out of touch… today’s music

Dear friends

While preparing lunch yesterday, I heard Daur2 humming/ singing:

La, la, da, da,…
Father, Father, Father help us
La, la,… guidance from above
La, la, la, la…
Where is the love…

Me: Is that a church song?  There are lots of LDS youth music tracks produced each year.
Daur2: (laughing) No! It’s Black Eyed Peas, Where is the love – but I don’t know all the words.  I’ll find the lyrics for you.
Later… in the evening…
Me: What was that song by Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Daur2: (laughing even harder) Black Eyed Peas!!

Having read the full lyrics,  I’m looking forward to hearing the song!!  🙂

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the small car, the smaller phone

Dear friends

So our small car broke down a couple of days ago.  It’s legally my car but my dear husband uses it to get to work – I use it when I’m chauffeur (for the children) and to get to/from church on Sundays (or another day if necessary).  Last weekend, when I noticed something electrical not quite work … maybe the interior lights – and I said to the children – I hope this doesn’t break down on my shift!  Fortunately it wasn’t.

My dear husband drove to work in small car, dropping off in town myself and our daughters for work and school respectively, and all seemed well.  The day before I had noticed the car not start first time when I was driving back from early morning seminary with Daur1 who mentioned, “sometimes it does that with Dad.” [Me] – ” Really?  He’s not said anything to me.”

However, after the design team meeting I returned to my desk and almost immediately my private mobile rang – it was my dear husband.  Since I was still speaking with a colleague I picked up the phone, ready to go out to call back, and he rang back again, and again.  Sensing some urgency, I headed out to the main stair and called back.  (I really need a new phone since the person at the end can’t hear me unless I put it on loud speaker and I’m not doing that in an open plan office!)

Did you get my messages?  The car won’t start – I’m getting a taxi to the [girls’] school, the girls [our daughters] are still there!

My response (as I notice 3 or 4 text message notifications…)

Oh, sorry, no.  I’ve been in a meeting all afternoon.  My phone was on my desk.

There was some discontented words about how I can never be reached via my MOBILE phone in an emergency.  I felt that was a little unfair since if I were a surgeon, in an operation, I would not be expected to pick up a call.  Also, what could I actually do, except maybe, go to the school now and pick up the girls.  My dear husband’s feeling of being unable to communicate with the women in his life at such a crucial moment was further compounded by the fact that Daur1 has mislaid her (well, my husband’s) old mobile phone.  So, they were also incontactable!!  (is that a word?)

“I’m sure they’ll wait for you,” was all I could say and he rung off.  I called Son1 at home to let him know why they all weren’t home, in case as a 17 year old boy he was concerned for the whereabouts of his sisters (!) – [Son1] “Oh yeah, Dad called.”  {As it was, a neighbour friend whose daughter attends the same school saw them waiting and brought them home – and contacted their Dad to let him know, that must have been after we spoke, but I didn’t know that until I reached home}.

You might be beginning to get the sense of how laid back the rest of us are, compared to my dear husband, about the need (or not) to have a mobile phone permanently fixed to our bodies so we can be contacted every minute of the day.  This is one of the areas of opinion that my dear husband and I do differ on – why not keep it in a pocket?  I don’t really have pockets in my skirts/ dresses/ trousers!  I thought it was a generational thing but we’re both of a generation to remember when mobile technology of any sort was not ubiquitous… after all, we both pay phones during our university days.  Maybe it’s actually a gender thing… mmm… in which case, there’s little hope for me!

The small car is still sat in a school car park on the other side of town. 😦  It’ll be safe, I’m sure.  Fortunately, I did renew the corporate car recovery service at the start of the year and I’ve emailed the number to my dear husband since he will take charge of its recovery!  I was told they tried to jump start the car, but nothing.  We’ll see if the school has activities on Saturday morning so we can call the RAC out – what fun! – that’s probably a new battery or some other part to be bought.

We’ve begun making contingency plans for Sunday – I should check the weather, maybe we can walk home from (my dear husband always has to stay later than us at church for commitments after the meetings and lessons finish), it’s less than an hour and downhill all the way – we’ve done it a few times before when we were not fortunate to have a car, let alone two cars – the children are much bigger and it’s not fast Sunday!  Time for me and the children to bond!

time for posts

Dear friends

This is a little unusual.  The house, apart from me, is empty.  My dear husband and dear children all have some activity at church this evening and since our small car broke down today (I’ll explain in another post but I don’t want to complain… let’s simply say, I’m glad it didn’t happen on my shift!), they’ve all headed out in the big 7-seater – and I’m home alone!  This is a rare thing.  I also, do not have any paid work to do – I worked a full day in the office (being dropped off by dear husband with our dear daughters at about 0815h – Son1 did the school run for Son2 today) and I finished assessing last Saturday all the log books which I’ve received to date (that’s my second home work job for a local university).

