It is time to grow up, venture into the world alone, stand on my own two feet. The guineapigs are guineapigs no more. They’ve left school and are off doing other things. So I called in a PR company and, just as British Petroleum became BP and Environment and Resource Technology became ERT, I paid them many thousands of pounds to change Guineapigmum to GPM; I have, after all, become attached to it.
I’m relaunching my blog which has languished unloved for some time, partly because I want to share my plans for this summer’s Big Adventure, the Shin Swim. A friend and I are planning to swim coast to coast across Scotland. Well, swim and cycle – we can’t really swim upstream and crossing Scotland does mean crossing a watershed as any self respecting geographer will tell you.
Before closing this blog, I do plan to write a post with an update on the guineapigs, for those Edubuzz readers who have been with me all this time. But please don’t leave me – drop in at GPM goes wild!
It must be my guilty conscience working and I do realise that I haven’t yet phoned or emailed to thank you for fixing my misbehaving Netbook but working your way into my dreams is a little excessive, don’t you think? Yet there you were in the middle of the night looking down from some balcony or other – although of course it was almost certainly daytime wherever you were – and worrying, not about the Netbook but about a key which I hadn’t returned. A very tiny key with a fancy head. I wasn’t sure that I knew much about this key but there was something twanging on my conscience of course and I realised that the key was probably in the pocket of a blouse that was now in the washing machine. You would speak to your boss, you said and then things drifted on and I have no idea what the outcome of that conversation was. Or whether I retrieved the key from the washing machine. Or even what the key was for.
So I think I had better ease my conscience and say “Thank you!” for fixing my Netbook.
But as is wont to happen in the middle of the night, one thought drifted to another and a little web of connections began to form, all linked to you getting me started on this blog almost five years ago now, for reasons that are almost lost in the fog of time. But I think that’s another post.
Tara, at Sticky Fingers, sets a photograph challenge each week. I’ve been meaning to take part for months but, well, you may have noticed that I haven’t blogged for months. So, to celebrate putting metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper, I’ve hunted through Windows Explorer to find something for this week’s theme: Show me the funny.
May I present two or maybe three photos which encapsulate for me Living with Teenagers.
I spotted this sculpture at Tate Modern earlier this year. It sums up for me exactly how I feel when I come home from a week’s fieldwork. Laundry basket overflowing, bedroom floors invisible beneath the mound of wet towels, on duty as Domestic Goddess (if only) the moment I step through the door…
And then there is the challenge of making teenage boys Go Out For A Walk… You can feel the happiness and excitement in this picture.
And finally, do teenage boys read? Or only when they have to?
Neglect. As in My blog has fallen into a state of neglect. I haven’t written anything. It has accumulated spam comments (now deleted, I hope). There are real comments, including some from Reluctant Memsahib, one of my favourite reads, and I haven’t responded. I’ve been busy. I’ve been away. I have lots of excuses. I don’t really like excuses, though. My sister has taken me to task. “Why doesn’t your blog work? It won’t load” she asked. I think it’s sulking.
It’s not that there’s a shortage of material. The holiday, for instance, is begging to be told. Stories about the fading American lady in Fiji Continue reading →
It’s me, it’s most definitely me. Does anyone fancy helping me make the application video?
Seriously, now – yes, I’m being serious – is there a class anywhere in East Lothian that could take time out of the curriculum between now and the end of February to make a 60 second video to entertain and impress the world? Finding something out about the Barrier Reef and the environment on the way? And then if I won, we could have fabulous link ups from an island to a classroom.
More of a dream than either hope or expectation, of course, as the whole world, including everyone I know, will be applying but hey! Someone has to win.
Why do so many mums write blogs? And such entertaining ones at that. Anyhow, I’m joining in the fun over at Part Mummy Part Me. Head on over there to find some bloggers you may not have encountered before. Read. Enjoy. Vote.
And while you’re here, try this link, courtesy of Blethers, for yet another form of displacement activity. It’ll only take you away for a minute or two from that pile of Christmas cards you should be writing…
I don’t often post about the work I do, having been jumped on from an enormously great height early on in my blogging career. Yesterday I was in Inverness presenting some work I’ve been involved in to the relevant SNH staff; this post isn’t about that work, before anyone gets excited, but is about some discussions en route. Five of us in a car from Perth, thanks to the rail strike (for once I had bought a ticket ahead of schedule 🙁 ), did prompt a certain amount of chatter.
