Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Proudest Day of My Life

Tuesday 1 September 2009

A busier but less stressful run home and I collect Flick at 4. There’s no sign of the scrunchie that disappeared on Tuesday. That just leaves the school or the childminder. I know it’s only a scrunchie but I want her to get into the habit of making sure she has everything with her that she’s supposed to. Kids will lose things, they always do, but I want her to activate the part of her brain that says, “Have I got everything?” so that K and I don’t have to. I have enough problems remembering my own stuff!

Flick has peaches and pears with custard for her After School Club snack. But without the peaches. Or pears, come to that. She says she doesn’t like them but she’s eaten them before, albeit in yoghurts. She doesn’t like oranges, which is fair enough because they’re hard work, even for adults. She loves bananas and apples. Her opinions on guavas and ugly fruits are unknown at this time.

I don’t know how much custard she had or whether it was simply tiredness but she struggles with her sausage stew. I try and make allowances for her first week of full-time school but I can’t stop myself getting wound up by her half-heartedly pushing the potatoes and sausages round the plate. My personal re-evaluation, which saw me lose the anti-depressants and gain a highly beneficial exercise routine, has also seen me look at eradicating all the things that stress me out. If I have to leave the dinner table to calm down, I will. I don’t want the dinner table turning into a war zone.

There’s nothing I want to watch on telly tonight so we watch last Sunday’s “House”, which featured Meat Loaf, although I was bemused to see him listed on the credits as “Meat Loaf Aday”. I wonder why he isn’t simply “Meat Loaf” or “Marvin Lee Aday” instead of a crossbreed of both. I’ll try not to lose too much sleep over it.

After some pottering about on the PC, which seems to mostly involve Twittering about the possible venue of a secret Glasvegas gig, I retire for the night. Seconds after I start to “follow” Glasvegas they reveal the venue to be a clothes shop in the West End of Glasgow. I neither love nor hate Glasvegas’ music but I think it’s cool that they decide on such a non-music venue for an impromptu show. What isn’t so cool is that with a “venue” that probably holds about 50 people, the band decide to have a Guest List? Now please tell me just what is the point of that? Isn’t this gig meant to be “for the kids”? What sort of spontaneous rock ’n’ roll happening has a guest list? My Glasvegas barometer swings from take-them-or-leave-them to singularly unimpressed, which is similar to how I felt about them after seeing lead singer James wearing dark glasses throughout an episode of “Never Mind The Buzzcocks”. He didn’t look cool, he looked like a cock. Who does he think he is, Magenta De Vine?

Wednesday 2 September 2009

I’m woken up by a knee in the bollocks! It’s not my wife taking action after another ever-increasing volume of snoring but my daughter. She’s sneaked into our bed and taken her life in her hands by sandwiching herself between us. Having received a kick in the back I make the mistake of turning round and receive the aforementioned patella in the “stones”. As I lead her back to her own room she tells me that she couldn’t sleep. How squeezing herself in-between two not insubstantial adults will help her sleep is a mystery to me. I settle back into bed and slowly drift off, just as the alarm goes off!! Bugger.

Realising I’m never going to get time at home to listen to the audio book of “Where Did It All Go Right” that Andrew Collins kindly gifted me I resolve to listen to it in the car while driving to and from work. To be honest, I’m getting a bit fed up of Radio 3 going on about the New Generation Artists (i.e. new composers that most of us have never heard of).

There’s no After School Club pick up today because Mummy is going to the school for a curriculum meeting. She’s better at this kind of thing than me because she’ll not only remember all the salient points but she’ll ask the right questions too. And I’ve no doubt that she’ll regale all the facts to me while I’m watching something interesting on TV so that I’ll hear neither the programme nor the information about the curriculum! She’s also going to a mass at the school on Friday for the new Primary 1s and, being a heathen, I’m exempt. I only got to church once a year, religiously, at Christmas.

It’s back to the resistance workout this week (today to be exact) and although I still have a hacking cough I’ll struggle on manfully. What a trooper! A big decision has to be made though, Ash or The Chemical Brothers. The unwritten rule of the gym is that whoever is first in gets control of the boogie box; whether it’s his or her own CDs or the radio. The Chemical Brothers it is as I add the leg press to my repertoire. I’m more Mr Puniverse than Mr Universe but I’m getting there. I can’t emphasise enough the amazing health benefits that regular exercise can bring, especially for people like me who have struggled with mental health problems. Go on, go for it.

Yesterday I did something that I hadn’t done for a long time and that was put a stamp on an envelope. In this digital age we’re writing proper letters less and less and I really feel sorry for posties. Apart from a letter to author Simon Goddard via his publishing company (that’s a story for another day), I can’t remember the last time I used a stamp for anything other than a bill or an eBay sale parcel. We used to spend a small fortune in our house on stamps for competitions and prize draws.

I can’t even call yesterday’s missive a letter. I’d made a 60s Girl singers compilation CD for an old pen pal I had become reacquainted with via Facebook and I attached a short note, hoping that she enjoyed it as much as I had. It was one of those compilations I was loath to part with. With Windows Media Player it’s now easy enough for me to make my own copy. Back in the day, when I originally wrote to my friend Jayne, I would have had to copy tape-to-tape to get my own copy. Usually I didn’t bother because the one-off compilation was such a special, unique thing. It was a never-to-be-repeated one-off. Sometimes I long for those days of hand-made paper sleeves and lovingly prepared track lists. A good compilation wasn’t something to be rushed. It would take several hours and when completed you would feel a great sense of achievement. You can make your own covers for CDs and compile them on computer but it just isn’t the same. Not least because you could get 90 minutes on a cassette (sometimes allowing for 2 differently themed 45 minute halves) and only up to 80 minutes on a CD. Making a compilation on a memory stick is just pointless and not a concept I would entertain. I’d swap albums using one but a compilation? Are you mad? A cassette was a permanent record; a musical time capsule to be dug out of dusty garage boxes in years to come by men (and occasionally women) of a certain age. K still has most of the ones I made for her.

There’s nothing much on TV tonight so I make use of a quiet house to get with some writing. This book won’t write itself.

Thursday 3 September 2009

Why do people seem to drive even faster in the rain? I take a cautious drive into work during which the first Andrew Collins CD finishes. I’ve really enjoyed the first one, which brought back some memories of my own. I look forward to the other CDs over the next couple of weeks.

Our gym has two treadmills. I did 10 minutes on the bike and as I began on the rowing machine someone else came in. He went to the right treadmill and started jogging. After my 1500m row and a rest, I stepped on to the other treadmill and began my ten-minute walk (10 minutes at Speed 6 on an incline of 5, if you must know). I wondered how the other guy must have felt because we were side-by-side but he was jogging and I was walking and yet we were still side-by-side!! Maybe it didn’t occur to him because he was “in the zone”. My mind tends to wonder and I often come up with such random thoughts.

The highlight of the day came after I picked up my daughter from the After School Club. Totally unprompted and of her own free will, Flick decided she wanted to write a quiz. I was shocked and delighted in equal measure. These are the questions she wrote, of which I got only got three correct:

1. What sheep begins with S?
2. What dog begins with D? (That's a toughie)
3. What car begins with K?
4. What girl begins with C? (that's a sneaky one, which I like)
5. What car begins with VA?

I’m so proud I want to put an announcement in the paper. I’ll reveal the answers tomorrow.

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