Sunday, 14 February 2016

After pancakes – they start Valentine early!

This week has been a normal one in relation to apologies. Even if I am at home, I could not make the parents’ evening, because I had already going to London. A slight bout of guilt, but Archaelogist Husband has been here all term, so he is the right person to talk about his homework and such issue. I have now the responsibility for the holiday project. In any case, Number One Teacher was happy to see me doing the school run again. Especially, because I had bought Number One a new decent winter coat. It is amazing what a difference a nice black coat with fake fur lining the hood makes in comparison to a light blue one that has that clear stained grey hue the old coats have.

This week Archaeologist Husband made us pancakes for the Pancake Day. Now we are in Lent, but since it is also the Valentine’s day, I think sticking to fish is unlikely to happen. Or did not happen, since I took Archaeologist Husband to our favourite [not cheapest] Italian, where I could show in precise and tangible terms, what he is worth to me. Plus the babysitter’s fee. We even managed to have a pop to our local where we exchanged the latest with the ex-neighbour. I do not like pink or overload of hearts, so celebrating your spouse is not only practical, it allows you to be romantic in your own terms. And there is space in the restaurant.

I have already in my earlier blogs touched the realisation that my son starts to be on the verge of tweenieship – even if he is not as mature as his peers. This week more than confirmed that notion. He now has ‘his best girl’ and he is ‘a best boy’ for a girl in her class. Number One Son got a letter telling how this girl feels about him – with a sensible amount of pink and hearts – and a bracelet. This meant that we needed to get a Valentine’s gift for the last school day before the half-term. I never foresaw that I will be helping my six-year-old doing this...

Now it is the beginning of the half-term, Archaeologist Husband is having a cold and Number One Son is sniffing all the time. I have been shivering for two days and peeking TV from under a blanket in the evenings. I can see where this is going!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

'Did I miss it'?

A Finnish schooler

This week I heard to my surprise that Number One Son had been extremely worried the Saturday earlier that he had missed the Finnish Saturday School in the East Midlands. This was something unheard of, but he has enjoyed lately his run arounds with a Favourite Girl and the little boys who come to the Saturday school. This week though, there was a disappointment. The Favourite Girl had decided to take up ice hockey - to follow Finnish cultural practices - and was in Coventry with her mother. It is now unclear if this will be a constant feature of Saturdays, but we will see. Luckily, there was a little boy of similar age to cause mayhem with.

This was a Saturday of cakes. The lady in the baking turn had come up with several lovely cakes and tarts with raspberries, strawberries and chocolate. Everybody was totally gobsmacked. Being not a good day, she could not even stay and enjoy her handywork but was rushing off leaving us marvelling the amount of cake.

It will be interesting to see how long this enthusiasm for the Finnish School lasts. The tweenie schoolers in their group did not look exactly as enthusiastic as the smaller ones who were drawing and crafting. Nevertheless, it is nice to know that both the Beavers and the Finnish School keep Number One Son happy. He also asked us to go swimming without prompting. It is truly amazing.

Monday, 1 February 2016


I have recently been really losing it. During our Skype sessions, I hardly get a look on when Number One Son is saying hello and running back to TV or computer, depending on which gadget Archaeologist Husband or Number One Son is calling or taking a call. I have seen Daleks roaming a Minecraft area while chatting on a mobile phone, spitting a flash of blond hair in a school uniform quickly running back and forth from the computer to the TV / tablet and been shown long shots of our cat (returned) instead of our son. Aren't modern communications wonderful?

Well, on the up side, I and Archaeologist Husband can chat more, even if it has been lately rather much on house improvements and different jobs coming and going. Although now when I have been paid again, I am supposed to get romantic again and take Archaeologist Husband out... These are no hints but disguised demands. He really likes his Italian food in our local restaurant. It has been voted the best in the East Midlands or Britain or something

Number One Son is not only running away from any skyping device but also starting increasingly finding the kind of things funny the little boys find funny. I have heard quite a lot of 'I am only joking' remark together with a lot of laughter. I have also taken to the habit of pulling faces in order to make him stop and pay some attention to my calls. On the other hand, last summer's infrequent comments about bums on some information boards on Roman baths have changed to the shows of a lot of naked torso when pyjama should go on. Luckily he still listens when I am reading in the evenings - when I have a possibility. The later bed times mean that due to the time difference I cannot always hang around to do skyping but have to do other matters. Or just be an old lady and go to sleep.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

'I can see clearly now'

Snow in Leicester (photo: AH via Instagram)

Or more accurately, Archaeologist Husband and Number One Son can now see me! I went to Claes Ohlson in the city centre in Stockholm and bought an external web cam. It just seems that the one on my laptop does not work and the work computer at the University as a desktop does not have such a feature. Now I have a shiny new web cam and microphone all in one. And it worked! Just a pity that the lure of the Minecraft videos on YouTube seem to overpower my son. Mummy is something mundane as the Minecraft rocks. Or anything else from Japanese animated videos to the weird merge of Transformers and dinosaurs available on Netflix.

