Monday, 26 September 2005

Liquid Gold

Forgot to mention earlier, I spent £100 on petrol yesterday. Jacqueline's car, my car and the small petrol carrier for the lawnmower. About £80 straight into Gordon's pocket - scandalous.

While I have a minute...

Again, it has been a while since an entry.

Well, the weather is starting to become autumnal. Very much sunshine and showers throughout the weekend, and high winds forecast for this week. Still, just as well we don't live in the southern states of the US, otherwise we'd really have something to complain about.

Since the last time, Maisie is continuing to be "reborn", almost. Very affectionate. Alice still blows hot and cold regarding school.

Last weekend (a week ago) we went over to Ikea, and Bristol in general, on the Saturday. A long day but enjoyable. Infuriating at Ikea since I'd bought a long mirror, which fell out of the trolley and broke even before I got it to the car. Still, took it straight back but had to settle for a refund because they'd run out. Still... Nice walk around Bristol and avoided spending any money! Sunday, we went out for lunch locally, to a garden centre in Hyde, followed by a long walk in the forest. Lovely, warm weather. Plenty of photos.

This weekend was every bit as active! Saturday, I spent the day shredding the foliage which was still on the driveway from the cutting I did in the summer. Yes, I really am that lazy! Still, a hard day's work and the driveway is now clear. Far more success with this shredder than the one hired over the August bank holiday. As a reward, we went out to our local Indian restaurant Saturday evening, and had a real feast. Muscles were aching like mad yesterday - strange because I really didn't feel that I was exercising when I was shredding, although obviously my puny muscles disagreed!!

Yesterday, went over to Castle Point for breakfast - Sainsbury's gets worse every time we go there - and to do the weekly shop. Then, on directly to Kingston Lacy House , a National Trust property. Wonderful house and woodland gardens - even Alice was impressed. Very much sunshine and showers, and a couple of times on our walk (which was quite long, around 2 miles) we had to take shelter under trees. Felt very much to me like a French chateau, which itself is unusual since English country houses normally have an "Englishness" about them.

Drove home across country, feeling well and truly knackered, though unfortunately there was one job still to do.... homework!

The big mistake is that we give in to Alice when she tries to put off doing her homework. So much so, we ended up forcing her to do her homework at six o'clock on a Sunday evening, when she really should be winding down. Last night was a classic - around ten minutes work took just over an hour, largely because Alice just would not concentrate. I got so frustrated with her that I ended up shouting and Jacqueline had to come and take over. And even then, she didn't do her spelling or reading, just the homework task. Alice's intelligence just seems so limited - she always seems keen on playing the fool, but I am left wondering whether she even has the ability to take another approach. And of course, this all just highlights my own failure as a parent.

Friday, 9 September 2005

Unhappy Alice

End of the week, but the weather has just taken a turn for the worse.

Alice back to school this week, although she seems unhappy already! We knew that her teacher for this year was quite strict, which we think will be good for Alice in the long term but might cause friction in the short term, but we'll have to wait and see whether that's the only problem.

Currently she's complaining that some of the boys in her class laugh at her because she trips over a lot (she is rather clumsy and has very small feet for her age), and are calling her "stupid". Plus, she has been talking to Jacqueline a little about Barney. Things like "I want to go to heaven because then I can see Barney again". I mean, I'm sure that it is unwise to read too much into these rather black things, given that she is only six, but it is patently obvious that she's not a happy bunny at the moment. We'll have to do something to try to cheer her up at the weekend - we could always visit Paultons, or if the weather looks particularly horrible we have some tickets somewhere to get us into Wookey Hollow caves.

Not a lot else been happening. Just work, really. We talked about going away for a cheapie holiday over half term - a cottage in Brittany for the week would have been nice - but the cost of channel crossings are prohibitively expensive just for a quick jaunt, now that Brittany Ferries own the monopoly. We were looking at a week away costing upwards of £550, with over half of that being the crossing itself. Unfortunately at the present time, that kind of money doesn't constitute "cheap" in my book. So I think we'll just give it a miss. In any case, I think Alice's idea of fun would be to play with next door's kids all week. We'll see...

Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Back to School

Well, we've been over a week without the Boy. Alice hasn't really talked about it over and above the initial event. Still quite sad for me. Maisie is being very affectionate - Jacqueline says it is because she knows and is sad, I tend to lean towards her being glad Barn is out of the picture! I always had the impression that she "tolerated" him more than anything else.

Had a blazing row Saturday night. I was fed up of Alice continually being cheeky so smacked her, of course Jacqueline took Alice's side. It is little wonder our child feels she can act as she pleases.

Power cut Sunday night for ages, thunder and lightning although not particularly bad, I thought. Still, we made the excuse to go out to eat. Power still off when we got home, so lived by candlelight until bedtime. Looks like there was another glitch last night, since I set something to run overnight and it crashed at about 4am.
Back to school this week for Alice. Many reports of malady on Monday morning, but apparently when she saw her old mates again she was as happy as Larry.

On a downer once again with work. The clients seem to be throwing the most awful work they can find my way. Still, I suppose if I were them I'd do the same... I suppose they realise I'm fed up and are just chucking all the grunt work at me until I quit. It is a shame that this particular relationship is both the most menial I've had and also the longest I've had as a consultant. I can't help wondering if my best years are already behind me, and at 37 that is scary! And on top of it all, one tries to be professional!