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I decided to be a hardarse about TV today, hoping it would lead to the kind of day I think you should have in the summer holidays. So we had initial grumping about the lack of CBeebies, and then we played with cornflour goop in the garden, blew bubbles, blew on a spiderweb to make the spider flail around, had a communal bubble bath (the kids, not me - I sat on the lid of the loo and read stories from the big book). Had lunch, built a den. The kids are now in the den and it sounds like there's some light biting and headbutting going on so I may need to intervene. But still.

No luck getting Egdog to nap, mind you, but you can't have everything.
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The cat looks really great these days. If that doesn't sound too weird. He was a bit baldy round the back end when we got him, because he'd had dermatitis from flea bites with his old owner. The fur stayed thin for ages, but suddenly he got a LOT fluffier. I don't know if it was that he gained enough weight to divert resources to fluffification, or if it happened when his coat changed for the season (though it wasn't spring or autumn when it happened).

He's also gained something like a kilo and a half - he's not overweight, he was just skinny before. I'm glad to know we're a good cat home. But knowing this is how he's meant to be makes me feel very sad about how hungry and flea-bitten he must have been before. Poor Gizmo. No wonder he kept trying to steal people-food when he first got here.
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I'm having endless fun today watching Signs of the Times episodes on BBC iPlayer. Lots of people in 1992 sitting around talking about their interior design choices. Hilarious and oddly comforting. The bit I'm watching right now is an Alan Bennettish scene of two antique/repro lovers telling the Very Funny Story of how they acquired their Very Old Toilet Seat.

Soph has gone off for her last day at infant school. Juniors in September! I shed a little tear on the way home - I've walked to that school so many times and by the time Egdog goes they are planning to have a whole new building. Feels like about five minutes since we were looking round the attached nursery with two-year-old Soph and worrying whether she'd be out of nappies in time.

Egdog has lots of new words. He woke up this morning, saw raindrops all over the window and screeched 'Oh nooo! Dirty!' I'm enjoying curling up indoors with a cardie on, though.
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Well, my OU Module result was a pass 2 in the end (2:1 equivalent), which is fine and still gets me the first I wanted overall, provided I pass 60 more credits of something. But the final essay (which is what some modules do instead of an exam) only scored 67% which at the OU is a 2:2. It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things but I'm still gutted. Especially since, looking at the mark breakdown, one of the areas I scored low in was "Clearness of expression and use of academic conventions". I just reread the essay - and I don't want to be that student who can't accept they fucked up - but it reads fine. And my referencing is all there, thorough and consistent and exactly the way I've been doing it all year. There must have been something they didn't like but I can't identify it and that makes me feel stupid.

I don't mind being told I got it wrong, but I hate not understanding what I got wrong. :( And I'm worried about doing it again. I've got another year to go and I'm hoping to do an MA after.
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I've let my paid LJ account expire - I am there to read about three journals now so it doesn't seem worth paying for, not when personal fun money is tight. So now I just have the free version with adverts. I thought I might lose my image hosting there (I couldn't seem to find a page that tells you exactly what benefits each level of account has) so I went through and painstakingly downloaded any photos I wanted to keep. It's expired now and they are all still there so that was a false alarm, but never mind.

I did keep quite a lot, but was a bit surprised how unsentimental I felt about most of them. Ditto old journal entries - I don't enjoy reading them at all. I do like keeping it there so that I can look back at specific events, when the kids were born and so on. But the older posts are all brittle and posturing and whiny. I'm really glad I don't have to be an early-twenty-something again.
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The kids have deaded me today.

Egdog was flailing around for breastmilk ('Mung! Mung!') from sunrise onwards. Sophie got out of bed but hid under a throw on the sofa and wouldn't speak to anyone about breakfast. After much coaxing/begging/threatening she asked for a golden syrup sandwich. Reader, I made it for her.

