I collected the boys from school today. As I shepherded my precious children along on their bikes, I was conscious that I was more than usually precarious on my own. Features for my added comfort included:
A basket which was very wobbly [I tried to get it fixed on Saturday but local bike shop had only one basket in stock and he didn’t recommend it – why, we ask ourselves] and liable to tip out its contents [in this case, one loose set of keys, one handbag, one long cylinder of wrapping paper and one bicycle lock] on the slightest provocation; and
Two heavy children’s schoolbags tied, reasonably securely, to the back carrier.
As I was turning right into heavy traffic my bike stopped moving. As the traffic was more or less at a standstill this wasn’t as awkward as it might have been and, happily, I didn’t fall over. I lifted up my, heavy, steed and moved to the side of the road. A strap from one of the school bags had got caught in the chain. As the bike is one which has a back pedal brake, extracting it was quite difficult and lengthy and made me and the strap absolutely filthy.
Once extracted, we then went home like the wind. I had undertaken to Herself that I would collect her from school at 3.35 in the car but warned that we might be a little late. This was before I realised that the boys’ extra-curricular courses started today [tin whistle and art, respectively, so far so good, tin whistle supplied, mercifully] and that they wouldn’t be out of school until 3.30 rather than 2.30 as usual. And then they took ages to emerge and I did not speed our passage home with my bicycle related difficulties.
I had no way of communicating with my first born other than by email [though as she informed me, a trifle coldly, I thought, I could have phoned the school] and although I sent her a mail saying that I would be late she only got it after 4 at which point she had been waiting for a while. I finally turned up at 4.15 the picture of guilt. How well I remember my mother doing the same thing to me. Alas.
Then this evening is filled with a different flavour of guilt (procrastinator’s guilt – are you familiar with this?) as I am avoiding packing for a trip to Cork with the family at the weekend for my sister’s birthday and for a work trip on Thursday and Friday. The plan is that my loving family will collect me at the station on Friday evening and we will drive to Cork. The logistics of packing for both events simultaneously is too much, so I have put it off until tomorrow which I know to be a mistake. Don’t mock the afflicted. Also, I have requirements for the children’s clothing for their aunt’s [significant] birthday party. I think everyone will need more information than, “Pack something nice to wear” or I will be sadly disappointed. And, of course, I have nothing to wear myself.
Still it could be worse, poor Mr. Waffle is at the AGM of the Residents’ Committee. He went off this evening looking very glum.
This is the kind of exciting news that posting every day brings. For completeness, have a picture of my sons disappearing into the fog on their bicycles this morning.