gothams3rdrobin: (me)
I think I've known all of you long enough now that you may all remember this incident in September 2008, where my flat got flooded out after heavy rainfall.

Yeah. Guess what.... )
gothams3rdrobin: (me)
It's the annual Mardi Gras this weekend, and once again we had a spot on the caberet stage - which was rectangular this year, and therefore not as bouncy as the previous octagon-shaped one, but only slightly! We were given a long enough slot for eight songs, which was cool, and a couple of the ladies from the Superchoir came along to hand out fliers for the Superchoir and encourage people to buy our album :-) It was a fun gig and went really, really well - with no hiccups courtesy of the CD player like last year! lol! Though at one point the next track came on a little too quickly, so we had to really focus on Dave - the composer, who was conducting us today - in order to make sure we stayed in time while we settled into the song.

Had to scarper out of the event pretty quickly, as Rowan had a hairdressers appointment that I never got around to rescheduling - I've been really bad about getting things sorted out lately, and I can't stand making phone calls as it is - but we came back afterwards 'cause Rowan wanted to ride the chair-o-planes. He changed his mind at the last minute though - I think the speed of the rides alongside freaked him out somehow? :-/ So we only stayed about twenty minutes in the end.

We then popped over to the lawn in front of City Hall, where they previously had the Olympic rings on display above the pool of the water fountain and have since replaced it with the Paralympic symbol, which is cool. I took pictures, but my phone's having issues with uploading photos right now. I might upload it at another date if anyone wants to see.

On the bus home, Rowan and I had another of our recurring conversations about his academic future - I swear I'm not one of those parents who insist that their primary school age child give serious thought to their future careers, though of course we've had the 'what would you like to be when you grow up' talk. Rowan's seemingly given up on his intentions to be a racing car driver (he thinks it would make him rich! lol!) and has set his heart on becoming an astronomer. I responded encouragingly, saying that I think he might enjoy that since it involves a lot of mathematics. Rowan takes after his Dad in the sense that he enjoys Maths more than English - though I do think he could do okay with English too if he would just get past the mental block he has about it. He loves to read and tell stories, and he's got quite a vivid imagination. We've talked many times about how I think he'll enjoy Physics when he gets to high school, seeing as it's quite a mathematical subject. Rowan wanted to know what he'd need to study in order to be an astronomer - we guessed Maths and Physics - and I also tried to get him to think about what else he could study, both as a back-up plan and for simple interest. Then when we got home I checked the website for Cardiff Uni's astronomy program to see what the entry requirements would be - as we guessed, Maths and Physics A-levels.

My son is ten years old. This is a very strange experience for me. lol! But anything that will put a rocket up his behind academically is fine with me. If he wants to have a goal in mind, even this early, then awesome.

Tonight also saw the return of a long-standing Saturday night tradition; snuggling together on the sofa to watch Doctor Who :-) I'm not going to talk about the episode, for fear of spoilers, but it was very nice to have that hour's cwtch after a knackering day and we finished off a tub of Phish Food that was in the freezer. I am soo ready for the sumer holidays to be over and have life get back to normal, even if it does mean the chaos of Christmas is fast approaching.


Aug. 28th, 2011 12:53 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy writing)
The summer hols are almost over once more - thank god. It's been trying, as always, and I'll be glad when I no longer need to arrange childcare for Rowan while I'm at work.

He spent the first week camping at Chepstow Racecourse with the St John Ambulance, and he seems to have hated every minute of it. I missed him while he was away, and didn't get anything done that I had planned - I mostly came home from work and crashed out for the evening. I did take the opportunity to go see 'Captain America', though I would have preferred not to go alone. Such is my life, however.

Since he got back, he's spent the first three days of each week at his usual holiday club in a nearby leisure centre, then Thursdays with his grandmother. On Fridays I've been taking him with me to the rehearsals I've been running for the alto section of my choir - though only one or two ever turn up, and they're usually the ones that make the effort to attend the regular rehearsals every week and only need a little bit extra practise. The whole point was for the people who've missed several weeks, or are new, to get the chance to catch up! *sigh* I realise it's not easy for everyone to make it - I get excuses about meetings and team lunches and all sorts - so I try not to let it get to me. It can be hard to reign in my inner Rachel Berry though, when I hear people in my section bemoaning how they 'don't know this one' - they're not even practising at home! *grrr*

Anyway. After the rehearsal is done, Rowan and I go get a bite to eat and spend the afternoon doing something fun. Usually it's the cinema; we've seen 'Harry Potter', 'The Smurfs' (though in 2D - I recommend the 3D as I think we missed out in certain places. Didn't expect to, as most of the 3D in the films I've seen have been shoehorned in) and yesterday we went to see 'Glee In Concert'.

Best. Use. Of. 3D. Ever!

I don't care if anyone's sneering at the screen now, 'cause we went to see that. I loved it, and so did Rowan.

