27 August, 2008

Woodland Walk

Forgot to mention we went to Batemans at the weekend. When we got out of the car, we were all starving so we thought we would have our picnic before we went to see the house. Looked around, couldn't see the picnic area, but there was a sign saying "Woodland Walk" so we thought we would go into the woods to see if there was a pleasant spot to have a picnic. LSS led the way through a little grove that was a bit like an orchard. After about ten yards, the path curved round and we found ourselves walking back up through the little grove again - the entire woodland walk would have fit onto a tennis court! For some reason I found this hysterically funny, I just couldn't stop laughing, as we traipsed dignifiedly around this tiny little "woodland walk" with our picnic things.

We found the picnic area in the end at the other end of the carpark, and very nice it was too.

26 August, 2008


Food and beverages:
Porridge for breakfast
Green tea to drink during the day
Leftover roast pork, mashed potatoes, runner beans and peas for lunch
Ma po noodles for dinner
Slice of toast with Marmite
Slice of toast with homemade raspberry jam
Rich tea biscuit
Cup of tea


Interesting conversations:

LSS made Curly a robot outfit out of a long thin cardboard box with holes cut out for her face and arms. She did the whole range of robot activities - scratching the top of her robot head, rubbing her robot tummy, standing with her hands on her robot hips, trying to sit down and falling over on her back and being unable to get up again without assistance, climbing up the stairs, etc, and had to be forcibly prevented from putting her pillow and her hotwater bottle into the box with her before retiring for the night.

25 August, 2008

Everything just gets worse and worse

Speaking of the decline in educational standards (as Dulwich was on Friday), I recently saw the following howlers - one in the Guardian, one in the Observer and one in some Barbican promotional material: "discretely" for "discreetly", "practiced" for "practised" and "centenery" for "centenary". I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you. I hope Carnaptious ensures that such appalling errors never appear in his esteemed publication.

Chinese Torture

Tried Mo out on 20mg of Equasym yesterday. He managed to swallow them whole (cunningly dipped in yoghurt) - hooray! I'm not very good at swallowing pills either - it's amazing how alike we are physically - well, not that amazing I suppose. It does seem to have some effect - we did an hour of maths, an hour of French and an hour of English yesterday. Normally, he can only manage half an hour of each and no more than 2 out of the 3 and each session is peppered with plaintive requests to know whether the time is up yet. And he remembered most of his capital letters and punctuation too without prompting. I suppose simply being able to concentrate for a much longer period of time at one go is bound to help his schoolwork. Seems to have no side effects either - one of the more common ones is appetite suppression - but we went out to dim sum with Little Sister, Quasi-Sister and an Oceanographer that QS found washed up on a beach somewhere on the south coast, and he ate vast amounts of everything. Afterwards, went down to Trespass in Covent Garden and bought myself a waterproof parka for our Snowdonian adventure.

Spent an hour torturing Larry with Chinese in the afternoon. I don't know why she doesn't enjoy it - it's such fun thinking up ways to remember the characters. Yesterday we had the story of the woodcutter who went out into the woods very early to cut down a TREE to make a TABLE and on the way he saw a little BIRD flying above the rising SUN. And the next day he sent his son to cut down a TREE to make a CHAIR. And he said to his son, are you sure you are BIG enough? And the son said, Dad, of course I CAN. Now, I don't know about her, but after all that, the way to write table and chair are now indelibly engraved in my mind.

22 August, 2008

Beautiful Things

Went to see Romeo and Juliet at the Middle Temple Hall. The show was OK although Romeo was just a pretty boy and Juliet's mouth was too wide and she clumped around a lot. But the Middle Temple itself is just stunning. I have never been round the back of Fleet Street and to stumble across these beautiful cobbled quads with their great plane trees and gently plashing fountains and first rate Georgian buildings is fabulous.

A peppy young American came round from the Tate to give a talk on Cy Twombly. He (the lecturer) was from Virginia, as was Cy Twombly, a fact that he mentioned some 6 or 7 times during the course of the talk. There were also some excellent biscuits.

Goulash and mash for dinner - or goumash, as the kids call it. Curly said she liked the goo, but not the lash. And who can blame her?

21 August, 2008

Happy Birthday Ruthless Physicist!

Sorry, sorry, I know, it's not that I've been busy either, I don't know what I've been doing with myself. Working on draft 4 of the novel, that's what, trying to fix all the things the Ruthless Physicist said were wrong with it.

What else has been going on? We've finally exchanged contracts on the sale of our flat (without any attempt at gazundering - even though the purchasers are French. Can it be that cultural differences are finally working to our advantage?) so it looks as though we may actually be moving into our dream house in October, a mere 14 months after we first put in an offer on it.

Had lunch with Little Squish and Quasi-Squish at Pain Quotidien today. Actually I'd already had lunch (kippers, string beans and potatoes and they were lovely thank you very much), so I just came along for the treacle tart and a nice glass of rose and a fresh mint tea. Nattered away as if it hadn't been five years since the last time I saw her (the Q-S that is, I see Little Squish all the time) and invited ourselves round to visit her in Ireland. Hey, if I were going to wait for invitations, I would never go anywhere. DG, be warned, if you ever move to Prague, as you have been promising to do for the past 12 months.

Not much going on at work so have spent a happy few hours organising our holiday in Porto at half-term. Happy, apart from the time spent trying to book tickets online on the Ryanair website when I am not an EU citizen who does not want to pay GBP8 for anything extra, like luggage, airport checkin, paying by credit card, breathing too much, etc.

We are going camping next weekend on a wind-blasted barren mountainside in Snowdonia. When is that Indian summer going to arrive, I wonder?

Went to see the Revenger's Tragedy at the National last Friday with the Sub and her hub. There was much nudity and simulation of sex acts on the stage, of which there can never be too much in the subsidised theatre, if you ask me.

Reading a biography of Talleyrand. I love him and I hate him. I know he would have despised me. He seems to have despised everyone, the big Gallic knobhead.