7:00 - Alarm clock plays a lovely violin piece by Kreisler. I notice that Richard is up already and hear the sound of the coffee machine. He is coughing less today.
7:30 - Reluctantly drag myself out of bed. The coffee is all gone and the children need to go to school. James and Alistair have been playing with their Hot Wheels set for a while already and I only need to wake up 2. I shouldn't complain because until before Christmas my get out of bed time was 6:30.
7:45 - Breakfast time. Oddly, the four offspring all request a bowl of mixed cereals. I accidentally mix Shreddies with Rice Krispies instead of Shreddies with Bran Flakes for Alistair (who, predictably, went to the loo) and try to cover up my mistake with a layer of Bran Flakes. Unsuccessfully. Of course.
8:00 - send Sam for a shower. He comes back 10 minutes later, not showered. Send him back upstairs and threaten him with motherly assistance, which helps.
8:15 - All children are dressed and ready. How did this happen? It is too soon for school and I send them off to play for a bit. I pack lunch boxes and I decide to start cleaning the shower room.
8:40 - I realise that it is late and children need to get to school immediately. I round them up and see them off. James didn't bother putting his shoes on properly and stumbles down the stairs. Eventually, they are on their way. Annie holding a little boy's hand on each side, an image that brings tears of pride to my eyes. I leave at the same time to go for a run. I did manage to do a bit of lame jogging without utter agony and don't have to crawl home. My running shoes really need replacing. Or maybe I need to loose weight. Or both.
9:45 - I return from my jog and notice an overwhelming smell of bleach in the house. I remember that I had sprayed the shower cubicle with bleach to get rid of mouldy spots and didn't have time to wash it off. I finish the cleaning, take a shower and have breakfast and start the washing machine.
10:10 - I decide to check my student email account to see if anybody has responded to my email. I am trying to recruit University Teachers for a dissertation study. There are 15 volunteers. I spend an hour replying to emails and wondering how on earth I will interview them all and transcribe the interviews. I will need to reduce the numbers to 10. I briefly wonder if I should clean the other bathroom but decide to have coffee instead.
11:35 - I enjoy my coffee and scan the job adverts that have come in by email. Decide to have a closer look at two, notice that one would be right up my street. Bookmark.
12:00 - I remember that I didn't get all the foods on the shopping list yesterday. Dash out to the butchers for meat and the corner shop to buy the most delicious rolls of all, Morton rolls (Morning rolls). There are no better rolls in the world and I could eat myself sick with those rolls. It has to be the rolls delivered by Morton's first thing in the morning. Large sheets of rolls stuck together. We are having spiced pork burgers for dinner and Morton rolls are a must. I also remember to get some cash because our schools have not yet discovered what most other schools have, an electronic system to prepay for school meals. I wonder briefly how a sight impaired person would be prompted to use the buttons embossed with Braille if they can't read the instructions on the screen.
13:00 - I decide to clean the second bathroom before lunch. I am hungry and tempted to do what our old cleaner used to do: shine the shiny bits and gloss over the rest. But I end up being thorough because I do like a clean bath.
13:30 - I am trying to remember where I hid the bagels. I have some hot smoked salmon left and want to eat it with cream cheese and capers on a toasted bagel. I have to hide the bagels because otherwise I would never get one. Greedy offspring.
14:00 - I decide to bake oats and raspberry muffins for the young ones. Just as I put them in the oven, school calls. I have to go to school and help James change his pants because he had a bit of an accident. I rush to school and back in 12 minutes, just in time to get the muffins out of the oven.
15:00 - It just started raining as I left for school for the second time this afternoon. I am trying to remember how many children I need to bring home. Three. The muffins are scoffed up in 30 seconds flat. I propose play time before homework because I need to write the email reminders for the Sunday community club. Play time is fun, memory games, playdough, Operations and some general rolling around.
16:15 - Homework. This is such a drag. I hate homework. But we do it, day after day after day. After a quick chat to my sister in law in Switzerland I realise it is time for James' swimming lesson. It is 17:00, how did this happen? I get him ready quickly and rush out with both little ones to rendezvous with Sam, who takes him to the lesson and back. They both complain about each other when they return. I need to follow them one day because I really would like to see and hear how they get on. Lost of bickering I am sure.
18:15 - I manage to get dinner on the table in time for James and Sam to get back. Spiced pork burgers (with prunes and sage) in Morton Rolls, salad and other raw vegetables. I am the only one who eats salad with dressing. I wonder why anyone would want to eat dry leaves but say nothing. Richard is not back for dinner and will eat later.
18:45 - Annie dashes off to her school meeting about a forthcoming school trip to an outdoor activity centre. I feel guilty because she is going with a friend and her mum. Richard is at pilates and I am going to knit night. I may need to reconsider my priorities but I figure that we'll get plenty of paper work and Annie has taken a note pad and pen to the meeting. I decide not to worry.
19:20 - James and Alistair are tucked up in bed but not asleep. Sam has plugged his earphones in and plays Minecraft. I am ready to leave for knit night, pacing up and down the house like a caged tiger, waiting for Richard to get back.
23:30 - I am back from knit night, exhausted but happy. My knitting friends are all from the German speaking children's club that I no longer attend but we meet monthly to knit, crochet and chat. We often talk about "expat" issues and other stuff. I don't feel like an expat actually and I don't think that the grass is greener over in Switzerland but it is nice to have "shared" memories of similar cultural values. I didn't get any knitting done of course but we have planned our annual camping trip in May. I am really exited that the camping season is closer every day, I love camping.