Last Friday I took Rowan swimming - something I haven't done since he was a baby, though he's spent time in the pool over the last couple of years through school. We were in the water for about two and a half hours, and loved every minute of it. He can't actually swim yet, but his confidence in the water is wonderful; we messed around with the floats a lot, pulling each other through the water, and he would cling to my back while I jumped around, both of us laughing like idiots. The last hour or so, we were deep in the middle of the pool - one of the advantages of me being short and him being tall is that we can currently mess around at more or less the same depth - and he was launching himself off my thighs into the water, trying to do somersaults. The only sad thing about it was that they never put the wave machine on the whole time we were there *pout*

The next day, we were joined by Rowan's classmate Lewis, and Lewis's little sister Eryn. Their parents were having to move house - all the way to the other side of the city too, so they've had to change schools.... *sulks* - so we kept Lewis and Eryn entertained for the day. They have four kids in total, the eldest being old enough to help out with the move, but I wouldn't have been able to cope with the toddler as well. Rowan's excitable enough when he has friends around, but when Eryn's around it's like they're a pair of Tazmanian Devils! *laughs* Neither of them were truly naughty, though I had to tell Eryn off more times than I'm used to 'cause she kept running off, and Lewis is always well behaved. We took them bowling down the Bay, which went well, then they cleaned me out on the amusement arcade *sigh* But I think they all had fun, and their Dad came to collect them just as I was dishing up some pasta for their tea. Going to miss having them all around, but hopefully the 'net will help with keeping in touch.

Work's been as dull as ever, and there's less work to go around at the moment too. We get our work allocated to us through an Excel spreadsheet - and hasn't that been a nightmare, having up to thirty people trying to work off the same file simultaneously! - and they've recently started training up previously 'phones-only teams to do some of our work. Which, of course, means there's less for the rest of us... *eyeroll* I really hate coming in of a morning to find maybe an hour and a half's work for me, then have to spend the rest of my - admittedly short - shift trying to locate more. My productivity always seems to suffer when I have to go looking.

There has been a new development, however. They're looking into testing how feasible it would be to have staff working from home. I think the main focus is on 'phones staff, as IT will have to install a system and phone into the work area of whoever tests it, but I emailed the Ops Manager asking whether this would also apply to someone like me since it would be very, very easy to arrange. All I would need would be access to the database software that hold's the policy files, the excel files we work off, and my work email account. I didn't hear back from Wayne, but a couple of days later I'm included in an email to those who have been selected to do the trial! I honestly don't know how well it would work out for me - I don't have a room I can use as an 'office', just a small desk over to the side of the living room where the home PC is. But depending on how they would expect me to organise my work hours, it could make things a lot easier for me regarding childcare - or I could find being at home extremely distracting. I honestly don't know, but it might be fun to find out. Plus attending choir might be a bit of a challenge, since it's a thirty minute bus ride each way. The trial's supposed to be for between four and six months - we'll just have to wait and see.

My new course for the Open University begins in about six weeks! *bites nails* It's a music course, and I've been going through their preparatory programme to revise the music theory I was supposed to have been taught during my GCSEs. As I'm sure you can imagine, the music department in my school wasn't that well funded and it was considered a 'bird course' by five out of the nine pupils in my class. I've been learning how the Sibelius software we've been provided works, mostly by painstakingly typing in scores out of my collection of song books - that is the best fun ever! And it helps cement some of the mechanics of music into my head as I go so it's not a waste of time. I'm really looking forward to the course itself, and once Rowan's back in school I'll have the majority of my Fridays back to get stuck in before it actually starts in October.

We have lots happening in the choir too; Mardis Gras next Saturday, which should be a blast, then we have a gig in London a couple of weeks later!! Just a small one in a hotel in Picadilly, but it has some sort of link to the BAFTAs? *hands* Then at the end of September we're throwing a party at the Tiger Tiger nightclub as a fund-raiser for our album, before we get stuck in to actually making it at the end of October! \O/ I honestly can't wait! We should have the actual discs in our grubby little paws by Christmas!
gothams3rdrobin: (me)
LJ appears to be having some major downtime this evening, so it's very likely I'll be posting this the day after I write it ;-P But still...

Stuff and things happen, of course. Hard to say how interesting they are to the observer, since they're rarely very interesting to me...

In which I babble about Myfi, sucky stuff at home and work, and the choir! )
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
We actually had ours yesterday, 'cause Mam and Dad are both working till late this evening. Good thing too, as I am absolutely crap at making pancakes!

Yes I know it's one of the easiest-things-ever-OMG - but I tend to fail at any kind of cooking where the ingredients blend into a final, solid product. Ask me to make a stir-fry, or pasta, or something and I will serve you something reasonably edible, but cakes, omelettes, pancakes... they always come out wrong.