Then she got upset on the way to school about an older boy who had been mean to her a year ago and might be mean again when she goes up to the juniors in September - which is a valid worry! But I can't very well ask her current teacher to tell him off for something he did last year, or for something he hasn't done yet, so I had to do more coaxing and persuaded her that we would not act on this worry today, we would see how things went in September, and we would speak to her new teacher straight away if this boy caused any problems. She reluctantly went into school. Then Egdog fell over and got a bloody lip.

Egdog grumped around for ages before he would go down for his daytime nap, and when he finally did I immediately got nobbled by the Jehovah's fecking Witnesses.

School opened its doors in the afternoon for parents to come in and see the kids' work. Soph showed me and Egdog around, which was lovely except for Egdog's desire to riot in the classroom. So I spent most of it saying strained polite things while he dragged me round in circles (did I mention he pulled part of his elbow out of place last week and we had to go to A&E to get it clicked back, so now I'm paranoid about pulling on his hand too hard and all this is done with me clutching his upper arm). We left. Sophie took fifteen minutes to collect a school bag, a cello and a coat from the cloakroom.

We went to the park. Sophie had a minor spat with a friend (not entirely friend's fault) and sobbed. Egdog tried very hard to run in front of moving swings and get brained while a friend of mine was trying to tell me difficult heartfelt things about a relative with dementia.

We came home. Snacks were required. A variety of snacks. Every time I sat down someone needed another goddamn motherfucking snack.

Sophie's friend next door knocked for her and she went over. I plonked Egdog in front of autoplaying Ben and Holly while I tried to stick my brain back together. At tea time I went to reclaim Sophie. She was arsing about in her friend's onesie. She could not find her socks or her hairband. We gave up and came home.

After tea, homework! Homework is hard to focus on. We thought of adjectives for every letter of the alphabet. You can tell where we resorted to the dictionary because it suddenly goes XENOPHOBIC YAMMERING ZARATHUSTRIAN. Picture this taking place on the sofa while Egdog climbs up my knees wailing 'Mung! Mung!'

Owl takes pity on me and sends me upstairs for a break. Sophie is dissuaded from following me with homework. Ten minutes later it is bedtime. She bursts into my room and demands to make a Powerpoint presentation about pets instead. I say no. She flops around mournfully.

I read her a bedtime story after lots more flopping and claiming that she didn't WANT a story except now she DID. She pretends to fall asleep and snores loudly while I try to read.

She gets into bed. Five minutes later she wails for me because her feet are sticking out of her mosquito net. I rearrange the net and pop to the loo. It transpires she has daubed the bathroom door and doorhandles (inside and out) with toothpaste. I pop back upstairs and firmly correct her understanding of toothbrushing protocol.

Then I come downstairs to start cooking dinner for me and Owl. She comes downstairs because she is frightened of scary rabbits. I do not scream.

She is in bed. Egdog is asleep. I cook dinner. I pass Owl his plate. I sit down with my plate. Egdog wakes up and cries for mung.

Soph has been a STAR recently. Glowing school report! She swam 250 metres in total at the weekend, and this is the girl who was too scared to get in the water! So tonight I'm concetrating hard on how proud I am. Proud. So proud.
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I'm trying to get to grips with emotional eating at the moment. It's been a problem for errrr about twenty years and I've never successfully dealt with it, just bent it into different forms - eating too much, not eating enough, eating the same weird ritualised meal every day. I never went into it with Cardigan Therapist, partly because we were whizzing through the basics/gearing up for imminent baby, and partly because she was a bit 'you have such a pretty face!' about my fatness and so I didn't quite trust her enough to go there. I'm getting very tired of it though so am going to try and tackle it myself.