I do enjoy visual things myself, so I can enjoy my son. However, this also means that my son is growing and having his own ideas. Even if he misses me and says so over Skype, he has now his own ideas and interests and parents are not so crucial and central to his life. He had also been kept away from the television for almost whole day, since it was a Finnish Saturday School day. Instead of any computer games or videos, he was happily running around with other kids.

This week there has been snow in the East Midlands. I could marvel photos on Facebook. However, now in Stockholm I am surrounded by the stuff and degrees minus are my reality again. It is funny. The outdoors temperature is feeling natural and coming from my backbone, but the nice, warm Scandinavian heating and proper insulation feels hot now after so many years in UK...

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Here we go again!

The winter wonderland just outside Stockholm

And suddenly Christmas is over and I am back in Stockholm. Again I will try to work around the one-hour time difference and remember that most days this means that I may be able to skype only at 7pm. While waiting to find a proper room, this is actually made easier by excellent wifi in the youth hostel I am staying. I have to hope that the common 'living room' will be relatively empty all the time, so I can try to mobile skype from there. The room I share with three other persons seem to be unlike skyping location in the evening, considering that two of the other three are also working, not holidaying, in Stockholm.

Naturally, my new contract coincides the steep intensification of Archaeologist Husband's workload. After a year or two of very slim pickings, suddenly, the archaeological units just cannot get enough of him and he is booked and working flat for a couple of months ahead now. Thus, Number One Son will learn to love after school club and all his friends there. We are extremely lucky that his school does have the facility. The other primary school in the village does not.

Today I paid quite a while pondering about Number One Son. Indirectly, though. We had the first properly chilly day in the East Midlands recently and I just realised how tatty his winter coat looked. Therefore, I was wondering around the January sales in the hope that I would find something blue as wished for. No, but a really exciting black coat with a fake fur round the hood with a bat logo on the chest. Not really Batman, but quite cool nevertheless. Now a couple of weeks and then he will get the coat for those expected cold days in February.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

From Holiday back to School

Suddenly, it was all over. I was in the mummy duty for the last two days of school holidays. On Monday we went swimming and then on Tuesday to the city centre to see dinosaurs. Having a meal in McDonalds is as important as anything else, but Number One Son was deeply disappointed, when the toy in the Happy Meal was no toy at all, but a cup. It may have Snoopy and Woodstock on it, but it is still just a functional cup. More for the parents that one!

On the way back we saw children from the other primary school in our village come back from school in their reddish jumpers. In Number One Son's school Tuesday was a teachers' training day, so we could still roam free. Not that the weather was so good, but at least we could walk on New Walk without rain.

Now it is in a way back to the old routine. Partly, since I am heading back to Sweden with slightly blinded eyes. I do not have a room to rent, yet, and I can only book a return flight when I know better. There are things to do and plan. However, at home, Beavers have started again and we did the Finnish Saturday School yesterday. Number One Son's everyday is back to normal.

In development terms Number One Son is leaping ahead again. For the first time ever, he was freewillingly asking about Finnish language. They must have spoken about languages at school, since he first asked about Spanish, though. In any case, he wanted to know what a Minecraft pick axe is in Finnish. It is 'hakku' but he could not remember it the next day. He asked, though! :-D

Monday, 4 January 2016

No toddler, a little boy

It is clear that this blog will shortly be renamed and will become 'Two archaeologists and a tweenie'. Number One Son has clearly stepped up in his development and shows amazing early teenager tantrum skills. This may be down to the sheer business from my part and the amount of Minecrafting that goes on both on computer and on YouTube. It is amazing how popular those videos about adults and children playing Minecraft and commenting what they are doing are. It is also good and father and son have a common hobby. Nevertheless, what the Tweenie needs is a good run in the park. However, over the New Year holidays the park has been much quieter than normally.

In communication, Number One Son has improved lately so much. We can hear happy bubbling or humming from his room in the morning, when he is explaining the latest adventures of The Doctor and the Tardis among the Daleks. Alternatively, he is singing some little tunes, sometimes making them up in his own head. Such improvement was almost unimaginable a year ago.

Now it begins to time to go and spend time with my son, not just blogging about him. We have school holiday project to do...

One family member is happy after returning