Paranoia and Gore

This week is mostly being brought to you by the word ‘paranoia’. Meh!

The past 2 weekends we’ve been camping in East Lothian and having a wonderful time. However, because I write in a paper diary when I’m away from home and blog about outdoor exploits elsewhere, I don’t repeat it all here. However, I’ve been moaning far and wide about the ticks we picked up on a short one-hour walk in some properly enchanting woodland.

embedded tickLike any ex-Lyme disease sufferer, I hate the little buggers. The Boss and I carry out tick checks on us all and carry nifty¬†little tick hooks. We’ve been teaching the minxes about tick safety without going overboard. Well, on 15th June we found this one in the nape of Maxi’s neck. I suspect (hope) the pink marks around it are from initial flicks in case it was a piece of dirt. I took the photo while The Boss fetched the hook, and it was really to document it just in case Maxi gets ill – I can prove she had a tick-bite. Tick removed, I reassured my hysterical little 8 yo that she had the smallest, tiniest, don’t-even-waste-time-thinking-about-it chance of getting ill, but that we’d check for rashes anyway for a few weeks.

Well, she’s not had a rash, but the past 2 days has been complaining of a constant low-grade headache, stomach-ache, and generally feeling a bit ill. Her neck lymph nodes are swollen. She mentioned it this morning and throughout the day. It’s easy to get paranoid, but I need to remember that it’s the end of term, kids are tired, there are lots of viruses doing the rounds (chicken pox is rife right not). If she gets joint aches, a stronger headache, or more flu-y symptoms, then yes, I’ll be thinking that it’s Lyme. But for now, I’ll just fret for a few days until she’s better or she’s seen the GP.

sharkThink that tick was gruesome? Try Midi’s mouth! That second little incisor finally wobbled out on 23rd June. The Tooth Fairy left her 2 very shiny 50p pieces with cool backs that she promptly spent on a sherbet fountain. Tsk…

More paranoia: I get a bit nervous when The Boss is late home from work. The roads he drives certainly have their fair share of people who (think they are) immortal, can see round blind corners, can drive waaaaaaaay past the speed limit ‘safely’, can drive within an inch or so of the bumper of those of us who are merely mortal and drive accordingly… ach, you get the picture. Anyway, the day before yesterday I noticed he was a bit late. Right then, the phone went. The Bat-Fone. The landline that only ever rings for official things. I thought, well, it can’t be too bad or it would be a knock on the front-door from 2 hat-less polis. And yes, The Boss had had an accident.

Don’t panic: no-one was hurt. He’d been tootling along the back road home when a van decided to cross *right* in front of him without looking. The Boss threw out the anchors and figuratively braced for impact (his fingers never left the steering wheel – I think he left indents). Luckily, his little car can barely hit 50mph going downhill and with a tailwind, so he stopped very quickly. Even so, he hit the front of the van, knocking the van’s bumper and numberplate about 10-15m. The airbags didn’t go off, so it wasn’t high-speed at all. When he stopped shaking enough to get out, he found his driver door barely opened.

The van driver’s first words were: “You were coming at some speed!” The Boss charitably thinks he was perhaps attempting sarcastic humour; I cynically suspect him of being in this situation before to have such a practiced and ready line… After exchanging details and retrieving bits of car and failing to get any witnesses (the old man behind the van who saw everything absolutely refused to “get involved” and drove off), The Boss limped home. Shaky. Thankful it hadn’t been any worse. And possibly thinking what confessions he could get out the way that night using his joker card on his very-glad-he’s-still-alive wife ūüėČ

After that, it’s not been a problem, really. The van driver talked to his insurance company and admitted full liability. Yes, it was kinda obvious that it was, but I’m still grateful that we didn’t have any arguments or awkwardness. The Boss decided that rather than deal directly with the other man’s insurance company that he’d talk to his own insurance company (Direct Line). Good move – they’ve been brilliant. Today a nice man in a tow truck arrived to pick up the car and take it away to be fixed. A lovely lady from Enterprise came to drop-off a hire car. Honestly, if felt like she was awarding us a prize or something, it was such a pleasant and trouble-free handover. We’ve no limit on mileage or time, and she’ll come pick it up when we have the car repaired and returned. Fantastic!

In the meantime, I can tease The Boss mercilessly on him having broken more cars than me. And feel very, very thankful that he’s here, fully intact, to be teased and tormented.

Well, actually, he’s not ‘here’: right now he’s off mountain-biking in the Back of Beyond, making sure the stresses of work and the week in general are pedalled away. He always tells me roughly where he’s going (in the hall we have a brilliant OS map centred on the house that our friends gifted us) and we always agree a time that if I’ve not heard from him, I’ll phone for help. Sometimes I’ll follow along with Endomondo, but that usually just increases my paranoia that he’s lying injured by the side of the road, because it frequently ‘sticks’ or loses signal. Meh! Better just to remain un-stalked, I think.