The guys were discussing the problems of an internal newletter they were planning to produce. Once a month? Every 2 weeks? How long? Paper or email? Would people read it? “Why don’t you make it a blog?” said I. “Blog?” they chorused, as though I had just suggested Continue reading →
Apologies if you’ve made a comment recently and it hasn’t appeared. There are 12 waiting for moderation that I can’t access for some reason. Of course, all 12 may be offering Viagra and may not be anything intelligent at all. But at least one of them is one of my own comments and, whilst it may not be intelligent, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t selling anything too undesirable. I’m away for another week but I’m sure normal service will be reumed soon.
“No I’m not, I’m just interested. Do you know all the people on your contact lists?” ❓
“Of course I do. Do you think I’m stupid?” 😡
“Well, anyone can see those pictures you’ve put on.” 😕
“No they can’t. It’s private. And I haven’t put my surname, or my age, or where I live. Go away.” 👿
So I did. I went and googled GP1’s name, then GP2, and I couldn’t find either of them. I was mildly reassured but note – mildly. I have done this before but in a fairly desultory sort of way. Tonight, though, I was just back from the school Continue reading →
I seem to have been on a Blog-battical for the last few weeks. Life getting in the way. But now the writers’ strike is over, there’s really no excuse is there? No picket lines to cross. Oh, you mean I don’t get paid for this, never mind royalties? Still, we creative types have to stick together, to show some solidarity. So now the red carpet’s been rolled out, it would be truly churlish of me not to acknowledge, finally, much overdue, with tears rolling down my face and thanking the angels in the city – where was I? – not to acknowledge an award from Potty Mummy. I’m not sure that I deserve this, given my recent silence, but I’ll accept it gladly. And I promise not to compare it to my agent’s buttocks. As if.
To quote from Potty Mummy, this award originated with a Canadian blogger, who stated: Continue reading →
It’s been very quiet in this corner for some time now. I have no real excuse, just a jumble of reasons. It’s partly been a form of writer’s block – how pretentious! But I’ve had several posts in draft for some time and don’t seem to have been able to find the words to finish, or in some cases even start them. Perhaps it’s been more a dive in motivation. I’ve been finding it hard to motivate myself to do anything much for the last few weeks. And that has been partly due to hitting something of a low, a wall – or perhaps more correctly slumping against the wall. I think a mid term low is probably quite normal – I do seem to remember it happening with my broken ankle. I’m a real expert in these things, you see!
Some of it has been brought on by having to admit to myself that I really am a lot more tired these days. It’s all very well trying to carry on as usual, but Continue reading →
This is going to be a very selfish, mean-spirited, churlish, curmudgeonly, whingeing and Grumpy Old Woman sort of post. There. You’ve been warned. For more enlightened, friendly, positive, cheerful reading you could try some of the links on my blogroll instead. Iota’s started posting again about life in the States and she’s always entertaining and currently much more enthusiastic than me. Or there’s Reluctant Memsahib who writes about homeschooling, schooling of the boarding variety but mainly day to day living in the Tanzanian outback. And you could try Potty Mummy, Mother at Large and Pig in the Kitchen for general entertainment and cooking tips. Oh, and I nearly forgot Fidra books who are offering to give away books to schools. I hope you’ve all gone now so I can complain in peace.
Well, brother-in-law got engaged at Christmas. Good news! Exciting news, even, as his fiancee only appeared on the scene in September; Mother-in-law had, I think, secretly started to give up hope of any more grandchildren and suddenly hope came galloping into our Christmas celebrations. Sister-in-law to be, who keeps Continue reading →
It’s official! My CA125 level – the blood marker for ovarian tumours – is already back to normal and there was absolutely nothing of interest on the CT scan. So I really am in remission – what a great Christmas present! I feel like I’m starting to see daylight again. Round 3 of the chemo is tomorrow, so when we get back after New Year I’ll be half way through. It looks like I won’t be clear to dive for 6 months after the chemo finishes but that seems a small price to pay.
In fact, it goes on at such a pace there doesn’t seem to be time to write blog posts. And that’s with no significant work to do for a week or so. Bliss! Christmas shopping and meeting fellow bloggers without feeling that there’s something else I should be doing. Make the most of it. It won’t last.
