Category Archives: Blethers

Perfect Day

My boys rolled out of bed on the right side this morning, cheerful and compliant and ready to go before it was even close to time to start screaming at them that they were late.

K was cheery and well-rested — shades of the dreaded morning-whistling-K I remember from our early years together (shudder).

I, instead of faffing about, showered and dressed and set out for my writing garret before the clock struck 9.

When I stepped out the front door, the sky was a lovely dull gray, the light not too bright for my weak blue eyes, not so dark as to be ominous. The temperature was hovering somewhere around a cool 52 F and, oh joy of joys, it was spitting. Not a miserable kind of drizzle that soaks you without even trying, but a sort of cheerful plinky rain that a light jacket can ward off and that serves mostly to keep you cool on your walk and to make the fallen oak leaves smell amazing.

My town is dull and cool and full of the smells of autumn. I stomped along the street with a big stupid grin on my face and arrived at my garret pink-of-cheek and crazy-of-fringe.
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I really never should have left Scotland.

Don’t Know Much About History*

Belle Boyd Home I’ve been reading about the American Civil War recently because…well, let’s see. Why AM I reading about it?

Oh, I know. Because it was the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 4th this year and I subscribe to Smithsonian Magazine, and there has been an ongoing series of Civil War articles.

In spite of having lived in Pennsylvania for 17 years (you know, down the road from Gettysburg) I have managed to learn surprisingly little about the Civil War in my time here. So, with all the anniversaries rolling around I decided to read. And of course, when I’m reading about historical events I keep getting caught up in the fascinating characters who get a passing mention in the big texts.

Like, Robert Gould Shaw, who was eventually celebrated in the movie Glory . Turns out that for a long time he was nothing but a footnote in the history books. I have an old, second-hand book that bemoans the fact that no-one knows about Shaw, even though he wrote tons of letters that were preserved and published and promptly forgotten about. 1 The thing that really caught me about Shaw though, was the throwaway line that he spent a couple of days on honeymoon before going off to assume his command of the free African American troops. And that the couple’s families had not approved of the marriage. Wha-huh?

That was pretty much all I could find.

So the cogs started turning. And I wrote this story.

But there is a ton of other stuff to learn, quite apart from names of Generals and dates of campaigns.

For example, did you know there were a whole slew of women spies — for both sides — some of whom went on to become famous and give speaking tours, some of whom died in penury and some — I’m looking at you, Harriet Tubman — were the first women in the nation’s history to lead actual military operations (albeit without a commission. The woman blew stuff up and led raids, and all before she was being pictured in demure dresses and being celebrated as a suffragist). Also: the government finally paid out upwards of $200,000 in back-pension benefits that they had promised her for her war work but never given her, in 2011.

So I’ve spend a happy day or so reading the memoirs of Belle Boyd, La Belle Rebelle, to get the lowdown on how a spirited lady of adventure would tell her own story. It was published in 1865 while she was living in London and trying to get her husband out of jail back in America. She was a piece of work. And I’m currently writing a short story that is going to be a great rollicking ride through Viriginia with a spirited lady spy who may owe a debt or two to Mrs Boyd-Hardinge.

I also pulled up an episode of the Ken Burns documentary on the civil war that I remember coming out when I was still living with my parents or going to university. I remember my older brother being absolutely addicted to it and finding myself drifting into the room and ending up sitting there with him for hours as this strange, bewitching mishmash of still photos and voice-overs unrolled history for us. This week I accidentally landed on the episode that covers the horrors of the Andersonville prison, complete with pictures of starved survivors that should have warned us about the horrors that 20th century warfare would bring — apparently we weren’t listening.

There are stories to be written there too, but I’m probably not the one to write them. I don’t think I could sink myself into that much sadness and still have the willpower to sit down and write every day.

So it’s back to my spunky heroine Rose and her quest to [REDACTED] in order to save her [REDACTED] in the face of [REDACTED]. It’s going to be fun and exciting and, I hope, spur you to find out more about this fascinating period of history.

[*. Actually I do know quite a lot about history. Oodles, in fact. I have a certificate that says so. I just don’t know much about certain areas of it. Like, as it turns out, the history of the Civil War]

  1. Until Matthew Broderick came along, obviously.

Words And Phrases You Will Only Ever Hear Me Put In The Mouths Of Loathsome Characters

ScreamIt has come to my attention that people are attempting to invent the word “conversate” as in: “I was conversating with Bob…”

Wh—ugh.

