Story Blog

Codine's off for the moment, but if you haven't read 'Turning Stones' it's still up there - free read!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still wearing almost nothing here due to cooling-off factor. Put on some gypsy music at the end of the day and boy it plays the very devil with your legs. Had the Littles been more capable and of a rational disposition she'd probably have dispatched me instantly to a mental institution for heavy sedation and rehabilitation – as it was she just joined in, slightly thunderstruck.

A bit of a tiring day, all round, but well worth it. Early morning work with the Non – everything done and dusted well before we went off to swimming lessons: maths, English, and plenty of reading. She listened very nicely again to her new teacher, and tried ever so hard. Three kids in the class and she was the only one who was told to swim up and down on her own while next to the teacher while the others had their turn as well (they all get a go with the teacher equally but she didn't trust the others enough to tell them to swim on their own). She made absolute maximum use of the instruction and listened to every word. At the end of the half-hour she was tired but obviously jubilant: she knew perfectly well how much progress she'd made by listening.

We came home at 11 and she was starving, so I got out some of the mini-pizza bases I'd got a while back and had her assemble her own pizza. Now, putting together tomato sauce, red onion, sausage slices, mushrooms and cheese might not sound like a culinary feat to many, but it's more than I've got her to do in the past, and she really enjoyed it. As for the honour of being allowed to actually cut up her own cucumber slices with a proper knife, the thrill was almost overwhelming. (Well – 'proper' means table knife. Only a cucumber, after all.) Ate beautifully afterwards, too.

Then we went skating. Hadn't been for probably about two years, can't really remember. Perhaps marginally less. She was looking forward to it but on hitting the ice burst into terrified screams and wouldn't go near it. Luckily just as we got on the ice-cleaner came on so everyone got off, and she had time to calm down. Slowly, slowly, was persuaded to come onto the ice and take a few faltering steps. They have some excellent zimmer-frame like devices which learners can push around at the back of the rink here, and she used those a bit, then used me a bit, and from little to slightly more ended up having a great time and stayed till nearly the very end of the session. In all the ice-skating lessons she had back in Milton Keyens, she never really got the hang of propelling herself with one foot... not that she entirely has this time round but it's definitely hovering in the background there, and happens quite frequently, even if by accident.

It was gone 4 by the time we got back, and we were both exhausted. Still, hadn't done one of the main tasks we'd set for the day which was, take the tree down. So we did – and once again, she was more of a help than a hindrance, for once: stacking baubles into appropriate containers, flattening dismantled fake 'fir' branches, putting candy-canes into tupperware boxes. Pack away and hoover the debris – and it's time to fix dinner.

… Well, I fixed her her dinner but haven't done a thing for us. The Mr, incidentally, has been conspicuously absent from the narrative as he went off to Sydney at just gone 6 this morning wildly excited about his Ashes cricket day he had a ticket for, courtesy of the Camel. I really have no idea when he'll be home or what degree of sustenance he'll be wanting... but suspect it'll be something more that what I've prepared, which is zilch. All I've done is drink copious white wine and dance mad gypsy dances with the Littles. Not very sustaining after a hard day's cricketing. … I'll be off, shall I?

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