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Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm not the passenger

Driving home from work, I've nearly always listened to Radio 4. On the Bee Bee Cee.

Sometimes found myself sitting in the drive, in the dark. Or taking the long way home. Or just one more lap of the village - just to hear the end of the Short Story. Fifteen minutes of tradegy, comedy, classics - or whatever.

But the Beeb canned it years ago. And now, shortened working day to match the kids school leaving times, I've found it again in the Afternoon Reading. Hey! That quarter hour escape.

This week, Annette Crosby reading a short story - a tribute to On the Road. And one phrase rung out - delivered in a desperately raised and cracked voice as only she can.

"I want the wheel between my hands. I want to take back control. I am not the passenger!"

Superb. And so right.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lie down on the couch

Ah - if you're ever feeling a bit down, what could be better than this video for "The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist"...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rain, rain go away...

Well - weekend approaching. The sequel to last years inaugural Flathead Meltdown Reliability Run is nearly here! Much to do.

Like sit and watch the weather. Met office is promising strong winds, black skies and thundery showers.
Same as last year...

Which was brilliant, so, to be honest - wet weather? Ha! Bring it on!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Unlike ducks my soap won't float

Needed that. A relaxing weekend. No deadlines, no rush. Well. Except for one stupid moment...

Hey! No kids on Friday night! Time to party?! Ummm, ah - well, in the end the evening became a warm cup of Ringtons tea, Ugly Betty on the telly and an early night.

Slow start, gathered the kids from their sleepovers and off to do a bit of retail therapy in Bury St. Edmunds. Chosen transport just to emphasise the lack of rushing around - the Fordor.

Fopp! Great shop stuffed with DVD bargains! Replaced my "Mars Atacks" with a DVD copy. Resisted "Reefer Madness" for £3 however and put it towards "Tie me up, tie me down". Haven't seen that in YEARS!!! Must have been good - I don't remember the Spanish subtitles....

Started covering the steel roof panel with black vinyl as the sun grew hotter in the late afternoon before we all wandered down the road for dinner at some friends. But a late night call sent me out on a midnight errand of mercy to save them from a long, lonely, bus journey. So happy to oblige, except a lapse in concentration had me caught for speeding. Oh well. Reality bites sometimes.

Sunlight broke and we finished gluing and stretching the vinyl before fitting the roof panel. Hmm. Nice. Non-leaky...
Jenny decided to brush some primer over her previous bare metal creativity, and then continued around the car till the tin ran dry. Lunchtime! Threw a picnic together, grabbed Joss and Di on the way, and set off to Diss park for the swings, roundabouts, and to watch the ducks by the Mere. Egg mayo crusts for the coots and mallards. After Eight icecreams. Mmmm.

Small child delivered "don't bother cooking" message drew us back down the road for a barbeque, to which I contributed a re-animated pasta salad left from our impromptu picnic. Goats cheese and grapes. And an Adnams.

Low sun, tired kids and back for baths and bed. Relaxed - in the bath. Humming "My Soap won't Float" by the Regiment. Must rip some more vinyl to mp3 when the moment allows and the mood takes me. Strange the things that get me wired, but three points and a fine? Nothing.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cool Running Meltdown.

Cool Runnings. Lovely, feel good, shed a tear, cliche filled, piece of Disney hocum. John Candy as the reluctant coach for the first Jamaican Bobsleigh team. Each character with their personal hill to conquer, before learning to become a team.

Right now, I'm Derice. The driver. Whilst the rest go out to party, he's back in the hotel room going through each twist and turn, learning the route down the bobsleigh run.

Been doing the same, working out the route in my head for the second Flathead Meltdown Reliability Run. Until I've taken my "team" along a fun filled run through the byways of Norfolk, I won't relax.

It was all a wing and a prayer last time. Too worried about whether it'd work to really enjoy it until the evening, when I realised it had been brilliant. Felt bad leaving Kate at home with the kids to organise the holiday we were going on the next morning. She really wasn't too well by then, but I'd started planning the Reliability Run months earlier. Still, Kate came over that evening, met the happy wanderers, and could see how much it meant to me.

Silly fool, it'll be fine.

Busy days

Right - where was I? Still haven't sorted out the photos - took too many, but I can barely remember everything we've done recently. Done too much!

Took three days off work to help out on a school trip that Alice was going on. For the life of me, as it approached I couldn't remember why I thought it'd be a good idea. Still - canoeing, rock climbing, zip wire, table tennis, and long walks in the countryside with a host of ten year olds lacking volume controls turned out to be not too bad. But - somehow? Lonely.

Oh well - back on the Friday night, cooked a selection of quiches (watch out for the jalepenos...) for..... Maypole dancing! Rushed about in the morning dropping kids off, walked to the wrong field carrying Delores, eventually found the right sheep field just in time. Chilly wind. Added our food to the glorious feast, played till the ribbons were wound tight. Played them back again, ate till we were stuffed and did it all again.

Sunday. Decided to check out the route for the Reliability Run - damn it's close! Charging around in the Transit, missing junctions, looking for missing signs, back-tracking for a better route. Eventually we ground to a halt, stuck fast in soft sand in the woods. Hmm. Spot more planning required...

Oh, but Monday! Bank holiday and my sister's birthday! Who, in her infinite wisdom, decided that we should all go to Scarborough for the day on a steam train... Seven-fifteen in the morning she told me the train was. Liar. Still, at least she encouraged me to be there on-time.
Lovely day.
Picnic on the train, smuts in our eyes, playing games and poker dice. Sit down meal, market, arcade, beach, vernicular railway, all tired, back on the train. Clickety clack. Rainbows changed to sunsets as we crossed the fens. Home before midnight - but not much! Aahh - that's planes, trains and automobiles all in the space of a short week or so!

No rest though. Jenny organised her garden for a friend's 40th. A catered BBQ indeed. Mmmm, creme broule. Wet day didn't deter the kids (including me...) from the bouncy castle and trampoline. Most memorable. Tore it all down and rushed to my sister's for her birthday party where we boogied on down again? Ah. No. More like squeezed some space on the sofa and indulged in Eurovision. Wonderfully trashy. Embarassingly, Robert's choice - the Ukranians - came second against our nowhere to be seen selections. Had we actually voted. Which we didn't. Honestly.

So - been a blur. Nothing but a blur. Which might explain my wound like a top feeling, but equally may not. Time will tell.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Handy Hint No. 1

When you've forgotten to turn the emmersion heater on, and it's kid's bath night.

Don't drink a pint of red wine before skipping from the stove to the tub with saucepans of scalding water...

Friday, May 11, 2007

On being needy

Spent a long time last year working out how to cope. Flat, unemotional, mechanically sorting out a routine.

Had a lovely week about which I wanted to write - helping on a school trip, maypole dancing, lovely food, getting the car stuck in soft sand, steam train trip to Scarborough. Wonderful, wonderful times.

And then this week? Dark thoughts; tense can't let go moments, uncertaintities, worrying about things I've done, and things I haven't done. Stressed till it hurts. Crying for unfathomable reasons.

Never needed company as much as this week. Hoping for distractive calls, messages, people popping by. Anything.

Worst of all? Guilt for being this way. To those who have suffered me this week, ta very muchly. I've worked out how much I want to be needed rather than needy. Always been Mr. Reliable to have around. This week, for no reason? He's checked out.

I had love and lost it. And with it went that fetching from the high shelf, put the kettle on, jar opening, wanted feeling.