When I Am Linguistic Queen

I will be a benevolent dictator. Unless you do any of the following things, in which case I  will turn up at your door with a copy of Strunk & White and the collected works of Ernest Hemingway. And I will hover over you, menacingly while you read and absorb each spare sentence of both.

Yes, language evolves. Yes, we need new words. Yes, we are free to invent cute, clarity-enhancing new terms for things.

But let us not simply replace existing, perfectly-good words simply because we are too lazy to find out that they exist.

And before you go correcting my grammar,  I’m perfectly aware that I started these sentences with prepositions and you know what? It’s fine. It’s a conscious stylistic choice. It does not obscure meaning. It reflects modern structures and modes of communications. It does not, to the vast majority of the population make me sound like an unlettered oik. It’s fine. Get over it. (This is my fantasy and I am Linguistic Queen, remember?)

Making up words that obscure meaning is not OK

Language is about communication. Communication requires that we all share a pool of commonly-used words, the meanings of which we all understand. It is also about throwing in the occasional unusual word because it makes things more clear, or illustrates a concept perfect, even if someone has to go to the dictionary to check the meaning. Dictionaries are easy to get nowadays. My Kindle has one built in so I don’t even have to page away from the book I’m reading if I need clarification (not “clearness“).

Words And Phrases You May No Longer Use In My Absolute Kingdom

Conversate

Instead of using conversate why not try converse? Better yet talked to. I’ll even give you speak to as long as you do not use it in the following ways:

1. “Can you speak to the problem of binge drinking?”

No, Mr. Interviewer. I cannot speak to the problem of binge drinking. Binge drinking is a concept. It is a problem. It is not a person. It has no ears. I can, however, speak about it.

2. “The decline in piracy speaks to the rise of  global warming.”

No it doesn’t. Global warming, likewise, has no ears. The decline in piracy may indicate a subsequent rise in global warming (except it doesn’t. That’s a logical fallacy: a subject for a different rant.).

Note: A word that sounds a bit like conversate that you may still use with impunity is conversant. If someone is conversant with a topic, it does not mean they are talking with it or about it, it means they are familiar with the details. Use at will.

Utilize

Seriously. Why? Just say use.

Supposubly

This is not a word. This was a punch-line in Friends.  The word you want is supposedly. My eight year old may stumble over this. If you are older than him, you may not.

Addicting

Drugs are not addicting. Neither is Game of Thrones. They are not going out and hunting you down and addicting you to them. What ever it is you are addicted to, the thing itself is more passive than that. It is addictive. You are addicted. It is addictive. Addicting? Not a word.

There, They’re, Their

I know. They sound the same. You only need to know the difference when you’re writing. But we’re all writing and reading much more than we used to (thank you, Internet). If you want me to know what you mean, and not have to stop and wonder why it looks wrong, thereby losing all sense of what you are trying to communicate to me, use the correct form.

There is related to place. I don’t have a trick to help you remember that. Sorry, but it’s just one word. Commit it to memory. There=place.

They’re is a related to them (they are. It’s right there, in how you spell it. They, them, they’re, they are).

Their is the weird-looking cousin of the there/they’re family. No other word really looks like it. It can only be used when talking about people and the things that belong to them, for example, their weird-looking cousins.

Note: Likewise, if you’re not sure which homophone of a word to use, look it up. It’s easy to make a mistake. I’m not judging you on that. I’m judging you if you don’t care that you’re making the other person work too hard to understand you. Don’t be inconsiderate.

Examples: I don’t want to sore (ouch), I want to soar. I don’t want a peak  (mountain top) at your work. I want a peek.  I don’t want a roll (fall down and writhe) in your movie, I want a role.

You’re welcome.

The Problem Is, Is

The problem is you’re repeating yourself unnecessarily. The problem is. Not the problem is, is.

People say, “The problem is, is I’m going to be out that night.”

You wouldn’t say, “Is I’m going out that night.” so why say, “The problem is, is I’m going out”?

It’s a stylistic tic that I hear all the time and I’m alerting you to it now, so you can cut it out.

The problem is [state the problem]“. Done.

Wa-la

It’s French. It’s literally “see there” (voire: to see,: there). It’s spelled “voilà” and pronounced “Vwah-LA”. It’s a real word used to express satisfaction, approval or sudden appearance. Use it with joy, but use it with a v.

