Day 95

Level 2 Chi Kung Body and Mind Process. Microcosmic orbit (really enjoyable and fab light show at the end – blues and greens).

After receiving a text from the nanny on Sunday night saying “we need to talk” I was braced for her to resign this morning. She is very part-time (she only does 2 hours each morning and Thursday evening) and her main thing is opera – both singing and coaching others on their Italian diction – so we have always been aware that she would leave if the opera took off. It isn’t such a big deal now that I’m not working. In fact, when I knew I would be giving up work, we briefly considered doing without childcare altogether, but quickly decided not to. This was partly because we really value our Thursday nights out (and I have theatre tickets booked up a year in advance!) and partly because we just never want to go back to the situation where we have no one who the children feel comfortable with. Anyway, she didn’t resign but she does need to go to Thailand from Saturday until mid November. The main problem is the APMP course I am booked onto in the last week of October. Heaven knows how I managed to book myself on a course during what turns out to be half term week. In the end, our lovely cleaner, who I think would very much prefer to be a nanny, came to the rescue and will do that week and the Thursday nights. I am still gutted about missing half term, but the alternative would be to delay the course indefinitely and I don’t really want it hanging over me when I am wanting to be concentrating on making my own yoghurt etc.

Amazon finally delivered the last item for the birthday and Christmas parcel I have been preparing to send to New Zealand (the Christmas posting deadline for surface mail is the last week of September but it doesn’t pay to cut it too fine), and I had great fun putting it all together. For those who have read “What Katy Did At School”, the birthday parcel is loosely inspired by the Christmas box the girls receive at boarding school, except it does not contain any kid gloves! The fun tapered off slightly when I discovered that Royal Mail no longer takes parcels that weigh over 2 kg and that to send it by parcel force would cost £54! I spent the rest of the afternoon repackaging everything into sub-2kg packages.

In the evening, more activity prompted by the imminent departure of the nanny. Six months ago, I bought a bottle of wine as part of a mixed case, which I didn’t then get around to tasting for ages. When I finally did open it, it was to have a glass in the bath after a hard day in the garden, so, when it tasted utterly sublime, I wondered if it was just because I’d spent the day sieving soil. So I had another glass the next day and it was still fabulous – at which point I went online and tried to order some more. No luck – the last few bottles had sold and no one was stocking it any more. Over the last few months I have been doggedly trying to track some down, even going so far as to contact the producer, who confirmed that they no longer have any distributors in the UK, but the only place with stock is a wine supermarket in Calais. So I hatched a plan to make a quick wine-buying trip to France some time during the autumn but before it gets too cold. But with Monique departing on Saturday it was now or never, so we got organised to go on Thursday and return on Friday. Amazingly, if you buy enough wine (6 cases), the shop pays your Chunnel fare. Although we have taken the Eurostar a few times, we have never taken a car through, so that will be interesting.

Finally, I remembered to get Nick to sign my declaration and voted.

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