Saturday, 23 May 2015

Confessions of a bad wife 3

This morning the confessions are not as serious as before: I have not forgotten Archaeologist Husband’s birthday or left him alone for weeks and weeks. No, I just lie on the sofa getting some relief out of a mug of Lemsip and wondering why I always feel rubbish when I have a cold. Even if I only have fever, if I try to work until the afternoon. Which I did not even try to do yesterday when I realized in the morning that everything hurts.

No, this morning I have been watching Archaeologist Husband to take care of laundry, while I managed to get two pieces of clothing into the washing basket. I have stumbled over his swiping handywork in order to get to kitchen to have some breakfast. I have been whingeing about my ailments while he has popped to the shop to get milk and essentials.

Is this is a wife’s answer to a man flue. Sadly, no. I have a proper cold, one of those that puzzlingly make your teeth ache alongside your throat, eyes, shoulders, sinuses, neck and head. Even if my nose is blocked, I can feel the sweet, sickening smell of Number One Son’s Angry Bird Sweets. Archaeologist Husband was dreaming of having a partner in clearing out the house when I returned, but I have done my dead-tired-and-picking-up-a-virus-that-made-son’s-nose-lightly-run-and-it-hit-like-a-sledgehammer act. Now he hopes that at least I will find a job. But I think about that next week. Now I have to stop and put my head on the pillow again... And let Archaeologist Husband to take Number One Son to the Finnish Saturday School!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Back on duty

Settling back in everyday family life after my adventures in Sweden has its own upsides and downsides. A definite upside is seeing Archaeologist Husband being happy after having his first pub night for a long time. This couple of pints was after observing a long parish council meeting, but that too was a victory of a kind. The candidate of the Charnwood Greens is sitting there in the council and literally starting the groundwork at the grassroot level. It is also marvellous to hear that our reliable and respected Liberal Democrat councillor was back in action recovering from a serious illness - even if he was only drinking orange juice. Our councillor was not voted in with 8 votes but much more: some of my friends did vote Andrew, too. A green ethical banker. We do need more of those!

I am still not sure if the different morning routines are a downside. Number One Son seems to have no problem with the fact that with Daddy he will first change and then have breakfast, while with Mummy it is the other way round. The definite downside is the mixed messages we give in relation to homework. Or actually in relation to bribing that goes on in order to get things done. While Daddy happily promises chocolate eggs, Mummy tries to keep all chocolates and sweets away after 5pm - and aims at restricting sweets to Saturdays, the traditional Finnish and Finnish weekly day for limited sweets and candy. I also notice that even if Archaeologist Husband has done sterling work with Number One Son's reading and writing practices, I am slightly more lax with them, concentrating on the reading. However, I am taking humouristically Archaeologist Husband's stern 'I did this for 20 months' comments. Since he did - and I never know when I will need his help next.

But this weekend Archaeologist Husband has off and hopefully having great time. He is on the south coast celebrating Our Bestman's 50th birthday. They do it in a quaint style having an afternoon tea in a hotel. Well, they did have Japanese food yesterday. Some style in celebrating the 'new 30s', not just getting pissed...

Sunday, 10 May 2015

After election blues

Life begins to retain its normality and Number One Son starts to realize that I am not going to fly to Sweden any more - at least immediately. I have taken my due turn in the school run (which I am now likely to hold for eternity). Archaeologist Husband has been happy - and desperate - in relation to the election result. I think many people spent lull hours on Friday staring in despair to their computer screen and moaning in Facebook and Twitter. It will be a scary five years, where non-citizens like me may wonder if we can stay with our families. Will there be any health services? Will there be decent schools for 'plebs'? Nevertheless, this is my home and the car breaking down made the possibility to get my citizenship wither away. We who are not millionaires have to make hard choices and we cannot become non-doms or buy our way.

Thank you Godless Father! (photo: AH)

When the whole country seems to be going with a cart to the $*#@, it is clearly time to start hoping that we can vote SNP soon. There was a party leader who seemed to believe in something, was articulate and was on OUR side, not on the side of the rich and powerful. No wonder many friends did consider voting for her!

Nevertheless, small matters bring happiness in uncertain times. The joy of seeing Number One Son discussing the everyday matters and playing complicated imaginary plays with his favourite toys are such wonderful leaps forward that they almost can cover for the general grimness. A fitting talk on a Finnish mothers' day!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Sunny island, dark shadows

It is absolutely fantastic sitting quietly on our sofa and look at my son watching CBeebies cartoons and thinking that I will not know when I have to skype him the next time. I probably will eventually, but for now I can be a normal mum, do the school run and ponder what to give Number One Son to eat. Naturally, I will be editing a book with Archaeologist Husband and try to cut a monster of an article draft into two or three separate articles, one of which I may have promised to write yesterday - if they accept my abstract. The future is peppered by different dates when different grant awarding bodies have meetings. I can only wait. Not very patiently and being an eternal optimistic pessimist.

