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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Friday night was Sophie's long-awaited sleepover. She'd invited three of her friends, and has been looking forward to the event for the last week.

Guest number one was sick - she hadn't been at school for the past three days, so no surprise when she didn't make it. Guests numbers two and three arrived hale and healthy at 6 on Friday night, but Guest #2 dissolved into tears on the front door step when her mom tried to say goodbye to her. First sleep-over ever, apparently. Sophie and Guest #1 disappeared during all the drama, rather callously, I thought, while #2's mom and I tried to convince her to stay. Eventually I suggested that she just stay for supper and a few games and we'd take her home afterwards; she liked that idea, but stipulated that her mom be the one to fetch her again. Which her mom agreed to, poor thing. I felt bad for her; all that running around, especially as she was taking her son to some sort of fireworks event inbetween times. Anyway, the girls had a good time. They played dominoes and Cranium Cadoo and Pick Up Sticks, and ate baked chicken and potato wedges and peas with great enthusiasm. I didn't quite understand Guest #2; on the one hand, she was adamant that she was "afraid to spend the night", on the other hand she wasn't even remotely shy or introverted; seemed totally confident in fact, and extremely chatty - followed me round the house picking up various of our possessions and quizzing me about them ... She seemed so at ease that I thought that she'd probably change her mind and spend the night after all, but she was adamant that she wanted to go home, so her mom fetched her at around 9:30. I must admit that I didn't try as hard as I might have to to convince her to stay; I didn't want to find myself having to drive her home at 2 in the morning when she had second thoughts about staying after all. Sophie and Guest #1 (now Sole Guest) had a great time for the remainder of the evening. They seemed to spend most of the night sliding down the stairs in their sleeping bags. Certainly a cheap form of entertainment. Bobby cooked them pancakes in the morning, to their great delight, and Guest #1's mom picked her up at 9:30, just as breakfast was over. Perfect timing, as the girls were still having fun and hadn't yet reached that phase where they're vaguely grumpy and tired of each other.

So that was fun.

Just as Guest #1 was leaving yesterday morning, Stephen discovered that there was a climbing competition at the London gym. We hadn't realised it was on, and the kids haven't been training, but they wanted to go anyway. So we did. Arrived late, but it was okay, everyone was very nice to the kids. Ems didn't do well - out of shape, and the category was 12 to 16 years, so she was climbing against kids much older than she is. Steve did okay, came a bit better than half-way through the field. And Soph was bummed because she wasn't old enough to compete in this one, so she had to hang around reading her book. Much angst and gorilla arms (you know, where they walk with their arms kind of dragging because the World Is Just Too Cruel) but she survived. Climbing yesterday has re-energised the children as far as climbing is concerned : they are all keen to start training again and get into shape for the competition season.

Today was nice too, in a low-key way. We went to Ikea (I love Ikea) to pick up a few bits and pieces, and I now have a replacement for the bedside lamp I broke a month ago. Hooray, no more bargaining about who has to brave the icy air outside the duvet when it's time to switch out the light!

And speaking of cold, we are cold right now. Cold enough to be wearing jackets, and in Stephen's case, a woolly hat, indoors. I need to phone our landlord tomorrow and ask him how to switch on the heat in this house. There are radiator type thingies attached to all the walls, but we don't know where they switch on, or what (if any) care they require. The phrase "bleed the radiators" immediately leapt to both Bobby's and my mind, but neither of us has a clue as to what this actually means, let alone how to do it if it is indeed necessary.


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