So, I can indulge myself in Wordpress, blogging, reading posts, you and me, at least for another hour or so until Son2 is dropped back home.  Rice is steaming, ready to accompany wonderful African sauces, including egusi prepared by my dear husband yesterday evening – yummy!  This moment is bliss.  I’m even on the laptop which means I can type faster than when I post from my tablet.  🙂  I’ve prepared a quick list of topics in my hard journal which have been mulling around my head the last few days – storm naming (Storm Imogen reached us Sunday night – what a noise!!), US presidential election (I’m fascinated with watching this from over here but I’m guessing for my US readers it’s either starting to get tiresome or interesting?), LDS women (there’s a few conferences and things that we’ve been invited to, I won’t go to all of them but I’ve some thoughts about being a (?an) LDS woman, a 2.3 mile run yesterday morning (yes, 2.3 miles, rather than 2.3km!), but I’m going to start with a work related topic, a design team meeting…

a London trip

Dear friends
It’s been ages!  I started this post several days ago but after a great lesson in relief society yesterday on personal histories where the following quote was shared, I need to make a greater effort to get over my fatigue in the evenings and write.  Here’s the quote, which I’ve kept next to Malachi 4 verse 6 to remind me that family history is about us living too:

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous.  I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy,  but I have stories. ”  Tafta Johnson Watson

Remember when you turned 16 years?  Well,  we had that special birthday in our family last month and Daur1 decided she’d like to celebrate with a visit to the capital city and it was my pleasure to take her.  There were a number of things on the London wishlist:
1. Buy a dress for prom – #1 priority “we have to get it now while the sales are on!”
2. Eat lunch in Soho (Chinese buffet preferably).
3. Visit Covent Garden.
4. See Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and generally as many of ‘the sights’ as possible in a day trip!  Fortunately it was payday a few days before our outing, last Saturday, and I am always one for travelling, maybe not shopping, but walking and sightseeing, that is me!!

So, we boarded the national express coach at 0740h Saturday morning – “why are you doing this?” teased my dear husband as it was just getting light – and we headed off.  An hour later and we were within Greater London and I was pointing out Twickenham Stadium of which Daur1 later commented on,  which [football /soccer] league are they in? and admiring the architecture, some great 1920s and 1930s residential.  Anyone arriving into London by coach knows that means London Victoria Coach Station,  a simple bus station on a corner facing an iconic structure, the National Audit Office – in fact, both buildings are great (in my opinion) and the white blocks mean their hard to forget.

Oyster cards purchased,  we made our way to Fonthill Road,  Finsbury Park.  The road where anyone in the know buys dresses and it didn’t disappoint.  It seemed there were several school girls doing prom dress shopping – the sales – but the first purchase was for me.   I saw,  and tried on a great African style dress which looked like it was made for me – long, fitted,  colourful,  I knew I would regret not buying it.  And then I also decided to buy a cute and colourful African peplum peplum style skirt for Daur2.  Thinking about it,  those purchases were probably my mistake and why today I feel the trip ruined me financially!!!

A fer trying on several dresses,  in several shops,  Daur1 had established, not burgundy, not red, not puffy skirt, definitely not going home with nothing.  I’m grateful for messaging as Daur1 messaged yet another dress to a group of trusted friends back home and I messaged my husband.  It has a high enough neck line,  with matching shawl/scarf to cover shoulders, not a full skirt,  and critically for Daur1,  heels will have to be worn, it’s long!!  With the emergency oast and raisin cookies now finished and task complete,  we headed back to central London and Covent Garden – the market, the Royal Opera – where Daur1 was in awe and exclaimed “This is AMAZING! I’m going to study in London!!”  It’s still a den of iniquity, I joked! Really,  I think everyone ought to experience living in a capital city at least once in their life, preferably when they’re able to explore all if has to offer.  And in the UK we have 4 to choose from – Edinburgh,  Cardiff,  Belfast and London. Culturally nothing compares to living in a big city – the galleries, the built environment, the businesses, the transport,  the government.  Clearly there are big non-capital cities which are also great places but, for me,  there’s a certain buzz when you are at a seat of government.

American Apparel

Was the next exclamation and I couldn’t understand why Daur1 was so impressed with American clothing,  until she pointed out the shop to me with a roll of her eyes and headed in to browse.  From there we walked to Leicester Square “So this is where Jennifer Lawrence was!” We admired the street artists,  art and comedy and musicians.  We wandered up into Soho, Chinatown,  came across the most urban primary school – Parish of Soho Primary, then on to Piccadilly Circus.  Bright lights and advertising wasn’t so impressive since we emerged from the street right under it but there was the bagpipes player and usual throng of people around Eros, or is it Cupid?  We bought hot dog, chips, falafel and water then headed on to Trafalgar Square, Whitehall,  Houses of Parliament,  Westminster Cathedral and then back up Victoria Street and the coach station.

It was a great day and I’m thinking of doing it again,  with the others.  It was lovely spending time with our eldest daughter.  We are similar in many ways and yet very different.  But or enjoyment of the simple pleasure of walking through streets,  admiring architecture and spaces, it was great.

I know this has been a very diary like post but I don’t want to forget what we did.  My phone lost it’s charge not long after we arrived at Covent Garden so we didn’t get many photos.  I learnt to enjoy the moment more and even though I spent more than I planned,  I’m glad for a memorable time with one of my babies 🙂