Heading over to Dreamwidth - hopefully find most of you there.... Given I don't post much, you probably won't notice - and the porting process seems to have found equivalent names, so maybe I'll just keep reading as usual!
Just arrived.
A friend posted that her husband's band was doing a gig at a pub fairly nearby, so I made a last minute decision to go along.
I don't think I've knowingly beeen into prog rock before, but there were tunes and musical skill to appreciate - even if I couldn't make out the lyrics...
As a bonus, I had a lovely chat with my friend (and ex-colleague) while the band packed up, and we've started plans to meet up again in a few weeks.
Spent Saturday of Eastercon dressed approximately as Honey Lemon from the Disney film Big Hero 6. It turned out that it was mainly teens and younger that knew the film and recognised the character... However wandering round in a pink helmet, pink dress, purple tights & boots plus red "armour" gave a pretty big hint that I was trying to dress as someone particular.

It turned out that the velcro attaching the ping pong balls to her bag was much better at sticking to the wig than the bag!

Lots of people made lovely comments, and quite a few gave me hall costume tokens, which meant I ended up coming first in the costume awards!

A2 has already started suggesting ideas for a costume for next year - I suspect this is in an effort to get me to wear something less "obvious"!
I took A1 with me to see my mum tonight. During our conversation he'd been helpful and googled for a picture of the character I'm planning to depict on Saturday. He's seen parts of the costume under construction on the dining room table all week..

...but when my mum queried whether I was intending to complete the look with the blonde hair shown in the picture, and I said yes, the look of horror on his face (and surprise that I'd gone out and bought a long blonde wig) was hilarious!


Mar. 3rd, 2016 11:51 pm
I'm enjoying reading about friends exploits in creating costumes for offspring for World Book Day. I'm quietly trying something similar - but mine is intended to be a possible costume for the masquerade at Eastercon... I've therefore spent the evening with paint, duct tape and pva glue, and after sitting holding some reluctant parts together, ended up wrapping crepe bandages gently but firmly around a helmet to hold bits of foam in position while the glue dries.
In case anyone is interested (and so I know where to find the info when I need to book my own tickets!)

A2 is in an acting group that is about to do a performance of 4 of Shakespeare's history plays from 26th to 29th March (the plays are abridged, and brought forward to the time of the first and second world wars). They will be performing two plays per night, Wednesday and Friday are Richard II and Henry IV part 1, and the other days (Thurs and Sat) will be Henry IV part 2 and Henry V.

The performances are at the Mumford Theatre at the ARU Cambridge (info and booking at....

She is in all performances, but is on stage rather more on the Weds and Fri, if that makes any difference... I gather that it was designed that it would make sense to view the plays as a set (over two days)... but each days plays will stand alone too!
I was expecting this week to be busy supporting others in the run up to the filk con, and organising packing etc (oh and finishing making a dalek)...

So of course on Friday we get the call at work that Ofsted are coming to do an inspection this week... Eeep! (I forsee some very late nights and a dalek being finished on Saturday)
A1's bike back brake went "ping" and fell to pieces a few weeks ago - I tried fixing it - and failed, but he cycles to college and started his daily holiday job on the day after term ended, we've only had the chance to get it fixed by someone more proficient while he is away for 10 days (actually only 5 remaining days now!).

Given I know that his bike doesn't fit in my car without taking off the front wheel, I thought it would be easier to ride it the mile and a half to the bike shop in the village and walk back. Fortunately I decided to do this in the evening when traffic was quiet, with the plan of going back tomorrow to actually put it into the workshop..

What I hadn't appreciated was that his bike has a crossbar and I'm not used to one of those - and he is several inches taller than I am so I was not able to touch the ground without tipping the bike over quite a long way.. Fortunately there were several well placed high kerbs to help me get on and off safely at junctions - except at the traffic lights... where I needed to slow down so I didn't jump the lights and hope that the lights would change to green before I fell off - fortunately they did.. but when I went to slow down I remembered a little too late the reason that I was taking the bike to the shop in the first place! :)


May. 5th, 2013 09:19 pm
R got back from a school trip to Dieppe this evening. A2 (who studies German instead of French) has been moping around for the last day or so, actually saying that she misses her (the first 4 days were fine!).

