A week later, and I was tempted to go out this morning for a run as the sun is shining, but as A was poorly last night I want to be here when she wakes up. Both the girls have been ill, H sounds like Marj Simpson with her croaky throat, and on Thursday she just sneezed solidly for a couple of minutes before the sore throat happened. A was shivering yesterday tea time and had no appetite, we forgot and she seemed ok when we left at 7pm, but when we got back at 11pm she was hot as a bag of chips (is that a good simile?) and Amanda's nursing skills had reached their limit. With a bit of Calpol she had a full night's sleep - well, she didn't wake me up - and so I am planning on letting them both wake themselves up and school is an option for H if she up for it, and not for A. Need to lie low I think. We had Angus staying last week and he went home with a mystery cough which came on about 4 hours before he was due home, and when we got there his tincy incy brother had a cough. So I think the Little Bookham germs are to blame.
Despite being stricken by plague, we have been making the most of half term as you are accustomed to. On Tuesday we took girls and Angus to Paulton's park, and Angus was great for me as he not big enough/keen enough for scary rides, so I got to look after him and go on the tractors twice and train twice. He did go on the log flume, and then I and A had another go, she loves it all. It was a really bright and sunny day and warm, perfect Paulton's weather and really not that busy, the biggest queue was for the Stinger which was only waiting for 2 goes before you. Sadly I had to decline that as Angus too small. Oh rats! As usual I bumped into 4 children from Berrywood, though not the usual Ben and Charlie combo who I normally meet when I am out doing fun things with the girls.
We have a new office chair in the playroom, it is big and black and swivels so I feel a little like Sir Alan Sugar. I have more facial hair.
Wednesday was A's birthday, with 24 children and a bouncy castle, we had it at the youth centre which has been redecorated and looks really decent now. All the children were well behaved and pleasant, and all went well with R doing the mass catering of hot dogs and chips. A seemed very happy with how it went, and it was nice to have Angus there for the occasion. He is into balloons and parties in a big way, so perfect for him. At the end of the two hours I had significantly more grey hairs than at the start, but good to give my hairdresser something to do.
We then travelled up to Surrey to drop Angus off and have a few nights break at my mum and dad's. Phew! We had tea at Granny Mary's, with the Skitts who were staying. Bizarrely, they were in on A's birthday celebrations last year, when we were in Austria and they came over for her birthday tea. We shall have to start making arrangements with them to ensure we are in the same country as them every year. Next year, Mexico!
On Thursday we took the train up to London (after a lovely run for me across Arbrook common) and went to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. We arranged to meet Sarah and Katie ( Evans, not Gale) for a picnic lunch outside the museum, which is at the end of their road. The museum is interesting and free and you spend the whole time gong 'I remember them!' at every display case. Duncan would like it, and Rob G. Which probably doesn't sell it to the rest of you. Matthew, you would too but you have probably already been. Goodness me now I have told the universe that it appeals to the triumverate of geeks, only need to get Tim J on board and no one else would ever go. But, I like it too, OK, and I have a type A obsessive competitive disordered personality, so what I am saying is that all sorts of people like the Museum of Childhood and you would too.
One thing NO ONE would like is Hamleys at half term, our next stop as A has a book which tells her that Hamley's is the biggest toy shop in the world. I think ToysRUs would win on square footage, but still, Hamleys wins for fitting the most humans into the smallest space. They were giving out oxygen masks in the queue to get in. A had birthday money to spend but we managed to steer her away from spending most of it and she has eked it out and still has £10 left. We left, jsut about breathing, and walked down to Piccadily and into St James Park where we watched tourists feeding the squirrels ( yuk - vermin) and saw a pelican and went to the little play park in sight of Buck House. Then back over Westminster bridge in time to hear Big Ben do 5 and get on the train home at Waterloo. A lovely day, we were all tired out at the end of that. I used to like London when I worked there for 2 summers, but now I find the tube so stifling and the streets so busy, I am not used to so many people. I still do like going, just prefer walking to the tube, but that was always the case.
I went to the gym ( Esporta Kingston) in the evening and they were doing a swim clinic, so I joined in and found it useful to have a swimming teacher analyse my stroke. There was me and a guy who does tri who were doing crawl, and then 3 women doing very slow breast stroke, so we had long breaks in bwtween each length, but it was good to think about my stroke. Yesterday morning I was late for a swim date but met up with Lynn at the pool and we helped each other by watching each other and she really helped me as well, so I think my front crawl is a lot more consistent now. Time will tell, as the 2012 Olympics approaches and I will have to make my decision on which events to enter. I am thinking of showjumping at present but have a few obstacles to overcome.
On Friday we had a quiet day, in the afternoon we went to Kingston and I went in the gym and did my first 'brick' training session, think I overdid it as when R came in to find me he said 'goodness you have gone purple'. I really enjoyed the format, where you try and spend more calories each time you do a 10 minute block of CV, and lots of bike to run practice which will help me in the tri season next year, if the 3 day eventing doesn't take off. Then we had a family swim and both R and I went and did a set of front crawl - he did 2 actually but I was still at 150 bpm after the gym. We had a depressing car journey home, with 30 minutes to get out of the car park, Kingston just gridlocked and we were on the wrong side of it to get back to Claygate.
On Saturday, Mary came and took the girls and R to Wisley, where they carved pumpkins and we lit them when we got home and gave out sweets to the children of the neighbourhood, and then R roasted them and made pumpkin soup. Which was pretty good as it goes, pumpkin is a bit bland really isn't it? So he added lots of butter to make it tasty. While the wisleyevents wer happening I popped to Surbiton to check out the charity shops, only got some wellies for H, she is now a size 3 and a half, which is nearly a grown up size, and needs wellies for her upcoming school trip to Beaulieu, where she will spend 4 nights. She has to muck out cows and things like that, so wellies seems fairly essential on the kit list.
We had a happy halloween, thank you, I know some people not as laissez faire (think that the right term) as me about witches and goblins and yoga and herbal medicine, but then they all read Hary Potter, so think some standards a bit awry. Anyway, I think that literature is a great way to introduce children to the scary and the mysterious and I don't have a big problem with halloween as it is practised in Thornhill today. It is a real community event, with mums and dads walking about with their children, no children are out on their own, and its very chatty and social, the only problem is the fireworks which go on and on! So, that's my take on that, we had a nice time and I think we are as infected by the devil as we were before, thank you. However if you want to do a DIY exorcism on me for being blinkered to the evils of the night, you go right ahead in the comfort of your own home and I appreciate your efforts on my behalf. Sincerely, any prayer gratefully received for anything, although particularly for my pumpkins to grow bigger next year.
We had an All Saints day Messy Church, and it all went really well, I think having a programme and finally everyone knowing what they are doing and everyone playing to their strengths made it a really chilled out event. The children seemed happy and the adults joined in without too much arm twisting, as R said, this is all we have! This is our church. Amy puts it nicely, she says we are not all related but we are all in the same family, God's family.