Sometimes YoungMan’s memory surprises me. While he conveniently forgets anything chore-related, his ability to summon up things from his dim and distant past is uncanny. It’s not always stuff you _want_ him to remember, mind you.
He made reference the other day to a trip we took with my mother and an old family friend in 2010 (more than half of YoungMan’s life ago) to France, Belgium and the Netherlands… of course, it would be the one controversial moment of the whole trip that glued itself into his memory. Road trips, eh?
My mother was disappointed that that’s the bit he remembers most - we did a whole bunch of cool stuff on that trip. YoungMan got to ride ponies in Angers (he had to ride each of the four of them so none felt left out!), he saw the Bayeux Tapestry and learned all about it with a great kids’ audio guide (thoroughly recommend this!), explored the fantastic le Mont-Saint-Michel and ate salt marsh lamb at a restaurant nearby, saw chocolate being made in Ghent and went on carousels there (actually, we found awesome carousels most places, which made him very happy!), Apache the horse took us (with some help from his carter) on a cart ride around Gent, played with SpyMaster at his house in the Netherlands, and got to try out go karting with SpyMaster. Although YoungMan wasn’t personally interested in the champagne we got to see being made in Épernay, he liked the old machinery in the museum…
I talked to him about the other stuff we’d done (as listed above), and showed him my old blog so he could see video of some of it. He was torn between wanting to do it all again, and mortification at how tiny he was (compared with how ancient he is now, you understand).
I suppose, when you look at it from his perspective, he was younger then than my older Work Child is now - and YoungMan finds Work Child slightly on the young and tedious side… but this is prejudiced by Work Child’s completely lack of interest in football!
I know some of you are curious what’s happening with my work situation - the answer, unfortunately, is not much.
I am getting very frustrated at the basic errors being made by the official body in question - I spelled out JoeKennedy’s email address, checked with them they had it correct, changed the “V for Victor” they had to “B for Bravo” and _still_ they managed to get it wrong and so, strangely enough, he hasn’t been able to reply to an email request for a reference which he never received!!
Similar story with the rest of the information they are waiting to receive… They were so emphatic I couldn’t speed up the reference process by hand delivering the request form and getting it filled in, that it didn’t occur to me to ask if I could speed up the request for information from another government organisation. Turns out, I can. So I did.
Despite a school friend who works for said organisation saying “They have probably lost the file; they do it all the time”, the woman to whom I spoke found us on the system in about ten seconds, asked me to confirmed the address (she gave the building name, I gave the number and postcode) and Bob’s your uncle. Better yet, the person who filed the original report still works for that organisation and although she was on holiday last week, the person on the phone took copious notes and seemed really keen that the message should be passed on correctly, to help me out. I just hope that’s what’s happened and as I type now, it is being done. Cross your fingers!
Meanwhile, the Kennedys are out of the country for a week but JoeKennedy promises to email me Friday when they return, to give me an update. He’s as good as his word, so I am confident things are moving there, finally, too. So, still a waiting game, but hopefully with a bit less of a wait. Time to start revising for my inspection visit, I think!
In between all that, we have been rearranging storage in the house. We had stored a lot of stuff in the garage, but winter (and such a wet one!) has taught us that anything made of natural fibres - wood, cardboard, cloth, etc - will go mouldy in there. However, after buying a seriously industrial ladder to get proper access to the loft, we’ve made the happy discovery that not only is it dry up there (witnessed by the discovery of a working no-name Scalextric track, much to YoungMan’s delight. He thinks we’ve been hiding it from him all along, poor kid!!), but it is also already half-boarded so boxes can be stored up there easily.
Foggy has been transferring less-frequently used items to the loft in the evenings, and I suddenly have the most amazing amount of storage space available for airtight plastic bins (preferred method, see post from months ago when I first started sorting stuff out) and can find things easily and quickly without tripping over anything. Bonus!
The one difficulty is the futon - because it’s wooden, the garage is not the best place for it… but the loft is impossible (the hatch is too small for something that big! and it’s used on the ground floor, so taking it up and downstairs unnecessarily seems more than a bit mad). I removed it from the playroom for taking up too much floor space in the first place, but it’s now taking up too much space in the nap room instead. Sensible ideas on the back of a postcard, please!
Initially, when it started raining, I didn’t really pay attention. I live in the UK. It rains here. Nothing to see, move on.
Then, flooding started. It didn’t really impact on me, though I felt bad for those it was happening to. It seemed like it was a bigger deal in foreign media than here.
It kept raining. YoungMan hasn’t had rugby in weeks due to waterlogged pitches. However, at least (unlike some) they were not actually flooded, they just weren’t drying because of the constant rain.
Now, though, as the floods get closer and closer, I have friends who love nearby whose homes are threatened. Train lines are badly damaged and commuters who normally get squeezed onto a 07:42 with hundreds of others, can’t get to work.
We’re relatively lucky in all this. We live on a hillside, and we drive a short distance to work. There has been some surface flooding on the main road we take, but nothing deeper than about 15cm.
Having said that, I am thoroughly over the rain. I’d like to do the school run without being soaked for a change. I’d like to be able to drive around corners without worrying I’m going to do a “Doctor Foster” and disappear into a huge puddle, never to be seen again. I’d like my friends to be able to move back into their homes and get to their jobs and generally have life run smoothly.
I wasn’t the first to say it and I’m sure I won’t be the last… In fact, you could join in with me here: rain, rain, go away!
(Btw, it’s not working yet. It’s _still_ raining!)