This week is quiet in the Evans' household. Two of my cats are away leaving just me and Ben (+ dog and hamster) rattling around a 4 bed house.
Jas is away on a school trip to Langeoog** for six days and Simon is away doing China/Singapore/Jakarta/Thailand***. My days are usually filled by me doing my own thing until lunchtime and then when Jas gets home between 12.30 & 2 (depending on the timetable/whim of the teachers) running around after her, making sure homework is done, overseeing maths/german tutors, ferrying her to friends/hiphop...so although when asked "what did you do today?" I usually answer "not much". It's not because I didn't do much, it's just that what my time is filled with is 'not much'.
But this week has been different, Ben comes home, between 1.30 and 4pm (timetable dependant - gymnasium level teachers seem to take things a bit more seriously and so even if a teacher is 'sick' there will be a replacement) he demands food and then disappears until tea time when he reappears demanding food again. I literally have to tie him down or stand in his room next to him in order to have anything approaching a conversation. So this week has been almost like a holiday for me!
Monday - took it easy, had no special plans, mainly because Jas wasn't leaving until 8am and last time the actual departure was delayed by almost an hour due to the police check of the coach failing. I really didn't want to have made special plans that I'd then have to cancel so I kept my normal schedule - German lesson, dog walking & food shopping, which left me with time in hand and I'm embarrassed to confess that I did an hour or so of German grammar! Shocking I know.
Tuesday - I took myself off to Roermond a designer discount mall an hour away, just over the border. I got there just after opening and had too much fun. Simon later asked whether I'd looked for summerweight shirts for him...errr, no. Why on earth would I do that? I had one goal in mind and one alone - self gratification. FUN!
Wednesday - met Rebecca and Oscar for a walk in the most hideous weather of the week, before going to the gym for a torture session with my trainer. I'm still trying to work out which particular exercises would have caused such agony in my thighs that although I can walk (haven't tried running) the getting vertical from a seated position is pure pain. Again in the afternoon I had time on my hands so I did some more swotty German grammar.
Thursday - part usual routine (dog walk then yoga) but then lunch with a friend. Bliss. I so rarely have the time to do lunch here in Germany (have to do breakfast instead & they tend to frown at people who order a glass of Pinot Grigio with breakfast) and the weather was so lovely yesterday that we sat outside to eat and chat. Double bliss! Evening was an impromptu expats gathering at Lulu's, leaving Ben home alone and trusting him to go to bed at a sensible time (I haven't asked, on the principle that ignorance is bliss).
Friday - my morning was spent at the hairdressers (sorry, I should say 'haircutters' as Justin likes to call his shop) and then back home to work on the synopsis for a book. Pizza has been ordered for tea and then Ben (once he comes out of his pit for food) and I will watch a film together - one that doesn't have to entertain a 10 year old.
Tomorrow afternoon my life will return to its usual format as Jasmine comes back from Langeoog, so I shal have to cram as much playing into the next 20 or so hours as possible...anyone for a game of Twister?
* while the cat's away, the mouse will play - English idiom.
** of the North Sea German islands that the locals love - just the words "North Sea" are enough to put me off spending valuable holiday time there, I was brought up to associate the North Sea with oil wells and freezing temperatures, not the place I want to go and sit on the beach, add to this the fact that a German friend jokes that every year when they go she comes back with tanned feet and hands because she keeps everything else wrapped up against the chilling wind.
*** although the Thailand leg is currently doubtful due to flooding.