Anyway. There was a tradition growing up - I may well have mentioned this before - where my Mam would mix up the pancake batter, then she'd leave Dad to do the actual cooking and I would scurry back and forth between the kitchen and the front room bringing out the finished products. A few years back something changed and Mam is now the one who does all the cooking, while I still play waitress. We were talking about this last night, as Mam wasn't entirely gracious at being stuck doing it again (read: she went into the kitchen and got on with it). I went and joined her, taking responsibility for the sugar and lemon juice on the finished product. No-one told me I over-lemoned them, so all's good! :-)

I did joke that it was traditionally Rowan's job to be doing the serving, as the youngest, but that we had somehow stuck with history rather than tradition. Rowan, tucking into his pancakes - the first batch Mam made, and covered in marshmallows and strawberry ice cream sauce by me - responded with a "Nuh!" *laughs*

Once Rowan was full, and once Dad was full, Mam started on mine. While I ate mine, I stayed in the kitchen to add the sugar and lemon to Mam's. I prefer them with banana slices and maple syrup, but on Shrove Tuesday I tend to stick to the traditional currants, sugar and lemon juice. I think I ate about five in the end.... headed home feeling very bloated indeed!

Starting officially tomorrow (unofficially today - I was good till teatime!) I'm forgoing sweet stuff as much as possible until Easter Sunday. Hopefully that'll put me back on track for fixing my appalling diet! We put together a menu for our evening meals which we've been trying to follow for a couple of weeks now; we chose which main 'ingredient' we would have on which day (Pasta on monday, rice on tuesday, etc.) and then made a list of which things we both like to have with them - the idea is that I can prepare something for tea without him arguing as much. When we lived with my parents Rowan got just that little too used to having his say on everything, so it can be a battle to get him to accept when I need things to be a certain way. I did notice that the first week I followed this menu plan I was finding myself thinking of things to actually cook, rather than throw together in the oven - Thursdays, for example, is soup, because he has to go to Badgers at 6pm. I've been toying with occasionally slow-cooking some soup, instead of always opening a tin! How weird is that! *laughs*
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus, pawb! Happy St David's Day, everyone!

I didn't get to say anything yesterday because I wasn't home until midnight, and quite frankly I was too tired to make a coherent post. We had a gig at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen, West Wales, yesterday evening and we spent the last two hours of the day travelling.

My day mostly progressed normally; dropped Rowan off at school, went to work. Rowan and I both had Welsh rugby shirts on, and he was taking part in the school's Eisteddfod festival. Me, I didn't have anything going on at work - the only thing our 'Ministry of Fun' organised was a poetry competition about 'how great it is to be Welsh/live in Wales' *yawn*

However, at two o'clock I high-tailed it away from my desk and down the lift to join my fellow choristers on the coach that was waiting outside. I chatted to Jan in the seat behind me as we drove over to Swansea to collect the choir from our office there, then Jan moved and Zoe came to sit next to me in order to make space on the coach and we chatted for the rest of the journey. We did try and rehearse, but the CD player on the coach kept jumping. It took an hour and three quarters to get there, and we made it on time for our scheduled sound check at four o'clock - though typically they weren't ready for us. We used the time for warm ups and last minute rehearsals, though, so all's good. Though we were quite exhausted when we got done an hour later, as our routine is quite wearying, us not being professionals or anything.

We all then retreated to the Wetherspoons pub down the street for our dinner, as we had two hours to kill before we needed to get ready. And it was Steak Club night! \O/ I had a yummy rump steak with a jacket potato. Zoe and I were debating whether we wanted to get dessert too, but eventually we reasoned it would sit too heavy while we performed. The last thing you need when you're trying to sing, particularly when there's some degree of movement involved. We chose to pop into the Co-Op store next door on our way back to the theatre for some treats for the journey home.

I managed to sneak myself into the second row for this gig, much to my relief and Melissa and Zoe's slight annoyance. Mel probably because she's used to having me in the front row with her, and Zoe because she ended up in the front in my place, where she's usually near the back. Zoe thankfully didn't hold it against me, but Mel? Who knows. She attempted to 'tell' on me, likely assuming Andrea would coax me back out of my hiding place again, but she ignored it. Did make it a little harder to see her directions, but it did make it slightly easier to hear the rest of my section. If I could just have been someplace in the middle rather than right next to the sopranos, it would have been near perfect.

The gig itself seemed to go really well; Andrea was certainly very positive in her feedback, regardless of the fact her job involves motivation. I think she'd been somewhat nervous, particularly with our version of Oasis' 'Wonderwall'. And there were a couple of songs in our programme that either the Cardiff contingent or the Swansea one hadn't had enough time to polish - as is always the case, somehow. But we pulled it off. We came away thinking we were probably the high point of the show, bracketting both sides of the interval; the other acts on the bill were the Pontadulais Brass Band, and the brother of the Tenor from the GoCompare commercials (If you don't know what I mean, feel free to YouTube - it's a Marmite thing, and personally I think it's hysterical) and Andrea said we were the only one the relatively small audience cheered for. For some reason I never notice that sort of detail.

