Friday, August 31, 2012

How to

1. How to: fill your day with things which are mostly not paid work: go to A & E twice in one day for two separate persons.

2. How to: make a twit of oneself: go to bookgroup when drunk on tiredness and talk too much.  With possibly excessive swearing.  The good ladies of Paroa may prefer I don't come back. 

3. How to: develop insomnia: have a glass of wine at book group.  Lethal.

4. How to: start knitting the pink Miette cardigan: be awake 3-4.30 in the morning.

5. How to: get paid work done around everything else?  I'll let you kow when I've found the magic answer to that.

Good things: all the A & E visits have resulted in people who are okay now.  The Washed Haze yarn is knitting up nicely.  I believe the appropriate term is that it has nice stitch definition. They were very nice at work when I explained that I was going to be late on a big deadline.  The Indian Takeaways shop was very understanding when I drove four kilometres to order some dinner (don't even talk to me about the one thousand project, I'm just staying on my feet this week, that's achievement plenty) and realised that I had left my bag/wallet at home.  They started cooking while I drove all the way there and back.  When I got back from my second trip to the Magical Dinner-making Place, the fire was going, the children were happy and the table was laid ready for dinner.  My lovely supportive Mr Favourite Handyman remembered how I hate to come home with dinner and find crap all over the table and no sign of cutlery and prep.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ghost town

I'm a lucky woman.  I have a part time job, two awesome kids (y'know, especially when they are asleep), a supportive partner who is in full time work, food, warm home, good friends.  Last night Brighid amused herself fairly badly by coughing endlessly.  At 6.15am she moved into our bed and coughed some more, declaring between coughs that she wasn't well enough for school.  We have had acres and acres of time off work and school this year.  I knew that so long as she didn't vomit, she would be coming to work with me, not staying home while I missed work yet again. 

Even luckier, I asked my lovely friend N if Brighid could hang out with her for a few hours and she could.  Brighid had the loveliest time, coughing all the way but otherwise pretty good.  I had a lovely time catching up with my friend when I picked up Brighid, something I don't get to do much since I increased my paid work hours at the beginning of this year.

Then Brighid and I went into town as I had an errand to do.  Parks everywhere.  Town was dead and I'm not suprised.  Hundreds of men were at a meeting to find out the fate of their jobs at Solid Energy's Spring Creek Coal Mine.  It's not a time when anyone feels like shopping is a good idea.

Brighid came with me to work 3-4.30pm and I turned on the radio with baited breath as soon as I got home.  We don't know anything much at all, it turns out, only that it isn't looking good.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Slippery elm

Slippery elm, as a little googling will tell you, is a herb made of the inner bark of a tree (a particular one, but I don't remember what it is called) which makes a mucilage with water which is soothing ones innards.  Laksmi recommended it for Fionn a couple of months ago.  Since then, we've added it to the porridge Monday - Friday.  A couple of times in the last month I have seen the early signs of an imminent asthma attack, particular kind of sensitive, tearful, dark under the eyes and tired than would reasonably be expected which is a typical precursor to an asthma attack for Fionn.  But asthma hasn't resulted.  The slippery elm is the only different thing we have been doing.  So I'm inclined to carry on with it.

Brighid, who has endless sore tummies, and myself, who is the grumpiest person this side of Arthurs Pass who also has a sore chest from/causing coughing, do not like porridge.  So I set out to find a way to get slippery elm into us.  Day one I added a tablespoon to a cup of hot water with some lemon and honey.  It was absolutely disgusting.  Days two and three I added about a teaspoon to a yoghurt and fruit smoothie.  Yummy, but not quite cheap and fast enough to make on the run during the week.  This morning I made peppermint tea and added half a teaspoon of slippery elm plus some honey to the tea for me and it was quite drinkable.  Brighid and I added half a teaspoon to her usual morning yoghurt with cranberry powder.  We added some blackberry jam to obscure the taste of the slippery elm.  It worked.  Tonight I added some slippery elm to Barkers blackcurrant cordial with some vitamin C powder for good measure.  It was fine, though some of the slippery elm seemed to stick to the sides of the cup rather than go down my throat.

The one thousand project is doing my head in.  One hundred and ninety five dollars at the supermarket tonight and not even a week's worth of food.  Obviously I could switch to us eating lentils and pumpkin every night.  Equally obviously, that's not what I purchased this evening.  Still, one foot in front of the other is how everything is achieved.

