Friday, 22 July 2011

Just idle

It is my last day at home alone until September and I have failed to decide what to do with it.
There are, of course, many useful chores I could do around the house and garden but that seems rather a waste of the day. I could tidy up, but since they'll all be on holiday from the end of today the house will no doubt be a mess again by bedtime. I could do the laundry, but that multiplies daily, so tomorrow would do. The front patio needs weeding, it's pots dead-heading and the pyracantha pruning, but I could do that over the weekend when I need to escape the house. There's work to do in the back garden too, but I probably won't get to it today. My list of rooms that need decorating hasn't got shorter this (academic) year, so there's no point starting that now. And my re-upholstering of the dining-room chairs has come to a halt for no reason other than that I'm being lazy. A nice man cleaned my windows yesterday (at vast expense) so it would be sensible to do the insides, but I'm rubbish at windows... The trouble with hausfrau tasks is that they rarely have a permanent solution: they always need doing again!
Husband still has a piece of written work to complete before Bath University can sign him off as a newly qualified teacher, and Eldest is helping run a summer school at her ballet school all next week, so Youngest and I will be able to have some time together shopping for the other twos' birthdays. So no need to shop today.
I may just idle around the blogosphere, listening to Radio 4... I'll need another coffee, and I expect there's a chocolate chip muffin somewhere.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A love affair confessed!

We can’t get to the film until next Saturday. We are not happy, but it is the first date when we can all go.

We saw the first film in November 2001 and again in February. That next year we saw film 2 when it came out, and again in 2003.In 2004 film 3, 2005: film 4. And so to 2007 and film 5, then August 2009 brought us film 6, and last November we went to film 7 on the opening weekend. The need to go as it opens has increased as the girls have got older. But we’ve agreed to wait and see it together. When we got the latest DVD we had a marathon screening of the whole story so we’re bang up to date with the film franchise and raring to go!
Our love affair with the J.K.Rowling chronicles began in 2000. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first novel I read that year, aloud to Eldest, but also to myself as I couldn’t wait! In fact, my exercise book records that I read her the first four books aloud that year, (and also read them to myself). When she wanted me to start again at the beginning I encouraged her to try for herself. She was six. She hasn’t stopped reading since.
As she read more books to herself, Stephen Fry took over reading Harry Potter aloud; the cassette tapes got so worn that CDs replaced them – they remain a popular listen for us all on long car journeys. Youngest has never actually read the novels as she knows them by heart. (She’s trying the first one in Spanish!)
By the time Order of the Phoenix came out in 2003 Eldest had first dibs on reading it and Husband and I had to wait our turn. It arrived in the post on Saturday morning, absorbed her for the day and was finished by bed time. Half Blood Prince went the same way in 2005 and Deathly Hallows in 2007 – in under 4 hours as I recall.
It was a shock to come to the end of the saga, but we’d still got the films to look forward to… Perhaps putting off going to see the last one will be a good thing, and there’ll still be the DVD – presumably in time for Christmas?!

Friday, 8 July 2011

a mixed report

It’s been an odd week.

Monday is my visiting school day, but this week was sports day so I didn’t have to listen to my children, just cheer for them.
Youngest is singing in the choir at her school’s musical Prom. They are celebrating 40 years on the site and so were performing songs and themes from those decades. On Wednesday evening we were treated to some terrific talents; an outstanding singer and a brilliant violin player shone, but the whole cast performing Stairway to Heaven was staggeringly good.
Eldest meanwhile is doing the rounds of the universities she is considering, and this week it was my turn to take her. We went yesterday and only just made it home in time to wave Youngest off to her prom and drink a cup of tea before rushing out again to Eldest’s tap lesson. A very full (but exciting) day.
When I considered my options for further education I was at boarding school, my parents were not to hand, and my school didn’t know what to suggest if you weren’t going to university to take up a profession. My plan to ‘save British industry’ resulted in the eventual discovery of The Clothing Institute and its course in Clothing Management at Manchester Poly or The London College of Fashion. I only visited LCF for my interview, choosing to remain in the south east to be near my parents – I had been away from home enough not to have that need to escape. So I can’t expect to have much influence on Eldest’s decision, can I? And, anyway, I don’t wish her choices to be my fault! But I can’t stop myself from minding what she chooses. We are trying to remain calm and helpful and to let her make her own decision.
To-day Husband has gone off to the New Forest for a Silver DofE weekend. The forecast is rain. Tonight is the 'last night of the proms' and the usual ballet lesson, but luckily they don’t clash, so my taxi isn’t double booked. Eldest and I will also hope to grace the neighbouring village fete with our presence this evening, but it may all be too much of a rush, and the forecast is rain. I’ve had a post-our-church-fete meeting this morning which was full of fascinating insight into the characters that make up our community… Much of it will have to remain strictly between four walls as it may be libelous; suffice it to say that we had a full vent of pent up emotion and all feel sure we can do better without the assistance of one or two of the more difficult helpers!
I feel a rather lazy girlie weekend coming on spent largely in bed with a book or in front of the telly, the forecast is rain after all, though we might just manage a trip to the pictures to look at something Husband would hate!

Friday, 1 July 2011

At last!

I finished my sofa yesterday and made a cushion before bedtime. It is in position at the foot of our bed, ready to be put in the sitting-room when we have need of extra seating.
It has taken 87 hours of work, £199.50 of tuition and approximately £150 of materials.
I had to bring it home at the end of term unfinished, and I'm not at all sure that my stitching and base lining are up to scratch, but I am thrilled to have finally completed the work and Husband has been very enthusiastic about my skills.. and I don't have to take it back and show the class do I?

I thought of reminding you of the original but decided anyone who wanted to look at all the photos could always hit the upholstery tag (I think that's how they work!). Less is more.