We then had to hang around till the concert was done, so we could take a bow at the end. This meant hanging around in the changing room and chatting. It got a bit warm in there with so many people milling about (Can't imagine how it would have been if we still had the numbers we did two years ago when we did the Albert Hall!) so Zoe and I followed the example of several others and hung out in the entrance way for a bit to get some fresh air. We entertained ourselves by looking at the posters for upcoming shows and thumbing through the theatre's schedule booklet.

Took us a little while to locate where the coach was parked waiting for us; while the driver was able to drop us off outside, the street arrangements in Carmarthen didn't allow for him to wait for us outside at the end of the night, so we had to try and find him. Unfortunately Andrea didn't quite manage to follow his directions properly, so we got a little bit turned around *grins*

The journey back to Swansea was a bit uncomfortable; the seats on the coach are somewhat narrow and my companion somewhat on the larger side (as, alas, am I) so I ended up sitting slightly off the seat, with the lowered arm rest digging into me. Plus the pregnant soprano I'd been stood next to for the performance was somewhat nauseous, and needed the driver to pull over at one point. Once it was just us Cardiff-iffians we were able to spread out and be more comfortable. It was quite entertaining as Tony and Richard were so exhausted they were a little punch-drunk, and the banter that flowed was on the same level as a night at the pub. There was joking, there was random breaking into song - I had a great time. It was past eleven thirty when we got back to the office, and Zoe kindly offered to drop me off on her way back home. I was so grateful, as the last bus on a Tuesday night is eleven o'clock and the taxi fare from town to mine is about twelve pounds. Thanks to Zoe I was home by midnight, eating the microwaved soup I'd picked up for my supper. Wasn't very nice though, and I wished I'd just stuck to cereal, but I hadn't banked on being able to get a proper steak dinner.

While all this was going on, Rowan was enjoying a sleepover at his friend Lewis's house. My parents are enjoying another holiday in Gibraltar this week (and rubbing everyone's noses in it over Facebook *wink*) so even my usual rather limited childcare options weren't available. Thankfully my high-school friend Gawain is working locally this week, so his wife - who I've also gotten to be good friends with now that our sons are in school together - was able to cope with a fifth child in the house and agreed to babysit for me. She took him to school this morning too - which is a good thing because I slept right through my alarm this morning! I think my brain subconciously knew I'd taken the rest of the week off work to work on my assignment that's due on Friday, and subsequently allowed me to sleep in. Didn't get as much done today as I would have liked, but I'm back on the school run tomorrow morning and that makes it easier to get into the library and get stuck in.
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
I was fully expecting to get woken up early this morning by a frantic nine year old demanding to know where his video games had gone.

Over the last couple of weeks, he's snuck one of our DS's into bed with him - including finding them from their hiding places in my room. I always catch him out, even if he does manage to get away with it till the next morning, and he always gets banned from playing on them for a week. Unfortunately, he is so impatient he kept sneaking them back into his room before his ban was due to be lifted, thereby extending it.

On Friday evening, I warned him that if he did it one more time I was going to box up all his DS, Wii and PS2 games, and lock him out of the computer (Love Windows 7!). So when I caught him out again last night, that's exactly what I did. The only games on the shelves at the moment are the ones I play.

However, instead of kicking up a fuss, he merely made the best of it and entertained himself with my Wii Fit and Band Hero. The only wobbly he threw was around half past two this afternoon, when he tried to log into the PC and found himself locked out.

Might not sound like he's being punished, based on his behaviour today, but trust me. The remaining games will lose their appeal very, very quickly - I expect he'll start to kick off tomorrow after he gets home from holiday camp. But in the meantime it's been quite surprising how accepting he's been of the situation.

Right now I'm just hoping he'll go to sleep - camp opens at 8.15 am for breakfast...
gothams3rdrobin: (Josh with book laughing)
Rowan came out at hometime this evening sobbing his little heart out...

They're studying the Victorians in school at the moment, and tomorrow they're having a special Victorian Day. We've had to track down flat caps and waistcoats for them to wear - I'm glad one of the other mothers knew exactly where to get some cheap caps!

It seems the subject today was corporal punishment within schools, and the idea of canning freaked Rowan out so much he apparently hid under the table! And he was so worried he's going to get the cane tomorrow that he was almost completely inconsolable at the end of the day.

His headmaster tried to reassure him while we were in the office paying for next week's school dinners, explaining all about how it's been illegal since 1982 - exactly as I'd already tried to tell him - but he still wasn't entirely reassured. So I took him upstairs to his classroom to talk directly to his teacher.

