Spot the parent

So a new child seat law comes into effect in a month’s time. It tightens up the existing rules for children in cars, and means that some kids who were formerly riding without seats will need booster cushions.

The Beeb has a FAQ on the whole issue, including a few questions they’ve asked of the Road Safety Minister, Stephen Ladyman. My absolute favourite exchange is here:

What if a child refuses to use a child seat or cushion?

Mr Ladyman recognises that in some cases “there will be hell to pay”. He suggests parents blame him.

Betcha he has kids.

Alex starts school: actual information here!

I can’t believe Martin hijacked the entire story about Alex with a rant!

Other information that the less clothing-obsessed readership might be interested in:

Alex was very nervous before school started. I could barely persuade him to eat his breakfast, and he was anxious and big-eyed on the drive to school itself. We dropped Fiona off at nursery on the way, then drove to Gilmerton Primary (it’s all within a few minutes’ walk, but we were running late).

The families gathered in front of the two classrooms, with all the nervous little children in their uniforms. There was some confusion, because they’d renamed the classes from Primary 1a (taught by Miss Bain) and 1b (taught by Miss Stewart) to 1b and 1s respectively. This meant that we were queuing at the 1b door, confused to see the wrong teacher’s name, until Martin went to investigate. Then we went to the correct place, waving at Alex’ former nursery-mate Keir as we swapped (his parents were also reversed).

Alex was welcomed into the room by one of the classroom assistants (two women, older than Miss Stewart, very friendly). We hung up his coat and stashed his backpack while he got busy threading beads. Then Miss Stewart shooed us all out of the room, because it was time to start. All of the children waved, and none of them wept.

It was a short day – only an hour and a half. We got home pretty much to turn around and go back out to get him. He came out with a picture of the sun, coloured yellow, and a big smile on his face.

“How was it?” we asked.

“It was good. I thought it was going to be hard, but it was really easy.”

All the factors were in place for him to love school. Miss Stewart is lovely, the classroom assistants are friendly, he’s mature enough to be confident in the situation, he was tired of nursery and ready for a change, and actually, he’s quite bright. He’s still enjoying it hugely, a week and a half in.

But back to the day itself. We came home, Alex changed clothes, and we all had lunch. Alex and I went to the movies (we saw Cars) while Martin went back to work. He and I then bought a belt for his school uniorm, to reduce the degree of shirt-untucking to a believable level. By the time we were on the way home, Alex was tired and thoughtful.


It was a good day.

Recent Photos

In case you’re wondering, dear reader, Edinburgh continues to be lovely. It isn’t always sunny, or warm, but it is still magical to me.

Leaves, a pattern shot
Taken 10 July 2006

Tree bark in the botanics
Taken 18 July 2006

Rose in Gorgie Farm
Taken 14 August 2006

Monocot lying in the arms of a dicot
Taken 22 August 2006

Scarlet poppies, glowing in the rain
Taken 23 August 2006

Poppy seed head. (This photo has been cropped)
Taken 23 August 2006

Thistle buds, insanely purple. (This photo has been cropped)
Taken 23 August 2006

These photos, like all of mine these days, are hosted on Flickr, and can be viewed in different sizes by clicking on them.


A couple of months ago, I took a somewhat less than fun exam on software testing.

So last week I got the results.

84%. A pass, with distinction.

So, dear people, what do you think my reaction was?

A. Yay! I passed!
B. Meh. It’s just an exam.
C. Where did I lose 16 whole marks?
D. All of the above, in turn.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Questions that Answer Themselves

Darn it, what am I going to do about this huge three-cornered tear in my purple linen trousers?

(I didn’t photograph the original tear, because I didn’t have the heart.) I didn’t want to patch them, and I didn’t want to make a new pair. So I learned to darn.

Darning is using spare threads from a scrap of the same fabric to recreate missing cloth. So first you work a bunch of threads in one way, then reweave the cloth by going the other way. It’s time-consuming, detailed work – I would have been faster making a whole new pair of trousers (not as smug, though!)

From the front, with one “leg” of the tear done and the other half done
taken 16 August 2006

From the back, same point in time.
taken 16 August 2006

In theory, a darn should be invisible. In practice, this darn suffers from the amount of thread added to the texture of the cloth in the area outlining the tear. I don’t know what to do about it. Note that I melted some Wondaweb onto the loose threads at the back because I was afraid of it ravelling. It hasn’t changed the texture more than the basic darn itself did.

Front of finished darn.
taken 19 August 2006

Back of finished darn.
taken 19 August 2006