Monday 18 August 2008

Note to self # 796...

...Never - ever - get on the bathroom scales first thing in the morning after eating far too much of a delicious curry the previous night. Not only will it ruin your day, but it will force you to turn to the biscuit tin for comfort, thus compounding the problem...

Husband has flown off to Russia as usual this morning, and I've dropped both Boys off at their paternal grandparents for a couple of days 'holiday'. Much excitement therefore this morning as we packed and got ready to leave for the hour-long drive. Boy #1 was thrilled at the prospect of having a captive audience for his plays, marathon games of 'monster chase' and hide and seek, and Boy #2, whilst looking forward to all that and of course to providing enthusiastic applause to his brother's travelling roadshow, principally couldn't wait to get his hands on his grandfather's hand-made wooden train set.

When we arrived he stomped purposefully inside, as only a 2 year old can do, and planted himself firmly in front of the bookshelves where it was waiting - out of reach. He then proceeded to look beseechingly at his grandmother, muttering 'train, please! Train, please! Train, please, please Train!' at increasing volume until it was handed to him.

This train set looms large in his legend. I'm not sure if that's because he somehow recognises the intrinsic value of something that was made with love by his step-grandfather's father 60+ years ago, or whether it's simply that there is no other real competition in the wheeled toy department in the house. I suspect it's the latter - and hope the train set lasts the course. Boy #2 is not known as 'The Destroyer' for nothing...

So I'm in solitary splendour for the next day or so. 'More time off?' I hear you cry. Well - yes. But this time I am determined to mop up all the tasks I promised myself I would get done before term starts again next week. In brief, these are:

Sort out the boys' toys. This is code for: get rid of as much plastic crap and as many dust-collecting soft toys as possible - without making any noticeable changes that can be remarked upon and mourned when the little treasures get home, of course.

Sort out the boys' clothes. This is code for: pass on to others / charity all clothes that are too short in the arm and / or leg for Boy #2, and too tatty to be recycled from Boy #1 to Boy #2. I have decided that another term of being mother to the scruffiest sons in the class room, whilst desirable from an ecological stand-point, is not doing my own self-esteem any good. Well, not when it happens every day, anyway.

Order party 'stuff' for Boy #1's birthday. By this I mean party bags, themed plates etc. It would have been done ages ago but my son has been dithering between a Disney Cars and a dinosaur theme. His absolutley final word this morning was Cars - so I will go ahead and order Dinosaur as I know he'll change his mind again by the time it finally happens. And as long I don't comment on it he probably won't notice in any case. It's not like he's a girl, or anything...

Order party food for same. For the past 2 years of Boy #1's parties I've done this all myself. Well, enough, I say, enough! No more slaving away at 6am on the day of the party, putting 20 sets of sandwiches, crisps, home-made biscuits and the requisite tangerine into cutsey cardboard lunchboxes for the little cherubs to pick through and discard like so many faddy food critics. And definitely no more spending the 2 days beforehand making delicious shortbread etc for the yummies to pick at, when experience shows they will ignore it all in favour of a glass of mineral water or - if they are feeling reckless - a handful of grapes, thus leaving me to deal with the left-overs for the next week...

Take the car in for a service & MOT. Which before-hand entails giving it a thorough clean out since we are - yet again - in possession of the most disreputable vehicle in South Kensington. I'm going up there later in a hat, dark glasses, and with a chemical suit on, to get rid of the worst excesses of two small boys and their feckless parents; countless boxes of raisins, lolly sticks (organic chocolate only, obviously), juice cartons, diet coke cans (OK, that's me), crayons, chocolate bar wrappers (Husband's - of course...), and empty mineral water bottles. With luck, I should be able to see the floor of the car in a few hours...

Purchase Road Tax. This year I am determined to do so online, rather than forgetting about it until the last minute and having to make a mad last minute dash to the post office. Spending an hour queueing up with various OAP's paying their gas bill and tourists trying to send outrageously large packages home, with 2 small boys getting ever-more impatient and asking increasingly embarrassing questions about the size of the lady in front is not my idea of a constructively spent afternoon. (Though of course this is how it will end up).

