Last Sunday John and the girls went to an Advent carol service at St. Mary’s that was dramatic. The church, at one point, was in total darkness; one large candle in the center of the church was lit, and from it, others, until the youth group that was doing that part of the service had spread light into all the corners of the building. The hymns were all Advent ones that John was familiar with.
The new entrance into Co-op from the parking lot was open Monday. What a delight! It saves so many steps in this cold weather.
One of the Micklefield ladies, Eileen, invited me to a coffee at her house. She is Irish, raised in Dublin. Nichola, another guest, is an identical twin who never swapped identities with her sister. I asked her if they had ever tried to fool anyone, and she said they were required to wear identification bracelets in school to prevent just that kind of thing! Fanny was also there; she runs a farm shop where John went to buy our Christmas tree. I couldn’t believe she had a son named Angus. All I picture is a cow! And, last, there was Liz who is a church goer. She told the tale about her mother who always said, “Oh! Shakespeare!” when angry. Liz was almost grown when she discovered that was the name of a writer and not a swear word. Two of the four ladies had gone to boarding school; one loved it and one hated it. The two other mothers would consider sending their girls away when the time comes. All said it would really depend on the child as to whether they would be sent away. I really enjoyed meeting and visiting with these women. John $ got into the potted plants only twice. I solved the problem by feeding him cereal pieces VERY SLOWLY.
In the U.S. things are straightened out. Here people get things “sorted out.”
I was so glad John $ helped me clean house one day. He found a plate from his dad’s midnight snack under the living room chair and called my attention to it. Not much later the door bell rang, and there was a visiting health nurse. She said she had come to tell me about the services of the medical practice; I had the feeling she was also checking to see that we didn’t live in a hovel and that our children weren’t battered. I asked if they ever checked healthy children routinely. The place to go is Shaw’s corner clinic just down the road where they will weigh, measure and check $. It’s called a developmental check. I must make an appointment soon. The lady who came is a trained mid-wife, a nurse and is qualified to teach. She has 400 families to check on, is available to answer questions about child rearing, and gives immunizations.
I believe I’m right that they don’t do a 4th DPT here. We should be able to get the 4th polio immunization.
Names are something. I was introduced to Judy Catt from New Zealand. Her daughter is Victoria. She missed her chance. Why didn’t she name her Katherine and call her Kitty?
We were rather rudely awakened this week. $ was making noises about getting up, so I pried myself out of the warm bed, groped for slippers, and caught a Fischer Price toy instead, and it landed with a thump and a loud ring from a bell inside. Now you may not think it the usual thing to store such a toy in one’s bedside table, but in this house it is logical. Daddy John hopped up quicker than ever for the real alarm. I was more alert than normally! $ keeps us on our toes!
Fish report: both are doing fine, just as lively as can be. Wouldn’t have believed it a week ago.
So often I report what Kate says because she can get things royally mixed. This week it was Lisa: “Can we have a piece of John for bread?”
Mr. Wolters, the agent, arrived unannounced this week. $ came in handy as an excuse for certain things being out of place. He and I were standing in the kitchen as Clewes rolled the barrow by, and Clewes told me later he looked in as I waved to him and was sure the corrective collar Mr. Wolters wears was the collar of a vicar. He couldn’t figure out why I was bringing the vicar into the kitchen.
I wanted to point out that the school has non-uniform uniforms. This being the year of the change of suppliers, some girls have the old uniform and some the new — a motley group.
In deploying Christmas decorations around the house, I dropped a small candle over the banister. The race was on – $ at the bottom of the stairs and me at the top. I could just see him reaching it first and chomping on it like a cigar. I won, however.
You know how I often laugh when I shouldn’t? This time I did it to myself. In putting $ in the push chair, I got the shoulder strap from my purse tangled in his feet. The more I tried to undo it, the more twisted he became. I got tickled, began to laugh aloud, and looked up to see a Micklefield mother staring at me. Made me laugh even more. Finally $ had to be taken completely out before I could get him untangled.
The generation gap in our house is amusing. It was shown in a non-verbal controversy over toys. Kate was having her hair washed, and $ decided she needed toys to play with. He threw in all he could reach, and she just as quickly slung them back in the toy tray.
John $ has a casual disregard for clothes. He is constantly crawling out of his booties and would probably leave his pants behind as well if they weren’t firmly anchored over his shoulders with straps.
We had a busy weekend. Chris G, who works with John, came out Saturday afternoon to see the sugar shakers in the antique/junk shop. She’d been wanting one, was aghast at the prices in London, and was eager to see the ones here. While she was looking, I bought a toast rack, a neat gadget that will keep the toast from getting soggy! I had seen one a few days ago but forgot to buy it while concentrating on something else. This one was 50p cheaper. We walked along the High Street just looking and came on home. I enjoyed walking without my usual encumbrances.
Chris spent the night with us, and this morning we went to Canterbury Cathedral. The weather was very cold. They got chilled sitting in the choir during the service; $ and I got cold walking around waiting for them. Warmed ourselves with hot tea, sizzling chips and steaming hamburgers. Then we felt warm enough to walk along part of the old wall. The music was glorious in the church and worth the effort. Drove around the town and home. $ was so good – only cried about two minutes the whole day!!