Making the now traditional weekend pancakes, I opened the kitchen cupboard and a box of All Gold chocolates (given to us by Kathleen's mum in return for yesterday's babysitting - she always brings something, despite my protestations) tumbled into the mixture.
Well, they were easily fished out, but in the kerfuffle I started mixing the flour and sugar in with the egg white instead of the yolk, and THEN the washing machine started to bang really loudly intermittently, culminating in a series of loud crashes that set the dishes on the draining rack directly above it clattering, brought down the front of the boiler, propelled the machine half way across the (admittedly small) kitchen, and finally, tripped the electricity. Almost simultaneously the stove-top coffee-maker overflowed into the pancake oil, inexplicably (to me, anyway) causing large flames to shoot upwards.
Item asked, at this point, if I would varnish her nails*.
Today it was Car-Free Brighton day again. We went last year and loved it (OMG, how small does Item look in that entry?): I suspect it was slightly less thrilling to us this year in part because we had high expectations, whereas last year it was all a total surprise. It was packed, though, which kind of spoiled the message of how wonderful it would be if there were no cars on the road, and gave the impression that you'd just be wading through densely-packed walking bodies.
(All photos from this year here)
Also, we arrived about 90 minutes after it had begun (it was from 12-5), and there were no 'activity bags' left for the kids. This was a bit of an issue, as it transpired that the idea was, you visited a string of stalls along Ship Street, using the materials in your bag for each one. Only two of them were now accessible to us, but to be fair, Ites did have a good time making a bird out of scrap cardboard and sticky paper, and a shaker out of an empty bottle and pasta. I overheard one of the organisers saying they'd had 200 bags, which you only had to look around to realise wasn't enough... I know I sound like a right old harpy, and the organisers probably didn't appreciate my sour face, but when it's your own child being disappointed, it does kind of whip up an inner fury, right or wrong. (Actually, Item obviously didn't care. BUT SHE MIGHT HAVE, ha ha).
More positively, the 'enchanted forest' was really nice - someone had worked really hard on that.
This is the road leading up to the town hall.
'Real' pixies were on hand to sprinkle 'pixie dust' on children, and you could write a wish on a leaf and fasten it on. Hidden speakers were playing sounds of birds and woodland animals. And Item got some seeds for being dressed as a pixie.
In a quintessential Brighton experience, we sat in a yurt and heard a professional storyteller, meanwhile missing (to my displeasure) Jason Pegg's solo performance on the stage a block down.
Item's wish ("I wish lots of pretty flowers").
Other people's wishes:
A funny wizard:
Today I am sick of Freecycle. I completely endorse its principles, and time and time again I am peeved by its actuality.
Here is my most recent exchange in its entirety:
My original posting: "Futon mattress and base. I'll consider letting these go separately, but priority will definitely be given to anyone who can take them both.
The base is basic but sound: the standard wooden deal, two parts. This isn't the sort of futon that can be converted into a sofa, so they are basically just flat pallets.
The mattress is rather thin - we got it from Freecycle ourselves a couple of years ago and it was well-loved then. However it would be fine if you were looking for an occasional bed or don't mind that it isn't the plumpest in the world. It'll be going to the tip if no-one wants it, so give it a chance!"
Only reply: I'd really Luv this if still available please guys.
Me: I got the futon mattress out today and it was really musty. Have given it a good scrub and aired it all day in the garden, but it could probably do with a bit more. Would you still be interested in it, even so?
Reply: yh brill whens gd 2 collect it, cheers
Me (08.17 am Monday): Good news.
We're at [address].
Most evenings are good after 5.45pm. Can you let me know when you'll be round and we'll have it waiting for you.
Reply (10.40 am Monday): is it ok to still collect futon had a busy weekend
Me (11.23 am Monday): Yes, see my last email - when is good for you?
Silence. For 11 days.
Today: Can I still ple collect this guys, cheers
It's not just me, is it?
I'm wondering whether this is a deliberate wind-up.
This is quite aside from the current Brighton Freecycle power struggle that's currently occurring, and which I am trying to ignore, which has had the original group moderators saying they are sick of being ruled by the global Freecycle regulations, and setting up a new group, 'Greencycle'. Someone else has sent an email to every member saying they have abused their power by using the Freecycle mailing list and that actually he is the local Freecycle owner. GAH. I thought we could all just be hippies.
In non-hippy activities, we were looking at the nicely-coloured Bodum toasters (and my God, there's a site that could do with some improvement). Now how come everything is so much cheaper in the States? £75 quid these are, full listed price in the UK. Average price in the US seems to be $80. That's about £49. Not fair!
*Vanish her neals.