Things I Have No Problem With

It’s not all judgment and dictatorship, as Linguistic Queen. I’m really quiet laid back. There are many non-traditional words, phrases and language evolutions I’m totally cool with. So really, am I asking too much?

Dialect and Accent

If, in your local dialect people reliably say “aks” instead of “ask” or “liberry” instead of “library“, that’s just an accent thing. If everyone around you says it the same way, you might have some trouble spelling it properly, but you’re not obscuring meaning.  Carry on, as you were.

If you come from an area with distinct dialect patterns that don’t follow standard English, feel free to use them. They’re part of your heritage. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong. Even me (OK, maybe me).

However, you will probably also benefit from knowing how to use standard English for those occasions that call for interaction with people from other places, or a more formal setting. (In fact, in my experience, people who have a genuine dialect pattern, tend to be able to drop into standard English with more precision than people who just don’t use Standard English because they just don’t care.)

Noo-cular

Yeah, the word is nuclear (new-clee-ar), but if you say noo-cular, everyone knows what you mean. Don’t sweat it. (But do spell it properly.)

“Guys”

As an informal group-collective that has, arguably,  become non-gender-specific, I call this one of the ways language has evolved. Sure, you could use people or everybody, or all. None of these are particularly grammatically sound and not everyone can get away with shouting “Ladies and Gentlemen” before beginning a sentence. I vote we move over to “guys”. Except this is not a constitutional monarchy. I’m Linguistic Queen and therefore “Guys” is now decreed an acceptable gender-neutral collective noun. Deal with it.

 

And that’s it for today. I’m all out of outrage.

What words get you riled up? Share the horror in the comments section.

 

Wibbly-Wobbly Armey-Warmey

I noticed tonight that my left arm was shaking as it pressed a glass to the ice dispenser.

Naturally my thoughts went immediately to Michael J. Fox’s autobiography “Lucky Man” and how he woke up one morning with a twitch in his pinky and look where that led!

(What? You don’t immediately diagnose yourself with the worst disease you’ve heard of that shares a symptom with your every twinge? Come on, you know you do!)

Then I remembered that I had a particularly tough yoga class yesterday (and there are two words that I never equated before I actually TOOK a yoga class). AND that the teacher had us doing some devilish arm exercises right at the end. (She said she couldn’t do them any earlier or our warrior poses would have surrendered to the Swiss army at the first sign of trouble. Or something like that. I’m a bit hazy on the actual words, due to, you know, the pain).

So I paid a little attention to the rest of my body and noticed that my right arm was feeling distinctly wobbly too. So that’s OK then.

And this homework-induced margarita should definitely help alleviate the symptoms.

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(Isn’t Wednesday the new Friday?)

The Power of Plastic

I have been living without a credit card for nine days now. And it is killing me1.

That is to say, I have been trying to not use the back up credit card from a company I’d rather not deal with, since our card from the very nice bank we belong to was stolen and someone went on a $15K spending spree in Asia2.   I still had my debit card for groceries and for getting cash out of holes in walls, but day-um! I had no idea how accustomed I had become to impulse purchases: everything from songs on my phone to books on my Kindle, to random household goods and birthday presents from Amazon. Nine days and I was really feeling the pinch.

A few days ago I cracked and entered the back-up card number into our Netflix account (we don’t have cable, so this is pretty much it if we want to watch anything on the big box), and today I cracked even further and entered the forbidden numbers into a couple of other frequently-used online sources. I rationalize it by saying “I neeeeeed to update my apps” and “I neeeeeed to buy this stuff from Amazon cos it’s more efficient than driving around trying to find this one thing in any one of several different shops.”  Recurring monthly purchases are starting to show up now (including a few I didn’t realize I was still making, which is a bonus) and I’m looking at my finances with fresh eyes.

But wow, it felt good to click ‘complete purchase’. I never thought I’d see the day.

It’s interesting. I did not grow up a shopaholic and I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that “I don’t like to shop” and yet, and yet… Interesting insights for a future fictional character. We are not what we seem: even to ourselves.

  1. not literally
  2. Yes, the credit card company refunded the money, hallelujah!

