Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Happy holidays, and lots of tears

This is the last week of a three week break from work. I say holiday, but I'm not sure it is the truth as we did not go away...

Three weeks cut off from the office have been somewhat relaxing though. My password expired the day after my last day in the office and, oops, I forgot to reset it! No mail, no remote desktop, no nothing!

The first week were spent with my parents. Them spending a lot of time with their grandson, us all going out for the day to the zoo to Ikea (the closest Ikea to my parents it about 200 miles away from them so they only go when they come here). We all had Swedish meatballs for lunch (the little guy *loves* them) and my parents got the little guy his Christmas present, an Ikea kitchen, after he spent 20 minutes playing with one in their children's department. I can't wait to see him play on it! And yes, we are going to put it together the day before and wrap it built. We're not nasty enough to just give him two Ikea boxes and some tools. Maybe when he's 5... :p

He loved the zoo, especially the aquarium with the sharks swimming overhead. It was a little too long a day for him - he only slept for 50 minutes in his pushchair.

With the garden almost done (we just need a new fence and a real roof on the shed) we spent a lot of time in there. Playing on the grass, with his slide and just watching him have a whale of a time. It's been amazing!

When they had to leave there were tears. I have never liked it when they have to go home - the worst thing about moving to another country - but now it's such a difficult thing to have to do. And the walk back to the car seems so much longer when you are trying to keep yourself composed (and with Schiphol airport being the size that it is that is a long way to try to look like you are not crying!).

But they are home and safe and we are talking on Skype again.

The second week was spent with the three of us going out. Once to a children's theme park, where they have a couple of small rides for kids, lots of fairy tale attractions (gnome forests etc) and a huge playground that he loved. I spent 30 minutes crawling through tunnels with him (why are his knees not as bruised as mine were!) and climbing over obstacles, and pushing the manual carousels round for him. We managed to get him so tired out that our little guy, who spent 9 hours in a car for 6 days in May going to and from Scotland without sleeping more than 50 minutes a day, fell asleep inside 5 minutes of leaving.

Which was a bad thing. Because it meant that he then didn't sleep over the afternoon! :)

This week has just me and the little guy. Yesterday he went to day care again and I spent the day studying AngularJS (guess what I am doing tomorrow again?), but today I kept him home from day care and we went to an indoor playground for the morning. Crawling around the climbing frames with him and playing in the ball pits. He just didn't know where to start and was running here, there and everywhere. I took my shoes off and climbed in with him to help. Just for him of course, I didn't enjoy the climbing through the small gaps and up the frames at all. Nor did I enjoy falling in the ball pits :) Bazinga!

Yesterday, after I melted my brain with AngularJS (6 hours was enough!) I spent a couple of hours watching E.T. again on Bluray. And deafening the neighbours (hey, you have to reproduce the feeling of the cinema!). And crying. A lot. My t-shirt was wet. I always knew that it was a sad film, but seriously these days it's a different level of sadness! Still a great film though, and considering how old it is the special effects still live up well too!

And, of course for a huge fan, I got The Shepherds Crown last week. One day after release (I couldn't get to the book shop on the day it was released). And cried when going though it in the street. The last Discworld book. I'm about 3/4 through it now and it is a great read. Once I pick it up I lose at least 45 minutes at a time.

Well, someone seems to have woken up judging from the noises coming from the monitor so I am going to sign off for now. Three more days of relaxing and then it all starts again!

PS I owe some of you a mail, I promise to get it too you soon!


  1. Shares in Kleenex sound a good idea :-) Distance and parents aren't always a good mix (IMHO). As they get on, it's good to be closer, if you can. It is, however, easier said that done, when kids move and make their own lives. So it may well happen to us too!

    Ball pits and child soft play areas; they're never quite large enough.... or we're just not bendy enough any more. :-) Did you go in, in a 50s dress, BTW? :-)

    Hope your son loves unwrapping the Ikea kitchen. It sounds like he'll love it.

    1. Well, I think that I am done with the sad films (though I only have two chapters left of the Discworld book and intend to finish those today) so I think you may have missed the boat :)

      I think that some distance is great - I think that even if I was in the same city as my parents I would follow their example and move to a different neighbourhood. I love them to bits, but whilst I didn't realise how much I needed my independence until I was 22 and left their house (and the country), I know that I do now :) But 1600km is just too far!

