9 days to go…

For those of you just joining us, it’s 9 days until we (myself and the 2 kids) move from Wells up to Durham to join my wife who has started a new full time job as a Hospital Chaplain in Newcastle.

Today is recycling day, not collection day, but the day when I need to pull everything out of the undersink cupboard and duly place it into the correct recycling container for collection tomorrow. This used to be a simple task as we’ve never had a black box so everything just went straight into the green one. However, the council have just implemented a new system (which I welcome as we can recycle more items) so there is now the rigmarole of sorting it into a blue bag, the green box, what should be a black box and a carrier bag of electricals and batteries when necessary. There are a couple of issues with this… firstly, we still don’t have a black box. Secondly, have the council not noticed that the world doesn’t use plastic bags anymore? lastly, we have more cardboard amazon packaging than I care to comment on right now so that is currently just being stuffed into the largest box and left as a separate item on the lawn. Fortunately we seem to have forgiving recycling collectors (or waste operatives as they are probably called) so everything usually gets taken.

This morning was another awkward cleaving on the school playground. I was commended by the head teacher for walking away and leaving the teacher to it but it still breaks my heart and I probably need to buy the teachers a decent bottle of something. What’s weird is that I know the 6 year old in question will be fine 30 seconds after entering the classroom so why the drama? This morning, while chatting with a mum we’ve got to know, it also dawned on me that I’ll have to start the process of meeting new parents on a new school playground very soon. I’m not sure I’m really looking forward to this process but I hope we will make some new friends…

On a more positive note, our 8 year old son has started getting up each morning and offering to make breakfast. He’ll put the kettle on and pop bread in the toaster, get jam out the fridge and find the appropriate cutlery. It does bring me hope that at some point, he’ll stop throwing things at his sister and calling me an idiot. It’s interesting to watch them grow and change and develop if you have the capacity to take a step back from the emotional rollercoaster they cause on daily basis. It reminds me of a fantastic Quentin Blake book which my wife has gifted to everyone we know with a baby. I see glimpses of the young man with perfect manners that the book talks about and it reminds me that my decisions now affect that outcome…

I also realised today that I packed a box of Christmas gifts and clearly wrote ‘VAN’ on the side so it goes into our van and not the moving van (just in case the house doesn’t work out before Christmas) but it seems to have been stacked in with the rest so I’ll have to find it. I also note the irony of writing ‘VAN’ and not something more sensible like ‘camper’ or ‘not for removals’ on it.

Jobs for today include:

  • sand the filler and paint the inside of the bedroom cupboard.
  • continue to pack non-essentials from the kitchen.
  • the washing machine has just made that high pitch end of cycle beep, so I’ll hang the clothes out.
  • I managed to hoover last night so that can probably wait until after dinner, although the dining room is covered in marmite soldier crumbs.
  • the van tyres need checking but I’ll probably do that at the start of next week (mental note).
  • left over chicken needs marinating for tonights dinner (one of three chicken meals this week because that’s what happens when you let children plan the menu).

Questions from the last 24 hours

How difficult can it be to eat a boiled egg without half of it ending up on the table and marmite soldier crumbs all over the carpet?

How difficult can it be to remember that your children have homework to do?

How difficult can it be to keep marker pen off the newly painted bedroom wall?

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