Monday Morning Roundup

Well I spent the month of November writing and logging my wordcount and wrote 25,000 on a new project. Resolved not to race to the NaNoWriMo 50,000 wordcount goal but to instead focus on my bigger challenge of finishing the work (when you’ve had it from the mouth of a horse like Elizabeth Peters that it’s the most important advice she can give to other writers, then finishing suddenly seems like a ridiculously important part of the process. Self-evident? Perhaps. But easy to ignore. I’m already feeling the siren song of a new project now that I’m in the middle of this one).

The plan: have the first draft of this one finished by Jan 31. 2,000 words today.

I’ve also spent the past week tracking my eating and exercise. As always Mon-Wed went spectacularly well, Thu-Sun less so. I’m not going to fret about it. Simply learn my lesson. And I have kept up the exercise part, even if the caloric intake went up a bit. Sad to say I’m confirming the already-learned lesson that carbs and I are not friends. We can stay in touch by Twitter, but long afternoons by the fire together are right out.

The plan here:get to the grocery store today and stock up on lots of protein and veggies and interesting herbs and spices.

Other thing 1: I am slowing chipping away at the surface good manners of America and finding an increasing number of snarky people whose idea of a good time is to lob insults at each other across the room. Not the mean-spirited one-upmanship I sometimes got too much of in my native land, but the kind that says “I like you enough to be merciless”. My heart swells when I think of them.

The plan: waste less time worrying about fitting in with people who seem incapable of insulting me to my face (with a few exceptions for the shy and genuinely sweet). Addendum: each comment about shopping and/or coupons in any social situation is a serious indicator of our incompatibility. Heed it.

Other thing 2: fire is cool. Specifically bonfires in the shape of Phoenixes, torched to the rhythm of a rag-tag drum chorus and watched as part of a big heaving crowd.

The plan: next year, take drums.

Thing 3: I can’t do that ‘cozy cottage’ thing, so stop envying people with lovely homes full of tasteful decor and nicknacks. It’s their hobby. I have enough hobbies.

The plan: cut the clutter, stick to my own style, and enjoy other people’s houses when I get the chance.

Thing 4: apparently I have lots of crazy dreams when I haven’t written anything for a few days.

The plan: post this and get back to the novel.

Borrowed Books

Sometimes you need to stop and look around and notice the things for which you are grateful.

These can (and probably should be) small, the things you feel grateful for RIGHTNOT, not the things you feel like you ought to say you feel grateful for.

So here goes.

The Library Is Open Again

 

I don’t actually use my local library as much as I ought to, and certainly not as much as when I was a kid. I buy a lot of books and I absolutely — fiercely — LURVE being able to download books to my Kindle on a whim.

But.

I don’t actually want to buy or own every book I want to read.

At the moment I’m researching some info for a writing project. I don’t actually want to go out and buy and then store-or-otherwise-get-rid-of a ton of books on obscure electioneering arcana. These are books I might flip through, consult the index of, skim and then cast aside. I want to pore over lots and lots of books and then put them all back on the shelf, allowing their diced-up contents to simmer into brain soup.

I want to worm my way into the .973 section, browse the titles, pull books off shelves, consult the flaps, the table of contents, the index, the bibliography, flip through a few pages, frown, put them back on the shelf and select another. I want to take a book that piques my interest and flop down with it, crosslegged, right there in the .973s and leaf through it, then put it on the stack of ‘take to a table’ books that I’m collecting.

I want to go to a table and build a fortress of borrowed books between me and the rest of the patrons. I want to leaf through them, smile, grin, nod, raise my eyebrows, make notes (page number and quotation marks in place, so that I never risk running into plagiarism problems). I want to reluctantly push a book aside when I realise I’ve started reading outside my area of stated interest, and pick up the next one. I want to move a couple of the books over to the ‘I should probably check this out’ pile.

Then I want to take them home and read them with all the urgency I learned in my weekly trips to the library as a kid: as if the words were going to evaporate if I didn’t read them as quickly as possible. I want to commit to reading these-books-right-now-and-nothing-else-until-they’re-finished because these books are temporary friends. They’re going away again, very soon. I want to treasure them and love them like a summer romance: all-or-nothing, hopelessly devoted.

I could, however, do without the part where I turn the page and find the flattened remnants of some other patron’s lunch. (Pass the hand sanitizer!)