His teacher this year is slightly older than he's had over the last few years, so she's much more no-nonsense and her reaction was "Oh for heaven's sake Rowan!" *grins*

I really tried hard not to find it funny - he is quite a sensitive soul - but seriously! We did talk about how his fear was perhaps a sign that he ought to behave better in class... ;-)

I'm currently yelling at him to get a shift on, as he has to get ready for Inspection at the St John Ambulance tonight. He's just - finally! - gotten out of the bath and now he has to get into his uniform. I swear, if he makes the same fuss when he's dressing up in his Victorian clothes tomorrow he won't live to see his tenth birthday....
gothams3rdrobin: (rowan)
I'm still recovering from the weekend in England; three days of travelling and late nights, plus difficulty sleeping really got to me. Plus for most of the last week my upper back and shoulders have been sore; I think it's time I made Rowan carry his own luggage, rather than struggle with it all in one big holdall *winces* My back's alright now, thankfully.

Last night, however, I was settled down in bed having a quick read before turning the light off. Then, all of a sudden I heard a noise that sounded exactly like Rowan exhaling in his sleep... But he was in his own room, right?

Apparently not!

I shifted the duvet around, even though I knew he wasn't in the bed, then looked around the room; I found him snuggled under his own duvet, on the floor, in the gap between the bed and the external wall! I couldn't help laughing, though I had to do it quietly so as not to waken him. I have no idea when he snuck into my room last night, but he'd better not make a habit of it.

I had a final check of him when I was ready to turn the lamp out, and he'd disturbed enough at that point to speak to me. I was a bit stern with him, 'cause this was a naughty thing he'd done, and told him he had to stay there. I'm entirely out of the habit of sharing my bed - or even the room - with anyone, and I sleep badly when I do. Of course, after about fifteen minutes he figured I must be asleep, and tried to softly creep into bed - which of course was even worse than if he'd simply gotten in. So I had to tell him to just get in already and go to sleep!

Typically he was up again before six thirty - and had to crawl over me to get out of bed! :-p

gothams3rdrobin: (Napoleon's Battle Plan)
So this weekend I managed to do a passable impression of actually having a Life(TM), and went to London to meet up with some fellow fangirls! \O/

My original plan was for me and Rowan to travel down on the Saturday morning, and then come back home again Saturday evening. But [ profile] thaya_rayal very kindly said we could stay with her for the weekend - and I never pass up an opportunity to spend time with Mel *hugs her* So instead we headed to Aldershot on the Friday, after Rowan finished school for the day, with return tickets for Sunday evening.

Friday )

Saturday - fangirls! )

Sunday )

It was a fab, if extremely tiring, weekend, and it was such a treat to not only get to see my Mel and Will again but to also hang out with fangirls! *hugs them all* This really needs to happen more often. (And [ profile] catwalksalone? I was really sorry not to get the chance to see you *hugs* This must be rectified!)

I have a couple of pics, taken on my DSi since I stupidly left my camera at home *facepalm* I may upload them at some point.
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Today was my annual appraisal - been with the company seven years now! o.O I always dread these things, as I'm not comfortable talking about myself and never know what they actually want of me - management-ese sucks! Last year I actually burst into tears, even though my manager at the time wasn't being nasty with me. I just get that defensive and wound up.

This year was a completely different story. I was given a ten page document to go through before the meeting; ten lists, printed landscape rather than portrait so not as much as it sounds, where I had to rank myself on a scale of one to five. Things like how well I relate to my colleagues, whether I am confident of my procedural knowledge, things like that. My manager and I were to then go through the lists, discuss my responses, and he would give his own responses.

I have something of a mental block on giving myself top marks in anything, so I mostly gave myself fours, along with a few threes - mostly my attitude to my workload, procedural changes etc. I explained to my manager and senior that, while I do what is expected of me, I'm not above having a brief gripe about it. They were pleased with my honesty, and my manager either went along with me or gave me a four instead. When he wasn't going along with my choices, he usually marked me a five or a four, which was astonishingly awesome. Not once did he give me a lower score than I myself had.

As a result, I left the two hour meeting in an extremely good mood. The relaxed chat and free breakfast didn't hurt either! ;-)

I then had a choir rehearsal straight afterwards; we practised a Glee-type rendition of 'Lean On Me', and began learning our parts for 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' (six-part harmony, guys!! o.O) Very cool.

Rowan's not been very well this week, bless him. He had a bit of a cold on the weekend, and Sunday was a special activity day in West Wales with the St John Ambulance. It was wet and absolutely freezing that day, unfortunately, so when he came home that night the cold had fully taken hold. He was poorly all through Bank Holiday Monday, sleeping most of the afternoon, and hadn't gotten over it by Tuesday so we had to stay home. He was well enough to go back to school on Wednesday, which was ironically the first day this week my mother would have been able to look after him for me. She got made redundant from the office, and finished there last Friday, but she volunteered to work a little overtime at the supermarket on Tuesday to help with the inevitable post-Bank Holiday chaos.

