If all the mailing agencies involved are efficient, you will be getting this earlier than usual. Thought I’d write today (Thursday) before we take our trip this weekend when I’m sure to be in a non-letter writing mood.
John $ stays busy, even during nap time. He went to bed with his sweater on, and I found him later with it off! I might button it up if this continues; might deter him five minutes.
There was a coffee at school for parents of new children which I felt I had to go to. I could smell the coffee a block away and knew to avoid it. (So much coffee here is undrinkable – they call it HIGH ROAST, which in plainer English means BURNED.) I concentrated instead on conversation. The head mistress introduced me to one of Lisa’s teachers who chatted for a while and then led me over to another. All the smooth introductions reminded me of sorority rush week. The report on Lisa is that she has adjusted beautifully and does good work. Mrs. Fitzhugh said Kate is a willing worker, though awfully slow, and is very popular with her classmates. Kate is ahead in maths and can sound out words that the others can’t, though they criticized her jerky reading. Both girls have been hounded about presentation of work; this means their work is sloppy. Lisa’s is looking much better.
Kate’s teacher is new to this school. She’s just come from a school in the east end of London where she had 48 in her class. 38 of these were foreigners, and she claims most of them didn’t know how to eat with a knife and fork. She thinks having 16 in her form is just super.
Got my hair cut and told Bridget how much Mother liked her set. I’d just finished complimenting her when a cat streaked past John $’s pushchair. He began to cry. One of the young girls in the shop asked for permission to pick him up, and he cried even harder. Finally I held him; all the while Bridget never missed a whack of the scissors! I haven’t dared examine this cut closely. As soon as we went out, he quieted down and acted as if he were a model baby.
I’ve had a catch in my back for several days and decided to try the treatment that worked the first night – a hot bath. A hot bath at night does not equal a hot bath in the afternoon. I was undressed, standing poised in the tub with feet wet when I heard the doorbell. Voices were heard, but whose? Redressed, descended the stairs and found Lisa’s French teacher there wondering if she had set up a session with Lisa. She hadn’t. We made arrangements for Lisa to go with her then, and I’d pick her up in an hour. Right then I knew the time in the tub would be limited and not as relaxing as it should be. The water just would not get hot, just teasingly lukewarm. $ came and peered in the water; you could tell by the expression on his face that he wanted to throw all the toys he could find in with me. Then he was diverted by something else – the biggest play-thing in the house. The bathroom door! He sat there swinging it back and forth for all he was worth, making of it a giant fan that would have been welcome on a 90-degree day. Needless to say, it was not a welcome breeze! Back in the clothes and into the car to pick up Lisa! I told the backbone it just couldn’t ache because I didn’t have time for it.
I was dancing attendance on the washing machine when I heard giggles and thumps close to me. Upon closer inspection, I found the cat door moving in time with the giggles. John was on the inside having the best time trying to peek out the little opening.
John $ led Kate a merry chase this afternoon. She decided to play “follow the leader” with him, copying his every move. He crawled under chairs and over table supports until she was almost worn out. That’s what you call really low-down fun!
Today I did some preliminary shopping for a Thanksgiving dinner. I know where to buy a turkey, was able to find cranberry sauce, but looked in vain for pumpkin. I know I’ve seen it in some store recently, but I can’t remember what store or where. Oh well, you can bump into mince meat every other aisle!
I thought Kate was doing so well with her preps, getting through by 5:30 or 6 each evening. The teacher looked at me as if I were crazy when I mentioned it the other night. She said the girls don’t really have preps until the next year, she just gives little things for them to do at home to get them in the habit of working at home. Could have fooled me.
John has been working very hard in the office, and we are looking forward to a leisurely trip this weekend. We plan to drive to Newcastle upon Tyne, taking the whole day Saturday. John asked around the office today to see what people would suggest we see in that area. (This is the very northern part of England, just short of Scotland.) Someone said this is the 900th anniversary of the building of the new castle. Another said the new castle is a sooty old thing near some interesting trains. Doesn’t that sound funny?
We think we’ll stay there two nights, maybe three, and take side trips during the day. John isn’t planning to go to the office until Wednesday. If the weather is impossible, we’ll perhaps come home and relax. It will be so nice not to have to get out of bed spinning one’s wheels.