Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Changes

Youngest daughter starts school in September (eek) and I'm all too aware that after nearly nine years, the kids-at-home era is drawing to a close for me. That is a long LONG time to have spent most of the week at baby yoga, Tumble Tots, a million coffee mornings, infant ballet class, swimming lessons, gym tots... and that's just the stuff outside the home. There have been many many fairy cakes baked, many finger paintings daubed, many dens built, many Hama bead creations ironed, countless stories read, half a ton of PlayDoh squished... I could go on. But the point is, it won't be going on for much longer. Ohhhh, I'm sad! But also... kind of excited. I have turned down so much work in the last few years, turned down a lot of festival events and school visits too, because I've chosen to spend the time with my kids instead. Come September, though, with all three of them out at school, I'll have so much more time to myself... I can't believe it. Who fancies going out for lunch, then?!

(We went into school last week, youngest daughter and I, to fill in some forms and to have a one-to-one chat with one of the reception teachers, as part of their starting-school procedure. My daughter was unusually quiet, a bit overwhelmed by it all, I think.
"Is there anything you want to ask the teacher about school, while we're here?" I prompted.
She thought about it carefully, then spoke. "What colour are the walls and ceilings in the classroom?" she wanted to know.
I was SO glad she'd come up with such a crucial, insightful question. I can tell she's going to go a long way, that one...)

Talking of school visits, I did a couple on Thursday for the Federation of Children's Book Groups, as part of their 'Share-A-Story Month' launch. I went to two schools and spoke to 240 kids at each one... berloody hell, talk about crowd control. It was quite - okay, VERY - loud, especially when I got them all to do troll noises - oh yes, and a bit of gratuitous screaming, too. The poor teachers were wincing but I think the kids all enjoyed themselves. Sold over 100 books too so that was brilliant but my God it was knackering, and I was soooo ready for that glass of wine when I got back. I don't know how teachers manage it. Respect!

So tell me... what are you reading at the moment? Anything good? I'm halfway through 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' by Hemingway at the moment - trying to better myself with a heavyweight book, see - and am finding it surprisingly enjoyable. I bought it ages ago but kept putting off reading it, because I thought it might be a bit grim and serious and maybe too boys-own for me, but it's actually very readable, and lots of the dialogue is *gasp* brilliantly funny and sarcastic.
Have naughtily just ordered a load more stuff from Amazon - The Children's Book (couldn't resist), Sarah Waters' new one (a pre-order) and, becacuse I love him and he makes me laugh, Jonathan Ross's book. That should keep me quiet for a while...

19 comments:

L-Plate Author said...

Aw your life sounds so glam with kiddies in it.

I'll do lunch with you!

I've been 'Amazoning' last week and as is usually the case, I can't decide which one to start first. I have Freya North's Secrets and Dead Men's Dust, a new crime thriller writer (who worked with my mentor) and Martina Cole's The Business. Then the bloke from Stoke comes in with SHE magazine...with a free Lynda La Plant!

I may be reading and researching crime novels but I still like my 'girlie' books, still aim to get one published one day. And I'm so looking forward to yours in August! x

JJ Beattie said...

OMG, your daughter's question to the teacher made me laugh out loud. Aren't children funny?

I am trying really hard not to buy any books at the moment. My TBR pile is ludicrous. I'm reading a book I picked up while I was in the UK, called The Finest Type of English Womanhood by Rachel Heath... on the jacket it's likened to Sadie Jones' The Outcast. I'm about a third in and really enjoying it.

Lucy Diamond said...

L-Plate - glam!! (You probably heard the snort of disbelief all the way from here...) I am romanticising it a little, I guess... there have been some long, long dull days of despair at having to play Sylvanian Families or set up train track for the zillionth time... Oh, and let's not even mention the baby years where I was covered in sick and poo constantly! (Bet that's put you off having lunch!)
Ahem. Glad I'm not the only Amazon addict anyway. Somehow it doesn't feel as naughty as handing over hard cash in a shop, does it? x

claire p said...

To see what I'm reading you'll need to visit my blog! My reading pile is soooo big, and about to be added to by 4 bought on amazon yesterday!!!

Lunch sounds good.

Lucy Diamond said...

JJ - I nearly burst out laughing as she asked the question, I must confess - with such an earnest expression too, bless her! To give her credit, the teacher didn't bat an eyelid, but began telling her that the ceiling was white and the walls were cream-coloured, but usually covered in paintings...

I hadn't heard of the book you mentioned but I loved The Outcast... sounds great! xx

Lucy Diamond said...

Ooh - I keep answering and new messages keep popping up! Spookeh.
Hello Claire, I'm starting to think a massive TBR pile is a guilty pleasure shared by many... mine is heaped on top of a bookcase near our bedroom window and is now threatening to block out all the natural light!

Debs said...

I remember well how nervous I was before J started school, now I'm just preparing myself for him leaving for Uni in September.

What a brilliant question your daughter asked. I bet they haven't had questions about their decor before. She will go far.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is one of those books I keep meaning to read, but haven't as yet managed to do so.

Chicklit Addict said...

Very bright one you've got there indeed - visualisation is a very powerful motivational tool! Plus, if the walls are a disgusting colour, it's good to get advance warning.

I'm reading Dorothy Koomson's Chocolate Run - absolute genius idea to throw chocolate references and innuendo into a novel.

Lucy Diamond said...

Debs - ooooh! Leaving home! That will be a trauma - and here's me blubbing at the thought of my four-year-old in school uniform. (Glad you liked her question. Her other one, which I forgot to mention, was: Are there any cuddly dogs at school? Thank goodness the answer was 'yes'....

ChickLit Addict - very kind of you to say 'bright' - I was thinking 'odd' personally!
I haven't read anything by Dorothy Koomson - she's one of those authors on my Must-Try list. Do you rate her books?

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psicologia clinica el escorialL-Plate - glam!! (You probably heard the snort of disbelief all the way from here...) I am romanticising it a little, I guess... there have been some long, long dull days of despair at having to play Sylvanian Families or set up train track for the zillionth time... Oh, and let's not even mention the baby years where I was covered in sick and poo constantly! (Bet that's put you off having lunch!)
Ahem. Glad I'm not the only Amazon addict anyway. Somehow it doesn't feel as naughty as handing over hard cash in a shop, does it? x

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I've been 'Amazoning' last week and as is usually the case, I can't decide which one to start first. I have Freya North's Secrets and Dead Men's Dust, a new crime thriller writer (who worked with my mentor) and Martina Cole's The Business. Then the bloke from Stoke comes in with SHE magazine...with a free Lynda La Plant!

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