I started a practise run on the Miette knitting pattern last night.  The world of online knitting is the most fantastic invention.  I found the FAQ on the website of the designer and identified what I was doing wrong and then googled the technique and learnt to do it properly.  Another test run tonight, if I don't fall asleep grumbling first.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spring beauty

 Despite consistent neglect, my globe artichokes are survivors.  A local friend had to pull hers out as they were too prolific and crowded everything else out of her vege garden. 
 Every year I photograph and post my first iris.  This year is no exception.
 Calendulas.  Letting them go to seed last year was a great move.  We'll pretend it was deliberate rather than the result of neglect.  Benign and loving neglect, clearly.
 Thyme in flower.
 The chook grave garden.
 Daffodils and jonquils.
 Same beautiful flowers, different angles.  I can see these from the kitchen, which cheers me up several times a day.
Pansy amongst the miners lettuce.  I took these photos today, and did some weeding, before the rain returned.  I love my garden, salve to anything which bugs me.

I believe I wrote about budgeting last week.  I don't feel qualified to write about something as ambitious as swiping off $1000 per fortnight tonight.  Since I wrote that last post, we had a brief visit to the pub, Dominoes pizza for dinner and I bought Baileys to soothe my throat.  All in one crumpled and crumpling Friday night.  Since then I have been making yoghurt and fruit smoothies with slippery elm in them to soothe my throat.  So rude of my flu cough to return.  I'd heard of this bug returning and in my usual arrogant fashion assumed that that wouldn't happen to me because I didn't want it to.  Like anyone else invited it back.  It's only the cough though, not the full-on flu bits.

When I sew again, I'm not going to bother with the Simplicity 1941 shirt pattern after all.  Dresses are what I really love, so dresses are what I shall sew.  I fancy New Look 6097.  Only two metres, which is pretty attractive after other dresses I've fallen for have required five metres.
Only trying it will tell me if it suits my shape.  I have a similar style with a full skirt which I bought from Laura Ashley two years ago and still wear every week.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The one thousand project

What would it look like if I wiped $1000 worth of expenditure from our household per fortnight?  It might not smell or sound much different, but I'd wager it would taste different.

I'm very fortunate in that I'm making a choice to embark on this project.  It must seem extremely privileged to people who have been laid off or made redundant.  'Redundancy' implies some kind of financial compensation for the loss of employment, but it is also a horrible word in its implication that a person is merely a unit of labour, of no persisting value.

When I was at home with young babies, particularly the second time round when we also had a mortgage to service, I spent a lot of time both saving money and reading about ways to save money.  I'm okay at it rather than exceptionally good.

The short answer to saving money is not to spend it.  Almost as short is 'don't get unlucky'.  Don't lose your job, or get sick.  Don't buy a dud car or a house with unforeseen plumbing problems.  Don't be married to someone who takes off with someone else after racking up credit card debts which will be shared in the divorce settlement.

There's not much point, to my mind, in thinking about being unlucky.  Some things can be insured against (formally or informally) and some cannot.

I've been thinking through strategies for retaining the quality of our family life and individual lives throughout the one thousand project.  I've been identifying significant expenses beyond the obvious food/petrol/power/phone.  Today I am thinking about nutritional supplements.

I need to establish from the outset that I've read and experimented with various nutritional supplements for many years, and I have identified positive benefits for us all which extend beyond the sceptics' notion that it is all merely 'placebo effect.'

Vitamin C
Fantastic stuff.  I have some very expensive liposomal vitamin C which is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and works very well for dealing with infections.  Government subsidies mean that antibiotics are much cheaper for the New Zealand citizen than liposomal vitamin C, but my dramatic reaction to the last lot of antibiotics changed my evaluation of risks, costs and benefits.  Because it is easily taken, we often reach for it when stressed and run down rather than the cheaper powder form.  Following a pile of reading, I always look to use sodium ascorbate (SA) rather than the cheaper ascorbic acid.  The cheapest way to buy sodium ascorbate is in powder form.  I buy both the liposomal and the SA powder from John Appleton.  I include that not as a plug, but so that you can look and see what I am talking about product and price-wise if you are sufficiently interested.

So step one is less liposomal vitamin C and perhaps more SA powder.  But what about upping vitamin C in food forms?  After all, our bodies are designed to ingest nutritional goodness primarily through our food.  There are rosehips.  We do have some in the garden, but apparently you need lots and lots.  It would be a project involving lots of my time.  There are greens.  Like kale.  Kale is the best vegetable in the world.  It grows through winter and contains zillions of good things.  I don't bother growing it through peak white butterfly season.  Excellent for winter.

