Through every nook and every cranny…

Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up her nose as well, I fear)

All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)

It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny-
But most of all, it blew on Granny!

Spike Milligan

All through the night the wind howled and whimpered. It knocked on the doors. It rattled the windows. It sought out every hole and every crack and it whistled gleefully once it found a way in. The rain fell in great sulky sheets like a teenager being forced out of bed at six in the morning.

I almost decided to call it quits then and there. I almost let everyone stay home from school. Almost. Good sense prevailed and a healthy fear for the headmistress. The car was piled with duvets and pillows and sensibly my travellers immersed themselves in duck down for the drive in eerie darkness.

After I had made the deposit at the bank of learning I almost turned around to go home. Almost. Then the guilt poleaxed me. I couldn’t go home and nurse my flu while the fruit of my loins are freezing at their medieval private school. So I came to work. Not my best idea ever.

The air conditioner is now repaired in my office and is blasting out air so cold it is forming icicles on the ventilator. The office manager (whatever) says it will equalise and soon send out warm drafts of air and that I am not to switch on my fan heater on pain of death. It’s been hours. It is not getting warmer in here. My fingers are turning blue.

I can sit here and daydream about sitting in front of a warm fire, but as the wood is now sitting in several inches of water that is likely to be no more a reality than the rapture last month.

Every afternoon my children and I follow a routine.
Me: “How was school?”
Child: “Fine.”
Me: “What did you do today?”
Child: “I can’t remember.”

Slowly I can whittle out some information on what they have doing at my considerable expense all day. “Fine” doesn’t quite cut it in descriptive terms. While listening to the day’s news yesterday after negotiating a tricky peace on the eating arrangements, I was struck my how much Small girl aged 5 sounds like me. In fact I felt a bit like ventriloquist whose dummy has taken on a life of its own. My words, my mannerisms and my tone of voice were perfectly echoed by a mini-me.

Small girl aged 5: “Zip it! Zip mouth shut. Boys! Did you hear me? No. Are your mouths zipped? No. No, I don’t think so, if they were you wouldn’t be talking. Would you?”

Heavens! She then proceeded to enlighten me on the relative sizes of God, Jesus and Mary. They have to hold up the whole world in their hands. So they have to be very very tall with very big hands. They are so big that we can’t see them. With what’s happening with the weather I wonder if they are playing ball with this inconsequential little globe?

Each child seems to have a favourite word that precedes each statement or question. Small girl aged 5 uses “Easily” as in, “Easily Mommy, isn’t true that God didn’t mean boys and girls to live on the same plant? He should have made different planets for boys and girls. Then our world (being the girls’ one) would be pink and tidy and smell nice and the boys could have the stinky world? Isn’t Mommy? Easily?”

Small boy aged 6 uses “Normally” in the same way as in, “Normally, Mommy, normally I should put my uniform on after my bath so I don’t have to get dressed in the morning?”

Sigh. Sure. Whatever.


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