Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Last three days in a nutshell

I hope nobody came by my blog last night expecting to find the update I promised on my previous entry.

Unfortunately the internet was down, so I couldn't update, but this morning it was all back up and running, so normal service should now be resumed.

However, it's unlikely that I would have managed to do a new blog anyway, since Martha spent the evening on the computer doing some personal things she's been meaning to sort out for a while. That left me with nothing much to do, and after channel hopping for a while and realising for the third or fourth time that there really was nothing worth watching on TV, Martha suggested that I pick out a DVD and watch the extras on it.

How this simple cure for my boredom didn't come to me in the first place I shall never know. I'm always banging on about how I never have time to watch the additional features on DVD's and how I'd love to sit down and watch them given half the chance, and then when the opportunity is there staring me in the face I can't even see it. I doubt a massive neon sign over the TV saying "Watch the extras on your DVD's you flaming idiot!" would have made much difference.

Hooray for wives then!

I decided I'd watch the extras on the Wallace & Gromit "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" DVD. It was great to learn about how they build the plasticine models, some of the background to the film and the characters, and also an extra short unrelated animation which was weird beyond belief called "Stage Fright". There were also some fantasticly funny but quite short Wallace & Gromit animations called "Cracking Contraptions" - seeing Gromit it a sheep suit being bounced up and down on a spring to help Wallace count sheep in order to fall asleep had me hooting with laughter.

Anyway, all was good with the extras and it kept me entertained for a good couple of hours. What did peeve me was towards the end there was a documentary which was virtually identical to another slightly shorter documentary on the second bonus disc. To me that's just shabby and lazy. If you're going to put extras on, at least make sure everything is unique. I'd have preferred it if the shorter documentary hadn't been on the disc at all.

So, what about last weekend?

It was pretty good. Swimming was excellent - Audrey's finally starting to regain her confidence after making very little progress for some time now. Something must have happened that really dented her confidence in the pool, because she was doing so well, then suddenly decided to regress almost to the point where she was when we started swimming with her all those months ago! It's nice to see her back to trying things she was perfectly capable of doing several months ago, but had somehow lost the will to do them.

On Saturday night Martha and I made our increasingly popular no-bake cheesecake which we were to take to my parents for Mothering Sunday the next day. We've got it down to a fine art now, and can whip this exctremely diet unfriendly cheesecake up in a little over half an hour. I'd share the recipe, but our repertoire is pretty limited as it is, so I wouldn't want to give one of our better recipes away just willy nilly. It's nice to preserve some of the mystery! If you want to sample the goods, you'll just have to pay us a visit!

Also on Saturday night I had a grooming accident with a pair of clippers and now have no sideburns. It doesn't look too weird, and they'll grow back pretty fast I reckon, but Martha hates it - however superglueing the trimmed hair back onto my face simply wasn't an option.

On Sunday we sprang forward one hour, leaving a 6 hour gap between us and the people in the USA/Canada people that we talk to the most. I've never quite understood why we change on different weeks - I don't think that's the case when we fall back in the autumn.

As I said we were bound for my parents for Mothering Sunday, so we packed up all our gear and off we went. My parents were going out in the morning so we were going to let ourselves into the house and start cooking lunch. As we pulled up to their house Martha turned to me and said "You did remember to bring the doorkey for their house?"


Normally I keep the key to my parents house on a keyring that also holds the keys to my car and our housekeys. However, because Martha was driving I had no need for them, so I'd left them back at home. After a moment of panic I got out of the car and checked to see if by chance my parents had left any windows or doors open that would allow me to get in. There was nothing.

Desperate times called for desperate measures! Martha wanted to drive home and get the keys - I said that would take too long and that I was confident I could get into their house much faster than that because I had "the knowhow"! Allow me to explain...

When I was at school I was somewhat of a latchkey kid (my Mother vehemently denies this). I didn't carry a doorkey with me, but when the bus dropped us off from school me and my sister knew where there was a key that would allow us entry in through the side door of the house. For the most part this worked excellently, but on the odd occasion my mother or father would lock the side door before leaving for work and forget to remove the key from the lock which meant even with the spare key it was impossible to use it to gain entry - or so you'd think. Whilst this was annoying, this actually posed only a slight problem for us and I knew that as long as that spare key was there I could get inside the house quite quickly.