Mesclun and rocket and miners lettuce are all good.  I grow and eat them now, but mostly for myself rather than the whole clan.  Mostly I embed green things in cooked food for the children.  It works for one of them.  Parsley is also good.  Mostly we access its goodness by putting it into hummous.

Oranges are good.  Price in supermarket is the flat reality though, as it is too cold to grow oranges in Wetville.  I've got a functioning lemon tree as of this year, though it doesn't provide enough to meet our voracious lemon appetite the whole year through.  I bought a tiny one last week, with a longer term view of expanding our supply.

Blackcurrants are good.  I've got one good bush and have planted cuttings to grow three more.  From past impatient experience, I can now report that blackcurrants take three years from cutting to crop.

These are my thoughts so far.  I haven't researched the price of things like acerola powder as a vitamin C source in supplemental form, but I'm open to, indeed keen on, suggestions of other vitamin C-rich and wallet-friendly options.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Not so much writing at the moment.  I'm knitting a cowl, and while I can more or less read online and knit at the same time, I do need two hands free to type a blog post.

The cowl is an interim project before I start my Miette cardigan (ravelry afficionados may already be familiar with this pattern).  I started unravelling my shapeless excuse for a cardigan which happens to be made in lovely wool, and thought I'd better do something more than just unravel.  I had advanced knitting techniques lessons with my friend Ruth on Saturday night and I'm feeling almost ready to start the Miette.

I've been seething about Rosemary McLeod's opinion piece in yesterday Sunday Star Times, but I'm waiting for it to be posted online before I dissect it here.  The short version is that she is wrong and annoying, and so is the layout/images editor who placed a photo of Catherine Deneuve wearing underwear only alongside the article rather than McLeod herself in clothes.  It's pretty wearisome when every single article on fashion and (and other unrelated subjects) is accompanied by an overtly sexual image seemingly designed for a male gaze.

Georgina of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust writes in a much more body positive tone as she encourages many of us to ignore the oft-given advice that Fat Girls Should Wear Baggy Clothes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Simplicity 1945

 I finished the blue crossover top (Simplicity 1945) in the weekend, and wore it for the first time today.  Brighid took some photos for me at the end of today.  She even interrupted the story she was writing for her homework to take them.  "A unicorn was going over a rainbow one day.  It found a dead unicorn.  It fell down through the rainbow."   
 It has definitely turned out better than the first version.  I learnt a lot about making full bust adjustments and taking better care of details as I sewed, so this version doesn't, for example, have two different sized sleeves.  That is an improvement.  It is very comfortable to wear.  The fabric is very clingy - I think a print would be more flattering, but print fabrics in jersey knits are not easy to find in New Zealand.  The first version was too tight across my tummy.  I could carry a pregnancy in this one.  I don't plan on doing anything of the kind.  I had hoped that this would be a pattern that I would make several tops with.  I'm not convinced that I will at this stage.  I think I would like it better extended into a dress.  As a top, it seems better suited to a tall person.
Then there is the sleeveless cardigan which I made a few years ago.  I never wear it anymore.  I put it on sometimes and take it off again.  I don't like how shapeless it is.  So I've started to undo it and maybe I shall turn it into a cowl.  I like the colours in the cardi, just not the shape.  There is possibly enough to do the Miette cardigan in this, but I don't want the Miette in variegated wool.

In the garden, is my first spear of asparagus.  As in, this is the first time I can cut it (they cannot be cut until they are three years old).  Of the many one year old crowns I planted two years ago, this is the only one which has survived. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I finished the scarves for my nieces.  Of course, it is spring now, so we might be well into 'it's the thought that counts' territory rather than 'let's wear it every day'.  The next step is to organise myself to find their address and make a trip to the post office.  History suggests that may take a while.

Today, when I should have been at the post office being an organised auntie (or alternatively watching Brighid's ballet class, but it is so easy for a parent to get in trouble with the ballet teacher there that I'm best out of the way), I had another look at our local wool shop.  Ten ply cotton-rich yarn is what I want to make the Miette cardigan, and 10 ply cotton-rich yarn is some kind of foreign concept, not available in New Zealand.  But in the sale basket, I found Patons Washed Haze Aran, only in pink, but with enough left to make a Miette.  I bought one ball and did a swatch tonight.  The wrapper of the Washed Haze suggests using 4.5mm needles, and the Miette pattern swatch calls for 5mm needles and I'm a slightly firmer than average knitter.  So I opted to knit up the swatch using 5.5mm needles and it met the tension exactly.