      The tunnel could have been 1" bigger and it would have been fine (except for the fact that the plastic was just too hard on my old knees!) And, no, I did not go in one of my 50's dresses :p I went in skinny jeans and a stripy top - very nautical!

      I hope so - as long as we have enough accessories to go with it! :)


  2. Ball pits are fun.
    Being dragged around climbing frames by 5 year old nieces not so much. :-)
    At some point we have to take my nieces swimming as we've done that with the other niece and nephew and also my son, almost seems like a tradition with us that we take them to the pool for their first "family" time.

    Love the Big Bang Theory reference by the way. We've been watching random episodes on various satellite channels recently (there was a 13 episode Sheldon and Amy story marathon on the other day) and really have to start watching them from the beginning.

    I've not got around to getting The Shepherds Crown yet. I saw a news report that said some people were going to read all but the last page so that it never ends for them. Terry Pratchett used to live about 20 miles away from us.

    I first read his books back in the early 90s, when a friend told me about them. I was hooked from the start. I loved the way that he managed to put jokes and cultural references in there for you to spot. It makes the books so much fun to read over and over trying to spot bits that you might have missed.

    1. I think that the climbing bit is fine, at the start. But the fact that my energy levels go down steadily whilst his stay at top level, then go up shortly before the crash make it harder to keep up! (Incidentally, this web comic is amazing and has this covered:

      Swimming, well, thanks for reminding me - that is another post I need to write!

      Being such a fan (we have series 1 to 7 on BluRay and when 8 is released it will be added to the collection) I could not have ball pits and not use it :) We are trying not to watch series too much at the moment so that we can catch up on books again. Once the new series is available we'll probably start from the beginning again :)

      On the one hand I like the idea of never having it finished, but on the other I am not sure I could do that with a book I was enjoying so much. It was great, and will be great again. I have the complete Discworld collection (no, I tell a lie, I need Maurice and his Amazing Educated Rodents!) and so I am going to start the witches collection again!

      I know that his first couple of books were fantasy, but I think that once you get past those it is more satire on the UK than anything else. He is going to be sorely missed for his social commentary as well as his humour!


    2. Thanks for the link to the comic. Just started reading it and I'm already doomed. Going to have to read every single one of them after I laughed out loud at one of them.

      We've only just got a BluRay player, or more accurately my son has just bought one for his room. At some point I think we'll end up with one for the living room but at the moment I've got my multi-region DVD player in there so we can catch up on Season 3 and 4 of Once Upon A Time (season 4 being US region as there's no UK version available at the moment).

      I've got to go through all of the boxes in the attic and dig out the Pratchett books. I think the only books I've not got are the Long Earth ones and the encyclopedia type ones. I've got Strata and the other science fiction ones he wrote plus Truckers, Diggers and the other one somewhere too.

      He'll definitely be missed as a writer.

  3. A three week break from work!! I have never done that! You are a lucky girl, Stace.

    It's nice to read a post originating from Europe that I can actually relate to. We have Ikea's out here and those Sweedish meatballs are so good! There's actually an Ikea very close to my place of work, so I will dine in their cafeteria once in a while for lunch.....once I found the short cut to the cafeteria, if you know what I mean!

    Nice to hear the stories about the little guy.

    Calie xxx

    1. I try to make sure that I have a three week break each year. The first week is always trying to turn off a little, the second starting to relax and the third is where you start to recover! Though I am not sure that I could do 4 weeks...

      A few weeks ago I had a drink with a friend and needed to get food on the way home. I was so, so tempted to eat at Ikea then (it was a round the corner from the restaurant that I went to, but which had closed). I didn't just because I was on my own and didn't want to stand out. That was a mistake. The place I eventually went to was slow, and the food was not that great. Or rather I couldn't finish it - not a good sign!

      I'm always never sure how much to say about the little guy. On the one hand I am a very proud mum and could talk about him way to much, and on the other I don't want to be one of those mums who only talks about her children (boring everyone else with it!) :)