As I said before, last Tuesday saw the South of England having some unusual weather for this time of the year. We had heard that there was some sleet and snow around-but didn’t think it was too close by, as all we had was a very cold down pour and two seconds of sleet. When we woke on Wednesday morning there was evidence of frost but nothing else.
The kids and I were going to have lunch at my cousins and as Michael still wasn’t up to par, he thought he’d come along. Especially when I mentioned her boyfriend was going to be there. I guess he felt he wouldn’t have drowned in gossip if there was another guy around. We left the house at 10am, all of us noting how chilly it was outside. They live almost an hour drive away-and are further south-east than we are. We had barley gone 20 minutes from home when we entered a winter wonderland! There was snow everywhere! OK-it was barely an inch of snow-but all the hillsides were covered in it. It was gorgeous! I do miss the look of snow, snow-covered tree branches shining in the sun, the feel of snow, that wonderful colour of the sky in the evening just before the snow falls, and that wonderful quiet that descends on an area when there is snow falling. Funny what you miss when you’re not around it for years. Of course I haven’t forgotten the backache of digging out the driveway, the occasional search for the car hidden under the snow from a storm, the scary icy roads-and the horrible dirt and sludge left after the snow melts. But still, all in all—I miss snow. So I truly enjoyed the 15 minutes of driving through a small winter wonderland—it may be my last for another year or so.
We had a nice lunch and all the kids played well. They live near a canal and have a wooded area behind the apartment complex. To our amazement-they have foxes. I know that in itself isn’t unusual-I was just surprised to see them out and about in the daytime. They weren’t put off or scared by the noise the kids were making. My two were fascinated by them, but I think they were a tad wary as well.
On the way home we decided to check out an outdoor gear store in one of the towns on the way home. We actually had a 20 year old sales rep who knew what she was talking about. It’s been years since Michael has bought a proper rucksack and she gave him all the details on the new and different varieties. It is very interesting how intricate they can be-and what different features they all have. He still wasn’t sure which one he wanted, but at least he has a better idea of the options. One of which was to get me to carry one-Ha! Ha! He did mange to get two fleeces before we left the shop-must say; they looked very good on him!
Michael still wasn’t very well on Thursday so he stayed home for the day. The kids and I were going to Carole’s for most of the day, so at least he could rest a bit. We had a fun visit. Victoria was very proud that she could ride her bike without its stabilizers so I had to watch her ride it for awhile. I didn’t stay outside for very long as it was very chilly! The kids played the whole time and we marvelled about how much women can find to chat about. I know all you women know it—but isn’t it still a tad amazing? How can we sit there for four hours and not run out of things to talk about? Victoria was mighty upset when I asked her to tell my two to clean up as it was time for us to go. She stomped out saying it wasn’t fair. We were there for over 4 hours-you think she’d be glad for some peace!
We came home and upon entering the house I got into an instant grump. Basically because my throat was starting to hurt and I had a massive headache. I retreated to my room and shut the door. Unfortunately-someone, who will remain unnamed, decided to come in. Now-when I go to my room and shut the door-it means ‘stay away-or enter at your own peril!’ I so hate being grumpy, and know that some time alone usually gets me back into a fit state of mind. One of these days, the unnamed person will learn to respect the shut door! Needless to say-I recovered and we reclaimed the rest of the evening.
After dinner Michael and Kieran carved out the pumpkin. Kieran was so proud of it-and had lots of fun working on it. I started to feel a bit guilty that we hadn’t decorated for Halloween. I just got so busy with the reorganizing, that it just fell to the wayside. We decided to do it after the kids went to sleep. Michael went to the attic and got the things down and then went to the shops for some tape, or nothing was going to get hung-up, and some chocolate. The kids were happy in the morning when they saw it all. I’ve always enjoyed it-the colours for Halloween are just so bright and colourful, and make the house feel cheerful.
The kids were scheduled to go to another show Friday in the morning. They wore there costumes all day. We decided that Michael would take them and I’d run into town to do some shopping for Michael’s birthday. I ran into one of the other local HE moms and had a small chat with her. We were both missing children-what a shock! Well, she did have the little one with her, but it’s rare to be out without the older kids. I then dashed off to get a few things for Michael. Amongst other things, I had decided on some cd’s for his car. Now, that may not seem unusual, or even a big deal to anyone else. But, we two are in such a time warp when it comes to music that it’s not even funny anymore. We should be ashamed at how little we pay attention to the latest music. It’s not an aversion to listen to anything new, more like we just never pay attention to anything. I rarely listen to the radio and so have no clue what is new. I bought five cd’s based solely on the fact I’d heard their names, and could remember that I’d liked what I heard on Jools about some of them. But if my life depended on knowing any of the songs, I’d not be here.