So, in the last ten days I’ve had my second round of chemo, which was no problem, although I think it took a little longer to get over than the first. I did manage to get myself along to the EduBuzz meeting but was feeling slightly spaced out so I’m not sure I contributed anything coherent. In fact, I may have agreed to write something; it’s rather akin to agreeing to something at a party or with a pint in your hand. You wake up the next morning thinking “I said I’d do what?”. Anyhow, as I’m fairly certain I haven’t said I’d swim the channel for charity, I’m sure it’ll be fine.
I know everyone else is working, or living somewhere more exotic than Edinburgh, but my desk is clear for the first time in years. So Mother at Large and I are meeting for coffee tomorrow at the Cafe Grande in Bruntsfield. 1030 if anyone else can organise a skive. I’m hoping we’ll be able to wander up to visit the new Childrens Bookshop which I haven’t yet seen. Short notice, I know, but do come along if you can.
My blog is fast approaching its first anniversary and I find myself in a place I couldn’t have dreamt of a year ago. As a family, we seem to have experienced a Series of Unfortunate Events this year, starting with the death of my father-in-law in January (we all hated those books, by the way). On the other hand, there have been plenty of highlights – that whoop! when GP1 saw his Standard Grade results, doughnutting on Coll, learning (perhaps too generous a term in my case) to surf, the end of week concert at NYBBS – there were lots more.
Whilst my blog began as a commentary on the boys’ goings on at school, it has evolved into a much more personal online diary, with random mutterings about family, work and, more recently, illness. Whether or not anyone else reads what I write, I have found being able to write extremely therapeutic
I’m not sure how I ever had time to work. After the excavation of my insides, the physio said “You’ll need at least 6 weeks off work. Maybe 12.” My comment: “So that’ll be 2 weeks then. I’m self-employed.” I could in fact have started work again last week (make that 1 week) but I’ve been floating in a sort of limbo of not knowing, which hasn’t done a whole bundle for my concentration. OK, OK, I know – Limbo has been cancelled, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
I thought maybe once Monday was out of the way I’d be able to move on so, in a fit of positive action, I unpacked some videos I need to analyse on Monday morning. When I say I need to, I should have done them weeks ago but events somehow intervened. Needless to say, it’s still all sitting there and very little progress has been made (I do hope Tom’s not reading this!). There has just been no time – there has been far too much talking to do. Perhaps I should be getting on with it now, rather than blogging, but I desperately want to write everything down before I forget. There’s been no time even to blog up to now so the videos will just have to wait. Just a little longer.
Patientline is the communication system that is installed at each patient’s bedside in the ERI. It provides a personal telephone number, television, radio – and internet! Woo hoo! It took me a day or so to discover the internet function and a little longer to get onto Edubuzz (I like the new look, by the way!) and guineapigmum. So I saw a couple of good wishes people had put on my blog and it cheered me up.
Once the morphine fog cleared a little, I thought I’d have a go at responding – and then it all ground to a halt. Interminably slow connection speed, a keyboard with letters that didn’t work, most of the blogs that I read regularly blocked and a brain that wasn’t functioning. What, I wonder, is wrong with Mother at Large, Not wrong, just different and Reluctant Memsahib? Are they full of scurrilous material, likely to raise the heart rate of patients to a dangerous level? Anyhow, I gave up and resorted to less challenging pasttimes – the Archers and the insufferably perfect Nigella (although I have made the chicken pie she demonstrated since coming home, and it was pretty good).
I wondered, though, if this is what it is like trying to use the internet in schools. Slow, broken and blocked. I hope not.
Home again, and recovering, I’m the owner of a line of body piercings that a punk would be proud of or a Goth would die for. I knew I was on the mend once I started composing blogposts in my bed instead of trying to work out which body part hurt least and so could be moved first. Unfortunately, once the morphine wore off, those wonderful essays I’d written did too, so I’m starting from scratch again.
Mother at Large is becoming a book! As an older mother myself, I’m well impressed. And on that note (the older mother one) I’m contemplating running a sweepstake on the number of people who comment on my grandchildren when the boys come to visit me in hospital this week. Always assuming they come to visit, of course!