The last week has been something of a blur, filled with hospital visits and frenetic real life work. I can’t believe April is a third gone already
Jon’s father came out of hospital, eventually, late on Wednesday evening. It turns out that his heart bypass from fifteen years ago has now failed and four other arteries are diseased, with a previous coronary stent failing also. He has to go back in two weeks to discuss what options are open to him; beyond that, we don’t know a lot about what they’re planning to do or not do, or indeed, what can be done. He’s feeling very fragile, and understandably worried, so Jon and I will be cooking for him from now on as he doesn’t feel able to cook for himself any more.
Meanwhile, I’ve struggled over this last ten days to complete a large content writing project for a US directory. The deadline was not until Monday (tomorrow), but I’d been unable to concentrate on it and it was just dragging on and on. I usually get this type of work done well ahead of deadline, so that was bugging me, to put it mildly. Finally blitzed it morning until late on Friday and got it done, so I feel a lot better now that’s out of the way.
Emily has gone absolutely horse crazy over the last few weeks. She’s completely conquered her fear of canter now and is buzzing with excitement 🙂 We’re so proud of her. Just like she used to be worried about swimming, and took quite a long time to get over that fear – but now she’s a very competent little fish indeed. Kept being told back then by “a friend” that she should have formal swimming lessons, but then again that was just indicative of how little that person understood my daughter. It’s really important to Emily to conquer these things herself, in her own time and under her own steam, and when she does, she soars 🙂
Then only problem with horsey madness is, of course….that she’s desperate to own her own horse 😉 As if we hadn’t seen that one coming. I would dearly love to own horses too and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine – somewhat complicated these days by being vastly overweight, but hey, that’s solvable, and there’s nothing like a horse as an incentive. Seriously, there’s no way we could afford a horse (or, more to the point, its upkeep and home) right now. Or horses, preferably, since they’re herd animals and I don’t like the thought of one on its own (unless in livery with others). And besides, I want one too 😉 BUT — we’re not ruling it out a couple of years down the line. At all.
In the meantime, the weekly riding lesson, a riding holiday and a newly discovered horsey TV channel will have to suffice. She’s me all over again 🙂
And, back in the real world: Emily’s done some more Excel work with Gramps in her weekly lesson. Last Monday they looked at creating spin buttons in Excel to adjust values, and sliders/scrollers to do the same thing, and histograms with pivot tables, and some other shiny, sparkly goodies. Emily’s homework was to experiment with her new talents, so she went off and found some national lottery data, downloaded it and created a histogram of the number frequencies. As you do. Whilst reprimanding me for not checking our lottery numbers each week (although to be fair, it’s on direct debit, with any winnings (ha! don’t make me laugh) paid directly into our bank account… and I’m thinking we’d probably notice if we were suddenly a few million further into the black…).
French is going brilliantly well – we’ve done some every week day since we started and Emily’s keen to work on it herself at weekends too. Her bedroom is now adorned with lots of posters in French and we’re on to Chapter 3 of the excellent French grammar course book. I really like the look of this book and might grab it soon. It’s basically readings in French about French culture and life; clearly too advanced for Emily for right this second…but then, I’m a firm believer in the deep end being a very, very good place to be when you’re learning a language.
Violin is progressing apace too. We now have the Violin Grade II pieces, which are considerably harder than the grade I ones (logically enough), but Emily’s already made a great start with a couple of them. She needs to get to grips with double stopping though, which is causing some frustration – but she’ll get there 🙂 I think some specific pieces/exercises in double stopping and third position are called for.
Somewhere in the week we also did some economics, looking at shifts in the supply curve (this was a yay from Emily), and a very quick bit of science looking at iron and steel (and this was a nay).
One afternoon this week (I forget which, it’s been….chaotic) Emily and Jon went off out and discovered a nature reserve right on our doorstep which we’d never actually visited. They had a glorious afternoon and apparently we’re going back next week with a picnic 🙂 Emily took some beautiful photos, including capturing sunshine sparkles on the water. Also next week, we’ll be off out for the day with a friend before a big sleepover thingy.
We were very pleased this week to find out that Jon’s been appointed to the committee of the spiritualist church (about time, too…). It won’t help him much with his own mediumship development, which he’s getting a little frustrated with, but it will be very interesting and rewarding nonetheless. He’ll be taking his first divine service next Sunday 🙂
You never know, in time Jon might be able to persuade them, eventually, to drop the “Christian” from their name and ethos. Spiritualism is not and never has been a branch of Christianity, and neither Jon nor I are Christians…and what’s more, an informal survey of the church regulars would reveal that most of them don’t identify as Christian either; it’s only a few elderly, founding members who really do. The Christian name and ethos is very off-putting to many. Hrrrmppph. I like this article, which points out that spiritualism and Christianity are pretty fundamentally incompatible, in fact, and that the reason some spiritualist churches add Christianity to the mix is that people get confused between Jesus and “God” – which, in a spiritualist sense is a universal spirit/consciousness, not the Christian God or the Christian God’s son. Also in that article, there’s a Zen quotation: “Don’t confuse the finger that points at the moon with the moon itself.” — Quite!