Unbelievably, it is already Sunday evening and I feel like I need to turn the clocks back by maybe six hours to add a little time to the day. How was your weekend? Ours was pleasant enough, teenage bickering notwithstanding. We kept pleasantly busy, keeping chores to a minimum. I ended the working week on a high after an excellent, constructive meeting during which I received plenty of praise. I felt like skipping all the way home. Instead, I took Jack for a long walk as the youngest were at after school club*. Most of the photos were taken on this walk. I also spotted some orange tip butterflies, both male and female but they were busy fluttering from flower to flower and didn't give me any opportunity for a photo. I found a nest that I had 'lost' for a couple of weeks, it was so well hidden. Turns out it belongs to a pigeon. There is so much to see and look for if you are so inclined, even in our urban environment.
I dedicated the weekend to pastry. I made puff pastry and short crust pastry, just because. Of course I also made something with each but that's a story for another day. Ok, there was more than just pastry to our weekend. I also did some sewing and reading and I played James' and Alistair's favourite new games (Dragonwood and There is a Moose in the House, both by Gamewright). I won because I didn't try to obstruct my opponents but focused on winning. James and Alistair spent a lot of time at the local park, kicking a ball. It is so nice that they can now be trusted to play there independently. Meanwhile, I spent some time modifying the Sorbetto pattern further to suit me better. Along the way I realised just how little attention I had given to the instructions when I made my first one. I also spent a good while sorting through desk drawers, always satisfying. I still have the drawer of doom to clear out but that requires more energy so won't get done anytime soon. The one chore that really had to be done was wash all of Jack's toys and blankets. There was an pervasive dog pong in the living room, where he has his box of toys. He was quite upset seeing all this toys on the washing line and not being able to reach them.
After six weeks of feeling under the weather I have now had four (!) days of feeling good. I finally got back to my couch to 5k jogging plan. I optimistically carried on where I had left it, in week three. I did find it difficult but impossible. I am really looking forward to be able to run longer distances again. I like a long run on a Sunday but haven't been able to run for more than a few minutes.
Jack got plenty of exercise this weekend, both Richard and I took him for long walks. Jack is turning into a confident swimmer. Richard showed me a short film of him swimming right across the Kelvin and back to retrieve a stick. It was such a good stick that he carried it all the way to the car and dropped it at the boot, to take home. I love this dog.
The first week with our new chores regime fully implemented has come to an end. When I reduced my working hours to school hours, Sam and Annie lost their childminding jobs and with it their regular income. I have encouraged them to turn to other essential jobs that help the family. Annie has been proactive and has chosen jobs that suit her and she is being paid accordingly. If she doesn't feel like doing it, that's fine. Sam has been moaning a lot about the lack of cash but has made little effort to help out. James and Alistair are now also old enough to earn some pocket money. On a whim, I decided to extend the arrangements we have with Annie to the rest of the crew. I drew up a list of chores I think the children can do and added a price tag to each. I gave each a jotter. It is now up to them to pick chores, do them and note down what they have done in their jotters. Predictably, Sam was complaining, he didn't like the chores on the list, to small to count. James and Alistair have earned themselves £1.80 and £1.30 respectively by washing their lunch boxes, setting the table and help tidying their room. They spent £1 each on sweets. Alistair was miffed that he had earned less. Lets see how it goes, often the initial enthusiasm wanes quickly.... whilst it is lasting, I am putting my feet up and read a book.
Ah well, on to another week of work. I am quite looking forward to it. Lets hope the weather stays friendly. Wishing you all a good week. xx
* I cannot give this one day of after school care up, we waited two years for it!