She has been back for about an hour, all of which has been spent with the two of them talking non-stop, recounting all that has happened in their time apart - it is quite cute!

It must be a twin thing, because A1 has been completely ignored throughout!
This afternoon I had a phone call. A mum from my village asking whether I could help with her daughters Maths A level homework... 2 hours later I'm at their house doing a tutoring session.

I am fairly mystified at this... I enjoy maths tutoring,...but don't have many times during the week that I can fit in a session (without impacting the rest of the family). Therefore I don't go out looking for tutees. However, over the last 5 years or so, I have been approached by sufficient local families to have an almost continuous chain of one or two tutees at all times! and it looks as if I have possibly found my second tutee for this academic year!


Jul. 31st, 2012 09:42 am
A2 is on a train to London on her own... she is on a course every day this week and I took her down yesterday with the aim of showing her how to get there for the rest of the week. Before going down with me yesterday, she had been extremely nervous about the concept, but lots of conversations about landmarks that would help her get around... practicing reading the various timetables and finding maps for the walking parts of the route got her a bit happier, and the knowledge that there was an extra train if she missed the first one, and plenty of contingency time cheered her up a bit more.

So when we arrived at the station to drop her off, I nearly didn't go in with her.. Fortunately, she said that she wanted me to check which platform to leave from, and I walked in, to see lots of cancelled trains from Liverpool Street on the arrivals board and the train we were aiming for her to catch missing from the list. The backup train was listed, so I sent her through the barrier to the right platform - but then checked with the station staff - who were surprised it was listed at all - and then reported to me that it would be a bus service from North Essex onward... I therefore asked to be let through the barrier in order to tell A and suggest going via Kings Cross instead.

By the time I found her and explained the situation, the fast train to Kings Cross was leaving, but that at least meant I had time to check she knew which lines on the tube to look for, and how to get from the tube station to her course, (she asked whether I could come with her, but I'd parked my car in the short stay parking and would not have had time to move it or get a ticket in time, so had to refuse) so by the time her train left she was looking worried, but had all the information I hope she'll need... I've so far had two texts to check sensible things like arrival times and numbers of stops on the underground, and I'm now waiting hopefully for a phone call in about half an hour to say she has arrived...

(Update: She texted me from the above ground bit of the tube to say a lady on the train helped her find the right tube train, and so she was on her way to her destination, and another text to say she had arrived safely)

I've been slightly worried that some bits of official post that I sort of expected to recieve has not turned up recently, but nothing concrete...

Then, while checking my finances, I discovered that my child benefit had stopped... I guessed this might be because A1 has turned 16, and I hadn't notified them that he is staying on in education, so now that my term has ended, I thought I'd give them a ring and sort it out. No problem, the nice lady took my details and updated the info, and then I casually mentioned that the payments had stopped... she put me on hold and went to check something...

Apparently there was a letter sent out but it didn't reach me - instead it was sent back to them... and so they just stopped my claim... and cannot reinstate it over the phone. Who knows whether the paper forms they are sending out will actually reach me..... (and she says that they only do back pay for a few months...) so I'll need to keep track of whether it arrives and chase if not.

I wonder what else has gone missing..... :(
I know it is part of the job spec, but I did it again... Oddly I didn't get the "Stop Crying MOTHER" comment that I usually get, but they told me one of their friends had asked what I was up to, smiling but with tears running down my face! Ooops.

To explain... tonight was the end of year Music Concert at school... One of the choir items near the start of the concert was a song called "From a distance" that always sets me off (and it has been in their repertoire for several years), and it went downhill from there... emotional all the way!