My last assignment for my current OU course is due on Wednesday. Guess what I'm going to be doing during my day off tomorrow? Also, when is the weather gonna make its mind up? I turned the central heating off last week 'cause the flat was boiling, and we've had rubbish weather last couple of days - I am freezing!
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
My birthday yesterday. Predictably quiet, uneventful day, though the guys at work did decorate my desk for the first time in the seven years I've worked there!

Thank you to everyone who wished me happy birthday, either on LJ or Facebook :-)

Rowan gave me a very cute necklace and earring set, as well as a small cuddly giraffe. :-) Mam took him to ASDA on Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago to pick them out. I had a HMV gift voucher from the guys at work, and some money off my Nan and my Bampy (my brother and sister's grandfather) - I'm thinking of putting that towards getting Band Hero *grins*. Mam and Dad are holding on to a portion of Mam's redundancy payout to cover the deposit for when I find a new place.

Rowan was the one getting all excited about my birthday, as he kept checking how many days there were left and saying how I'd look so beautiful in my pressie *affectionate eyeroll* He's not the best at keeping secrets, not unless it's really important.

Rowan's got himself a project on Berlin to complete in the next three weeks. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what he's supposed to hand in; it can either be a scrapbook, a Word document or a Powerpoint presentation - Rowan wants to do it on Powerpoint, but apparently he's not supposed to stand in front of the class and give a talk :-p I'm trying to help him as best I can without taking over completely, but it's hard to know if I'm pushing too hard and making him do too much... *sigh* I have an assignment of my own due in a couple of weeks too, which doesn't help.


Apr. 22nd, 2010 06:37 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Feeling rather sorry for myself tonight...

A friend of mine in work is going to see Hairspray in the Wales Millennium Centre this evening, and two of his group had to pull out at the last minute so he asked if Rowan and I would like to go along in their place.

Cool, thinks I! Yeah, it's a school night, but with tomorrow being Friday, I figure we can get away with it just this once. Only trouble is that Thursdays is when Rowan goes to Badgers, and they're just wrapping up the work towards one of their badges. Still, I provisionally accept the offer, telling Stephen I'd speak to Rowan and let him know.

Talked to Rowan when he got out of school but, while he wanted to go, he was very worried he wouldn't earn his badge if he didn't go to the Sett meeting tonight. Called my uncle on the bus home, as he runs a Badgers/Cadets group out in the Vale and he agreed that it was likely he'd miss out... *sigh*

So I had to send Stephen a text at tea time to let him know we wouldn't be joining them :-( And I so wanted to see Michael Ball - Michael Ball, people! - as Edna....

Sometimes having parental responsibilities suck....
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Rowan has a project for school, where he has to give a presentation to his class about Berlin. They all had to choose a city on Monday, and for some reason that's the city he decided on despite having no clue where it was or anything else about it. When he told me about it on Tuesday morning, I asked why he hadn't chosen Seattle instead, since I know tons about that place and could help him with it. But apparently it was too late to change his mind :-/

I took him to the library yesterday afternoon to find some books about the place so that we could make a start. I have my final assignment deadline just a week or two after this report is due, so I need him to be as far ahead as possible before I have to start focusing on my own work. We found a couple of good books on Germany in the children's level, then grabbed some tourist guides from the main library before finding a table to sit down at and work through the list of questions we'd made up Thursday night.

Unfortunately, Rowan just wouldn't get his head in the game and make notes on the answers we found. While I know I'm going to end up doing all the work on this assignment - which is to be on Powerpoint - I'm trying to encourage him to find, and note down, the information himself so that he knows what he'll be talking about. I don't know if there's going to be any form of Q&A afterwards - I very much doubt it - but I'm sure his teacher will know if he's just reciting what I've told him to say... :-p

I had to drag him out of the library after about half an hour, 'cause our whispered exchanges were getting a little too heated and there were people there genuinely trying to study for exams. We ended up sitting in a stupid, overpriced café in St David's new 'Eastside' food section till closing time while we battled to get some notes down.

I said many, many times that I'd had enough and was about ready to take him home, but he really wanted to go see the Kenyan Boy's Choir perform in St David's Hall that night. They'd come into the office Friday afternoon for a press thingy with our choir (we pretended to have a 'sing off', it was awesome! *grins*), and I'd told him all about them. I was reluctant, cause it was quite a late show and even the cheap seats were a tad on the expensive side, but we'd had to actually ask the box office staff how much they were *grumble grumble* and that only served to make him even more determined to go.

We did eventually get some work done, despite many tears and harsh words, and went to see the show. We both thought they were very good, though Rowan fell asleep towards the end and missed an opportunity to get up and dance on stage with them! *laughs* We were in the third row, despite having gotten the cheap seats, so we had a pretty good view. I'm not sure if it was just because I'd seen them in a meeting room at work the day before, but I thought the acoustics were terrible - there wasn't much in the way of a microphone setup, so the general sound was somewhat uneven and the soloists were very quiet. I know from experience how bloody hard it is to hear yourself on that stage, but I'd thought that was because the acoustics were set up to the audience's benefit rather than the performer's. :-/ Ah well - it was still a good night.

