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Sabbatical, Day 49: Rebekah’s Party

I didn’t think I’d keep up my record of daily sabbatical blogs today. By tea-time, I was in bed, exhausted and with a dreadful headache. Several bad nights’ sleep had taken their toll, and adrenaline had kept me going until finally I kept dropping off on the sofa to the embarrassment of the family.

Tomorrow is Rebekah’s sixth birthday, and today was her party. She had chosen a pottery party with ten friends at local studion The Glazed Look. That was going to make for a quiet celebration, rather than exuberant running around and noisy games. When Debbie booked his for her at her request, we didn’t know how significant that was going to be.

Because, just after 6 am, Debbie woke me to say Rebekah had been awake three times in the night with ear pain. (I may be having trouble getting to sleep at present, but once I do, there’s little that would wake me.) She also had a discharge from her right ear. By 6:30, I was on the phone to the out of hours doctors’ service, getting an appointment at their clinic for 8:10 am. Just as I had taken Mark there a couple of weeks ag on a Saturday night, now I was taxi for my daughter.

With nobody in the queue, she was seen on time by a lovely, gentle Indian doctor, and out came the usual prescription for amoxicillin – just what we expected. The nearest pharmacy open at that time on a Saturday was at Tesco, so we drove there. Knowing Rebekah doesn’t like the usual banana flavour of amoxicillin, he prepared an orange version. However, that didn’t make any difference to her dislike. But with alternating doses of calpol and calprofen, at least she got through her party and crashed out a little bit this afternoon. How devastated she and we would have been, had she not been able to. So it’s a big thank you today to the NHS staff who coped so kindly and efficiently with a little girl’s distress.

And with that I’m going to sign off, finishing some supper and watching Tottenham’s glorious victory over Chelsea today on Match of the Day.

Sabbatical, Day 19: Skate Parks, Writing Styles And … Oh Yuck

I’m going to kick off with one or two links I found today. First of all, Malmesbury Abbey has been turned into a skate park. The BBC reports it as a novelty; clearly they haven’t heard of Legacy XS.

I took a ‘What kind of writer are you?’ test and got a bizarre result:


You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer


Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you’re from.        

And while you may have some problems being “normal,” you’ll have no problems writing sci-fi.

Whether it’s epic films, important novels, or vivid comics…

Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world! 

Mind you, Debbie often wonders what planet I’m on. 🙂

Like I said, I thought it was a bizarre result. I see myself rather more journalistic.

Having said that, Mark’s illness has again meant little or no chance for proper sabbatical study today. The vomiting returned when he woke up, and we took him back to the doctor, also reporting sore throat, ear and stomach, plus a rash on his thigh and other stuff. The GP was now pretty sure he had tonsillitis and so out came the prescription for the much-unloved banana medicine (a.k.a. amoxicillin). He advised us to alternate Calpol and Calprofen to keep the pain down.

Well, the Calprofen had an immediate effect, at least until about half an hour before another dose was due each time, and this afternoon he picked up considerably while his sister, Mum and ‘Aunt Pat’ were out ten pin bowling. He even wanted something to eat at dinnertime. Knowing that big sister was getting macaroni cheese, he said he fancied some pasta. Off he went to find the tins of pasta shapes, and came back with what he wanted: Heinz Disney Princess pasta shapes in tomato sauce. Which he demolished. And they stayed down.

Until after his bath, anyway, when he gagged on amoxicillin. That, Calprofen and pasta shapes ended up sprayed on towels and elsewhere. However, we’re quietly confident he’s turned the corner. We’ll see how he gets on tomorrow.