are ready for tomorrow before I head off to bed.