Today we're going to be searching the web for pictures to use in the powerpoint presentation. Should be far less stressful than yesterday....
gothams3rdrobin: (rowan)
It's been a busy day today. I promised Rowan I'd buy him some roller-skates for Easter, and today was the day we were going to go into town to get them.

Went to the skating shop in town to pick up a pair - not the ones Rowan was eyeing up, but he was happy with the ones the guy brought out for him to try on. Plus they were cheaper than the slightly fancier ones he'd originally wanted, so I was pleased. We then went to a sports supply shop to pick up some protective gear - good thing too, as they were on a special sale, and I got them for loads cheaper than I would normally. I was a little frustrated to see starter packs for almost half the price I paid for his skates - but they were for inline skates, rather than the regular roller boots I bought him, and I know he wouldn't be able to deal with them just now.

We jumped on the bus down to Cardiff Bay, so that he could try them out in the wide open space of Roald Dahl Plass. There were plenty of people about, but not so many that people got in our way much. Rowan did initially freak out, and after about twenty minutes I had to take him into a café in the Millennium Centre for a drink and a calm down. As I said to him, the reason I can't skate or ride a bike is that few people bothered to try and teach me, and those that did allowed me to quit when I freaked out - no way was I going to let that happen to him.

Anyway, after we'd both calmed down a bit, we headed back outside and worked our way around the Plass. We alternated between him gripping onto my hand or arm, or moving himself along the barriers of the main Basin. After an hour or so, he was sometimes shuffling along on his own power, with very very small movements. After we'd been at it for about three hours, I had him rolling along holding my hand, away from the barrier, and starting to make proper sweeping movements with his feet. Problem was that the path we were rolling along was a mix of large paving stones and rows of small cobblestones, and he didn't much like rolling over the cobblestones *rolls eyes* Guess I gotta work on that.

He doesn't think he did very well, but I'm pretty proud of the progress he made. He only fell over once (he counted three times, as I had trouble picking him up afterwards! *grins*) and he was moving with increasing confidence once he got over himself. We were laughing and joking most of the afternoon, and he's happy to try again sometime soon. \O/

We had chinese afterwards at the buffet in the Red Dragon Centre. Yummy, but I felt kinda sick afterwards :-p I seem to eat less each time I go, and yet I end up feeling like I've massively overindulged. Ah well!
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
One of the guys on the next-door team is also an MLB fan - we struck up a conversation a couple of years back 'cause he was wandering around the office in a Mariners shirt (he also has a Seahawks shirt, and various other teams) - and today he brought me a gift; an actual MLB baseball that he caught at a game the other year! He and his wife were having a clearout and they have a spare, so he asked me if I wanted it! \O/ Going right onto a shelf in the glass cabinet thankyouverymuch! And no, the boy will not be permitted to play with it, no matter how much he complains!

I had an interesting start to my working day besides that; we were late getting Rowan to the sports camp, so I had to get a later bus into town but still had enough time to pop to Greggs for some breakfast - breakfast roll and a cup of tea! Nice way to start the morning. As I was walking up the steps to the building, I passed one of the Trainers for my department on her way out. She told me not to go into the building, as they were about to run a fire drill and Security would refuse to let me up anyway.

So I sat on a wall alongside the building, eating my breakfast roll while waiting for the alarm to sound. Sure enough, just as my shift should have started, off it went. I headed across the road to the assembly point and waited for some familiar faces - we take up around half the twenty-three floors in the building, so you can imagine there's quite a lot of people to evacuate. Plus, as assembled groups are wont to do, once they got across the road, most were unwilling to move much further than the curb despite the size of the 'Square' - which was, after all, the entire reason why it was chosen as our assembly point! :-p I felt so sorry for the bus drivers trying to get passed these hordes of people practically standing in the street!

I was quite content while waiting for the fire marshals to call my floor back into the building; I had a cup of tea (albeit one that could have done with a bit more sugar....) and was chatting with a colleague I get on well with, and is also in the choir with me. It didn't take long to get back to my desk, surprisingly -it usually takes quite a while queuing for the lifts back upstairs - and I was there before the rest of my team. I explained to my supervisor how I'd actually arrived on time and everything, but she was fine about it. Typical though! I could have been running late and I'd have gotten away with it! *laughs*

Not sure if Rowan's going to be going back to the camp in the summer, though *sigh* I think he's struggling to adjust to being in the 'Over Eights' group this year, with all the older kids and more physical activities. He's been very tired and grumpy most evenings, and always seems to have some complaint about how the other kids or the coaches have behaved towards him. Likely he just needs to mature a bit - the kids his age are starting to play that bit more roughly, but there are even bigger kids at the camp, and kids never seem to know how to adjust their play to accommodate the younger ones.

