Don’t call the doctor

The Doctor failed to come through on the lone of the Tardis. Selfish git.

I decided in fine fashion that if I was not going get everything done I would instead get next to nothing done and promptly gave myself the day off. I said ‘ahhhh’ and skipped home from the school drop off feeling light as a feather. Walking away from school on the first day of term is quite a glorious feeling and the rejuvenating properties of this experience should not be overlooked. Unfortunately they get very tetchy if you fail to return at 3.15pm to pick the little blighters up but I recommend that rather than dwelling on this you should rather focus on the fact you get to drop them off again the next morning.

Tomorrows joy shall be blighted slightly by having to haul myself up to the hospital in the morning for the biannual ritual of having doctors look deeply into my eyes, shake their heads and suck air through their teeth just like a plumber about to give a quote. Again I look on the bright side, a good couple of hours to sit and read my rather neglected book guilt free, as long as they don’t decide they need to dilate my eyes and spoil my fun. It is remarkably hard to read with pupils that resemble daft cat when he gets into one of ‘those’ moods and any movement at all triggers a flying ginger ball of claws and teeth that attaches it’s self to any uncovered flesh and is only sated once it has tasted blood. Caution should be used however about being too forthright about this wanton sabotage of reading time.

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Pictured: Eye hospital complaints procedure

I hope to get onto delivering the next and overdue part of the ‘Mothering the Apocalypse’ series over the next day or so eye sight and laziness permitting. I think there is a good 2 – 4 more parts in that one left to tell. Then there is also my reckless decision to kick off a new fiction series that I must address, there are 2 more parts of ‘The Holiday’ and they will come along as soon as my crippling procrastination allows.

My hope is to get the blog on something resembling a schedule with one fiction piece coming out on a set day each week. Even though the daily posting of the holiday diary has at times been exhausting I have found that overall I quite enjoyed knowing I needed to produce something every day and this evening I sat down thinking ‘At least I don’t have to blog’ but it didn’t take long before the fingers started to twitch and for better or worse here we are. So I am setting myself a loose goal to be getting something up 6 days as week.

Please let me know what you think in regard to the posting frequency and content, it can be quite nerve wracking working in a vacuum and trying to judge the balance between fiction and horror life. I am as always keen to hear what you think, what you like and what you would like to change. You are also welcome to tell me that I am hopelessly deluded and self centred (unless you are the bitch), all feedback is good (unless you are the bitch)!

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School night

Day 17

Sorry. skipped a day. I did it just to keep you on your toes or because I took a last moment holiday, got bored of relaxing in the warm winter sun and came back after only 24 hours or because I had spent the day mainly in mud and was tired. You choose.

Back to school tomorrow. Am I ready? Well, I may just flee the country abandoning the children to the care of the first pack of wolves I can find (a slightly grumpy dog would do) just to get a moment of peace if they didn’t go back to school tomorrow so in that sense, yes, so ready for them to go back but am I ready as in school bags located and packed, everything labeled and P.E kits replenished then no, don’t be silly, of cause I am not.

The children seem in a similar state of high excitement about returning to school. It seems they share my feelings about enforced long periods of ‘togetherness’. The girl was jumping around the place in glee about the promise of school and the boy was just as joyful about giving his new pencil case it’s first run. He was a little more reserved about leaving his baby though. The much anticipated Furby that landed on Christmas day has had the boy fretful each time he leaves it in my ‘care’. He checks I know all the details of the care it required before he goes anywhere, the last thing he is thinking of as we say our goodbyes is that I know how to get it off to sleep and will feed it. He even refers to me as its Grandma. As a result I spent well over an hour last night tending to every whim it had as well as keeping it fed and bathed. Not quite sure how this gels with my New Years promise to be more social in my childless time.

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Pictured: Uncanny family resemblance

I am going to have to hit the Doctor up for a loan of the Tardis if I am to have a hope to do all the things I have in mind to get done tomorrow. My list just keeps getting longer every time I think of a task that has either been halted or put off due to the children being off school and the new beds, lord, don’t want to think of the beds.

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Pictured: Not thinking about beds.

