Sunday’s frolics calmed down finally after bath time – only Thor’s screams were to be heard after nite nite and they exhausted themselves after 15 minutes or so. Yet another ‘soup du poisson’ with boiled potatoes for John and I then bed. Yesterday saw me re-edit my manuscript into a printable book, so looking forward to releasing my memoir as a fully tangible readable paperback. Available to purchase through Amazon, like the ebook in 48 hours. I do know that self publishing isn’t as ‘Fabulous’ as having a publisher on side – but things have changed so much with traditional publishing, as with many industries.
Yesterday ran like clockwork, that is until dinnertime. Thor and Caleb were sent to bed early for playing with (not eating) their roast chicken dinner – I honestly don’t know why I bother sometimes. The most tender chicken breast, potatoes cooked in the meat juices and even a home made cauliflower cheese. Our children eat well – it’s such a shame when they are totally unappreciative. Anyhow, it’s Tuesday afternoon and Sindy has taken the little ones to the park besides the girls school. So just me and the hounds relaxing. At present listening to ‘Hildegard of Bingen’ – go ahead, google it! Very relaxing if you like the odd bit of classical voice and an amazing story to boot.
I get it now! I truly do. I have to admit that writing a blog does keep me online for an hour or so each day, plus some time spent on Instagram. The children’s tablets can entertain them for several hours however with all of the games that they have downloaded. But for us grown ups, a public profile does seem to be an essential part of things nowadays, especially if like me, you wrote a memoir and nobody knows that the story exists. This blog is indeed as a means to an end – my book I hope. And instagram is a means to leading people to this blog and hopefully at some time in the future, my novel on Kindle (Eighteen Moons). Is it all about me? No it is not, it’s all about my family life. And the book is specifically about our origins. I have to smile, but several months ago I had an unpublished book without an audience, just sat as a word doc on my PC. So, I then looked at creating my own public profile and considered self publishing. If you Google Andi Webb – I do not come up in the search engine, rather a woman who is a ‘Fellow’ at the US Department of Energy. My two domains are thankfully self explanatory, andiwebb.net and diaryofagaydad.net – so if you google ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’ – guess who comes up at the top of the list?
By the way, I do hope you readers are enjoying this blog? I get the occasional like, but more comments would be great!
Now moving on, Amritsar and Tara have their ‘Fire 7 tablets’, we call them iPads and today they have entertained both Amritsar and Aaliyah for most of the day. Tara has been glued to the television watching an entire animated series called ‘Dragons’ (all day) and the boys have been playing together without too many dramas. It looks like ‘Mrs Snodgrass’s services’ will not be required tomorrow morning.
The children are now organising a party on the table top outside on the terrace, as the umbrella blew away with the might of storm ‘Hannah’. It now lays on the neighbours terrace, who are away in France and there it will stay until they return in 4 weeks. We wouldn’t want to be accused of trespass now, would we! Time to purchase a new umbrella I think!