We met up after the show and had a tea break in the theatres café before heading to the shops. We wandered round two shops to look at the art work and let the kids have a wander in a toy department. Still couldn’t see anything that really caught their eyes. Some times I wouldn’t mind if they had an ‘obsession’ for something-would make the gift buying easier for them. We had a quick trip to Sainsbury’s and headed home for the day. After a quick lunch Michael made a chilli so that it could simmer till dinner time. Then we lit the fire and had a fun evening playing games. Kerplunk! being the favourite of the night. Saturday dawned as a very grey day. We decided to go to two stores and see if we could find any area rugs we liked. The first shop had nothing and the second one had a possibility. We migh
t have one of the regular carpets made into an area rug for the kitchen living room. In the third shop we found an area rug for the living room. I liked it the second I saw it-and still like it. So we’ll be keeping that one. The old one in the living room goes well with the kitchen living area as well-but we want a larger carpet in there. It’ll help warm up the room and give the kids some warm floor space to play on downstairs.
When we got in we had some baked potatoes with the leftover chilli for lunch. Was quite tasty. I hadn’t had that in ages. Then we thought we’d go to two local furniture stores and see if we could find two small side tables-but didn’t have any luck. We were home fairly quickly after that-as Kieran wasn’t looking any better. He ended up having a bit of a fever but he did manage to watch Strictly with us, and to see the fireworks from our bedroom window. We had his temperature down before bedtime so were hoping he’d be OK to go to Oxford for Michaels birthday treat.
Today was Michael’s birthday. The kids came in just after 7am with his presents. My throat was aching, so I was barely with it when he opened them. I though Kieran looked flush, but I was still in a haze when they all went to have breakfast, so I didn’t think too much about it. I fell back to sleep and woke when Michael came in with some tea. Kieran wandered in a few minutes later and I could tell he most definitely had a rash. Michael hadn’t even noticed it until I pointed it out. His whole upper body was covered. He was acting fine and they weren’t itchy so I wasn’t overly worried. Called the doctors anyway, and they said it was probably a reaction to the cold/fever. Not unusual for Kieran to get spots.
This did rule out taking him to Oxford for the day. Whether it was contagious or not, it certainly did look like it may be. Plus he was starting to feel a bit warm again. We decided I’d stay home with him while Michael and Hazel went to the market for some stewing beef for dinner. I let Kieran watch TV while I finished getting dressed. I knew a ‘safe’ show was on for him, when he suddenly calls up that Tommy Zoom was on next. I thought that that happened very quickly-I thought the other show was going to be on for almost 20 minutes. So I dashed downstairs-as Kieran doesn’t like Tommy Zoom and I wanted to be there in case he got scared. When I got downstairs Higgledy House was till on. When I asked Kieran how he knew the other show was going to come on-he showed me how he read it on the TV guide! He’s just learnt to turn the channels with the remote control, now he can read the on-screen TV guide! When the show came on he said he would try to watch it if I sat with him. He lasted 5 minutes, much longer than any other time.
Hazel and Kieran watched a bit more of Cbeebies while we had some tea before making lunch. Kieran was a bit warm so we gave him some more meds before lunch. After lunch we just mooched around a bit. The kids chatted with their grandparents on the phone. Kieran had fun entertaining himself with my camera. He even took one of himself talking on the phone. Not the best photo, but still, he got there in time! I tell you-he has experimented more with it than I have. He learned to set the timer and take his own photo. In total, he took almost 150 photos today. The important thing he learned today was that you can’t get a good photo if the subject moves. Maybe now when I ask him to stand still for a photo he will.
I felt really ill, so had a two hour nap in the afternoon. Michael brought me some tea and woke me just after 4pm. It’s been ages since we’ve all been ill, so we’re dealing with it very poorly! While I was napping Michael had prepared his own birthday dinner-a beef casserole. The kids were getting ready to put on a birthday show for Michael just before dinner time.
When we got downstairs, Kieran wasn’t looking very excited any more. He decided he was cancelling the show as he didn’t feel well. Hazel was disappointed, but I said if we did it after dinner he’d probably feel more like it. Plus I told her it would give me time to peel the apple for Michaels ‘Birthday Crumble’. We thought that would be a twist on the usual cake-plus, he prefers crumble with a river of custard instead of cake any day of the week. But 3 minutes later all those plans were dashed. Kieran was right-he was sick! Poor kid. He spent the rest of the evening mostly in my arms. Hopefully he’ll sleep through and feel better in the morning.
Poor Michael didn’t have the best of birthdays. He had to shop and prepare his own birthday dinner-and he didn’t have any candles to blow out. Hopefully everyone will be as right as rain soon, and he can have his crumble then. But first thing in the morning, I think my man and little guy should get to the doctors.