rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
We were away just under 22 days and we've been home a bit over 48 hours, and work / holiday club start up again tomorrow, plus I have to go get a bone marrow sample (bleh). We got the unpacking and post-opening done Saturday evening.  Yesterday and today we have been mostly going splat and chilling, with a shopping trip for me and the children this afternoon. (Build-A-Bear, new school shoes for Nicholas, and then a bunch of new sleepwear for both of them because they were smitten as we walked past on the way to the shoes.)

The holiday was much harder on the children than I'd expected, to keep changing location so much.  The journey legs themselves mostly went well, all with their share of Children Are Bored, but also all with a fair share of Children Finding It Exciting.  The bigger problem was that settling into a new place to sleep every few nights was Too Much for them, and Worldcon was too big and intimidating. They were stressed, which stressed the adults too. So we did a lot less tourism and a lot more chilling-out and going-swimming than I'd envisaged, and I did a whole lot more emotional labour than usual (from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs, etc) and everyone got home a bit tired and fed up with each other and very, very glad to be back in our own territory.

In terms of lessons identified:
  • Charles doesn't want to go to another convention again unless he's sure it's on topics that interest him. Unfortunately most of the children's track at Worldcon didn't work for him, and by the time we realised that, he was in a place where he didn't want to engage with me trying to find things of interest to him, he just wanted to stay away from the con.
  • While the rail-trip approach works for me and Tony, the children really just want to go to a place, stay there, do a gentle mix of touristing and chilling out, and go straight home afterward.
  • Three weeks was probably too long for everyone, though it's hard to separate that from the problems of moving too frequently. Two weeks is probably a good maximum for future family holidays.
  • Multi-room apartments with self-catering capability is definitely preferable to hotel rooms, and Airbnb worked well for us. (There was some difficulty getting into our flat in Stockholm, which is its own story, but the Airbnb customer service were helpful and supportive and once we were in, everything ran smoothly.)
  • When I'm not working, and not studying (much), even with the extra load of looking after my over-stressed little family, I have SO much energy. I only had 2 migraines the whole time away (one during Worldcon, one on our last day) and both were controlled by sumatriptan. In another two weeks I'll have finished studying entirely (for now).
I'm glad we went.  If I were to plan it all over again I'd do it differently, but I didn't know then what I know now.  I particularly want to go back to Copenhagen for longer, and to see more of Stockholm than we managed.

rmc28: (destructive)
I've spent most of the last week doing the sort of thing that, if it were being done by one of my colleagues, would have me telling them fairly bluntly to Stop And Go Home.  That is:
  • coming back from sick leave too soon
  • dragging round the office looking and feeling awful
  • getting stuff done but not really enough/good enough to justify being in the office rather than at home
  • coughing, omg the coughing, I am driving myself mad with the coughing never mind the rest of the office
I conclude that not only is my ability to function impaired, that includes my ability to judge my ability to function.  Today I kept just-one-more-thinging myself from lunchtime to hometime when I should have been going home already.

The Lesson Identified from copious empirical experience is if I feel borderline, stay home. Yes, even if there is important stuff to do.  Yes, even that. Stay Home.

Maybe one day it will become a Lesson Learned.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
One of my work team-mates was taken suddenly ill at lunchtime, and it was one of those classic bystander-effect moments, where everyone sort of flailed and froze. I probably wasted a good ten seconds freezing, before asking loudly if anyone was a first-aider. No one answered, but Tony named two firstaiders who happen to work in the office immediately below, and I ran to get them. Their calm but fast response helped calm me, Tony retrieved our things so we could finish our lunch, and I was relieved to hear later that my friend had recovered ok.

Looking back, the two things I think I could have done better was a) not freeze and b) go to the list of first-aiders on the wall and use my phone - both quicker than running, and more flexible if the two I was thinking of were out of the office.



After that drama it was a relief to have a quiet afternoon with Nico and Charles. In the evening I ignored my cold to go and see Thor 2 with Tony. I enjoyed it much more than Thor (which is kind of a low barrier I know) and more than I had expected. There was a startlingly for-the-female-gaze gratuitous camera shot, which caused me to whisper to Tony "more of this sort of thing!". I think it was even more gratuitous than Captain America's bum-first introduction in Avengers Assemble, not that I am complaining.

I was unduly excited by the Captain America 2 trailer, even though I saw it lots of times on youtube already. Otherwise we had Keanu Reeves saving Japan, the next instalment of Peter Jackson's Tolkien fanfic, the Hunger Games sequel which actually made me consider reading the Hunger Games, and next week's Doctor Who special (which I will be watching at home rather than risking migraine with 3D).
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I just (at about 9am) saw a car clip a cyclist coming out of the junction from Gilbert Road into Milton Road. Or more precisely, I was vaguely aware in my peripheral vision of the car & cyclist in their respective lanes, but what I saw was the bicycle suddenly jerk, move erratically and then fall over with the cyclist in a heap, and the car stop.

I stopped, parked my bike and walked over, at which point the cyclist was getting to his feet and wheeling his bike out of the road. No visible damage to him or the bike, and he assured me he was ok. I suggested he should take it easy and he prepared to walk with his bike, so I carried on to work.

The whole time, the driver sat in her car watching. I suppose at least she didn't drive off regardless, but she didn't even get out to check for herself he was ok or hand over insurance details. Speaking with my driver hat on, I was appalled.

Things I realised 5 minutes too late I should have done:
1. Taken the car number
2. Given the cyclist my details as a witness
3. Encouraged the cyclist to ask the driver for her insurance details
4. Stayed until they were both off the scene safely

I'd love to think there won't be a next time I witness an accident, but sadly there probably will, so these are lessons identified for next time.

(Lesson 5: refresh my first aid knowledge?)
rmc28: (wonderfrown)
There are worse things than pushing a buggy with a screaming child in through a thick crowd of firework-watchers (as I had to last year). This year's fun was pushing a large Dutch bike with basket and whimpering scared-but-brave child in the rear seat through a thick crowd of firework watchers in heavy rain. They move out of the way faster for the screaming and there's less risk of taking someone's ankle out with a pedal.

So, for next year, we wait on the bridge with a clear and easy exit, and I don't let [livejournal.com profile] fanf persuade me to "stop here where there's a good view" for a third year in a row.

The bike is new and rather lovely; I'm taking photos tomorrow for insurance and Immobilise purposes, and will share when I have them online.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

September 2017

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