Celebrations and hunter gathering
Today is something special in our house. No5 has spent half her life with us and we are celebrating No5 style... All I can recall from Christmas is how poorly I felt and how much No5 objected on us behaving out of her new routine. From then on she has been prepared for every big day: On her birthday she had a stinking cold and none of us had slept for three nights. Chinese New Year went down with a diarrhoea from hell and a week without sleep and for this special day we have......chicken pox.
Not just any chicken pox. Last week she got her MMR jab and as the nurse promised the measles rash arrived 7-10 days later. So she has rash, blisters on rash and a temperature. Not to mention temper to go with it. I have carried her four days because that is the only way to get her to sleep during the day and most importantly to stop screaming. Her hands have been in every pot, every meal and every e-mail. I have postponed end of accounting year, paying bills and talking in the telephone till we are better.
On a brighter note she has been sleeping at night!
What I call hunter gathering is more like shopping to anyone else. Just that when you live back and beyond tracking down items takes many of the skills my brother taught me on our hare hunting days. The two oldest ones are beginning their wandering years and both needed hiking boots and backpacks. In my system it takes a lot of time just to find the shops that sell the goods we need.
Fair enough I can get stuff online and for things like books, toys and baby clothes I am happy with that. While US$ is worth 50p bulk buying No5's clothing from USA sales has proven to be a profitable job. General saving is 50% from our sale prices from the better quality end. But I want a backpack that is going to be carried by my daughter for 28 days to be properly fitted and something I can take back to the shop if need be.
With my method of madness, two weeks of holidays and several hundred miles later we finally found a specialist shop [8th we visited] where the staff knew the difference between short and long trip backpack and were able to fit not one but both of the kids with what they needed.
I do realise that our special hunting methods give goods a large carbon footprint - something that bothers my conscience quite a bit. Yet my hunter gathering has provided us with a local, reliable and cheap source of seasonal vegetables and free range eggs. With my car loaded before we hit the supermarket I have been able to lift my nose to the broad beans from Kenya, baby corn from Thailand and fresh asparagus from Mexico. I have no wish to let my standards slip as I know my farmer will have very similar selection when the time is right, just that his wares taste a lot better.
Cannot let a blog go by without a mention of Hisself who has spent the very wet days with new Scottish agrisupport system online applications. It has driven him bonkers. Every application produces a little sheet of paper and with this paper you have to provide a little map with a picture of your plans. My job has been photocopying, colouring in and making sure right pieces of paper have been put together. I used my best colouring pencils [for cattle spread sheets] and made a neat job, each one is a different colour. Hisself accepted my offerings with a broad smile and disappeared today to buy me something special - a second washing machine. There is no limit to that man's imagination!