The end (of term) is nigh

Today has been full of last dashes into town without children for all the things I have forgotten but the children are now too old for me to get away with the ‘don’t look’ or ‘this is honestly for somebody else’ tactics of yesteryear. I am unreasonably delighted to have managed to procure Christmas wrapping paper with owls on, something that will make the girl extremely happy, I am just happy that she has picked a must have theme that must be generally popular this year (that or we have a buyer in the area who also has a thing for owls), who knew, all things owl are the must have for Christmas 2014, seems a bit, well, random to me but that’s tweens (who am I kidding, that’s my children) by definition. So I can now relax in the knowledge that all the owl themed ‘stuff’ can be wrapped up in owls, how satisfying.

I also attended my first carol concert of the year. Now if I was really a good Mother I should have attended two concerts today, one for the boy in the morning and the evening one for the girl (roll on next year when they are both in the upper school). However, I just couldn’t quite bring myself to that level of giving for my children and as the girl was doing a reading she was the favoured child while the boy had a taste of attending two concerts in a day for once. He wasn’t amused in the slightest.

Last day of school is tomorrow however it ends rather prematurely at 1.15pm making getting anything done next to impossible. I am though going to make use of having the girl all to myself for the whole afternoon and evening (as it’s the boys day with their Dad), a rare thing indeed. I don’t know what we are going to do yet, she wants to subject me to the Annie remake but the fact that it doesn’t come out until the weekend grants me a reprieve and the knowledge that the boy will have to suffer with me when we do go. I must be thankful that when the time comes I shall not suffer alone. I quite like the idea of us heading over to the outdoor ice rink but the last time me wearing ice skates was on the cards the village took up a petition to stop the madness given my track record and lack of ‘good’ legs.

So the school holiday diary will start tomorrow afternoon with what ever kind of merry hell the girl and I can manage to raise. I really shouldn’t big this up as it will probably end up in tears. My tears. Either when I manage to find an even more creative way to break bones or can’t think of anything witty to say and the children fail to perform anything of interest. I have nightmares.

I intend to do an entry every day of the holidays. On the days that the children are not with me I will try to put some kind of fiction post out there although I think we will be skipping a week with ‘Mothering the Apocalypse’ as the next entry is ‘due’ right on Christmas day and I am unlikely to have time over the next week to get anything I am close the happy with out, I am finding writing a longer arc more, err, interesting and have to admit at this point I am not totally sure what triggered our end of the world so if you think you have an idea I would love to hear it (especially as it is probably better than the options I have in my notes just now!).

An ordinary morning

Fiction

I am jumping right in while riding the high of my post earlier this evening, the below bit of writing is far from refined, has only had a very light edit, I didn’t want to allow myself enough time to bottle it and loose the drive so here it is, my first work of fiction in I really don’t know how long but about 20 years. Given all that I am fairly pleased with it and enjoyed writing it, once I started, one I had the framework in mind it just flowed so I hope it isn’t too terrible!

So, where do you start with this kind of tale, what are the opening words? It could be ‘It was cold winters morning’ or maybe ‘The day seemed ordinary enough’ both would be true but neither really seem to sum up the reality somehow, they don’t seem to capture that fact that is was way below freezing, the heating had failed overnight resulting in indoor icicles and the school uniform hung out to dry before bed the previous evening was now stiff as a board with frost. This crisis of modern life and others like it do not seem out of the ordinary to me, bad luck and disaster seem to follow me around like the angry goat at city farm, yet I know for others that this wouldn’t be a day that seemed ordinary, I think I am just resigned to my fate now, the living proof of the hypothesis that what can go wrong will go wrong. I could easily be misjudged at this point and taken for a wet lettuce in the middle of a pity festival but thats not me. At least I really hope it isn’t, the outlook I am really going for is to be the kind of person who laughs, shrugs and gets on with the day with a smile. I have got the shrugging and carrying on bits down, the laugh and smile missed the bus so will be in late this morning. They do that allot and should probably learn to drive.

So, it was one of ‘those mornings’ the Monday morning from hell when it’s all gone wrong before 8am and then you eye up the book bags in the hall, they both have the tell tale look of containing homework books, the ones that are due in today, the homework books that have been sitting in the book bags untouched all weekend.

The children re-enact several world wars (hot and cold) as they eat breakfast while you desperately try and thaw out the last remaining school jumpers that have escaped the crack in time and space that seems to exist in the school cloakroom and sustain itself entirely on the most expensive parts of the school uniform and try to think of what excuse for missing homework you haven’t already used this term. It is at this point that the oldest, the girl, pipes up that she doesn’t need her recorder today as the school photos are being taken and her class are first because they have swimming this morning.