Maximus Minximus

12th October, 2013

Sometimes it feels like Maxi Minx spends her days lurching from one tearful drama to another. She seems to go off the deep end about the littlest thing. And I seem to have less patience with her incessant chattering and daydreaming than a bag of Very Intolerant Things on National Impatient Day. So it’s lovely when we get a bit of undemanding time together.

Example:¬†last¬†night she was still reading at 10pm. As usual. (She gets¬†7-9 hours sleep a night, at age 7, but doesn’t seem to need any more.) Her sisters were snoring loudly. Me and The Boss were already in bed, laptop on a table at the foot of it, iPlayer at the ready, fleecy jammies on, about to open a bag of tortilla crisps and jar of salsa. Maxi came in to ask some silly question or another. Instead of growling at her to go to sleep, on a whim I pulled back the covers and told her to hop in, between her parents. With a giggle, she snuggled down and watched The Great British Year with us: 3 nerds in a row, oohing and aahing at the owls and the frost crystals. She committed the heinous crimes of dripping salsa on the bedclothes and getting crumbs on the sheet, though!

Maxi BunnyThis¬†morning (12 Oct) she yanked out her top left outer incisor. She could think of nothing but what she’d spend her shiny gold coin on; I could think of nothing but how she could now close her lips behind her 2 front teeth like a rabbit. Luckily she found that funny, too…

Today I woke up feeling really down. Not due to anything specific, really. I’m worried about our house not selling. I’m worried about what we’ll do when my savings are gone. I hate that my skin crawls when I touch so many things in this house every day – I can’t clean everything, and I wish I wasn’t so fussy and prissy about grease and grime! I hate the smell of stale tobacco smoke that I can’t shift from one room and the cupboard in the kitchen. I hate the stink of cat food and cat poo that I smell every morning. Logically I should have¬†woken up¬†happy that we’re all together: the kids are now home for 16 days all day with me, and it’s the weekend. Also, The Boss has a week off soon, his first time off since Christmas. So why feel so miserable? Grumpy auld trout, that I am…

The Boss did his best to help by pouring coffee into me and helping me take down the muckiest of the curtains to wash. He reckoned he could replace the cord you have to pull to open them, so I nipped into town to get 10m of cord to replace the greasy, filthy slime-string that was already there, and did a short job to earn some pin money (well, it’ll fund Mini’s snacks at nursery for the next half-term, so¬†pin money¬†all adds up!).

I still wasn’t feeling great but was looking forward to getting outdoors in the autumn sunshine with the family. They didn’t fancy it, though. So while The Boss painted with the girls, I made some cheese scones, some girdle scones*, a plum cake and a milk loaf. For a lovely hour, the house smelled of the delicious spice of the cake. Mmmm! Well, I had to make a cake, because it would have been criminal to put the oven on just for 8 minutes to make scones (plus a half hour to heat to temperature). And another thing: why is it called plum cake when there are no plums in it…?

*girdle scones: no, it’s not a typo. I didn’t mean to say griddle scones. You make them by blitzing 200g self-raising flour, a teaspoon of salt and 25g of butter in a food processor. Add enough full fat milk to make an elastic dough. Divide into 2 balls. Roll out thinly. Cut into quarters. ‘Fry’ on a hot, dry, non-stick frying pan for 3 mins either side. They’ll puff up a little. Cool in a tea towel. Eat as they are. Even better if you fry them in butter for breakfast the next day and eat with fried eggs and bacon and a gallon of coffee. That’ll be our Sunday breakfast, then…

DVD watchersWhile I was keying in the results of my little job, Midi and Mini watched a DVD beside me, cuddled up together like a pair of puppies,¬†and Maxi headed off to the beach with The Boss. So that’ll be everyone happy, then!

BEACH WALKMy beautiful eldest, who will be exactly 7 and a half years old tomorrow,¬†returned with roses in her creamy cheeks. Her Daddy even looked a bit happier, too. He told me that they had the most wonderful time, playing on the beach at *Maxi’s* pace; she didn’t have anyone nagging her to hurry up, catch up, put down that bit of driftwood, follow your sisters, etc. She could just be. Just what she needed, I think.

bombus lapidariusLast night on the way to bed, I found this little picture that Maxi had drawn me. I like bumble bees very much and my favourite is¬†a black one with¬†a red bum. I point it out every time I see one, and long ago told the girls its magnificent Latin name. Maxi actually remembered! I love this drawing, because she made it just for me ūüėÄ