Monitor mouse activity and if necessary, book Rentokill. Because, oh yes, they are back. I thought we'd got them, but spotted another little blighter making it's way back to it's bolt-hole yesterday afternoon. Luckily Husband was home this time, so I took advantage of this by getting him to pull the kick-board out from under the kitchen cabinets and take a proper look at what was under there for the very first time. (Pathetic, I know, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it until now.) Anyway, he didn't see any mice - because as I had already deduced, they have a hole out through the wall or the floor somewhere back there, but what he did find was no less than 6 - SIX! - traps left by our predeccessors. Clearly then, this is not a first-time problem for this house. This doesn't remove my revulsion at them, but does make me feel a little less like the girl at school called back in by the nit-nurse...

What Husband also found underneath the dust cabinets were a couple of very small - more or less empty - bottles of Eucalyptus oil, left open. Either we have very particular mice who like to keep their nasal passages clear, or the previous occupants of the house thought this would keep them away. Any light that anyone can throw on this would be much appreciated, by the way...

Anyway, I must stop blogging about it all, and just get on with it. Ho Hum. Maybe I'll just check on the Olympics first though...


  1. I also have a [cough] mouse problem (shhhh - don't tell anyone!) so I will look forward to hearing whether you find a solution.

    I found a load of droppings and 'bits' in an oven glove hanging up on the back of the kitchen door last night - I ahve no idea how they got in there - maybe using rodent grappling irons??

  2. I see procrastination written all over this post PM!

    Perhaps a cat? Or did you say somewhere that boys are allergic? If not and you do get a cat - get one that is more feral than cuddly. The cuddly ones like to cuddle mice too. You know - catch and release sort of thing?

  3. put the olympics on, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the lack of boys (all 3!).

  4. Am now trying to not laugh (in the middle of the office) about the eucalyptus oil...

  5. Wow that is a massive chore list. Good luck and at least fit a spa pedicure in there somewhere!

  6. Mud, good grief! I may have mice with blocked sinuses but you have ones with crampons and ropes! I REALLY don't want to know how you found that evidence btw - just the thought of it is enough to keep me scrubbing my fingernails for hours.. (and yes, of course I will keep you posted on finding a solution...).

    Aims, you've been reading my blog for too long... As for the cat, 2 problems there. Firstly, yes the boys are allergic (to house cats, but living where we do, that's what it would need to be), and secondly, even if that weren't the case, we are away quite a lot and whilst i know cats are independant, I couldn't do that to one. Oh well, back to the drawing board...

    Sam, to coin a phrase, I suppose it would be rude not to...

    SCL, thanks for the visit and for commenting - and I hope I didn't get you into trouble!

    SB, don't worry. I would hate to fall short of expectation, so I just got back from a facial. Though, just to even the score a little, I got my bikini line done at the same time. I believe that's known as multi-tasking...

  7. My advice (unsolicited, I know) is do the road tax online and get it done. Thus avoiding wasting a perfectly good afternoon to lines and comments. Then revel in your progress with a pedicure or a film or some other form of fun.

    Good luck and enjoy the time alone!

  8. Thanks Ped - you're so right, I know. Once I have the MOT in my hand I can ahead and do it - if I can tear myself away from the Olympics, that is!

  9. Jonathan loves trains, cars, anything with wheels. He'd be right there with Boy #2 waiting for the train.

    As for the bottles open under the cabinets?

    Huh? No idea there.

    Weird....maybe to keep ants away?

    I'm hoping to get rid of some of Jonathan's old clothes this week too. Took some to a second hand shop and she turned her nose up at them. They were perfectly nice so I don't know what her problem was, but it happens a lot. Then I bought something there and realized later it had a huge stain on it. What is up with that?

    What is up with me rambling about this? Nooooo idea.


Go on - you know you want to...