Sunday, August 03, 2008


(Started to write this on 27th June, but finally posted it on 3rd August... Catching up for the summer! See note above here, and the blog prior to this one, about ED's 18th Birthday, and have a click on her Spanish Orange Ad too...)

It had a been a long day.

I taught all day and then did a parent teacher evening. It went reasonably well. Well reasonably. Apart from explaining to one mother how the system works, in quite some "just one page ahead" detail and explaining to her that a reading paper is really what we would call a comprehension. She sat and listened, and then, right at the end of the conversation dropped in that she taught English at a neighbouring school. Oh... I groaned, covering my face with my notes to hide my discomfort. "Oh don't worry." She said. "You're doing fine." At least I was very nice about her daughter........

I finally got away at 7.15 p.m and raced down the motorway to collect German Exchange student from ESOS's school. Arrived in good time for the 8 p.m. pickup.

9 p.m....... the coach finally arrived. apparently the flight was diverted to Outer Mongolia first and seriously delayed, before landing at Stansted. Very close to Gloucester...

Got home and showed guest "The room." Switched on the lamp. "Oh sorry" I said, as the shade fell off in true Lomax "nothing in huge house with huge mortgage for huge family either works or is efficient" style. "It's broken." I'll find another one. Went upstairs to where I know that there were was one other unused shade. Brought it down to put it on.

"You can't use that." said Hubby. It's the wrong sort.

"I can put it on upside down." I said. "At least it will take away the glare of the bulb."

"He'll go back to Germany telling everyone that the English are barking mad."

"Well, not all" said I. "Just us."

I then realised that whilst I didn't mind the thought of being thought of as mad, I did mind the thought of reports going back to Germany that we weren't clean. The state of the bathrooms would have been great for your average rodent or teenager... but there was always a chance that this one was of the hygienic variety. So, I set to and cleaned said bathrooms, found some blue things to go into the loos to keep everything smelling vaguely sweet, and explained that he would have to use the baths, as the showers are both broken. Well... one decided not to work at all a few weeks ago and one, despite the new central heating system, is seriously on the cool side. German Boy looked very unimpressed at the thought of such a primitive way of keeping clean.....

Fell into bed, exhausted.

3 a.m. Little head apppeared in our doorway.

"They're having a party in the flat. I can't get to sleep said Tinkerbell Mushroom."

I went into her room. Thump, thump, thump. yes.... I agreed.

"I'll go" I said to Hubby.

Put on large winter coat over dressing gown and unglamorously appeared at the flat door. They agreed to turn down the music and I returned to bed.

Ten minutes later TM appeared again. "It's still noisy".

Not wishing to make another Nora Batty type appearance on the street, she was invited to climb into our bed and we all went back to sleep. Fortunately I am well versed in the "on the shoulder, nearly falling out of bed," version of sleep.

The next morning I thought I would be hospitable to our German guest.

"Guten morgan" I said, in my best school girl German.

"Haben Sie wohl schlafen?"

He looked at me strangely.

ESOS looked at me strangely.

"Mum, what are you trying to say?"

"I was asking if he had slept well," I said, a little put out that my best attempts at German were not quite appreciated.

They both laughed. It's not "wohl" Mum, it's "gut"......."Haben Sie gut schlafen."

Fortunately said German guest did speak good English...................... and has now safely returned to Germany away from the barking barking!