Monday, June 4, 2012

School Holidays: The Other Web

Today is cold, windy, blustery as hell. Trees are bending over like politicians in front of mining magnates. Tasmania's got the winter thing going on.

Yesterday, I took the kids into Launceston to go bowling. Yay me. Natalie got to stay home and work, which was good, because she'd already started fighting with Genghis... and on only Day Three of the holidays. Gotta love that.

Since the bowling alley is just spitting distance from Chez Tehani et al, we dropped in there, and made plans. However, the best-laid plans of mice, men, and mothers gang aft agley when confronted by a stroppy toddler, and young Max decided he Needed His Nap, so in the end it was yours truly who took five children bowling.

Five.  Bowling.

It starts with shoes. Everybody's gotta have shoes. Nobody knows what size they are. Even me: turns out I needed an eleven, not a ten. Who knew? So I'm standing there, pulling shoes off kids, putting kids up on the counter, exchanging shoes, replacing shoes... happily, one of my older ju-jitsu students rocked up out of the blue. He was in town with his family, doing exactly what we were doing. But he's a particularly useful kind of kid (okay, he's nearly sixteen and he's as tall as I am, and he's a state representative in rugby, so maybe 'kid' is a little inaccurate) and immediately set to with the shoe-tying and the exchanging and lifting and all the rest, and I Am Grateful. Thank You, Big K!

Our deal with the bowling alley gave us two games each, and a Hot Dog Meal thrown in. Num num num. Yeah. Hot dog, french fries, soft drink: the lunch of fucking champions! Fortunately, it's the sort of thing kids like. Me? Err... yeah. Hmm.

Interesting fact: two games of bowling with five kids takes the better part of two and a half hours. When we were done, I threw them all out at Tehani's place, and dashed into Launceston for a bunch of errands: LED lighting strips, power supplies, a soldering-iron stand, kitchen scales, 820 ohm resistor, in-line electrical switches, extension wire... all good. I've discovered the sheer joy of LED lighting strips, you see. Thirty bucks gets you half a metre or so of bright, bright LED lights which operate very easily off a 12v power supply. I can now see the stovetop at night, which is a real novelty.

It's so effective that Natalie decided the boys needed new reading lights. I put one up over Jake's bed... but it's so damned bright we're going to have to build some kind of you-beaut light-shade, and make sure we direct it just to his reading area, or he'll keep Genghis awake. And maybe fry the cat, too: those lights are fucking strong!

Anyway. We got home just in time for Genghis to pack, and be collected by his friend Liam and his mum. So Genghis is off overnight. But not long. I'll pick him up later this afternoon, so he and Jake and I can go in to watch movies with the Cool Shite boys in Launceston. Oh, and we'll be taking one or more of the Baggins lasses with us, it seems.

Meanwhile, this morning Natalie shot through to Launceston for a while. And then, one of the Mau-Mau's friends showed up, with her mum and brother in tow. So now the Mau-Mau is off with friends for the day. And that's okay.

Of course, Jake and I are off to the NatCon over the weekend. That starts Friday, and Natalie isn't much good for childminding on Friday, so on Thursday, I'll duck into Launceston, grab a couple of kids off Tehani, and bring 'em out here for a sleepover. Then when Jake and I head into Launceston Airport on Friday morning, we'll drop off Tehani's two, plus Genghis and the Mau-Mau, and Tehani will have them until the afternoon, when Natalie will collect them.

All of which means that next week - the second week of the school holidays - we will be seeing Liam visit, and probably the Mau-Mau's friends too. There's also a promised day of gaming (Paranoia!) with the Viking Neighbours. And Jake is going to visit his friend James at some point next week too.

You see what I mean by 'web'? With three kids, school holidays become unfeasibly complex. Who dreams up this crap, anyway?

But at least it looks like tomorrow will be sunny. Transit of Venus, anybody?


  1. Bloody least I've only got one to deal with most of the time. Although when his 3 half brothers come to visit that grows, but as they are all teenaged man-boys it isn't a drama.

    Transit of Venus - taking the boy to the sydney Observatory for that one. I hope the clouds stay away! And did you see the partial lunar eclipse last night? Quite cool that.

  2. LEDS are a very direct light maybe some diffuser material from a flourescent?

  3. Not sure the partial/lunar was visible here. I was watching bizarro Korean anime until about 2030, but on the way home the moon was bright, and very full.

    Bangarr: I am tinkering with solutions even now.