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April 3

With the kinderbesten to myself all weekend, I’ve planned ahead and booked this Monday off work for some well-earned respite. Almost on a whim I finally download Pokemon Go, thinking that it will give Rach and something to do together when she gets back from Melbourne (among my wife and all of my friends, I’m just about only holdout when it comes to Pokemon Go).

I head off to Freo for some breakfast at Chalkie’s and deliberately park on the other side of Esplanade park thinking it will give me the chance to hit up some Pokestops. It begins so quickly …

Breakfast is awesome, and I take the time to catch up on my diary posts. Then I walk back to the car and hit up some Pokestops. I realise I’m quite enjoying getting stuck into the game.

Back home I start a rewrite of an older story of my called 1-UP–there’s an upcoming anthology that it might be suitable for. I collect the kinderbesten from school and get a resounding ‘yes’ when I suggest we head off to Woodman Point to do some Pokehunting.

Despite all this, when we get home the Elderbeast still puts up mountains of resistance when it comes to doing his homework. I have limited capacity to enter into battle with him.

Meanwhile the Kinderbeast is in the front room playing Just Dance as I dish up dinner. I hear him sniffing. A minute later he comes out and asks me if he has a ‘blood nose’. Given that he now resembles one of the vampires from 30 Days Of Night I’m forced to say yes. I grab some kitchen roll and try to soak up some of the blood. I then grab some more kitchen roll. The blood is starting to drip over the kitchen floor, so I engineer a swift relocation to the bathroom (stupidly not bringing the kitchen roll with me). The blood is not stopping. I grab a flannel and get the Kinderbeast to hold it under his nose. It’s not enough. I get him to hold his head over the bath, just so the blood has somewhere to go. I’m shocked to see how freely it’s flowing, now that he’s not holding any tissues or flannels under it. Within a minute there’s a small river of blood flowing towards the drain. It’s not a nosebleed, it’s a bloodflood! I start to think that hospital might have to be involved.

I leave him briefly in the care of the Elderbeast while I consult the internet. I then return, armed with more kitchen roll, and decide to give it another few minutes to slow down, which it does. Finally, after about ten minutes, it stops. The Kinderbeast is greatly distressed, but pulls it together quickly enough. I give the bath a wipe down, and squeeze out the flannel. The place looks like a crime scene–blood spatter everywhere, water flowing red as I wipe it all down. Finally it’s down and I return to the table to eat my cold dinner.

After the kids have gone to bed I find another anthology that might give a home to my story, Between The Devil & The Comfy Chair. Unfortunately the story is almost 600 words over the specified word limit. I manage to cut 300 words out and send it off to see if they’ll give it a look.

April 2

I decide to skip my Sunday morning shift in favour of reserving energy for the day ahead (I’m still not feeling 100% better). In light of that, the decision to take the kids outside to do some gardening is a particularly foolhardy one. As I alternatively cajole and berate them into doing at least something I start to see the light: nothing ever gets done around the house because I expend at least 80% of my energy trying to get the rest of the family to do things, and end up with minimal energy to do things myself. In the end, however, we still do a pretty decent job of pulling up the jungle of weeds that has developed at the front of the house. I’m reasonably pleased.

After that we head off for a bit of shopping, mainly food for the cats. Outside Coles there is a sausage sizzle going on and I remember with undisguised glee that we have sausages and rolls waiting for us at home! We return home to make eat sausages and watch Moana a second time.

After watching Aliens, the Elderbeast is determined to play Aliens vs Predator on the PS4 (he’s been banned for some time, but I’m ok with him playing it now so long as the Kinderbeast is not around). In any case, he completely fails to play it at any point during the day, which makes things easy.

I watch Zootopia with the Kinderbeast, then make an enormous chicken and cauliflower curry for dinner.

After dinner it’s a rare evening where I have the TV to myself. Naturally I have no idea what to watch. Almost on a whim I select the John Carpenter episode of Masters of Horror. It starts off in a fairly safe place, but then goes well out there by the end. Naturally this is one of the evenings when the kinderbesten keep emerging from their covers (almost catching a decapitation scene at one point!) but they settle down eventually. It means that the 50 minute episode takes me the whole evening to watch though. C’est la vie…

April 1

Rach’s flight means getting up at stupid-o’clock. Luckily her Mum has offered to drive to the airport, so I don’t need to turf the kids out of bed, which would be needless stress right before a holiday. Inevitably I head back to bed once she has left.

The first day of #singleparentlyfe proceeds excellently–other than the Kinderbeast getting up early and destroying my attempted lie-in. We bake some brownies. Then we watch Moana (which takes me about half an hour to find as Rach has left it in an otherwise empty Target bag amid her clothes on the bedroom floor). Moana is excellent and we all love it.

Then, by popular demand, I am subjected to a round of The Game Of Life, which I lose as surely as a one-armed man in an archery contest. For dinner I treat myself and the Elderbeast to some steak. It’s a while since I’ve cooked steak, but I haven’t lost it. It’s delicious.

Finally, once the Kinderbeast has been settled in bed, it’s time for the real highlight of the weekend: introducing the Elderbeast to Aliens!

I’ve decided in the last few months that he’s ready for it, but I take time to explain that if he gets scared at any point then we can turn it off right away. I needn’t have worried: he loves it and is competely enrapt throughout.

  • Chestburster scene? “Gnarly!”
  • Burke getting finished off by an alien? “That alien deserves a promotion!”
  • The queen alien taking off after Ripley and Newt? “I guess she’s out of her stay-at-home-mum phase now…”

He already wants to watch it again…

March 31

I make it back to work today, mainly to try and catch up on all the things I’m falling behind on. Obviously I make certain I’m no longer contagious first: I don’t want to be that guy. Rach takes the day off to do her packing for Melbourne.

