Day 105

Level 2 Chi Kung. Microcosmic orbit.

We are having very Christchurch-type weather at the moment: cold in the morning but sunny and warm by about 10am. Knowing that it would soon warm up I was happy for Katie to wear a dress without tights or leggings – winter is long enough without leaping into winter clothes in the first few weeks of autumn. Katie however didn’t quite see it that way and, about five minutes into the walk to school, she announced in very stern and rather pompous tones ‘I’ll have you know Mummy, that I really don’t appreciate having my skin turn to ice.’ Of course I laughed at her, which she took exception to, so I then had to explain that I wasn’t laughing at her being cold, but because she was sounding uncannily like the (recently deceased) Dowager Duchess of Devonshire!

We found Katie’s iPhone this morning, after only a fairly minor search operation and in time to charge it before we had to leave for school. As instructed, I labelled it with Katie’s name and class and dropped it off at the school office to be kept securely ready for film-making club in the afternoon. Unfortunately it turns out that children, like husbands, will happily abandon carefully made plans at the turn of a passing whim or the word of a complete stranger. Thus while Clara and Ned and Arena and various others in Katie’s class trotted off to reception to collect their phones/cameras etc, Katie listened to some boy she’d never seen before who said she didn’t need to, and pitched up at film-making club without it. Hey-ho. She was then devastated when I collected her from film club, to find out that reception was closed and she couldn’t get her phone back. It’s tough being 7.

Later in the afternoon, Katie came in from the garden and proudly announced that she had taught Sherlock that broken glass is dangerous. After the clementine incident, I was a little nervous about her methods.

J: Wow, really? How did you do that?
K: Well, I held up a piece of broken glass so that he could see it, then I pointed to this cut on my finger, so that he could see that broken glass cuts you.
J: And how did you know that he understood you?
K: Easy – when I threw a piece of broken glass for him, he didn’t chase after it.

So, to focus on the positive, I love that she tests the results of her work!

Dinner at Baltic. I wasn’t very hungry and wanted to be sure of getting to dessert, so I just had a starter of blini with smoked salmon, salmon roe, and roasted aubergine with a side of tomato and onion salad, followed by their sublime apple fritters with cinnamon ice cream and a small glass of Tokaji. Yum, yum. After dinner we saw Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra, at the Old Vic. Sitting in the second row of the stalls when the theatre is configured in the round makes for an intimate theatre experience. Thomas was convincingly half-mad with grief and desperation, which was all the more compelling because we were pretty much sitting on the set. At one point she was slumped disconsolately about 6 feet away from me and I could see that her nose was running. I watched in horrified fascination – there was no way that her character could pull out a handkerchief! – until, when the tension was almost unbearable, she casually wiped her nose on her bare forearm and then smeared the results over her grubby dress. Perfect! Diana Quick was convincingly obnoxious as Clytemnestra, Electra’s murderous mother.

When we got home, I could hear Sherlock racing around in the kitchen, playing with something that sounded like a set of keys or something metallic. I went in to check what mischief he was up to and discovered him playing with a piece of … yes, you guessed it, broken glass. I tried to pick it up but he responded defensively by getting it in his mouth and running off. Nick and I had to team up to distract him away from it so that we could get it without him hurting himself. Once we had managed that, we started to check around for what he might have broken but there appeared to be only the one piece, so I assume that he did, eventually, chase after the piece Katie threw for him and duly brought his prize indoors. Nick, who was wandering around in socks, did eventually find a second, very small piece, that must have broken off while Sherlock was playing…

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