Could it be possible that after 16 years there was still a spare key to the side door which would allow me to get into the house?

Martha spoke to Dad on the phone and he confirmed that there was indeed still a spare key in a secret location! Excellent - I confidently told Martha that even though the key was in the lock in the inside of the house we'd be the ones inside the house in no time, and I set to work!

I'm proud to say that old habits really do die hard. The time from our arrival, and that terrible moment of realising we had no doorkey, to actually breaking and entering was about ten minutes! It's nice to know I'm good for something even if it is breaking into houses!

I managed to cook a rather fab roast Sunday lunch, although I give my mother credit for actually telling me what to do. Apart from needing impeccable timing to make sure the meat, veggies and gravy are all ready at roughly the same time, cooking a roast is actually terribly easy. Don't let anyone tell or convince you otherwise!

We had one further trauma on Sunday - we forgot to bring Audrey's potty, and she ended up doing the nastiest poo in her nappy which seeped out and got all over her clothes. What was worse was we also forgot to bring her any spare clothes! After cleaning her up we threw her in the bathtub and Mum very kindly put her pooey clothes in the laundry. Mum doesn't have a drier though, and it was raining outside, so Audrey ended up running around in her nappy and her shirt (which was unscathed) for the rest of the day.

I guess you now know who not to come to for parenting tips!

All this breaking and entering, could this point to a hitherto unknown dark side to Gabby the Guy??!!

I can't talk, I break into people's properties on a weekly basis, normally to evict them!
Your diaper incident made me laugh. I've had those sort of things happen. What's funny to me is that with my daughter the diaper bag was like gold. IT was well stocked and always with us. With my son I just keep it in the trunk of my car and I rarely have to use it!
Ann - What can I say, you got me pegged! Was it the stripey top or the eye mask that gave it away?

OGO - I know what you mean. You lull yourself into a false sense of security after a while and then before you know it you're cleaning up crap from everywhere!
I was rubbish at swimming for years and years, I think they sent me on no less than two of those intensive courses, to no avail. I think it was the shouty people and my fear and aversion to water deeper than myself that meant I spent the time at the swimming pool in a state of near panic, whilst intermittently sinking and drinking unhealthy amounts of pool water of dubious quality. It was only when I left school and took it into my head to learn to scuba dive that I grew out of my childhood fear of water, I found a nice quiet heated indoor pool and began learning the breaststroke, a very relaxed and panic free swimming style. It's amazing how much difference the more relaxed environment and pace made to me, I was soon swimming strongly, and passed my BSAC novice diver certificate a few months later.

Hehe your breaking and entering story reminds me of my youth too, I was always fiddling with locks, or anything I wasn't supposed to touch. I remember my parents putting a lock on the phone because I'd been sneakily using it when they were out, and it took me all of an hour to figure out how to pick that lock! I used to chuckle when the phone bill came in (no itemised bills in those days) and they'd look at me with suspicion, but couldn't blame me as the phone was clearly still locked hehe.

As for the poo stories, I think I'll pass on those, I do have a couple but probably best I save myself and my sister the embarassment of 'plastering' them all over the net.
Serai - Audrey seems happier to do stuff when she can observe other kids, so in fact sometimes busier is better. For several weeks we've been in a group of only 3 kids and their parents in the entire pool, which is great, but Audrey would play up badly, probably through boredom.

Hats off to you for doing diving - my swimming prowess is minimal, and diving is not something I madly want to do.

I don't mind poo stories about Audrey, but I'd never talk about personal poo stories, so I can imagine you not wanting to share! That's totally fine by me!
I love how you said the internet was down, as if the whole entire internet just laid down to have a nap.
Miss Jay - Can you imagine if that really happened...the world would come to a grinding halt! It'd be brilliant! Thanks for dropping by!
Yes, we wives always know what is best for our husbands...they just need to be sure and listen to us.
MyUtopia - Yes, but us husbands have our uses too - anyone need a jar opening?!
HAHA! I laughed out loud when you said to not come to you for parenting tips. :-p

This is why we trained Maya (and now trying to train Nadia) to just sit on the regular potty (with the ring, of course, so they don't fall in!).

And what a long entry this one was. Marathon writer!

Funny about the breaking and entering.
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