Sunday, November 15, 2009
The car-parking gig was a bit of a disaster, due to me being Extra Stoopid at the time I agreed to do it. See, they needed Cub Scout Parents on three shifts: Thursday evening, Friday morning, and Saturday morning.
When they showed me the timetable, I knew there were gonna be problems. Thursday night - orchestra practice for the boys in Launceston. Friday morning - Younger Son's first violin exam in Launceston. But Saturday morning? I knew there was something askew, but standing there outside the Scout hall, looking another desperate Cub Scout Dad in the eye, I could not cudgel the answer out of my brain.
It wasn't until Friday night, after the orchestra practice (yes, there was one Friday night too) that I remembered. Natalie was the doc on call Friday night. And the on-call system meant she was on call until roughly 0830 Saturday morning. But I'd agreed to be parking cars from 0700!
A quick round of desperate negotiations with Wonderneighbour Anna gave us a crappy but functional solution: I got the kids up and breakfasted with me at 0630. And if Natalie got called before 0830, she was gonna dump the kids at Anna's place, and make the run. Wonderneighbour Anna has five of her own kids... she generally takes the attitude that two or three more don't make much difference. She is, in fact, a Wonderneighbour indeed.
However, when I got down to the show-ring it became apparent that things weren't as tight as expected. Most of the horsey people were already parked and in place, apparently having encamped in the ring. It was kind of weird watching them emerge from tents, brushing their teeth and tending to their horses all at once. Anyway, I had a quick talk with the parking kommandant, and he was cool with having only two Cub Scout parents on duty for the morning. I did volunteer to come back once Natalie was back on deck for the kids, but they waved me off. So I did get the morning more or less loose.
Made it to the birthday barbie for Tiarne, which was nice. But I had to split early to get to the concert.
Man. That concert. Who arranges a concert that includes superjunior orchestras and choirs such that the concert doesn't end until ten thirty at night? Seems a bit much to me. Certainly, I wouldn't have organised it so the grand finale included all the orchestras. I'd have let the poor little buggers go at the interval. But I suppose that wouldn't keep bums on seats. In any case, the Mau-Mau couldn't hack it. By interval, she was a bag of shit -- climbing all over the place, crying... too tired to function. No amount of bribery or cajoling would help. She's four years old, and she needs to sleep. So I took her home. We made it home at about nine thirty, and she was in bed and unconscious within fifteen minutes.
Nat and the boys didn't get home until a quarter to midnight.
We were a bit trashed the next day, yep. But the Show Must Go On. Natalie had a visitor who needed to talk medical stuff. And at about that time, Mad Neighbour Mike turned up full of vim and ire, with a bunch of steam to blow off for various reasons. I poured him a strong Gin and Curacao, and listened to him steam for a while until he was operating at a human level again. It was the only decent thing to do... he really was having a bad day.
Meanwhile, Medical Student Grace arrived on cue. Miss DisGrace is an old Briz writing friend who has now become a medical student and a John Flynn scholar, so it's a pleasure to play host. The kids kind of swarmed her, as they do, but she recovered nicely, and dealt handily with a good dinner. Tragically, she doesn't drink -- so although I used a cup or so of Marlborough sav blanc to cook up a handful of scallops for her, it was necessary for me to finish the rest of the wine.
I don't think she's quite mastered this 'daylight savings' stuff yet, though. It's ten o'clock here, which is 0900 Brizneyland time, and so far as I know, she's still unconscious in the guest room. Or maybe dead. The poor thing has had to change her diet lately for various medical reasons, and perhaps has been somewhat deprived... possibly the scallops on croutons followed by fresh chinese-style chicken soup rounded off with the leftover honey mascarpone ice cream has simply overwhelmed her metabolism, and she's quietly decomposing up there. I hope not. That would be embarrassing.
And in other news: it's raining ever so lightly. Looks like yet another goddam day I'm not going to run the whippersnipper through the overgrown garden area. Oh well. Maybe I can write instead?