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Sunday, 17 July 2011

I don't know why the caged bird sings

It's July. You know when it's July in the North of England, because of the rain. "Nice weather for ducks," muttered a man who splashed past me in the supermarket carpark with his trolley; I turned on the car radio to hear an advert for a shopping centre. "Come on in," it purred. "It's warm and dry."

This was the selling point. Who cares what shops it had in it?

We have spent the weekend in true English summer style, locked up inside our house. Friends came and brought fantastic spherical flowers and a small baby, which we jiggled till it gurgled. I blame the influence of Blogland entirely for the fact that I forgot to take any pictures of the baby, but made sure to get a range of snaps of the flowers.


I can see my own flowers perfectly well from my kitchen window, thank you. I'm not going out there and getting soaking wet. Last year, Silverpebble sent me a lovely envelope full of flower seeds, which I scattered in my garden. A single evening primrose has come up in my garden - but a stunning patch of flowers has appeared on the other side of next door's lawn.

For a good part of the afternoon we have fought over the Hama beads. We have made several heart shapes and a multi-coloured horse whose tail instantly fell off. All day long, Littlest has been approaching meltdown. We call these her 'pinball moments', when she throws herself around the house in such delirium that there are many tears, many knocks, many plasters. The rain has turned her into a caged animal.

We put on the Zumba DVD to try and exhaust her. Eldest very pointedly put her nose in a book. Any attempts to get her to join in by doing the arm exercises from her physiotherapy programme were met with the kind of teenaged look you wouldn't expect from a ten-year-old.

Tempers are frayed. Eldest flies off the handle and howls at the slightest thing. As soon as an adult back is turned, Littlest is on a chair, trying to pull some high object off onto her head. A frustrated Eldest is violently threatening various family members with the deadly tip of her crutch. A shout comes from the bath. "She's trying to kill me!" Cold cups of tea are abandoned around the house as the demands for help with activities become more hysterical.

As if part of some grand plan, the wheels in the Coffee House have inexplicably deflated: all three tyres on the off-road wheelchair; the tyres on Littlest's bike. Neither Mr Coffee nor I can reinflate them, and no punctures can be found. The gods are laughing: you can't go out there. Even if the rain stops, there's nothing you can do.

22 comments:

  1. But has your loo stopped flushing? I sympathise, my daughter has been unbearably bloody this evening despite having spent the afternoon climbing trees and tearing around the garden with next door's 10 year old.
    Loo situation not as bad as it sounds, we have two.

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  2. Oh no! Will do the rain rain go away dance for you! Summer.. Pha.
    Leave a comment over at like it or lump it for a chance at the calming give away. Take care x

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  3. I feel your pain. I've been stuck at home with a chickenpoxy toddler all week. And whenever I thought 'I can't stand it and there's no one to see my spotty brat outside' the heavens would open.

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  4. We got so desperate in the rain, we got out the Monopoly. I make everyone play really fast, to ensure we don't get bored. Then I realize all they do is roll the dice, while I manically reach across the table to move boots and cars and handle all the banking transactions, thereby leaving them free time to bicker. Who was this supposed to entertain? I didn't even win.

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  5. Helen - I shall do that, thanks!

    Oh, Ellen, chickenpox too? I'm feeling a lot happier, now that your child has chickenpox and Sue's loo won't flush. Other people's misfortunes are always cheering.

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  6. Yes, what WAS going on this weekend?! Mine were bashing each others head in from the start, and that was even before I got involved. Haven't had such a miserable weekend in a long time. Deflated tyres here too (2), broken down oven, Middle at a Laserquest party (don't get me started on that one), and no allotment time (which usually keeps me closer to sane).
    Thank goodness for red wine.

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  7. Jannette - so glad it's not just me! And I have nearly killed myself trying to blow up these tyres.

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  8. What a grim weekend, I hope it improves greatly and quickly for you. Are you able to take the tyres to somewhere like 'quick-fit'? They might be able to help.

    I like your title - I wouldn't know in your situation either.

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  9. Greetings from a rain drenched Yorkshire. It was a full moon on Friday - I know there is no actual scientific evidence to back up the lunatic behaviour theory, but still ... my daughter used to exhibit uncharacteristic (bizarre) behaviour at full moon, I could guarantee all kinds of crazy phone calls at work. And if it's any consolation the cat went completely bonkers with a brazil nut on Saturday morning. Hope the sun's shining for you all now.

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  10. Spent the weekend digging up all the plants which died over the winter. I would happily have been confined to base. I knew it would be hard work but, it nearly killed me!

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  11. found you via mumsnet where i am also a featured blogger today (how exciting!)
    i really like the way you write.
    will try to read more, on further rainy days, while the kids grow pale in front of 'beebies'!
    xxx

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  12. I would kill for some rain. KILL. It was 105 degrees F today; thank ye gods for air conditioning and the local pool.

    (Still chortling over the title of your post. Well, really, the whole thing...)

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  13. Toffeeapple - it's not any brighter, but at least the tyres have pumped up. It took me a good chunk of the morning, but I was not going to be beaten by a bunch of inner tubes.

    Pinkshoes - good theory, but Littlest is a bag of bonkers most weeks, regardless of where the moon's at. If it was just once a month I'd be happier.

    Helen - I just look wistfully out of the rain-drenched window at my garden. I don't really know what's dead and what's alive

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  14. Roll on the great British Summer - ha!

    I don't think I can bear six weeks of feeling like I'm under house arrest.

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  15. Alysha in Seattle19 July 2011 at 10:37

    We seem to have had the same weekend - trapped by summer blah rain - although ours was in Seattle. Although I'd trade it for the N. England countryside these days, rain and all... Hoping for sun for you and your girls soon!

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  16. Oh, Alysha - the grass is always greener, isn't it?!

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  17. Myself and @vickyrichards are planning a Sun Dance tomorrow in aid of SOS Mums (that's Save our Sanity)... anything is worth a go.... it won't mend the punctures I'm afraid BUT IT WILL make the sun shine... I'm full of determination ;-)

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  18. I am always appalled when I read of such a summer when here ... well ... I don't want to rub it in your face ... but ... SUNSUNSUNSUNSUNSUNHOTHOTHOTHOHOT
    Oh yes ... send some rain OVAH.

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  19. Huis Clos coffeelady style. Sartre couldn't top this. I find locking myself in the laundry room and semi-hyperventilating can be very therapeutic in these circumstances.

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  20. Oh dear! and it was gorgeous here in Edinburgh. I'll try to send some sunshine south because it's unlikely to stay here much longer...

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  21. You have the best talent for description...and you are right, sunshine does make it all much, much better!

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  22. I was complaining about the heat here until I read your blog. Now I am just thankful it isn't raining.

    Excellent blog, great post, and I definitely look forward to reading more in the future!

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