We are discussing a comprehension paper on ‘Discoveries’, Class Six and I. One of the Gentleman Scientists discussed (and they are all gentleman, alas) was Alexander Graham Bell. I happen to know everything about the telephone, having read a couple of paragraphs on the subject once in a Bill Bryson book. So I share with the class my favourite fact, namely that, until Alexander’s friend Mr Watson invented the telephone bell some years later, the only way to know if someone was telephoning you was to pick up the receiver and check if they were on the other end.
One of the lassies frowns and raises her hand. “Even if it didn’t ring, you’d know someone was calling because the phone would vibrate,” she suggests. There is general agreement, swiftly followed by mild astonishment when I explained that the original phone neither rung nor vibrated. I didn’t break it to them that it didn’t take photos either: humankind cannot bear very much reality.
I called into the nursery on my way home from work, full of end of term good-will. I’d get a Christmas tree up and ready for when ActorLaddie got back and we could start the holidays in piney perfection. The chosen tree had a lovely shape; plenty of needles, smelt of Christmas.
The kids helped me lug it up the stairs to the living room – this being when we had GrannyBorders installed on the ground floor. Decorations ready, festive ginger wine poured. We just needed to put the tree in its stand, take off the netting – and that’s when I found that it was too big for the bay.
In my personnel days, I went to visit a colleague who was about to have her second baby. She’d obviously got it taped this time; everything seemed to be in place, down to address labels written ready for the birth announcements.
“You seem to be pretty organised,” I said.
“I am,” agreed PregnantColleague. “I’m just going to write a letter to myself.” I sipped my tea and waited for the explanation. “I had dreadful post-natal depression after Rebecca,” she went on. “If it happens again, I want something to remind me what’s going on and why. And that it won’t last.”
Last weekend I was, in truth, feeling pretty low. I realise that this will come as a bit of a shock to anyone who knows me. You’ll have stopped reading my blog – as instructed – before the whole cat-food/porridge/iPod fiasco. You didn’t miss much – it got a bit wimpy from that point.