A rather rowdy afternoon from both Caleb and Thor. To be honest, they have both been battling it out for quite some time today and both have ended up on the naughty chair. Firstly Caleb for covering the kitchen table and floor with crunched up quavers. I was barely out of the room for two minutes. Come on guys, I tire of constant tidy up / pick up after you all. Okay five minutes on the naughty chair wasn’t enough so I picked up my phone, Caleb still shouting at me and asked to speak to Mrs Snodgrass, the Head Mistress at ‘Naughty School’ (Our fictitious final threat). ‘Yes Celia Snodgrass please’ and then ‘Thank You Bettina’ (Mrs Snodgrass’s assistant). ‘No Mrs Snodgrass, it’s not regarding Aaliyah, on this occasion it is Caleb’ (a short silence). ‘Okay and thank you, Monday morning should be fine’. At this point Caleb’s random shouting became a lot more legible. ‘Not Naughty School, not Mrs Snodgrass, no, not Mrs Snodgrass’. ‘I’m sorry Caleb, you left me no alternative’. He now believes that he will be leaving preschool and starting ‘Naughty School’ on Monday, that is unless (and this was my deal with him) he can be good for the rest of today and tomorrow , all day. He says that he can be good and that he is ‘very, very sorry’. Fingers crossed, he’s been very well behaved ever since. Thirty minutes after the Caleb incident, Thor had his turn. He was generally being loud and boisterous, but he then decided to run past daddy who was looking at his iPad. Thor then punched the iPad out of daddy’s hands. It went flying and crashed onto the floor. Luckily without damage. He just laughed and laughed at daddy – I had to intervene. Just like Caleb, he just shouted and shouted. I picked up my phone and once more I asked ‘Bettina’ for Mrs Snodgrass. Thor’s screaming was reaching a fever pitch. ‘Thank you Mrs Snodgrass, yes two places for Monday morning’ I then hung up. Calming Thor down a little, I gave him another choice of either 10 more minutes on the naughty chair or bed. ‘ I have a sore throat’ he remarked ‘and I am a bit tired – I will go to bed now’. Like Caleb before him, he has the rest of the weekend to prove that he can be a good boy. Once again, fingers crossed…
It’s funny how food transports us back to a moment or a place. Just by making the choice of samosas rather than my usual sandwich and crisps, I find myself back in the hustle and bustle, the thronging streets of Mumbai. Towards the end of my time on the Indian Sub Continent, I often shared my time with a taxi driver known as Ram. He was a ‘kind hearted’ fellow, something that was very sadly in short supply in those times. On our many trips to the ‘Foreigners Regional Registration Office (F.R.R.O), he would show me both sympathy and support. He would also sing ancient songs in Hindi that, with his whispering, reedy voice, had the effect of halting my tears and making me stop worrying of what was happening in the ‘NOW’ and transport me to a mindset of relative serenity. Maybe more about remembering the trips to the F.R.R.O on another occasion, but today it’s all about samosas. Ram and I would always stop at one or two street vendors and enjoy a lunch, or afternoon tiffin of samosas with a small cup of extremely sweet, milky tea. He had a very good heart. And I will never be able to eat a samosa ever again without him in my thoughts.
After having taken two days off from writing my diary entry, I am sat here thinking ‘ What’s it all about’? Making a mark, making marks, much like an artist, but rather than sculpting a figure or manipulating paint, I am recording memories. As fluidic as they arrive, they are now fashioned into a visual format, for the eye to see, once discarded, they are now generated into a viewable reminder, a prompt, back into my now, near past. ‘Making Memories’ is a funny thing. More later, I am about to board a train.
7pm tonight and all was well. Johns arrival shortly after meant that he could say nite nite to the children. This was partly down to the fact that he drove the bike in to work and not the truck. The motorcycle being the preferred mode of transport in warmer weather. John kicked back (as you do after a 4.30am rise for work) in order to relax. However, soon enough the house was filled with Caleb’s screams of ‘There’s a spider under the sofa, there’s a spider under the sofa’. I will elaborate on that in a moment. Now, Aaliyah was also screaming tonight, ‘there’s a moth, there’s a moth’ when we went up. I told her not to be silly, then I realised that there was indeed a 12mm moth (so small) on the velux blind, I opened the window and it flew away. I had completely forgotten about last summers crazy, reactionary screams regarding the insect population. Amritsar was bad last year and this year seems to be acting in much the same way. Mostly it’s Ritzy, Aaliyah and Caleb a close second though. I think that Thor’s relationship with these small, irrelevant creatures is to just crush them with no mercy. Tara is as ever, filled with empathy, not wanting to upset the equilibrium. Back to Caleb now, just the fact that he is making the words – that is really amazing. His language skills are still way behind his siblings. But I am so happy that his sentences are now sounding coherent. In just these last three months, he has progressed enormously. Still a long way to go sadly, but fingers crossed that he can start reception year in September. Though looking at tonight’s video, he does have a few mighty fine smooth moves and grooves on the dance floor! As does Amritsar, Go Ritzy Go!