Thursday, 27 May 2010

Eartha's Photography

Eartha took about 100 photos at Go Ape, until the battery finally stopped her.
I love this one of Saskia.

We Went Ape

In the forest, there is a Go Ape site. It is a high-wire tree-top adventure. I've wanted to do it for ages, so I got some friends together (Kate, Rhiannon and Helen) and Donny and Mel came too. It was REALLY cool! (And a little bit scary in places).

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Rural Adventure

Life got very hectic after China. Nada, our visitor from Germany, stayed for a week at the start of May. Nada and Mel, Queenswood

We treated her to the best that rural England has to offer - she went to the Greenman Festival in Clun, visited Staike House (see earlier blogs), went flat green bowling with Mum and me and took trips out to Worcester and Stratford on Avon. I think she had a good time and the kids adored her.
Greenman Festival, Clun


Meal at home, cooked by Nada.

Mum has persuaded me to join the bowling club this year. It's kind of a family tradition. My grandfather helped to set up the club in about the 1960s and taught some of the current members how to play. The last trip to the club he had was on his 96th birthday, three days before he died. Anyway, I am now playing with his bowls (woods), which I think he would have liked, though none of his skill has, as yet, rubbed off on me.

Cherry blossom, Queenswood

The school I'm at is nice. The kids are mostly polite and biddable. My stress level is within containable levels. I'm still experiencing fall out from the past three years in a poisonous atmosphere. For example, I'm hiding myself away a bit, not joining in with coffee time and making sure I don't ask too many questions or rely on anyone for anything. If I'm invisible, then I am less likely to get picked on. Ironically, I don't think it would happen in this school, but once bitten, twice shy.
Bluebells, Queenswood

I'm getting back into climbing and exercise. I took three of the kids out up the Brecon Beacons for a ten mile walk last Sunday. I will post photos on my travel blog when I have a chance. It was good, but I think they were all a bit stiff the next day. I have also done a couple of training jogs in the hope that when I do the Race for Life in June, I will be able to puff and pant my way around the course. After the first one, I hurt for two days. I guess I need to do more aerobic activity.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Just a Quickie

No, I haven't disappeared off the planet. I did get stuck in China for an extra week, thanks to an exploding Icelandic volcano. You can read all about it on my Travel Blog.

Since I got back I have been catapaulted into work and trying to sort out my house. It appears the world disintegrates when I am not there. My cleaner, who has become increasingly unreliable since about October, has decided to just stop coming altogether. In fact, this week, she didn't even bother texting me with a flimsy excuse. I guess she doesn't want the job anymore.

Anyway, I mobilized the Chaos Army with bribery and corruption - in other words, promised to pay the kids for each of the jobs they did. It had a clear motivating effect and my house looks slightly less disgusting. The kids are richer, and notably, it cost me less than my cleaner did (although maybe the standard is not quite as high).

We have a Couchsurfer coming to stay today. She's from Germany and is staying for a week. Nick is going to pick her up from the train station while I'm at the kids' swimming lessons.

Saskia isn't going swimming today. Yesterday evening around dinnertime, she said
"My head feels funny".

Within five minutes she was screaming with a severe pain behind her eyes. It was so sudden and violent, that I rushed her off to A&E. She was screaming "Help me, Mummy" and there was nothing I could do.

The doctors put her in a darkened room, checked for meningitis, and dosed her up with pain-killers. She screamed for an hour before the migraine wore off, meanwhile every possible horror waltzed through my imagination. The doctor reckoned she has 'a virus', which is a catch all diagnosis.

She seems fine today, but I think the swimming lessons can wait a week.