More calmly, I'm always so impressed at the range of musical numbers that the school presents, and for a smallish state school I am surprised at the number of students involved (I've just checked the numbers... there are 750 students in the school and just over 100 were credited in the programme).. when they all came on for the final number they made a huge group. And of course that was the moment when I realised it was the final song that A1 would ever sing in a concert at that school... so I started crying all over again!
A1 has his last day of compulsory school today... He was coping fine until I mentioned it! He'll be going back for his exams and the school production of Oliver (which in practice means he will be going into school almost all next week, I think).

Unsurprisingly, he is intending to stay in education for at least the next 5 years, and hopefully he will meet up with most of his friends at the sixth form college... so it is not as if he is going straight out to "earn his living" or anything... but it feels quite significant - my "little" boy growing up....
A1 is away camping this weekend at a LARP (Live Action Role Playing) event. Though his GCSEs are starting in a little over a weeks time, he seemes to have been revising fairly hard in advance, and I reckon that some game playing for a weekend in the open air beats game playing for most of the weekend indoors on his computer, which might have been the alternative....

Therefore, I dropped him and a school friend off in a very muddy field last night, stayed long enough to help erect the tent and requested a phone call every morning to say that they'd survived the night and the tent had not leaked/blown away (it seemed wise, given the weather recently).. Just had the call to say they're OK after the first night.
A2 is going to have braces on her teeth, which will be happening at Easter... and today had the appointment to take out two teeth... She was really brave, and didn't make a fuss... (she later said that getting the anaesthetic was pretty much the worst bit), and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the sofa under a duvet, watching a DVD/playing on the computer and looking miserable.

She is looking rather happier now, having eaten a dinner of 3 (smallish) bowls of Ben and Jerry's Cookie Crumble Ice Cream! (she said she couldn't cope with the pasta that the rest of us were having - or the soup that I had offered as an alternative!)

Her balanced meal is therefore dairy, (chocolate is a..) Vegetable, and carbohydrates... oh and paracetemol.....
This evening started as had been planned with me collecting A2 for her singing lesson - usually I don't do this bit of the child wrangling, because it is Debbie's day - but today she was due to be playing in a concert... so I volunteered - with the plan of dropping A2 off at the concert afterwards.

However, when I got to Debbie's house, I discovered that she was going to be an unexpected soloist, so instead of dropping A2 off, the plan changed to me attending the concert!

It was a great concert - I enjoyed all of it..... and Debbie getting lots of well deserved applause at the end of both halves..

However (again) when I got out of the concert hall - with the plan to take the kids home with me so that Debbie could go to the post concert party - I found my passenger window broken. I assume someone saw my school rucksack and assumed that it was a laptop bag... they were presumably sorely disappointed with a bunch of past papers and lesson notes. They also moved A2's bag of singing music - again of no interest - though she was a little spooked by the thought of someone going through the bag... and R's violin on the back seat was fortunately not of interest at all.

It looks as if they went down the row of cars, breaking windows of any that they thought contained anything interesting - I gather that the lady two cars behind me lost a lot of posessions... for me it will just be the inconvenience of getting the window fixed.

Overall, the evening was a good one... but with a little sting in the tail.

Home safely

Feb. 5th, 2012 11:52 pm
Arrived home safely after the filk con about 8:30ish.... the supposed A14 overnight closure at Huntingdon was not in evidence, and though we went slowly due to the fog, the journey was easy. Most of the route is on major roads, so no problems with snow... until reaching my road - and the slight incline into my back garden, which my wheels didn't like - but I got parked in approximately the place I intended eventually!

Minor additional hassle - mains water pipe burst down the road - so no water! (but heating fine, and water is due back on soon!)

The filk con itself was great fun... and this year, I actually made it to some circles... and on one occasion even brought my book of lyrics (one day I might actually sing!)
Apparently one of my teenagers is rebelling! - though the effect is rather spoiled because he had to tell me ... (I hadn't noticed!)

And what form is his rebellion? you may ask.....

Apparently he's chosen to use Firefly names for his electronic kit, rather than keeping to the Pratchett themed naming system that D and I tend to use!

Once I stopped laughing, I told him I was going to blog it!

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