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I got up, put the nappies on to wash, and started sweeping floors. I got yesterday's dishes in the dishwasher and cleaned the dining room. G and two of his children arrived about ten, and I got the dining room floor clean shortly after that, and we had tea and coffee and talked about Pleasure Town is Invite Only and Heathcliff and Borth and then they left and I cleaned the kitchen, hung the nappies up to dry, and fed the children lunch and was almost done when the BfN people started arriving at 12:40.

I was tremendously pleased G called before visiting as I usually do Big Housework in my pyjamas and would have hated to open the door unwashed and not yet dressed properly. This way we were all three dressed when they arrived.

We spent the first hour of the session working out which assignments were which, which ones we'd done, and which ones we had yet to do. We were all confused about this.

Now I know how much work I have yet to do I can start planning how to do it. But first I need to find my USB memory stick and listen to my taped role-play from Saturday.
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The children did lovely things to my sorted piles of clean and dirty laundry, which I have callously disarranged since. But I had a domestically productive day and Emer spent the whole day naked (except for a brief period when she wore a double string of painted wooden beads around her waist) and Linnea helped me tidy up and got two tidy up stickers and both children had a bath and Linnea cooperated beautifully while I washed and conditioned her hair. I did mountains of laundry - almost all of which has already dried - including Linnea's quilt and stuff. I also baked three loaves of bread and cleaned the kitchen of the accumulated grime of ages, including the patina of hand-grease on the oven handles. I totally failed to get the water-stains off our glasses, even with vinegar and scrubbing, but restored the teaspoons to a Stepfordian shine.

We ate baked beans, pitta bread, and pickle for our lunch. The beans were a different brand to usual and had sugarin them, which tasted really odd to me, but the children didn't mind.

In the afternoon, we had two sets of visitors, and much tea, bread, and talking. The five mobile children played beautifully together and the baby was adorable and ate a lot. Then they all went away and Rob came home and we had a stir-fry for dinner, and next Rob and I are going to sort through the in-use clothing and cull, cull, cull. Clean clothes just get used up and dumped in corners, so we try not to have too much in use at any given time, but if we go away - as we did in December - we pack enough to last without doing laundry. We also tend to save our newest and nicest clothes for then.

Speaking of newest and nicest, I was given a skirt today which someone was given by a friend who bought it on Ebay and didn't like it. It's branded L. K. Bennett, is made of green velvet (viscose and silk) with sparkly trim, originally cost £119 (though has clearly been on sale several times at lower prices) and is very nice and wholly unlike anything I would usually wear. Where shall I go in it? Must I buy it some shoes? I definitely need to buy it a top.
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Lots of clothes and bedlinen (which is none of it linen) and I will also need to make bread. And get to the post office and the supermarket. The children are as pleasant and sociable as weasels now, though Emer was fine when we woke about eight. Linnea needs to spend a day proving we have boundaries, really.

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I want a laundry room, where I can lock all the clean things away and issue them one at a time to abject supplicants. It is completely unreasonable that we do so much laundry and still have so much dirty. We must just have too much in circulation again.

I need to list things on Freecycle again too. We have a couple of rubber-backed children's rugs which I find too tedious to wash.

I begin to think emptying the attic into the spare room is the way to go - it's the easiest way to get Rob to get rid of things - but we want the spare room ready for 3-4 guests in April.

And we need to design and make custom shelving for the front room.


Feb. 12th, 2009 11:30 am
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Tidied both downstairs rooms and hallway, swept 'em, hung out three and a half loads of laundry (ice froze the clothespegs together in the basket, ow), dressed both children, brushed three sets of teeth and hair.

We're half an hour late but it could be worse.
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I'll make it if I swear.

Anyway, we stayed up until 1 am cleaning up teeny weeny fragments of broken glass. Naturally the thing smashed in the front room where all the toys and baby stuff is, and what's more, it smashed before we tidied them away, so we hoovered all the toys and blankets and whathaveyou as well as the floor and furnishings. So then Rob was late to work this morning and when I got up I had a mass of clearing to do in the dining room, kitchen and bathroom. I got the bathroom sorted and the children more or less dressed, and a load of laundry hung, and the dishwasher filled, and was partway through clearing the dining room floor when the first BfN person arrived, so she read the kids stories while I cleared the breakfast table and made us a place to work in. Then I checked email and found that no-one else was coming, so we did our thing.

We got one-and-a-bit assignments done174. I think it will be easy enough to finish the second one now it's started. Homework groups are basically about motivating each other to actually start, dammit.

Since hardly anyone came, we opened the pack of luxury choc chip cookies175 that come with nine to a pack; there were three kids and two adults, so it was almost two each.

We've had lunch now and I've put another dishwasher load on, of casseroles and saucepans and things. I have a headache. And I need to do laundry and remake Linnea's bed and finish clearing the kitchen and start prepping dinner, because we have someone else coming at four for an after-school playdate.