I quite want to use the journal as a braindump but I imagine some people might not to want read that. I've screened comments so if anyone doesn't want to read it for whatever reason, drop me a secret comment and let me know.
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My feet have been dry horrible hooves for ages so I bought some of that Footner stuff that makes the dead skin fall off. Put it on last night and today my feet feel weird, like they're wearing skin gloves. I SO hope they peel horrifyingly. I feel like I was born to use this product.
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Also I can maybe get a LOAN for a CREATIVE WRITING MASTERS YAY
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The OU have been emailing about The Undergraduate Awards this year (guess they always do and I'm just getting the emails now because I'm far enough into my course to submit work?). They want things graded 2:1 and above, and I got firsts on all but one essay this year, so I thought I would submit some - having done the work already so why not? Oh my god, the battle I am having with impostor syndrome. All I can see is where my work falls short. I wrote an abstract and then had to Google for millions of examples before I could convince myself that it wasn't a LAUGHABLE abstract that people would SCORN. I am ridiculous.
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Oh hello exit polls. Still trying not to hope particularly. But I will go to sleep happier for imagining Theresa May having a shit evening.
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I am watching rubbish on iPlayer and waiting for a delivery person to bring me prawn toast, fortune cookies, noodles and "mixed balls". There was a rainbow earlier. Sophie is in bed quietly practising the secret surprise song they're going to sing at school for their headteacher who's leaving. Egdog is sleeping beside me on the sofa. Owl's at the count with Beard Club but not for the whole night. The cat is upstairs warming the bit of bed where my feet go. I recently started drafting a novel and didn't immediately give up. I have aced my essays this year. The kitchen is full of coffee.
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Oh. Things in the world are so grim.

Please humour me and tell me it's still OK to enjoy things and be comforted and do self-care and stuff, even though the world is grim.
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Today I was a bad cat owner. Gizmo got out while I was answering the door and I didn't realise, so I shut him out in the pouring rain. Was oblivious until half an hour later when he appeared at the back door wailing like a soggy banshee. Maybe this will cure his longing for outside.

I've never had an indoor cat and didn't think I would. But everyone says not to let ragdoll cats outside because (I may be paraphrasing here) they're so soppy they'll basically lie in front of cars going HELLO NEW FRIEND. We are on a pretty quiet road, and the most colourful wildlife we have AFAIK is foxes. (There is definitely at least one fox. Yes I mean you, manky garden-shitting fox.) But all the advice has made me paranoid, and certainly the cat has NO instinct to defend himself from marauding toddlers. He would lie there and let Egdog stomp on his belly if I didn't run interference whenever they're in the same room together. So we have decided to keep him in, or possibly we have put off deciding whether to let him out. Poor bugger gack. The world is full of bees to eat and they're almost always on the wrong side of the glass.
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Oh god. I have an essay due next week and one of the texts I can use - but don't have to - is Coram Boy. I went to order it but despite (actually because of) being twenty years older than the target audience I don't think I can cope with the subject matter at the beginning. I've been a wreck just reading blurbs and reviews. So I'm going to have to go for the other option - a sci fi thing called Mortal Engines - which probably doesn't fit the question as well. And it's a higher weighted essay. But. I don't want to read about killing babies. *wail*
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Well, I'm joining the exodus to Dreamwidth. That said, I haven't yet decided to get rid of the LJ and I've set things up to cross post. The list of friends who regularly post on LJ has dwindled and dwindled over the years but of those who are left, I really don't want to lose track of any of you.

I haven't updated for ages but I regularly mean to! I'm OK. Tired. Bit skint. The kids are beautiful and beloved and demanding. Egdog still sleeps like crap so we have him in our bed to minimise disruption during the regular nightly soothings. The house is very scruffy but still ours. My studies are going great, one more year to go on the Open degree if I want honours (I do!) and I think I'm on track to get a first, which feels good.

I have been having a lot of despair about the world. More anger and sadness than is useful to keep me informed and vaguely active. I stopped reading Facebook so much and that has helped. I try to keep in mind that turning my brain into a sponge to soak up horrors doesn't benefit anyone and makes me exhausted and useless.
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