I’m back! Well, OK, I haven’t in fact been any further than the utility room at the other end of the house, which doubles as a lab and houses my microscopes in a truly microscopic corner. As Andy from Wales remarked, when he called in to collect some of the buckets of pickled seabed I’ve been working on, “You really don’t have much room, do you?” Anyhow, I’ve been shackled to the microscope and, as it’s holiday time, have relinquished the computer to the children. On top of that, a neighbour’s tree took out our phone line and I had to have daily arguments with BT for a week before they would come and fix it. “Our checks show it is not a fault with the line. Please turn off your modem and check your handsets”. “We’ve done that. Several times”. “Our checks show it is not a fault with the line…” Deep breath and much gnashing of teeth. “It is a fault with the line. Please come and fix it!” So I haven’t blogged for a while. Or read anyone else’s blog.
In the last few days I have resumed my duties as Chief Chauffeur, my plaster having been removed a week or so ago. I can drive, but can’t walk. In fact that’s not strictly true; I can walk, and now can even get round the house without crutches, but it’s neither elegant nor fast as my ankle resembles a tree trunk and refuses to bend more than a few millimetres in any direction. I haven’t forgotten how to swim, though, and it is just wonderful to do something other than sit on my backside!
But back to the driving bit. One of the downsides of being in plaster was my loss of independence. I couldn’t drive, hang up the washing, carry a glass of water along the corridor, stand up in the shower… One of the upsides, though, was that the children were suddenly deprived of a mother who ran round after them. I think they found it hard at first that the caring role was suddenly reversed. I mean, for goodness sake, your mother is supposed to look after you, not the other way round. Anyhow, once they got used to it, they stopped complaining about hanging up the washing or bringing it in. They could get themselves to swimming on the bus, and they discovered that their bikes weren’t just for Glentress but that they could in fact cycle by themselves to Haddington to play tennis or to Prestonpans to meet friends. On one of those very wet days at the start of the holidays, when the rest of Britain was flooded, they decided they would take themselves off to the cinema at Fort Kinnaird, a trip which involved changing buses in Musselburgh. Changing bus, yes, but not changing bus stop. “Where’s Rosehall?” came the call. I had no idea, other than that it was where they shouldn’t be; they’d caught the bus in the wrong direction. Much chortling at my end and the trip took them a little longer than anticipated, but they got there.
So now the challenge is to maintain my spoilt offsprings’ new-found self-reliance and only to chauffeur when really necessary. Hmm. I wonder how long that will last? But I really don’t think I’ll be fit to hang up the washing for a while.