Day 124

Level 2 Chi Kung. Microcosmic orbit.

Katie, who is, at the best of times, slow to wake in the morning, resisted bedtime for hours last night and was correspondingly tired and grumpy this morning. I failed to find the right words to motivate her out from under the duvet and we had a tense, shouty, discombobulated morning. By the time we left the house to walk to school, we were barely speaking (to each other that is – we were both still speaking to Sherlock!). Then we arrived at school and she informed me that I should have remembered that she needs her ukelele on Tuesdays (first I’d heard of it). I wasn’t keen on the ukelele from the start – it is an instrument I dislike second only to the recorder and I would have thought cello and piano were sufficient – but the school insists that all children learn the ukelele. Heaven knows why – I can only think it is because they are cheap, it certainly can’t be for love of the irritating little sound they make. When I collected her in the afternoon, she had clearly had a good day and was in a much better mood. Walking home we chatted about what we had each done during the day and then I raised the subject of the morning and asked her if she had any ideas for improving the way we do things in the morning. She said immediately that she thought it would help if she had an alarm clock of her own, as she would be able to set it to go off early and then wake up slowly. I was privately dubious but kept my reservations to myself – you can buy an alarm clock for £1, so it’s not exactly a huge investment! I also suggested that she might find it easier to wake in the morning if she got to bed earlier the night before. To my surprise, she agreed.

We managed to get home before Dash was dropped off, thereby avoiding being told off by the bus driver. I quickly gave Katie some food and then we were off again to drop her at cello. I had arranged with Nick that he would pick her up from cello as I was off to dinner with former colleagues at the South Thames reunion. It was good to see Marian Ridley, Val Thompson, John O’Sullivan, Chris Spry, Roy Greenhalgh, John Adler and Bill Gillespie and to meet Sue Gallagher (who I had heard about for years but never met). Gordon Lonsdale – you should have been there! John O’S and I had a drink for you in your absence. These reunions, tirelessly organised by Eileen Fairclough, are marvellous, not least because they are the one area of my life where I remain forever the whippersnapper – just that bit younger than everyone else!

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