Weeknotes 046: That’s Duggee on CBeebies.

Birthday lists get harder to write. Particularly when everyone thinks I already have too many books. Piglet thought long and hard and got me norovirus instead.

It started last weekend at Whitehouse Farm. We met celebrity owl Pigwidgeon, fed milk to calves and jostled around the go-kart track. It was at the petting rooms after this that Piglet projectiled. It caught us off guard and—forgetting how literal toddlers are—I asked where it came from. Piglet offered her best not now Dad” stare and deadpanned My mouth,” which brought levity for the poor staff swiping up her puke.

We spent the rest of the day trying to decide which food we’d poisoned her with; leftover rice and Weetabix were both in the running. Her late afternoon attempts at vomiting on an empty stomach were heart-breaking. She retched and cried with confused betrayal, I don’t want to be sick any more.”

It was a fitful night for all. Piglet was upset and restless with discomfort. We were nervous that she’d vomit, choke on it and DIE. We made it through, but when she cried again the next day while dry heaving, it was a fresh punch to the heart.

The Chef took ill that day too. We moved our earlier food-poisoning diagnosis back to norovirus. Regardless, she’s not getting leftovers any time soon.

Away from Plague House, Lǎoyé has rescued a baby pigeon from a seagull attack and has been nursing it back to health. There were regular progress updates on the family chat. Which ended abruptly when Lǎolao put it out in the garden to get some sun and a cat did off with it. It’s not the first time she’s done this to him either. The family chat stayed tense and terse for a day.

Piglet had been enamoured of it when she visited. Not that she wanted to visit. With the various sick days she’s been extra clingy. There was a full sobbing into my neck hug when she had to leave in the morning. Which switched to sweetness and light by drop-off. She was so charged up that she again refused the sleep. She did get me to corpse during the second hour by singing I’m going to stay awake forever” to herself.

It gave me the chance to ruminate on the fact that my lot have stopped listening to new music. I think I have a causal theory: Radio and blogs. They’re both human-driven discovery services. Here is something worth listening to. And here’s the reason. With that in mind, two recommendations this week. First Lucy Dacus (via 6music) and second, the Sweeping the Nation playlist (via Phil Gyford’s blog).

My second work weeknote was late, but it went up. It even got an unsolicited compliment. I guess this is a thing now.

A propos of nothing else either side of this sentence, isn’t the NHS wonderful when it’s various parts manage to talk to each other?

Piglet has been baffling nursery with her one-handed counting. Her clarifications in Chinese didn’t help. Away from nursery her formerly prodigious vocabulary has shrunk to I want insert thing here.”

Shipped off to her grandparents on Friday freed us for my birthday meal out at Bichon Bistro. Expectations were too high for a meal that was alright. But it was more than redeemed by the sterling company.

This essay on the Qualities of Earth (via ADS) is so precise. There’s texture to the words.

The earth (or shingle) we tend becomes an extension of our physicality — I suffered from a lack of vigour last summer and the weeds soon told on me. When I returned to the plot after six weeks away, an allotment holder I admire was momentarily cold and uttered the words, they soon come back”.

An allotment is too much for us. But as a system for displaying your own mental health to yourself? There’s something in that. A to-do list is no good. It doesn’t tell on you; it just whines that you’re not paying it enough attention. Maybe I should photograph the kitchen floor as a proxy for vigour. A casual relationship between brain crud and physical crud.

Which brings us full circle to my turn feeling crud and spending my birthday holed up in bed. It’s an effective technique to get quiet time. 4/5 would recommend voiding yourself to avoid others.

22 August 2021


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Weeknotes 045: C’mon beautiful I needn’t have worried about Piglet. We went round Lǎolao and Lǎoyé’s and after hugging The Chef she glommed on to me and refused to leave me for
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Weeknotes 047: Oh George, it’s long enough for a ponytail These weeknotes brought to you by the song “Down in the Jungle”: A quiet afternoon with both girls sleeping let me catch back up on these. Apologies