Friday, 6 March 2015


R: Hey Harv?

H: Wassup Riley?

R: I'm getting the hang of this swimming lark now...

H: Yeah, about time, your early efforts were pitiful

R: How 'bout we start a synchronised swimming team?

H: You watch too much Sky Sports Riley.

Well my days are back to a lovely rhythm once more. A quick dart around collecting stray washing, stray dishes, stray dogs... I drive up to a remote little lane as soon as the washing and dishes are on. The dogs bark like mad things when they jump out of the boot. Well Riley barks in Harvey's face to be more precise. Harvey just wants to get on with the serious business of running, sniffing, fetching, exploring, tracking and getting to the lake as quickly as possible.

It's nice to be home today. I've got the wanderlust out of my system, for now anyway. We rounded off the week that included Skipton, Oxford and Derby with fleeting visits to Loughborough and Kidderminster. Least said about those two the better. I did miss out on the opportunity to photograph two small guys in a wooden booth selling cigarette lighters. To the side of their 'stall' was a handwritten poster with an arrow announcing 'handmade crochet items'. This turned out to be a few brightly coloured, mainly aimed at small children, bags displayed above the rows of lighters. Very well made they were too, maybe not the best designs in the world but enterprising nonetheless. I think a wife or mother may have had ideas to diversify!

In other news, Batman has gone up to heaven in a sturdy little white SuperDry (eau de toilette) box. Thank goodness for Dads and Husbands is all I can say on this matter. I'm still getting over the trauma of having to scoop up a bloody little white Roborowski hamster after the cat attack. I had a sixth sense Batman was about to kick the bucket. She was always the slightly fat one and then started to lose weight rather rapidly. Flash is alive and well and seemingly none the wiser. Although well into old age she's been on the wheel and is eating quite happily. (Batman and Flash were girls!). E coped with the death only slightly tearfully, happier in the knowledge that it was old age and not 'return of the killer cat'.

Options for J have been chosen this week, not without a little influence from certain teachers who really wanted him for their subjects. We attended a parent's evening and without exception all of his teachers  started off with, 'he's very quiet...but...' By the time we got to the last one I decided to say that J must be quite a bonus, because if all children were loud he'd have a very noisy job. He agreed.

A Levels have caused more outbursts from E. The latest one meant me having to revisit The Woman in White and The Lady in the Lake and draw comparisons between narratives used for revealing secrets...and a whole load more comparisons which were so dull I won't detail them here.

Of course I faked my enthusiasm for great literature and comparison essays, telling her they were like creating beautiful jigsaws. Normally I do have genuine enthusiasm for great literature but this was late at night after completing a two hundred mile round trip and wanting nothing more than a hot bath! It was definitely a case of 'what goes around comes around' because there was many a time I threw a fit over the latest essay and was taught the valuable life lesson from Mum that there is nothing that can't be solved with a pencil and paper to hand. Essay planning is everything. Six A3 pages of planning later and writing the essay should be a doddle.

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