This is what happens when I am not online for any more than two brief moments for four days running: I sum things up in a very long post.
The boy stayed home with me yesterday because he had the developings of a nasty chest cold. He was fine other than the occasional chesty cough that didn’t disturb his nap or sleep, so we dosed him with Triaminic and it was pretty much gone by this morning. We had a great day together, though, especially since it stormed all morning and HRH came home.
We had another terrific weekend, with lots of family involved. The weather was beautiful, sunny and not humid at all. We took advantage of it by driving out to Finnegan’s Market in Hudson on the Saturday morning, and going to the Highland Games on Sunday. At both we met the Preston–Leblancs (the former unplanned, the latter a-purpose!), and Liam was in absolute heaven spending time with his godsister, whom he adores with every fibre of his being. At the market he asked if he could get out of the stroller and hold her hand, and after ascertaining if this was all right with her we set him free. He calls holding hands “pulling so-and-so’s hand”, and he’s not far off because when he moves he runs and ends up literally pulling the hand of whomever he’s walking with. The two of them trotted around the market together looking at various things, and she was wonderful with him, reminding him not to touch certain things and keeping him within certain boundaries. He was heartbroken when it was time for her to go home, and his tears upset her so much that she asked to pat his back to help make him feel better. When he saw her at the Highland Games the next morning he was thrilled and they got to run around together again, the boy heading around the track with great determination and a huge grin as he gripped her capable five-year-old hand. She introduced him to the concept of inflatable playgrounds and bounced around with him to his incredulous delight (“Liam bouncy-bouncy!” he chortled over and over). He clapped and danced like a mad thing to the pipers practising near one of our shady sit-down spots, was very impressed by the snare drummers, didn’t jump at all this year when the cannon went off to open the games (“Big BIG bang!” he informed the people around us, however), applauded the massed bands a lot, and entertained the masses by dancing madly to Kitchen Party as they did a sound check and warm up in the beer tent. He really is the best kind of audience: not only did he dance with great vigour and glee, he applauded every time they stopped (which was frequent, as it was sound check after all). Now that I’ve found the Bramble House I don’t need to stock up on the UK candy and foods available for sale at the games, and since I can’t wear silver any more except for short periods of time there’s no point in looking at the jewellery either, so the only stall I look for among the vendors is the one that sells meat pies. And as we were there so early this year they actually still had them in stock and there was no lineup, so I finally got to eat one! It was tempting to buy extra and freeze them, but we really didn’t have the money to do it.
This is the second and last time he wore the tiny kilt my maternal grandfather brought back for me from Edinburgh when I was a baby; it was a just-fit this year and will be too small for him this time next year. (I am assuming this based on the insane rate at which he grows. We may all yet be surprised, I suppose.)
This year we went early in the morning and ended our visit with the massed bands, which was an excellent plan and we’ll do it again next year. It avoids the really hot part of the day and the crowds that accumulate later. Usually we begin our day with the massed bands at the opening ceremony around noon, but with Liam’s strict nap schedule that wasn’t feasible this year. Even holding out till the opening ceremonies at twelve-thirty was pushing it, but he had enough to keep him distracted and busy (see above re. the dancing in the beer tent!). He fell asleep in the car on the way home around one-thirty and we transferred him to bed without mishap. After he woke up we headed out to see the local grandparents who had just returned from a two-week trip to Cape Breton (“Presents!” exclaimed the boy upon seeing the gifts awaiting us, although he was much more interested in the Mega Bloks crane than the scotch and the stained glass and the pretty little earrings we got). We were fed delicious steaks and salads and sent home with leftovers.
After Liam’s nap on Saturday afternoon we went out and picked up Eva at the music store (“Music store?” said Liam, perking up as he remembered the trip two days earlier. “Pulling Mama’s hand to the music store?”). She has lovely new flatwound strings (thirty-four dollars; I laughed and laughed and laughed), a strap (finally! — although I have to cinch it as small as possible), and a basic gig bag with lots of pocketses (also thirty-four dollars, at which price I also giggled madly, because this stuff is blessedly cheap compared to my cello outfitting). I also have two picks with which to experiment. I didn’t go into the whole suggestion of alternate tuning right off the bat, because over the past couple of weeks as I play it I’ve realized that the basic tuning enables certain playing patterns, which while irritating to stretch and shift and play on the cello are in fact stunningly easy to play on the bass. There has been a lot of “Ohhhhhh, I get it” happening as I work through chord sequences.
I’ve been sleeping better (all hail herbal insomnia pills!), but I’m still struggling with what feels like unfounded frustration and the occasional shimmering rage that pops up with no discernible trigger. This disturbs me, particularly since I’m extremely not prone to rage, and I’ve been trying to work it all out. The sleep and lovely weekend helped, but I’m feeling cautious, and really, there’s nothing that puts a damper on relaxing or just trying to do everyday stuff like feeling as if you’re being stalked by something like rage. I’ve been feeling uninspired by the August Writing project and have been writing a few sentences longhand here and there, but it feels mechanical and I don’t like not enjoying writing. I think what I need is a vacation, a real one, not just driving out of town to see family for a few days, because while that is enjoyable it is not relaxing. The problem with any vacation is, as t! pointed out to me once, you don’t get away from yourself, which is part of my problem I think.
I did get to bill for both projects I worked on in July, which was very pleasant and will no doubt go far towards alleviating some of the frustration (because finances are always frustrating, particularly when one has friends complaining about not being happy with things we would love to have and can’t). I’m hoping the first arrives before we leave for Toronto this weekend.