For this, eboks are not my friend. Bough-books are not my friend. Libraries are my friend. (And no, I don’t think you should treat the bookstore as if it was a library. Bookstores sell books. They don’t lend them. If I’m buying a book I want it to be virgin, unspoiled by your coffee-scented fingers, unsullied by other eyes.

My local library has been undergoing some renovations and has been — gasp! — closed. (I might not go every week but I do like knowing it’s there — and open — when I need it). I had been worried that they might do something dire to the lovely, high-roofed, wood-clad original Carnegie reading room part, but they have merely cleaned it up. Happy sigh. The flimsy, prefab modern part up the back has had a bit of a facelift (clean carpets to flop down upon, hooray!) and they’ve totally reworked the basement children’s library. So while the adult section of the library doesn’t look terribly different, the staff look happier and all excited, so I’m assuming some too-subtle-for-me changes have improved their lives. That’s good. If there’s one thing the world doesn’t need, it’s more grumpy librarians. (My one gripe, though, is that they have the person calling people about overdue books and appointments to file passport applications, making those calls from the center of the reading room. What ever happened to ‘silence in the library’? I miss that.

But I’m wandering. Basically: I’m happy that I have access to a decent if small library, walking distance from my house. And I’m grateful I have headphones. And that Crazy John, who more or less lives there, isn’t all that crazy most days.

Libraries. Awesome places.

Let The Summer Time Roll

I enjoyed our two weeks away, and it was definitely long enough for me to start thinking about all the things I wanted to do when I got back.

There are many writing-related things, of course, but I’m trying to let them take a back-seat to family life, since I have my boys (9 and 7) all to myself for two and a bit more months. That’s a backseat, not ‘getting out of the car and wandering off’, Write-Brain, ya hear me?

So anyhoo, today was the first day of Operation Summer.

MUSIC
Before we left I had purchased three recorders (yes, the musical kind) and two instructional books with the plan of getting the boys good enough to play from the Star Wars and Harry Potter books I had also bought. A has already had some recorder lessons at school and scurried off in an ‘it’s-too-early’ grump this morning, but I managed to snag the sweetly-enthusiastic 7 yo, G. I got him to stop making hideous screeching noises by showing him how the holes make impressions on your finger pads — if you’re doing it right. He was quite tickled by that. Then we went through the book’s lessons on note-length. I’ll say it one more time: the boy has rhythm!

He managed to successfully, if not consistently, play B, A & G, and I left the lesson there for today.

LIFE SKILLS
I confess to being a complete wimp when it comes to grocery shopping and doing it almost always when the boys are at school. So much so that the thought of having to take them with me today filled me with a kind of cold horror reserved by most people for public speaking and death. But I know that part of my job as a parent is to prepare my children to take their place in the real world and function without a mum or a wife or a paid staff to manage their affairs. So I made a list and told myself that I would take them to the shop and send them out to find things and all would be well.

Still I managed to stave it off for a while by saying ‘no, no, leave him with me’ when one of the neighbours sent her son over to play then sneakily announced her intention to slope off to the doctor’s. (Really, it was great; the boys burned off some energy and I got to feel like I did a good deed – even though it mostly involved not-having-to-entertain-my-kids-myself. Win!)

But eventually I could put it off no longer (well, I could have. Of course I could have. We could have eaten chicken breast with Kraft Mac’n’cheese instead of with broccoli and beets and I could have fed the boys month-old Frosties for breakfast).

i put on some soothing classical music in the car, to calm things down on the drive to the store. (It actually worked pretty well. I’m sure it will never work again.) All was calm and serene as we piled out of the minivan and scampered across the grocery store parking lot, the soles of our shoes threatening to melt right off on the boiling tarmac (really! It was like that scene from Terminator 2 where the T-1000 gets stuck to the ground by the liquid nitrogen. Except hot. Not cold. And our feet didn’t actually break off. OK it was nothing like that, but we just watched it again and the image is stuck in my head. Sue me. Unless you’re James Cameron in which case, don’t. You don’t need my money.)

The serenity was quickly broken by cries of ‘quit it’ and “he’s touching me!” and all sorts of joys of childhood that MY children are supposed to be above. I don’t know why this drives parents quite as crazy as it does, given that we were all once children imprisoned in relationships with irritating siblings who knew just which buttons to press to get us in trouble for whining about something THEY did, but it does. Maybe it’s the sheer relentlessness of it. I have been poked so often in that one spot, that just hearing the edge of a whine in a voice makes me wince as if someone has punched me.