Also - perhaps this is the clincher - the pink matches my Colette Crepe curtain dress very well, and the Miette is designed to wear with just such a cinched (upper) waist and full skirt type dress.  Later this week, I'm going to buy the right length of circular needles and put the wool aside (you can do this at our local shop, and just buy the wool as you need it and if you don't need it all, the lovely Shona puts the remainder back in the shop at the end of your project) and start a new knitting project.  Long time readers may recall how I grumbled and wondered what possessed me to do this last time (started the endless purple crossover cardigan three years ago, finished 18 months ago).  I just really like the Miette and I really truly cannot buy that style in the shop.  I found a cardigan with some similarities (scoop neck, nips in and finishes at the waist) at Postie Plus a month ago, but the size which fitted me best looked like a costume piece for a Benny Hill show.  Not quite what I was looking for.

I also need to upskill my pattern reading and knitting skills.  I need to learn how decode and perform the abbreviations below:
kfbl: knit front and back loops
ktbl: knit through back loop
pm: place marker
ptbl: purl through back loop
sm: slip marker
ssk: slip slip knit

Monday, August 13, 2012

See the joy, see the promise, smile and love

This morning I learnt that a young woman I know, only 17, died in a car crash in the weekend.  One of the really great things about working with teenagers is that they are all full of hope and promise, even the naughty ones.  I really struggle with the idea of Ms L, a warm, friendly girl with a good work ethic and a desire to be a mum (she was training to be a nanny at the polytech and was also experienced in farm work), slashed from this life.

Don't grieve for me.  I'll be alright, blessed with my own children and the gift of so many other young people to spend time with. Just remember the great joy of life and smile at the teens in your life, on your street, your bus, at your supermarket checkout.  No matter if they are pushing a pram when you think they are too young, or smoking a fag when you think they are too poor, or making too much noise or filling the footpath.  Love that aliveness.

I won't forget your smile Ms L, or your melodrama.  I remember talking about England with you, and your journey to a new life here on the Coast.  We spent a lot of time sorting out your work, and it paid off that year.  Many of us remember how you and your mate saved the school bus when the driver had a medical problem and lost control of the bus last year.  You made a difference Ms L.  Our world and our lives were the better for your presence.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


There is a lot of tripe written about marriage.  People bend it to whatever suits their purpose, and so long as that purpose is consensual between the parties involved, that seems quite realistic and acceptable to me.  I quite like being married to Favourite Handyman.  I love it a lot actually, primarily because I love spending my life with him (I'm in particular thrall to his talents tonight because he is fixing the broken toilet cistern).  If we hadn't gotten married to each other, we could have still shared our love and life, though we couldn't have gone to England together as he had ancestral visa status (English grandparent) and I did not and de facto doesn't work for that.  We pulled our marriage forward in order to go to England.  The colleague who thought it funny to call me a 'passport slut' at the time missed his aim - I didn't find that funny.  "Congratulations, Sandra" would have been better.

In tonight's local rag, I happened to read the religious commentary section.  Having seen the (local) preacher's name first and knowing him to command respect among religious and non-religious people, I thought I would respect, if not agree, with his comments.  Not so.
"Marriage has always been understood under law as the sole domain of heterosexual couples because of its unique role in producing children and for the nurturing and rearing of those children within a relationship where they have the benefit of male and female complementary role models.  Benefits which developmental and sociological research have all emphasised the importance of at critical stages in the life of a child, which is why marriage has always been the preferred institution for the raising of children throughout history."

There are many excellent posts on marriage equality, as New Zealand (and other parts of the world) debate changing their laws to better recognise and respect a range of loving relationships.  I suggest this one from The End is Naenae and this and this from A Bee of a Certain Age for starters.

I'm going to confine myself to some really obvious stuff.  First up, this idea that marriage is really about the babies.  So when, exactly when, was the last time you heard the news that a post-menopausal woman was about to marry a man her own age or older and you were horrified because what's the point without the babies?  When?  I've never heard it.  I know that married couples who choose not to have children do experience unpleasant societal and familial pressure, but I've never heard anyone suggest they shouldn't have gotten married because choosing not to have babies is outside the contract.