Seems to be the day for absences. Only half the team is in. I feel particularly terrible at around 3pm and wonder if I should head home, but the day is nearly over so I persist and start to feel less worse. Before we all go home our manager gives us each a bottle of wine and personal note to thank us for our work on delivering the project. It’s a Very Nice Touch and makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.

 

Highlight of Fridate, either than seeing the Glorious Seb, is our first viewing of the It trailer. Damn, but I think they might just do that book justice…

March 30

I force myself to take the day off work. I’m headachy and tired. Not sure if it’s a bug or not, but I’m not going to be the one to spread it around the office. Rach takes the kids to school and I go straight to bed where I read for a bit and then zonk out.

I offer to collect the kids from school, but Beryl (Rach’s Nan) offers to get them instead. Which is good, because I’m really not up to the effort. I retreat back to bed. Where I sleep.

I remain in bed. Repeated doses of panadol barely touch my persistent headache, but I’m too lacking in energy to even be that bothered. After the kids have gone to bed I crawl out to the sofa and we watch the first episode of Iron Fist.

It’s a curious show, given the quality of Marvel’s other Netflix shows. It’s like they wrote a first draft and didn’t go any further. Almost nothing happens, apart from the main character being a bit of a creepy stalker guy, and then being surprised when no one trusts him. Despite that, I find that I quite enjoyed it.

I then return to bed. Where I sleep.

March 29

Today is Wednesday. I made banana bread.

That was the sum total of my notes.

(Gee, last Wednesday was really memorable.)

March 28

It’s one of those days with a non-stop morning. Get the kids to school. No time for coffee before my first meeting, which ends mere minutes before, my next meeting, which then sort of continues into a coffee-based post-meeting meeting. I finally grab some lunch and take it back to the office, and try vainly to escape from my 2pm meeting, but no dice. By then I give up on the forlorn hope of catching up on the rising swamp of work that I’ve fallen behind on, and do my best to pick a few of the less fetid scraps.

And tomorrow’s not looking any better either.

March 27

One of those days where even things falling over at work don’t really put too much shade on it all. The kinderbesten were good getting ready for school. The Elderbeast had done all his work by the time I got home, which meant I had to make good on my promise to play some Rogue Legacy with him. In the end, after sorting out dinner and everything else, I have about have about 15 minutes free before the bedtime routine has to start. We take turns and I am predictably rubbish, but the game is pretty good fun. Reminds me in some ways of the old ZX Spectrum games that I used to play when I was his age.

 

After the kinderbesten have finally been locked in the dungeon–I mean, have settled in bed, I remember that I wanted to check out some eighties synth soundtracks for the Elderbeast. He’s been listening to the Undertale soundtrack repeatedly, and it reminds me massively of the sort of music you’d get on cheap eighties horror/sci-fi movies.

I started out with some John Carpenter, and get hugely excited when I discover the soundtrack to The Fog is on Spotify. I cue it up and … nothing happens. I should be getting terrifying flashbacks to Adrienne Barbeau being stalked by fish-hooks and maggots, but there’s just silence.

Then I remember that the Kinderbeast had trouble settling, so I left my phone in his room so he could listen to some soothing bedtime lullabies on, you guessed it, Spotify. Except now the soundtrack to The Fog is playing in his room because the internet is just too damn clever some times …

March 26

After my adventures trying to clear space on my iDevices I spend the morning getting thoroughly distracted trying to clear up my PC. I tidy up some of my download folders and then tire of the ordeal.

Our various friends arrive for a crafternoon. I, as usual, abstain in the interests of keeping the Kinderbeast entertained. It’s not that I don’t enjoy crafting, or afternoons for that matter; it’s just that it’s much simpler to give the Kinderbeast my undivided attention at the times rather than suffer being interrupted every seventeen seconds.

We watch Jurassic World for about the eleventy-hundredth time. After that we almost watch  Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (except the Kinderbeast can’t quite remember the title and keeps asking for variants of Cloudy Is It Meatballs). For whatever reason the film doesn’t hold his attention. I get invited to play a round of Sushi Go while the Kinderbeast latches onto the one guest who is still actually crafting. Which, I guess, is standard five-year-old mentality: “All these people are sitting around doing nothing, but, no, I’ll pick the one who’s still trying to get something done.”

Later on we finally finish off The Power Of The Daleks, which is soooo good that I basically want them to animate all Doctor Who episodes in black and white from now on. (And I told you it would take us weeks to finish it, didn’t I?)

March 25

Rach is out shopping with her nan to prep for the trip to Melbourne next week. The Kinderbesten and I stick at home for Saturday Morning Film Club. The Elderbeast has the superb suggestion of watching The LEGO Movie, which I’m totally pumped for after watching the trailer last night. It’s far from the first time I’ve watched it since the cinema release, but it’s still brilliant.

I spend a brief period in the afternoon trying to clear out some space on my choked up iDevices. My iPad is particularly suffering, and I start to wonder why so few app developers include options for emptying the cache. my Netflix app, which I barely use on the iPad, has sucked up over 300mb. I can’t find any way to clear the cache so I just delete the app instead.

Later, for Saturday Evening Film Club, we almost watch Arrival but Rach is in the mood for a western (inspired by the inclusion of Unforgiven, Tombstone and True Grit on my trailer list). We settle on 3:10 To Yuma which proves a superb choice. The Elderbeast baffles us, though, by sitting with us for most of the film and then leaving just as the climactic shootout is getting underway.

Kids these days …

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