Sunday, 22 November 2015

In view and out of view

I really do not understand my laptop. After working perfectly, showing video in Skype, it suddenly decided that enough is enough and it was time to cut the Mummy off. Not that I am a pretty sight after days driving or being outside in fieldwork, but it would be nice to have two-way communication with video link. The image quality from UK is also quite pixellated, but a glimpse of Number One Son lightens any day - even if slightly hazy.

What I should have done today is Christmas shopping, but I totally forgot after some editing jobs not related to me being in Italy. I was just enjoying the bright, crisp sunshine and thinking of lunch. That was a little bit of a disaster. I learnt not to order a tourist portion of chicken and potatoes. The chicken had been edible perhaps a couple of days a go before it was grilled to gristle by a hot table or similar. First time ever I sent a plate back to kitchen as inedible.

I have promised a toy from Italy. I wonder if a thing made out of alabaster counts as a toy...? I may be doomed if I test, so I have to try to keep concentrated tomorrow, if the promised rain comes and we will be waiting for Tuesday.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Wifi playing up!

Of course, just when you hear that both Archaeologist Husband and Number One Son are feeling poorly during the first week of me being away, the wifi at the Department decides it does not like me nor my devices. The Skype calls for vain without an Internet connection, the registration web site does not come up on my laptop and the computer at which I sit does not recognize my USB camera, so I have sound out from my colleague's loudspeaker but I cannot send my picture to my son. Thus, son finds Minecraft much more interesting than a distant voice of a travelling mom. Another colleague touches my laptop - and hey presto - at least the registration panel becomes visible in the Internet browser.

One week gone, three weeks to go away home. The next two weeks I should have wifi in the hotel, but it will be in Italy, so it will depend on the room, the breath of the walls and the spot I or my devices will be placed on. Internet is marvellous in connecting people, but it only connects when the network is running smoothly and your device can get connected...

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Confessions of a bad wife - is it part 4?

"We are in Stockholm - can you spot Mom?"

I am packing my bags again and heading away for four weeks. It is time to go to fieldwork and before that handle all the rest of negotiations and planning around it in Sweden. I will also again manage to miss Archaeologist Husband's birthday - but at least this period of time was not set by me. Nevertheless, I will be back for letting him to head to the TAG 2016 at Bradford to meet his fellow Bradfordians.

After a long stretch at home doing the school run every morning, I seem to be soon partly in Britain and partly in Sweden again. This will again take a lot of organisation in order to keep people happy, but luckily, there are always parts of research that can be done at home or at the Cambridge University Library. In the end, with a salary, we can have proper holiday in Finland to see family and we will be kept in cat food.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

From the SEN(CO) review to trick and treating

All ready for trick and treating

This week was one of the highlights of the small school children and Beavers: this was the week of the Halloween. As a Finnish adult, I see Halloween as an artificial American import, but the children, they see it as an opportunity to put scary skeleton, monster, Scream, vampire or pirate costumes on and go trick and treating in the dark, seeing some fireworks along the way. One just does have heart to spoil there fun. We went trick and treating with a group of parents from our previous NCT coffee group in the village and about 15 children ran excitedly from a lit pumpkin to another decorated door. Number One Son has now a huge amount of sweets and lollipops, since like he tends to, he got very excited and was about the first at every door, almost forcing his way in. However, we realised that we were asking repeatedly the children to 'form a an orderly queue' and avoid houses without pumpkins even if we could see people watching rugby final or some light entertainment programme in their living room. Could you make an American import any more British than that!?

Parents and monsters congregating

The week had some very serious content, since we had the first SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) review meeting at Number One Son's school. We spend almost two hours revising the text so that, while recognising the improvements in speech, he is still immature for his age and, even if delightful, has many disruptive mannerisms that have to be managed by the teaching assistants. It also came to light in the Beavers that one of the assistants there have to keep an eye constantly on him, since it is easier for him to relate to adults and younger children than those of his exact peer group. He is one year or more behind emotionally and behaviourally and luckily the school recognises that we cannot support his school attendance without official status and council support. We have been lucky that the last speech therapist and the school SENCO have such a long experience in their fields and we are truly supported. This also means that Number One Son's short attention span does not get other children in the class distracted.

We want your sweets!

It was a quick move from the meeting to home to collect Number One Son's fancy dress party costume for the Monster Disco, organised by Beavers. He went as a ghost knight, all his face painted white. We had to change in the cloakroom at the school, since he went to the disco directly from the after-school club. The disco continued pass his normal bath time, but there was no way I was going to succeed in finding him in the disco room earlier and drag home. He really enjoys his Beavers! Now I only have to sow about 10 badges on to the right spots on his Beaver jumper. They may not be 10, but they feel like it!