beware, hubris

06Jan09
So, after finishing up my planning last night, and confidently declaring my goals for this year, my list of things I’d like to get done, the universe reminded me that I was unlikely to get a plain go at it, and that I needed to expect the odd iceberg.

I managed to acheive 1 objective by getting to bed before midnight (11:59 counts. It does). And then I couldn’t sleep. A conspiracy of caffeine-laden dark chocolate, the freezing-cold-ness of the night (I’m *so* having an extra blanket tonight) AND the *ding* lightbulb of realisation of exactly how I’m going to make over that slightly faded and worn pale pink knitted turtle-neck tank-top managed to keep me ticking until at least 1:20, at which point I forced myself to do some serious yoga-breathing and eventually fell asleep.

Only to be awoken at 4 am by Bellaboo, in the midst of a teething crisis involving an urgent requirement for a nappy change, a pyjama change, nappy salve and calpol. All of which woke Rumpus, whose demands to be accomodated instantly in the parental bed were rudely declined . . . which in turn triggered a crisis of epic proportions.

Needless to say, I was a little frazzled (but rather proud of my goddess-like calm and compassion in the face of infantile intransigence and upset) by the time it was all resolved. HARDLY what one would deem ideal preparation for the first day back at school.

Then, to add insult to injury, when the alarm shouted me awake at 6:30 am, I looked out to discover that the weather had had the gall to SNOW in the night. This made the routine twice as difficult as it needed to be, since requirements for getting dressed, gathering necessary equipment like school bags and PE kits, and eating breakfast were constantly undercut by demands to go in the garden and build snowmen, make snow angels and have a snowball fight. Does anyone ever have the heart to explain to children that you need considerably more than 1 cm of snow to fulfill*those* sorts of projects?

Finally, we set off, but not before I have called rumpus (amongst other things) a retard for his complete inability to put his shoes on the correct feet when asked to do so and turned into what can only be called a shrieking banshee. I don’t care how little sleep, it’s not a good look on anyone, and I’m sure the neighbours must think I’m a total harpy now.

Halfway down the road, an accident has closed it (gah! when will people in this country realise that unless you have studded tires or chains on, your brakes DON’T WORK on snowy, icy roads?) and the fire brigade won’t let us walk past the accident because it might upset the children. Which is fair enough, and I understand this, but now we have to walk home and get in the car, because the only other way to school is what is normally a 15 minute drive. Not today. Oh no. Today, it takes 30 minutes, and we are late for school, and it takes me a further 45 minutes to get home. And we only had 1 cm of snow. It is absolutely RIDICULOUS how entirely unable to cope with any sort of adverse weather conditions we are. It makes me wonder how on earth humans have managed to survive as long as they have. Maybe there is a protecting deity, after all.

I decide against taking  Bellaboo to her baby gymnastics class (sounds far more impressive than it actually is 😉 ) and opt for a quiet morning hibernating . . . bad choice, it turns out, because within 30 minutes she’s racing her trike around the living room/playroom circuit. Which is fine. It becomes totally not fine, however, when she decides to ram the hearthstone with the trike. Rather predictably (if you’re an adult, I suppose) an inch-high slab of polished slate stops the trike in its tracks, but the laws of physics being what they are, Bellaboo continues her onward trajectory. SPLAT! Face first onto the fireplace. Initially, I thought the trike handles must have cut into her little belly, but as she draws in the almighty breath for the scream that is coming (BREATHE!) I realise that she has a very nasty gash on her forehead, where she’s connected with the protruding metal handle that controls airflow into the stove.

BLOOD! Everywhere, screaming baby, I’m trying to apply clean dishcloths and ice to the wound but she’s not having it, and we’re only going one place – Accident and Emergency.

I drive like a (very careful) lunatic to the hospital, conscious that on icy roads I don’t want to be messing about with corners and trees and the like, abandon the car and rush like a demented person into A&E clutching a howling and bloodstained baby. Needless to say, we are seen instantly – nurses and doctors appear as if by magic (never before have I seen that – previous emergency visits have always been anxiety-riddled tedium with brief bursts of activity punctuated by long hours of sitting around waiting for our turn) – and Bellaboo is examined (she doesn’t like it, very forcefully and at the top of her voice) , cleaned up and put under observation.

For 4 hours.

For the first couple, she does a passable impresion of a dying swan. By the end, she’s running around and playing with the toys and chatting to the nurses and other children in the waiting area as if nothing’s happened.

Eventually, with a glued and butterfly-stitched wound, we are sent home – with a mere 30 minutes before we need to go and collect the others from school. This is not how my day was supposed to go.

But once everyone came home from school, an air of calm descended on the place. Honey and Rumpus were tired after their first day back (Rumpus particularly so after last night’s excursions and alarums), so they watched Nim’s Island on DVD, Bellaboo played with her shape-sorter, and I got the remainder of my patches backed and pinned ready for sewing. It’s just a  sample piece, a mini-experiment with the wild geese pattern I’ve not tried before, and combining different patchwork patterns into the same piece (so the finished piece will be no more than A4 size), but it’s starting to come together now . . .

Sample piece - multi-pattern patch A4

So, in those terms, I am where I want to be (more or less) with that particular project. I had a new batch of hair clips/barrettes and brooch pins arrive today as well, so of course I’m itching to start on those – it’s taking all my self-discipline to hold off until I’ve finished this little patchwork panel.

Then, this evening, I launched into my writing session, and managed to hit a fine vein of form, and have accomplished what I diarised as two days work in less than a single session.

So, I’m feeling very high and very pleased with myself, but I am taking today’s events as a caution. However, I think it is a good test of my planning that despite the adverse conditions, I still achieved what I wanted to do with time to spare . . . but I’m taking the warning that I shouldn’t be complacent about this.

I know I’ve set myself some pretty agressive targets this year, and today I was lucky that I was still buzzing with possibility and had the energy from somewhere and motivation and desire to hack away. I need to remember today, and make sure I can call up that feeling any time, and under any conditions, because I suspect that life has a way of throwing days like today at you more often than is entirely welcome.

And on that bombshell, I’m going to bed, no doubt to lie awake thinking what I can do with my extra writing session (actually, I already know – I’ve got the germ of an idea for a non-fiction article . . . . . . . . . )

(did I mention that non-fiction articles and short stories are interchangeable in the overall scheme?) 😀

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One Response to “beware, hubris”


  1. 1 Quick scan of the net - yarn sorter at Behind the Glass

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