Monday, 31 July 2017

The usual

Just in case you think we're dead. Or wandering about Northumberland moors, lost, contemplating eating raw sheep.

Yes, the holiday in Northumberland. Thank you. It rained. We sat around and glared at each other. Tiger did a jigsaw, Squirrel read a book, we watched The Full Monty, and then we all went out and got wet.

Northumberland is beautiful, and never disappoints, not even when you can barely see the hand in front of your face and the rain has made gutters of your face. Did all the routine things. Visited the tiny, Polly Pocket-sized Aunty M. (Not even a real Aunty.) This year, no-one dared say See you next year! Back at the holiday terrace, I hid and cried.

Dig. Wonderfully stitched together. Argumentative and behaviourally non-compliant, so is almost fully back to normal. Wobbles and weaknesses remain. Still on the 3-month recovery phase. The dietitian instructed him to eat crisps and biscuits, full fat milk and ice cream. (Me, I have a proper 3-month belly thanks to that.)

Tiger. Throwing herself twixt success and failure. Tries hard, often, to snatch failure from the jaws of success, then fails to do so, thus perversely bringing about a twin success. Panics in any case. But! Attended the Cambridge ASNC Department two-day masterclass and open day for Old Norse, Insular Latin, Ancient Greek, Welsh, Celtic. Which she would very much like to attend, maybe 2019. Dear Cambridge, for the mental health of Tiger and all us good folk living on this side of Britain, just take her. If you do not, she will reapply. Again and again and again. Until you give in. I am more pragmatic. I say, doesn't matter if they take you or not. Go anyway.

Squirrel. Reads a lot. Cuts up cloth. Gets distracted by air. Says things like, 'I'm terribly busy right now' while watching dust settle. Delightfully bonkers. Has demonstrated (astonishing, some might say) an ability to rattle out essays that are lucid, well-organised, spring a neat turn of phrase, and nearly make the deadline. (Shows all the hallmarks of a writer if you ask me.) Will probably try and make a career of sieving soil or stitching orange peel while I try and bribe her with biscuits to send off her first article to a national newspaper.

Shark. Heading your way on the Caledonian Sleeper. Soon she will be in the Highlands, saving Osprey by digging holes and slaying midges. Volunteering, huh? She thinks it is all excellent, this outdoorsy life, blown apart by sea spray, lashed by wind, trialled by earth-sea adventures. Bunked school in the last week of term to run off to sea on a ship courtesy of the Sea Cadets. Came home with instructions for diesel engines and tales of porpoises. We are not anticipating a desk-bound job in an office. For my part, I am glad that someone is up for it. Just as I fancy a sit-down with a good book and a cup of tea.

Grit. Condoning truancy by writing emails to Shark's school saying something better is on offer, so she's not coming in. Trying to scam a few quid here and there to pay for Tiger's Ancient Greek habit. Scavenging in bins for Squirrel to acquire well, anything, really. Being nice to Dig. Stitching books and looking forward to dressing up in plumbing gear and leather for this year's Steampunk Asylum. The usual.

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