Tomorrow, no-one at all is coming176. I think I'm relieved.
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Well, although last week was mostly featuring ill children and ill me (I didn't have time to be ill during the week but did spend Saturday in bed, which helped) 142we're a little better this week. Linnea is all better, I am almost all better, and Emer has a trace of a cough but not much else.

I haven't yet counted 143President Barack Obama as a good thing, so I'll do that now.

The 144spice bread I made turned out well; 145I made it again today, without raisins as per Linnea's request, along with a loaf of wholemeal and oats, and one of white and rye with Svensk Brodkryddar Malda, and a 146batch of banana muffins, almost all of which have been eaten, because 147we had guests this afternoon.

Yesterday 148we went to Meeting and 149I got to sit in the whole hour while Rob watched the children. A lot of the ministries (terminology?) were about children, again, and one was very close to the bone and I wanted to get up and tell all about Nollaig and Tadhg, but felt I couldn't, so I sat there streaming tears instead. I think I might spend a lot of time streaming tears in Meeting for a while; I don't often get to sit and think about anything much, there's always too much going on.

150There were a few things said about Israel and Gaza, too, which were good to hear, at least for me. There's such a lack of vitriol.

And I may try to dye my long winter coat red or orange. It's a very respectable beige at present.

After meeting 151there was a party with some very organised games and some shared lunch. That was nice; we brought a few things, so we knew we had foods we could eat, and only one of the unlabelled things we ate was dodgy (as I ate it it tasted unsuitable), and I think it must have been soy, because I got sick but no-one else did.

152We had a massive tidy-up in the front room when we got home and I spent this morning tidying the kitchen after my Saturday off. It was grim, but is now more or less done. And 153for lunch we had hot leftover shepherd's pie; Rob makes an excellent shepherd's pie with real organic shepherds.

154I've booked both ferries (two return trips) for our long journey and am working on the trains, but the tickets aren't on sale yet. Perhaps tomorrow. A lovely callcentre man worked very hard on the Reading-Harwich route and found one which avoids both the Tube and the rail replacement buses, so future phonecalls can at least be shorter. We're very excited.
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109We had takeaway pizza instead of a nervous breakdown, and later 110I painted lovely faffints. 111Rob baked cakes, muffins and flapjacks.

112We went to BfN and I worked for the whole time. 113Then I baked a cake for Mary and 114she came to visit. 115I cooked lunch for myself and the girls. 116After dinner I had a hot bath, and when it was cooler 117Emer joined me for a play.

118The BfN class came to my house and 119everyone brought treats. 120The children were marvellous.

121We went to the Farmer's Market and in spite of being late we were in time for the girls to have sausages and 122we got plenty of veg of kinds which will last in storage for a couple of weeks. 123We bought Linnea a clock for her bedroom wall. At home, 124we settled almost all of the details of our Great Expedition at Easter. 125We had visitors who brought a funky wooden balancing toy with bricks and a swinging platform and things. 126I had a phonecall with a friend.

127We went to Meeting and the kids had a great time. People were apparently pleased to see us. 128We got a ton of laundry done. 129We chose some more things to get rid of in The Great Decluttering Project (ongoing since approx 2003). 130We got to bed comparatively early.
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The day is long, and the night is full of moans, and when you think you've had enough, hold on. the let themselves go, because everybody cries, and everybody stinks, sometimes. Sometimes everything is pong, now it's time to sing along...

Anyway, between the nappies and the dressing and the wiping and the cleaning, I've washed my hands raw. I've tidied the spare room enough that I can get a few buggies in there, cleared the front hallway, put the rug down in the front room again (it really needs a wash but Rob spot-rinsed it so I'm not washing it again, it's now both damp and dirty and I'll just cover it up with a blankie for babies) and cooked breakfast and put away all Rob's baking from yesterday - banana muffins and flapjacks. I made a madeira cake yesterday too so there's enough to go around.

I have yet to sweep the bathroom, rear hall and kitchen floors, clear the kitchen and dining room, pop out to Lidl and buy fair-trade bananas and maybe some other fruit or veg depending on what's local, cook lunch, sotart dinner (Rob took meat out to defrost), and set up for the arrival of my BfN class.

In my free time, I will drink my second coffee. Rob now makes me two - TWO - thermal mugs of coffee of a morning. Life is good.

And smelly.
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I have eighties hair today. Mega eighties hair. I feel like Pajo.

The children refused breakfast and at ten we all had toasted bagels with sugar and cinnamon.

I've managed to get laundry in the machine.

The slow cooker is on full of dinner.

Now all I need to do is tidy the house, and then clean as much of it as possible before the cleaner gets here, so that she can do the bits we never ever get to.

And work out how to tell her we might want to reduce her hours.

October 2017

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