Wednesday, October 10, 2007

An Energetic Start to the Week

Emily spent most of Monday morning practising for her yoga test and devising ever more complicated ways of trying to learn the pose benefits she needed to know. This was followed by a two hour swimming session during roughly half of which we were the only people in the pool - heaven! Loads more swimming progress being made; Emily's getting stronger on her front all the time, although she's temporarily gone off swimming on her back due to sinking face up a few times and getting that awful water up the back of your nose feeling!

Yesterday was filled with tons more yoga; we went off to the lesson late afternoon and I got to play class assistant while the teacher was doing the tests. Didn't enjoy that one bit, but I get to do it again next week. Maybe it will grow on me. Poor Emily didn't get to do her test in the end, though. The older girls who were taking theirs took sooooooo long about, having to be prompted by the teacher through virtually every pose, every bit of sanskrit, every explanation of benefits - she only got through three girls out of about 10 who were due to be tested. So Emily will have to wait until next week, although judging by what I saw in the lesson she's learned everything a hundred times more thoroughly than was expected.

This morning Emily and I went out for a two hour wander around the village. Emily wanted to take lots of photos to build a photo map, so she enjoyed doing that. We visited the church and churchyard, the prison....sorry, I mean school, the playground, the post office and shops, the war memorial, the river and bridges etc, as well as a thorough exploration of the woods at the back of the church and a wander through some arable land too.
Emily showed me where she and Daddy had found loads of broken bits of tiles laid out in a mosaic fashion half way through a cornfied. Very odd. While we were out we collected lots of lovely autumn leaves, some of which are now in the flower press, and the rest of which have been pasted onto a cat figurine to make an autumn cat, which looks very nice so far, although Emily needs to wait for it all to dry off before she can finish coating it.

This afternoon, Emily's written an "essay" about home education, debating its pros and cons and concluding with her view which, I'm certainly reassured to know, was that it is A Very Good Thing. She's also spent ages going through various map pages, telling me all sorts of intersting things she's discovered. Tai chi and more swimming tomorrow, before we're off to Jackie's for the day on Friday.

Jon's father continues to be obnoxious. Despite having told everyone that after the angioplasty he felt he would be "back to normal" and able to walk the extremely short distance into the village to get his newspaper, etc, he's barely moved off his chair still, and is now going on about wanting to get a mobility scooter. The concept of gentle exercise being required in order to regain fitness is clearly completely over his head. Having endured several "I'm so sorry for myself unless there's someone on the phone I want to talk to" days plus having listened to yet more direct put downs of Jonathan and unfavourable comparisons of him against other family members, I'm back to near screaming point. It's extremely hard to feel any sympathy for people who a) won't help themselves and b) set out to hurt others. Still, I'm in trouble at the moment because I haven't been out today to collect his prescription which I had to drop off on Monday morning. The fact that he's got - literally - shelf loads of medication left and could probably last at least another 3-4 weeks without picking up any replacements is apparently neither here nor there. He wants it and he wants it now. You've got to laugh.

Meanwhile I've just had an email from the press agency. Could I please send them the next installments of no less than three contracts worth of work by tomorrow lunchtime at the latest. None of these items are due until early next week, but someone's going to be off for a week next week and they didn't bother to tell me this until gone 4pm today. I haven't even started on any one of the three pieces of work they're wanting. So the answer's a big fat no together with a really-not-my-problem-since-you-didn't-give-me-anywhere-near-enough-notice-of-the-change-of-deadline. I'm actually getting much better at standing up for myself work-wise; argued the toss with a different contract a week or two ago when one of the client's readers complained about the tone of what I had written as being sarcastic....the client wanted an "explanation" from me, despite the fact that the brief from the client was precisely to be.....sarcastic. The client backed off and apologised to me, much to my surprise but delight. I had been prepared to lose the contract on principle as I'm so sick of being treated like a doormat.

Now, if only I could find the same increasing levels of assertiveness with extended family members, I'd be laughing.

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