In the store I let A drive the trolley for a while until my nerves finally frayed (lord help me when he’s old enough to actually drive). Then I sent the boys out on errands for various fruits and vegetables, but confess to losing heart a little when both boys forsook their quest for their stated heart’s desire – raspberries – to instead marvel at (and hit each other in the face with) a fruit that looked like Banakaffalatta from that Spaceship Titanic Doctor Who Christmas Special with Kyle Minogue. Sending A alone into the dark interior of the produce section to find a solitary orange resulted in my having to mount a rescue party and retrieve him from his position staring blankly at the orange display, clutching a little net bag of pearl onions hopefully in one hand. (“We could make pickled onions!” he said, quite truthfully. We still, however, lacked an orange.)

Somewhere along the line G touched something then stuck his finger in his eye, resulting in a frighteningly blood-red orb leering up from among the brassicas, and A managed to convince met to buy more chips and chocolate than were strictly necessary, but we finally made it to the checkout. Where we were slo-o-o-wly checked out by a boy whose mother really should have taken HIM to the grocery store more often when he was 9 or 7. (“Is this celery?” “No dear, it’s broccoli.”)

All I can say is ‘thank you, Reader’s Digest, for placing your humor issue on the supermarket checkout stands this week. Both boys seized upon it and all was calm as “Zack” picked his red-faced way through my spring onions and (heaven help us!) beets.

COOKING

My celery sensitivity has made many pre-prepared foods a minefield for me -soup and stock among them – so I am currently simmering up a batch of chicken stock, and have already made a teriyaki marinade for tomorrow night’s flank steak (hello, barbecue!). I have part of a chicken tikka marinade ready too, so I’m feeling pretty good about this shopping trip and its results.

Tomorrow morning I plan to use some of the bounty of apples I inadvertently let the boys sneak into the cart to teach A how to make apple pie. From scratch. With nothing but a knife and a rolling pin and the able tutelage of Delia Smith. And that’ll give us a good home for the evaporated milk A wanted to buy.

GARDENING

A insisted on picking up some living parsley while we were in the produce section. I was quite surprised when he, very responsibly insisted on planting it this evening. Sadly he decided to do it right when the mozzies were at their most voracious, but hey. We also scratched out a couple of lines in the soil for carrots. A could definitely be a gardener. That’s something to work on this summer as one of the many ongoing little projects.

LANGUAGE ARTS

I’m also planning on making the boys memorize poetry this summer, because it’s awesome and a huge contributor to one’s ability to use the language properly. While I wait for their materials to arrive, I stalked around the upstairs of the house re-familiarizing myself with “Casey At The Bat” which I learned a couple of years ago but then forgot. I’m using the ‘memory palace’ method to assist me (Google it). In my head, the outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville Nine on my front porch, and Casey advances to the bat in my dining room. And if that didn’t make any sense at all, you need to a, read the poem and b, Google ‘memory palace’.

KNITTING

I’m making fingerless gauntlets. Because it’s 100 degrees.

And that’s what I did on my summer vacation. So far.

Things I Did Today

1. Woke up surprised that I wasn’t hungover given the amount of booze I consumed yesterday to celebrate becoming an American citizen. Realized it was 9:45 and both of us were still asleep while the boys played in the basement and helped themselves to salt&vinegar crisps for breakfast. Parents of the Year!
2. Walked to Dunkin Donuts to buy breakfast for everyone but me. I wasn’t hungover, I just wasn’t hungry.
3. Ate candy and popcorn and drank a bucket of diet coke while watching Cars II, because my stomach wasn’t at all sure where it was. Probably because of those tacos I ate yesterday. Yes.(Cars II, by the way, was awesome by the way. Perfect: great visuals, good story, all-around family entertainment. Rare and wonderful.)
4. Had a little wine at lunch because someone swore it would be a good idea.
5. Was left alone in Target, in charge of a Platinum card, and came out empty handed. Clearly something was wrong with me.
6. Came home and rested in my armchair while the boys built Lego sets.
7. Moved upstairs and investigated the merits of horizontal resting.
8. Came back downstairs and watched 15 hours of Phineas and Ferb with the boys while they ate pizza and played with cars.
9. Started work on a new cardigan.
Patons cardi

So glad I wasn’t hungover.