I can't actually bear to pull apart the phrase "male and female complementary role models," so let's move on to the notion that research shows that children who live in households with both biological parents who are legally married do better in life.  Like so much which parades as 'research', causality and correlation are mixed up like one big cocktail.  I spend my time with a number of wonderful friends who enjoy job security, relationship security, good education and excellent parenting skills, all outside of the legal definition of marriage.  I cannot see that their children experience any adverse effects in life compared to my own, though they will experience better parenting in terms of living in a tidy house than my children do.

But let's look at the statistics beyond my personal friends.  Unlucky people feature disproportionately in the not currently married section.  I remember when my daughter was a baby and FH was ill with a lung infection, really ill with it and not for the first or the second time that year.  I remember standing by the bed, holding my daughter, with my young son not far away, and wondering if at this rate I would end up raising the children by myself.  The anti-smoking campaign in England showing a young boy beside his father's grave haunted me some weeks.  Well, so far we are lucky.  FH has given up the ciggies, his health has improved, I now have children old enough that I could conceivably support them myself, but I did stick to the decision I made back then that I wasn't having a third child when I could end up doing the lot by myself.

Remember when Wetville hit the news?  When the world's cameras came calling because twenty-nine of our men were dead under the ground?  The children of those 29 men are in the statistics for not living with their father and mother together under a marriage contract now.  Some of their parents were married before November 19, 2010, and some were not.  But it isn't their parents' marital state before the dads died which affects the life chances of these children; it is the fact that their dads were unlucky.  Unlucky enough to be mining in a country with inadequate mining safety laws, inadequate regulations and inadequate enforcement, but that is another story.

Those persons of conservative religious persuasions who feel that children raised in homosexual union families are disadvantaged by the non-conformist nature of their family might prefer not to read the stories of adults who were raised in religious families who found it oppressive and a detrimental experience.  Philip Larkin may have had a point when he said

Friday, August 10, 2012


If you ever feel that the blogosphere is just full of pretty people making pretty clothes which they model in their pretty and immaculate houses, and that feeling is just a tad oppressive, then I'm here.  The Letters from Wetville antidote effect.

Above are three photos.  They are all bad shots, of me, in Brighid's bedroom, which has no wallpaper on it and consists entirely of mess.  But my point, beyond that obvious stuff, is that I've finished the Colette Crepe curtain dress.  I quite like it.  Will I have the guts to wear it out out, or to work, rather than just on errands and round home?  Not sure yet.  Now I see it completed, I'd like to make a red one.  Actually, I would like to wear a red with polka dots version, and sewing is clearly how I'm going to get one.

I've started some more sewing.  This time Simplicity 1941, which is a bunch of new skills entirely, as I've never made a collar, or a placket, or a woven blouse of any kind before.  I'm making the version which the model is wearing, sans the ruffles.I'm using an old sheet with liitle green flowers on it.  If it works, then I have some red gingham (small checks) ready.  It was originally for a smocked dress for Brighid, but then Mum admitted multi-skilling defeat as she is busy running her entire small town, with special attention to its Catholic Church, and handed the fabric on to me.  I was originally going to use it for Brighid, but she has way more pretty dresses than me, and finding fabric I love (for myself) is tricky. 

Storynory is the best discovery of this week.  They have a wonderful selection of children's stories in audio form.  Even if you have older primary age children, I think it is worth a look.  Brighid (5) absolutely adores it and I quite liked listening as well.

When we left London, I did, as the cliche goes, keep a little of it in my heart, probably to reside there forever.  Some things travel more easily than others.  The Guardian Weekly travels well, and most weeks Favourite Handyman and I do the (quick) crossword together, practising now for when we are much more wrinkled.  While convalescing today and yesterday, through the great wonders of the internet (does anybody else still think the internet is like a big Christmas present, full of goodies and almost too useful and interesting to be for real?), I got to listen to Radio Four.  Julia Donaldson's My Teenage Diary was funny.  This morning I listened to almost everything Jenni Murray has said on air in the last week.  When I left New Zealand, I missed Kim Hill, and now I'm here, a spot of Jenni Murray never goes amiss.

