Friday, 9 January 2009
Do you brush curls?
Dr P and I are all by ourselves tonight. All the visitors have gone. Order is gradually being restored in the house.
It has been a busy couple of days. Having got the house in order, I watched in seeming calm as disorder reigned. I wonder now whether I am now past the stage of little babies and small children. Dr P certainly is. No, I did enjoy them, but now feel very tired.
SD 4 is very pleasant and easy to get on with, and none of the problems of the PP occur with her. The little live wire and I got on very well, and played games together, and I minded her a couple of times, and gave her lunch. She has become a very fussy eater, but by dint of allowing her to share my lunch today, she ate quite a lot. We offered each other tidbits. As I said to Dr P, we are older and smarter. She has a wild tangle of red curls, which I itch to brush, but it seems to be a rigid rule, transmitted through the generations and never to be broken - and most certainly not by a mere step-grandparent - that you don't brush curls. The baby is lovely, although he did not sleep much. Dr P appeared to regard these youngest grandchildren with a benign kindness. He dotes on this youngest daughter of his. The four of them are now, I presume, in the air, in economy class, coping with the baby and the two year old, and presumably not getting any sleep at all. Sounds ghastly. They are overnight in Singapore, then make another early flight, and on Monday SD4 is back at work. I can't say I envy her.
I am accustomed to a fairly orderly household. My own mess I can tolerate, and Dr P's mess I deal with. So when guests arrive, and their belongings are scattered all throughout the house and cover every possible surface, I fret a little, although I tell myself it does not really matter, and I can fix it all as soon as they go. Which I have done! My daughter knows that children are not allowed to take food or drink into the lounge, and that Dr P's TV viewing requirements are paramount. She does not let the children fiddle with things. When the visitors are not your own family, I am a bit softer. As it was only for two days I did not want to seem too restrictive, but bore in mind the helpful suggestion of a friend, who enunciated the immensely sound principle of "our house: our rules". But I did require towels to be put under the baby, who overflowed frequently.
The folding cot had to be folded, and this is a bit tricky. You have to press both sides on the frame simultaneously to make it collapse, and my arthritic fingers don't think much of pressing. It is necessary to try to press repeatedly.
Our next excitement will be the renewal of Dr P's driving licence. He can do a driving test or opt for a modified licence. The other day he was all set to undergo the driving test, but the earliest date he could book is in February. Now he has changed his mind, and has decided to get a modified licence. Apparently you negotiate the distance from your home you will be permitted to drive. It is measured as the crow flies.
Now that modern managerialism has triumphed, and the user/customer/client/taxpayer/citizen has to ring one general number and choose from innumerable options, you cannot, it seems, telephone your nearest RTA and speak to the manager and book an interview. They do not publish any specific phone numbers for the branches. No, you must turn up there, take a number, join the generally extremely long queue, wait your turn, and then hope that the manager with whom you must negotiate the permitted distance will be available to talk to you when your turn arrives.
In the midst of all these events, the internet vanished from my computer. A similar problem occurred a couple of months ago, and so I fiddled around, but nothing worked. The friend who helped last time was away. Then I contemplated taking the computer by bus to the Apple Store to get their free technical help. This was a daunting prospect. Dr P got aggravated and did his usual rant about how his stupid wife could not be satisfied with a Windows computer, which, as everybody knows, never has ANY problems, but Oh No, she had to get the iMac! Thus provoked, I rang the Apple support service and paid for help. It turned out to be one of the simple adjustments you make when your computer gets a bit clogged and starts thinking it knows best, and I changed something which restored the default settings. It is fixed! But why don't they ever tell you these things in the how-to books and the computer help?
I've been having an alcohol free week, but tonight I downed two glasses of red wine.
Next weekend we have the 85th birthday lunch. At this stage it seems feasible, but panic may well set in later in the week.