Monday, November 06, 2006

We are family ...

I got all my - um - children with me

.. an eventful weekend. My wife and eldest daughter went off on a jolly to London for the weekend, while I looked after the kids and dog. I say looked after: all I have managed before in this situation is to childmind. This weekend I feel we actually did something - which is nice.

To start with the failures, we did not get to go to a firework display. I knew they'd be disappointed, but I really didn't see any publicity telling me where there might be one we could go to. Youngest child also ended up looking rather beaten about, with a black eye and other minor injuries.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Friday I worked at home. This is often a stressful setup and I did end the day feeling that I'd not achieved enough to avoid feeling guilty - though I didn't get too ratty with everyone. I was pleased to find today that what I'd written did actually work; more-so than I thought it would.

Saturday I was able to start my weekend. I had a plan. I had a list of things to achieve: shopping; library; go out; dog-walk; clean & tidy; cook dinner; chill. To my pleasant surprise we managed to achieve these - and almost had fun doing it. Discovered that the local library has a WiFi access point - though the bloke I asked clearly wasn't aware of it (or indeed what it is). Luckily a woman stood beside him did and was able to confirm that it is open access. I decided not to push my luck and ask whether they used any encryption. Eldest son mused on the possibility of sitting in the library playing on his Nintendo DS over the WiFi.

The major mishap of the weekend resulted in leaving my 3-year-old battered and bruised. During the dog-walk after lunch we went via a steep (a good 40 degree slope) hill. Halfway up the dog was way ahead - so I called him back. He came hurtling down towards us; I looked up to see his face - a picture of wild eyed panic - too close and unable to avoid us. I tried to sidestep, but it was too late: the dog collided with young-un, tearing him from my grip and sending him tumbling and sliding a good 20 feet down the hill. Luckily he escaped with no more than shock, bruises and scratches. A heart-stopping moment nonetheless.

Having just about recovered, we visited my brother and family for a cuppa in the afternoon. I do love being close enough to share time like that. Helped mow his lawn and make a mental note to strim mine tomorrow.

Saturday evening was punctuated by fireworks going off all round the town. Our house is on a hilltop, so after dinner we stepped out into the dark and wondered along the nearby farm track and looked down on the town .. fireworks going off all around us. This didn't quite compensate for being at an actual organised display as far as the kids were concerned, but was rather fun. When we got back home, we found the house across the road letting off a staggering number of rockets so we sat in the conservatory and enjoyed the show from the warmth and comfort of home. And that was another good day.

Sunday was more tasks and chilling. Cooked a Sunday roast for midday - which turned out surprisingly edible. Tidied up round the house. Walked the dog: no injuries this time. Collected a bagful of leaves for younger daughter to produce a collage. Strimmed the lawn. Managed to pursuade the kids to tidy their rooms a little. Got them set up on Google docs to create their Christmas lists. Collected wife and daughter from the station. Had tea. Crashed in a happy heap.

All in all an enjoyable and eventful weekend. I feel dangerously close to having a relationship with my children. Scary.

Sorry - I'll try not to do it again ...

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