Tomorrow I return to normal life, to the overdue warrant of fitness, library fines and league games.  It makes me cough just thinking about it, but at least my heart is no longer racing and the coughing doesn't make me vomit. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Planet Forty

There is a slow return to functional health here.  After both children took a turn (consecutive nights) at being up almost the entire night with wicked ear pain, I got doctor's appointments for the three of us yesterday.  Fionn is back at school with just a cough now.  Brighid is on antibiotics and tonight she finally returned to her usual perky and cheeky self.  After a battery of checks, I have been ordered to stay home and rest for the rest of the week and been given the medical certificate to endorse it.  The doctor, the best doctor I've had in a few years now, even rang me at home later on and told me off for not being in bed. 

Favourite Handyman is being awesome, working all day, then supermarket shopping and coming home and cooking lovely food every night.  He also fills the coal bucket so I can light the fire in the morning without having to lug heavy things in the cold. 

I have the beginnings of thoughts on topics outside my own body, but I'm still in a slightly vacuous haze.  I think about knitting a Miette cardigan, but don't even pick up the needles to finish the scarf on the shelf. I've been admiring the cultural delights of Auckland, specifically ogling pics of the book launch for Jacqueline Fahey's new book on facebook and reading a sample of the new book (go to this link and scroll down to the bottom for the sample pdf).  Scott Hamilton's write up of the showing of Tongan Ark made me very envious of those who got to see it.  I guess even if I lived in the land of expensive houses, I still wouldn't be at either event while still lurgified.

I've done a little research on the flu and heart problems following the doctor's visit.  Perhaps I'd heard of a link before but screened it out as only relevant to old people (definition at the time: older than me).  Ah, Planet Forty: she's talking directly to me this time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The secondary ear infection and its tertiary effects

I was just about on my feet again.  I've been out of bed almost all day, even did a wee bit of gardening and some sewing. I was doing the dance of sick leave/disruption to 57+ people if I'm not at work/problems of going back to quickly and being sub-standard for much much longer/are my kids sufficiently healthy to return to school.  You know that dance?  The one that gets trickier as people get to marginally well again status?  I'd settled on going back to work tomorrow for the most essential 2.5 hours and requesting permission to go home early instead of doing the next 2.5 hours part which is normally compulsory but doesn't impact on others if I'm not there.  That would give me the opportunity to go up to the primary school and check on the kids and bring anyone not coping home with me to rest for the afternoon.

Well Brighid just sorted it.  She's been extremely out of sorts all day, culminating in when she slammed the door so hard that the lock broke (bad bad bad.  Thank goodness Favourite Handyman is so very handy).  The kids had both been cavorting round not following instructions at the time, so they were both sent to bed straight after dinner (which of course Brighid didn't eat anyway).  A few hours later, as she starts wailing and describing pain in her ear, the penny finally drops to explain her erratic nature all day.  She has almost no threshold patience-wise but a high pain threshold for physical pain (yes that will be my daughter).  We did the eardrops and she is in the big bed again.  I've got a long history with ear infections myself and there is no way she is going to school with one.  Given that my own health is still quite marginal, it makes sense for me to be the stay at home parent tomorrow.

Although I have a well established tradition of wittering on about minutae on this blog, I've also shared this part of today's story because when I've read Deborah's stories of juggling work and sick children on A Bee of a Certain Age (here and here), I have so appreciated the concrete feeling of recognising all those different objectives (loving available parent, reliable competent employee for those who employ me, reliable talented teacher for those I teach, nurse, juggler extraordinaire) at play in some one else. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the pathetic sighs of a quadruplicated flu dweller

The flu.  In quadruplicate.  Don't introduce your children to mine in years to come; we have weak genes.

I'm currently up in the middle of the night because the coughing is less horrible when upright.  I'm currently very very grateful for the bed protector which has just saved the big bed from disaster.  Our little girl is in with me tonight as she is too sick to sleep alone and, in the manner of small children who are ill and out of their usual body rhythm, I've just had to strip the bed.  She had moved the bed protector as she wriggled around trying to sleep as close to me as possible, but by dint of divine grace she was still on the bed protector when she had an accident.  Thank you God, The Universe, Everything.

Some pictures from before the fall:
Above, the duplo tower.  Accessories: two league players, one of whom did some tackling and won herself a fish and chip voucher earlier in the day.    Below, the 'after' photo of my hardly-drinking hair colour treat ('specially for you Sharon!).  Brassy ends replaced by caramel toned blond foils and not a grey hair in sight.  The glassy-eyed look is probably the nascent beginnings of the big flu. 
I'm pulling out of things by the dozen, coughing all the way, and it looks like we will miss the school gala for the first time since we became wannabe Coasters.

I may post sounding less pathetic some time.  I would advise no one to bet money on that though.