Sunday, 22 March 2009

Island Trip Part 5

It's Mothering Sunday today, so I got the boys to make Sister some cards. While they were doing this (and Gemmill was doing sterling work on a "spring scene", including volcano, robin and chameleon) I got them to tell me all the ways they could think of in which "Mummy is nice". They were lovely - with Gemmill coming up with a veritable flood of ways, such as "makes my supper", "gets me dressed" and "buys me presents." Wrecker needed a little more prompting, but the moment he actually understood the question he rose to the occasion like a trooper. "Lets me get in her bed" and "tucks me in to my bed" were two of my favourites. Also "bought me Coco" (the bear) and "bought Gemmill Blue Ted" were rather sweet.

After they finished their beautiful cards, I wrote the reasons in a list inside and got the boys to address them and sign their names. Sister, in the meantime, was out having a terrible time trying to feed the farm animals by herself. I had charge of Tertius as well as the other two, and he was not a happy bun...


Sorry ... watching a belated Match of the Day as I type this, and we've just beaten Chelsea 1-0. GET IN!!

As I was saying - Tertius was extremely crabby, going through phases of crying and needing to be picked up and bounced. This mood lasted all day. I'm tellin' ya - I do NOT know how people cope with babies. It's exhausting, listening to something so miserable and inconsolable. Add this to Gemmill's general mood swings ("I HATE you" and "I don't CARE" being particular charmers) and you've got a real bundle of joy to deal with. However, it did turn out to be a good day.

After sister managed to overcome most of her woes in the farmyard, we went out and did the remaining animals in a Land Rover safari. Quite fun - but I'm a bit of a cow-aphobe, I'm afraid. Not normal cows - they don't concern me in the slightest. Just Highland cows. It's the horns, you see. However, I did my duty and offered to help Sister give them some feed in their trough. Sister's trough had a line of feed carefully and evenly doled out. Mine had a great mound of fodder at one end and several cow pellets scattered on the ground as I squealed and flapped off at the first sign of the cows getting frisky. Before you judge me - imagine the sight of this coming towards you, swinging its head threateningly.

Ok, this.

Next we headed into Arinagour, to the Island Café and a Mother's Day roast. Surprisingly, the place was completely deserted. I imagine people were either eating late lunches or eating at home - theirs or someone else's. As we waited forever to get our food, Gem and Wreck gave Sister their cards, and she was pretty delighted. Luckily, considering the wait, when the food arrived it was delicious (mmmm, pork belly. Mmmmmm, crackling) and I scarfed it down like a starving woman. Bad move. Ever since then I've been suffering awful indigestion.

Have I always suffered indigestion? I've certainly never noticed it before, but I wonder whether it's been so ever-present that I've just ignored it. Surely not. In which case, I have a horrible fear that taking Nexium has screwed up the balance of my digestive system. Can that happen? Who knows. Anyway, my throat is still present on occasion, but it really is so much better than it has been. My sore throat and cold continues but it's not so bad. Instead, I've knackered my back lifting nephews and my Achilles tendon is agony. God, I'm so falling apart at the seams it's not even funny. I really have to get myself thinner, fitter and healthier. It's a bit desperate now.

That little aside, er, aside, we followed lunch with a drive around the island in search of Island treasure hunt clues. It's not easy to find distinguishing landmarks on Island, but we came up with a few. When Sister said, in all seriousness, "cattle grid" as a potential point of interest, I knew we were scraping the bottom of the barrel. We ended up on a beach, driving along in the Land Rover, admiring the stunningly beautiful sands and spray. The boys and I had a quick run on the sand when Tertius started screaming (again) and Sister booted us out so she could drive up and down with him while exercising the other two bairns. We ran some foot races, which kept us all warm, and proved once and for all that I really am quite fat and slow. (No, I didn't lose against a 5 year old and 3 year old, but it wasn't nearly as easy as it should have been).

Next up was tea and impromptu scones at the castle with Granny (not mine - the boys'). This was fine, although Seigneur retired up to his study and didn't come down (he loathes me) and Granny thought my presence was solely for the reason of entertainment for the boys. "Auntie will play snakes and ladders with you," she said, which I did. Then, after I'd finished that game and sat down to eat a long awaited scone, Wrecker came up dragging a completely unidentifiable board game.

"Auntie will know how to play that game," says Granny, "and she'll play with you."

"No, she won't," says Auntie, "Auntie's all gamed out."

"Oh, why?" says Granny, blithely. I refrain from saying 'because I've been playing with them all fucking week, and I'm not their au pair.' I can't remember what I did say, but it was to the point.

We then returned home, via the lovely marvellous Angelica for some extra milk for the nursing calf. Sister went upstairs to deal with Tertius, while I fed and watered the other two. We had some high jinx, perpetrated by me, and by the time they were in the bath they were getting away from me, rather. When Gemmill started snapping away at both himself and Wrecker with a pair of toe-nail clippers, I decided enough was enough. I then discovered something about Gemmill that, I believe, is a 'boy thing'. He's started giggling and laughing like a complete twat when you're telling him off. This seems to me to be a male defense mechanism, and makes me think, once again, how sensible I am to live with a woman. Gemmill obviously wants to show he doesn't care when you scold him, but it just fills me with unreasonable contempt as it reminds me of Boys I Have Known throughout the ages, and the fact that, at every age, they have reactions rooted in the same infantile response. Even some I know now. Well, one in particular.

Heh heh. That'll get people thinking.

I got Wrecker out the bath, and Sister came and - thankfully - took over from me. I was able to retreat downstairs and begin to watch Match of the Day. And that brings us full circle, 'cos that's where you, dear Reader, came in.