The last two weeks contained an unusual event when I tried to keep track of a family funeral via social medias. I was not present, but different family members uploaded photos and I could see the island in a bright sunlight with familiar faces in black clothing. The pair of little cousins looked weary or sad, but at least they saw each other after a long break. This was sadly not the only sad news event but like the buses a second item of bad news came in. They say that April is the cruellest month. This year it seemed to be.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Confessions of a bad wife 2

I am back in Stockholm whereas Archaeologist Husband and Number One Son expect to fly to Jersey on Tuesday. After some hard and tough decisions, I decided to return to finish my contract and return to home at the end of the month after returning the keys of my flat. Different carriers seem to be conspiring against me by dropping the easy routes and connections one by one. There is no more SAS flight to Birmingham with a Finnish Blue cabin crew. Similarly, British Airways dropped the City airport route, which was my favourite due to the classy food and the convenient landing time in relation to the cheap train tickets back home to the Midlands. Now it turned out that all Stockholm flights by the british Airways are flown from Heathrow - which is a slight problem if one was to return from Jersey and land at Gatwick...

Thus, there will be one more family funeral I am not attending. I have a bit of a precedent in this, which probably is no consolation to Archaeologist Husband. I hope one can give a sense of support via Skype and texts...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Easter holiday in the sun

The Spiderman watch

After the rain and hale of the first school Easter holiday week, which I spent mainly in Italy, the second week has been a swim in a glorious sunshine. Every other morning has been foggy or rainy, but by the time of the elevensies the skies have cleared and the sun has been out. Some days have been warm, some colder, but it has been an Easter of garden meals and a trip to the garden centre. All would be lovely, if there wasn't the bad news of the last night. A sad loss in the family and the time to tell Number One Son about the loss. "I am now a bit sad", was the answer.

However, it has been a time of recovery for me (overwork is not good for anyone) and I begin to be now ready to face the e-mail boxes, applications and editing again. As always, the fanciful ideas of the trips to London or at least to Nottingham have floated away and made room to play in the park, a play date and family lunches. It is a holiday after all, not a performance test. Anyway, Number One Son's holiday homework - a non-fictional book with a list of contents and an index - has kept me busy. It is difficult to work on this project, since Number One Son is not developed enough to figure out what an index really is and his writing is wobbly at its best, but the chosen topic - the cats - keeps him focused. His drawing of our pet cat is actually pretty accurate image of a slim, long young black cat and his cat mummies are fabulous.

Holly in Haymarket

After the Easter Saturday spent shopping and the bank holidays cooking, I and Number One Son did our normal treat: a bus trip to the Leicester city centre. Nothing is better than a lunch at McDonald's with a toy and a pop to the toy shop. I must blushingly admit that I bought a Frozen watch to myself - and I am wearing it! Number One Son now owns a Spiderman watch, which became handy in the Finnish Saturday School where he was the only child with a watch. On the day of the trip the watch was more important than Jewry Wall, but the bus ride still has its magic.

The first popcorn

The highlight of the week was Number One Son's first trip to the movies. I had chosen the Big Hero 6, since it seemed the only one I dared to watch myself, but I must admit that it was a bit above Number One Son. I think nine- or twelve-year-olds are the correct target audience, but for Number One Son the most important thing was to get his popcorn. He said he did not like the show, but we made it to the end. The computer graphics were fabulous and there was emotional depth to the story, which was relatively dark. Nonightmares, though.

Now the Cat book is almost ready and we have to decide what to do on the last Sunday of the holidays. Number One Son will definitely not want to see a castle, so I think we try to go to a park farther away and replace his petal collection that had wilted in the car.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Conference Mom does Birthday

This year I managed to land a conference paper on the same day as Number One Son's birthday party. And that was not all. I was going to swan to Siena to another conference, even if the departure time of 3.45am from St. Margaret's coach station the following morning was less than fun. I had managed to sort out the venue at the end of the stay home after the New Year and check the details during the half-term. We went for the fully organized birthday party in a Wacky Warehouse, so the only things to do were for Archaeologist Husband to take the list of names to the venue and buy a cake and some sweets and two presents for the children to give during the party games. This was a good choice.

There I was apologizing in the conference the lady from whom I managed to have a cigarette in the wine reception that I cannot stay for her talk and left the conference half way during the last day. I had forgotten my mobile phone at home the day before so could not give the registration number of my car to the organisers in order to have guest parking at the university. But luckily the parking is free on Sundays in Leicester! I could leave the car relatively near, so I moved swiftly before lunch. Then it was home, packing Number One Son, Archaeologist Husband and cake in the car and drive to the venue - where we were embarrassingly early.

The main thing for us was to give Number One Son a good party. We had a mix of coffee group children and school friends and their siblings and all seemed to have good time. At least their chins were bright red from playing and running and they scoffed the food after the intensive play. Number One Son had waited for his party for at least for a month and presented over Skype the presents he had made for himself during the earlier part of the week when I had to teach at Stockholm. He insisted of getting a '6' badge on the last day of the school term that was his real birthday. And he carried that badge with pride. If nothing else, Number One Son knows how to party.