Thursday, January 29, 2004

Aaargh...the day from hell. It started with the dog suddenly barking at about 7am, so I staggered from bed, tripping over boxes of books, to let him out. It was cold, and the overnight freeze had turned the snow of yesterday into iced granite.

I tidied, did some washing up, looked at email. Day break was bright and clear. Heard a bark. The dog for some reason I couldn't fathom, was on the patio table. And seemed to be unable to get off it again. He was sitting in the ice and melting snow, and needed me to stagger over there and get him down again. I did.

Kate, who is nine, got up first. She wanted something nice for breakfast, fancied french toast, but we only had two eggs, and Alistair always has first dibs on those as he is on a special diet. We decided to go to Sainsburys to buy some more eggs. As Kate didn't want her brothers to come, they were passionately keen to go. They got up, got dressed, and argued amongst themselves about whether they were coming or not, and what we would buy.

Frantic barks from the garden. Dog on patio table for the second time, unable to get off. The children used treats and cajoling, but it wasn't working, so I had to go out and lift the daft animal off the table again. What the attraction was is beyond me, as he was plainly terrified once he was on the table.

Taking no chances, Alistair and I turned the patio table over and rested it on its top. We usually do that anyway in about November, as strong winds have carried away more than one patio table. The weather has been so mild until now, that we hadn't bothered with it.

Went to Sainburys, bought eggs and a lot else besides, and was cross questioned by nosey cashier..."your children not in school today then?" followed by - when I had explained they are home educated - "You a teacher, then?" and a loud sniff when I explained I am not.

We took four boxes between us for packing books into, and marched off home, an icy wind blasting round corners at us all the way home. The children were keen to watch neighbours over lunch, but Greg Dyke's resignation was all over the tv. We watched, I gnashed my teeth and then visited the BBC website to make my opinions known.

How the government can have cobbled their intelligence dossier from one thesis and a couple of other sources, provided no evidence that any of the things in it were true, and then act in this way towards the BBC is beyond me. I visited the Number 10 Downing Street website yesterday and left feedback there to that effect too.

Oh rats, dropped pomegranate bits all over the keyboard. Read somewhere that for women of a certain age, pomegranates have something in them that nothing else has, and have been eating them a-go-go ever since, hoping that whatever magic they do, will work for me. I've been feeling fit to strangle someone. I expect it is my hormones if I have any left.

Pomegranates don't help with frustration - they are the most infuriating fruit to eat. The have the bizarre capability of producing an unfeasibly large mound of debris which appears to defy the laws of nature by exceeding the size of the original fruit, even after you have ingested several thousand small pockets of juice...and spat out the pips. They are so bloody fiddly
and they make the keyboard sticky.

The peasants were revolting this evening. One son decided to clear out the sofas in the hope of striking gold, and lo! he found a ?2 coin and the other son instantly claimed ownership of it. It seemed wrong to deprive the one who had bothered to search the sofa, but on the other hand wrong to deprive the rightful owner as he had been discovered, so I made him give the ?2 back, and gave him ?2 to replace it.

The other son then started throwing a teenage tantrum about it being unfair to reward someone for stealing his money. After some swearing and shouting, I sent him to his bedroom, and he refused to go. Thus I could be seen womanhandling him up to his bedroom, much to his amazement and disgust. We had another shout at each other in his bedroom before I left him to it, only to find that in the meantime Kate and Thomas had had a fight over a piece of bubble gum, and Thomas had deliberately sabotaged the bubble gum as he knew it wasnt his.

Kate was demanding 20 pence compensation and I fel as though my head was about to explode. I would like to have a husband to call in at these points, but J is an all or nothing sort of guy - either he ignores it completely, or he goes so far over the top, that he is in outer space....I sent them to bed and stormed off downstairs.

I did some ritual banging things about in the kitchen, finished the washing up and then treated myself to a couple of squares of stale chocolate, a pomegranate and a cold cup of tea. Boy do I know how to live, or what?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Things are getting worse again. Telephone calls from credit card companies that haven't been paid...husband with blank expression when asked why...aaargh.

We have made a plan for moving and releasing the equity in the house to buy a new house somewhere else...but it is going to take quite a lot of money to bring this house up to saleable standard. I am packing our books away in boxes - we have thousands - to store at my mother's, while we decorate. J seems to think this can be achieved while lying horizontal in bed. As Del Boy would say, he suffers from sticky sheets....

I have never been able to stay in bed once I am awake. I have to get up and get going, can't lie about snoozling and sleeping. If I go back to bed, I am either VERY tired, or ill.

J on the other hand, can easily sleep until 2pm if he has no committments, and then get up and lie on top of the bed while he watches TV or reads papers, or does the crossword. That would drive me crazy. It's fine if we have nothing that needs doing. But when we have 101 things that need to be done, it is infuriating.

I have lots of things I can get on with, but I can't transfer all the books to my mother's, and I can't do all the things he can do. Our house is stuffed with Do-it-Yourself equipment I have been struggling to live with for the past 20 years - we have a tool for every job you might like to mention. This should be a positive asset in the current situation, but strangely it isn't. Aaargh.

In the general sort out I am coming across diaries I wrote when the children were babies, and which are written in fugitive ink. One of the diaries is barely readable now, in a couple of years it will be unreadable. I should type it up, because I feel sure that Ali will love it when he gets a bit older...but how to find the time?

I want to stop the world for about a week to give me time to catch up. Oh well...maybe when we are out in the sticks and J is working back here during the week, I will have time to do things like that.