Friday, 18 May 2007


It's a bit of an unsatisfactory day at the Pile. Here's why.

1. We miss the art group in Middletown thanks to the 30 copies of Dig's book that have to go off with DHL which means a cardboard box, sticky tape, finding the books ... call it four hours.

2. Grit has a temper tantrum because Dig, Big Pig Dig, will not ring DHL even though they are very nice and never once have failed to help me out. I have asked the nice people on the phones at DHL if they do counselling or anything like that, but strangely they just laugh and think I am making a joke.

3. Dig has a temper tantrum and it is all Fat Git Grit because Fat Git Grit slams the phone about.

Now in my defence I have to slam the phones about. There are precisely three identical phones on the desk to my right. One of them I have to press 9 to get from the office to the outside world. One of them I get a lady who tells me there's no service because there's a problem with our bill, and the other is a normal phone. Just pick it up and press the buttons. Not surprisingly I once mistook the normal phone with the one where I have to press 9. So I pick up the phone and press 9. No dialling tone. So I press 9 again. And again. Then I shout a lot of eff words and slam the phone down. One minute later the police ring back because apparently I have rung them and shouted a lot of eff words at them. Anyway, that's why I have to slam all the phones about. I have to find one with a dial tone and no lady, and no police either.

4. I have to take Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to their swimming lesson which I rearranged from Wednesday. We are 15 minutes late thanks to circumstances 1, 2 and 3.

Disaster. Fish, the swimming teacher, has gone home, as has the second lifeguard who must be there. I am immediately challenged by the new lifeguard who says I cannot bring into the pool three children under the age of 8 by myself, even though they can swim. I say where is Fish? Where is the second lifeguard? This is our swimming lesson and I'm not leaving. Make me.

Big to-do and fetch another lifeguard who we recognise. She immediately starts making up rules like, you can stay because we know you and you are the parent. 'Bring in five children under age 8' she says, 'we won't stop you'. Grit goes humph and is still cross that Fish pushed off.

5. Get home and find all the library books that were due back today are stuffed behind the radiator.

6. Find a large pot of gone-off cream in the corner of the schoolroom with a spoon stuck in the top. Everyone denies having anything to do with it. Tiger looks suspicious.

So all of the above is why I'm feeling very sulky and difficult. Apart from the nice man at DHL picking up all the books I am not sure where the achievement is today. A most unsatisfactory day.

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