There have been times this week when I’ve been so overwrought with stress that I haven’t been able to get the words out when speaking. It’s a bit concerning, (which adds to the stress), and I am realising that things need to change as this level of ineptitude is not sustainable. It feels like something is short-circuiting in my brain. Headaches are common, as is a desire to eat more crap. So, I’ve got a strategy.
1. Deal with things head-on.
2. Get more exercise.
3. Get more sleep
4. Suggest that Friends of Beckermet School cut down on their events as currently I am not coping.
Behind the scenes I have started reading my book for the new book club, (Oryx and Crake) and I’m loving it.
I also sent off a flurry of applications for online writing jobs and one has come to fruition. Go me. Except it’s writing other people’s essays and dissertations which I find morally troubling. Also, practicably, it’s going to be hard as I don’t have an academic library nearby. So oh dear. I think I’m going to have to be choosy about what I say I can do for them.
About to make the pastry for Friday’s Moorish Tart, so I’d better crack on.
Diggerland lived up to expectations. I’d even go so far as to say it exceeded them. I’m thinking of getting a licence for a JCB.
Beamish on the other hand? Well. Pah. The old trams and buses were cute, except when they were full, and I learned that British LSD (pounds, shillings and pence) was the last currency in the world still to be based on the Latin monetary system, (lira, something and dinarae). The staff weren’t as good as at Diggerland, even though they looked rather dapper in their period costumes. Many of them just couldn’t be arsed. And it reminded me of Chuck Palahniuk’s book, Choke.
Yes it was fun taking the boys on an adventure to the North East (of England), and I even got a first glimpse of the Angel of the North which *is* awe-inspiring , but I was shattered. And a trip to Carlisle the following day to watch Shawn the Sheep pushed me over the edge. Or so I thought. It wasn’t an edge though. Not properly. It was simply a hillock.
As you see, I then I realised what I’ve got on my metaphorical plate this week coming and basically I am up shit creek. Aaaargggh. But tonight I have wrestled out a menu for the forthcoming dinner party I’d arranged weeks ago. And created shopping lists and lists of what needs to be done when. Cause you see, it’s not enough simply to host a fancy dinner party for the first time as a Proper Adult. Oh no. You need to make sure you are running a second-hand uniform sale after school the same day. And that you are doing a three-hour first aid refresher at a venue 45 minutes away the night before. And that you have a party to cater for on the Sunday – 40 children no less. And a birthday cake to make for THIS Monday, And a book to read before next Monday. (For book club – Oryx and Crake). And extra crockery and table linen and placemats and coasters to buy. Hurrah.
But it’s now 2am. I’ve bought table stuff online. I’ve even ordered a grocery shop to be delivered too, (on top of the separate order of quails’ eggs because it seems you simply cannot buy quails’ eggs in West Cumbria). Tomorrow we are off food shopping early. I need to tidy the house a bit. Then the grandparents are coming over with the sons who are staying over tonight (there is a God). And I am going to be a little more organised, but still shattered.
The boys have been uber helpful and good today, all because tomorrow we rise early in the morning to cross the (thin end of the) country and get to explore Diggerland. Wooohoooo. Wooohooo.
Earlier they were musing at other possible tourist destinations. “Spiderland?”. Erm, no. “Motorbike land?”. Sorry. “Trainland?” (He must have been thinking of York.) Just goes to show the level of genius for whoever dreamt up the concept of “Diggerland” in that it a) makes sense and b) sounds good.
Our eldest son is a competent reader and riding this wave of helpfulness, we got them to wolf down their pancakes and told them that come 8pm, rain or shine, (or in pyjamas or not, more to the point), we would be sat infront of Holby, all parental rights abrogated. I managed to oversee toothbrushing before the witching hour, and assisted the younger one a wee bit in getting his pjs on and then removed ourselves from the shared bunk beds as eldest son had organised Thomas the Tank Engine stories on the stereo and had started reading ‘Supertato’ (our current favourite library book) to the wee one.
We had a mad weekend driving to Kent and back to see friends and family and it was fun, lovely to catch-up with folk, and insightful. These long trips to catch-up with kith and kin are nearly always worth it as we come home having seen how our friends and family live and rekindle the friendships that languish so easily.
We’re just so damn busy these days that it’s hard to keep in touch, and so we resort to social media where we portray the best versions of our lives on terms that mainly suit us. But the connections just aren’t that meaningful or authentic. I’ve started writing letters again to some of my friends and will try to do more of this.
With the half-term holidays coming up I’d had a hankering for finding an art gallery to visit. I miss not living in Edinburgh with galleries on your doorstep and told my friend that if we’d been spending more time with her in Kent, we’d have tried to visit Margate. My friend works in London but hurries home to put her kids to bed and simply doesn’t have the time to go and gaze at art any more. I realised that despite our very different circumstances, we share similar privations, (First World Problems, I know), and so my frustration with living in West Cumbria is assuaged a little, and I’m just a little more determined to go out there and make the most of what we do have here.