There it is, that moment in all it’s rotten glory, that moment when Monday morning jumps the shark and becomes one of ‘those’ mornings that the children will remember and retell to their own Grandchildren, that morning when Mummy’s face went completely white before she was sick in the sink and then did a fine impression of an old fashioned kettle hitting the boil.

I don’t remember much detail of the moments that followed the girls revelation. Unfortunately I can remember all too well how long it took afterwards for me to pick up the clothes that that decorated the whole house like an indoor, fabric, toilet roll bombing. Why is it that when you don’t need an item of clothing you find it seemingly everywhere while looking for something else yet when you do need to find the blasted swimming costume in a time frame that would make even the most hardy of Dale Winton’s Supermarket sweep contestant blanch you simply can’t remember that sensible place you put it?

I did find it eventually, it had clearly been playing mind games with me as after I had searched the whole house I pulled open the girls underwear draw contemplating on the likelihood of social services involvement if I sent her in with a vest and knickers and called it a tankini when there it was, in among the vests and pants, in the very place I had looked for it first. This chain of events was repeated for both her swim cap and goggles. By this point I had abandoned the idea of thawing the school jumpers and had barked instructions to them both to raid the lost property bin for a couple of jumpers while no one was looking and they could put them back after the pictures where done. I have no idea if they had actually taken in this instruction given they had entered the trance state of their morning meditation in front of CBBC but by that point I was past caring on the jumper issue and was more occupied by the fact I would need to write a note giving permission for the wearing of goggles and to do this I would need to locate both pen and paper.

My house isn’t large, in fact it is little more than a postage stamp, not even a large letter one, a bog standard postage stamp and given it is just me, the girl, the boy and the cat who thinks he is a squirrel who reside here you would think losing things shouldn’t be a problem. It is, it’s a big problem. I can find anything I am not looking for, thats fine, but the minute I need something and need it quickly the situation rapidly goes down hill. At that moment all I needed was pen and paper, I am a Brownie leader, the girl is a budding artist, pens and paper should be one shortage we should never encounter and yet all I could find was half a purple crayon and the envelope from a bit of junk mail (not one of the ones with a free pen in, no, that would be too useful) so after an unfruitful attempt at trying to convince the girl that her eyes didn’t really sting and go red with chlorine and that goggles are overrated I scrawled ‘Girl can wear goggle because of eyes’ in purple crayon on the torn envelope, just in time I remembered the homework situation and added ‘P.S Girl and Boy will bring homework in tomorrow due to life, sorry’.

The boy had been back and forth to the hallway three times and like a squash ball he just kept coming back having achieved nothing but break another chunk of what passed for sanity away from me. Once his shoes finally did find their way to his feet we repeated the same for his coat. The ‘helpful’ alarm on my phone that let me know when we needed to leave for school had been blasting out for a good five minutes but it was lost somewhere under the enormous pile of ‘stuff’ strewn around after the swimming kit search so I grabbed up all the bags, hustled the children out the door and was halfway down the front path before I realised I had only managed to pull on a pair of jeans, was still wearing the baggy t=shirt I had slept in, had no coat on and worse, no shoes.

The next attempt at leaving the house saw us getting halfway down the road before the fact that neither child had brushed their teeth hit me like a shetland pony who had just caught sight of a packet of polos.

Third time lucky, we marched down the road, the children eating toothpaste and me trying not to look at the girls hair that looked something like a birds nest the day after the chicks had moved out and the parent birds had thrown the party of their lives.

I put the lack of other people heading towards school as a bad sign, we were late, I was going to have to do the walk of shame across the playground and take the children in through the office and then try to escape before anybody saw the purple crayon monstrosity or looked too closely at my non jumpered, non groomed and homework light offspring.

We rounded the corner and I walked straight into the hard metal of the school gate.

The closed school gate.

I looked up at the empty playground beyond, the agonising lack of cars in the staff carpark and then finally my eyes found the note taped on the gate, the one that informed me that a burst pipe due to the cold weather meant that school was closed and at the bottom, somewhat smugly was added that a text had been sent out to all phones registered on the Parentmail system. My phone was registered with the system, it was also under several upended laundry baskets and their contents.

With my laugh and smile still somewhere on the bus in the morning traffic I shrugged, took the hands of the boy and the girl and headed home. We would have another bash at it tomorrow after all and maybe tomorrow would be the day we escaped the Groundhog.