I imagine he'll be fine in a couple of years, when he's no longer one of the littlest. But for right now, this presents a slight childcare problem for me in the summer.

Oh, and as for this week's NCIS? Well, if Tony doesn't want to give his Timmy those Nutter Butters I know a good home for them... ;-)
gothams3rdrobin: (me - contemplative)
As is our tradition during the school holidays, Rowan and I went into town to see a film. We got tickets for a late afternoon showing, seeing as there were so many other families with the same idea as us, and had some lunch in Burger King. We then spent a couple of hours mooching around the shops and just generally hanging out. He's been on holiday from school for the last week, but has been spending the day at the sports camp while I was at work, so this is the first day of the holidays we've had to spend together.

The film we went to see was the new Jackie Chan film, 'The Spy Next Door'. I'd read some bad reviews, saying it was quite a boring film, but I didn't care - I'll watch just about anything Jackie makes :-) It certainly wasn't a cinema masterpiece, but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and Rowan thought it was pretty cool too. I would very happily watch it again.

The thing that amused me the most, was that the villain of the piece was played by Magnus Scheving, otherwise known as Sportacus from 'Lazy Town'! Apparently his Icelandic accent can pass for Russian... ;-p But he was very, very good, and his athletic skills meant he was very capable of keeping up with the kind of action you get in Jackie's movies. Very, very cool. :-)

Been absolutely loving choir over the last couple of weeks, as we've started learning a variation on the Glee adaptation of 'Lean On Me' by Bill Withers. It is soooo much fun, you guys! Our SGM is on the 14th, and we're having to do the Michael Jackson and Born Free medleys again, so this is like a breath of fresh air. Plus I just love it! :-) We're learning it for something we're going to be doing in the summer with the Tenovus 'Sing For Life' choir - another of George and Andrea's projects, where the members are made up of Tenovus employees and cancer survivors. They're learning our version of 'Somebody To Love' as well, and we're all going to perform together.

Right, gotta persuade Rowan to go to bed now. The cinema made him sleepy, and he's getting a headache now apparently. But then, the silly goose has been up since about half six this morning - why is it that you can't get kids out of bed for love nor money when they have to be somewhere, but when it's the holidays or a weekend they're up at the crack of dawn?
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Our usual routine on a Friday is to grab a frozen pizza and some garlic bread from the Iceland supermarket near Rowan's school and eat it while watching a DVD - I think we've been doing it for a good couple of years now. We didn't do it last Friday, as we hadn't had the chance to go get some pizza with the snow and school closures, and Rowan was actually kind of put out. *grins* Nice to know he enjoys it.

This week, however, Rowan's had pizza three times; once for Sunday lunch ('cause we missed it on Friday), then when he was playing at a friend's house on Tuesday night, and finally for his lunch on Wednesday when my Dad looked after him for me. So you can imagine he was extremely reluctant to have the usual Friday night meal tonight, and I really didn't blame him.

So we came up with a compromise, that I'd actually been considering all week. We've agreed that from now on, we'll make up our own versions of fast food - I already make up my own 'Whopper with Cheese' every now and again. Tonight we were having 'Kentucky Fried Chicken'; 'Southern-fried' chicken portions, some oven chips and corn on the cob. Rowan initially wanted me to buy the 'Mega Pack', supplied for just such a meal idea and, while I originally agreed, I reconsidered when I saw just how much chicken there was. Far too much for just the two of us. I did relent a little and buy a small box of popcorn chicken though :-)

Tonight's movie choice was 'Labyrinth' - Rowan really likes it. He saw it in school before I picked up our copy, and this is the second time he's chosen it for movie night. He did originally think the Gobin King was played by a woman though! *laughs*

I need to pick up a copy of 'Willow' sometime, I think he'll like that just as much. Maybe 'Dark Crystal' too - I don't think I've ever seen all of that.
gothams3rdrobin: (eddy in bed)
I have had quite a day. Some good, some bad.

Packed Rowan off to my parents last night, as I had to be down at the Millennium Centre by ten to eight this morning; we were doing a performance for the Arts And Business Cymru conference. Took my laptop to bed stupid-early, to make sure I went to sleep at a somewhat reasonable hour, and set the alarm on my phone to 5 o'clock so I would have enough time to get sorted in the morning.

First thing I am aware of this morning is the opening bars of the 'Thursday Cheesy Song', which opens up the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show on Radio One.

At six thirty.

Alarums and Excursions )

The day takes a downturn... )

But on a positive, Rowan-related note... )
gothams3rdrobin: (me)
Rowan in his suit for Mel's wedding on Saturday! )

When I have the time, and energy, I may relate the saga of Rowan's suit... *sigh* Such a stress...


gothams3rdrobin: (Default)

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