Friday, 24 August 2007

Summer - some days mostly at home with kids

This could be very bad and miscellaneous.
I'm home minding kids/[ch]a[rc][pk]enting/motorbike learning/stuff this summer.
So what do I do now ... blog everything since last entry ?
Ah. /me discovers the date can be edited.
I might do this week daily here, then next entry weekly, .... as memory fades out.
20 mins later: I just told Fionn "I'm hungry - and tired - and I want to goto bed. But I want to finish this first."

From writing (especially appropriate for blogging!):
"We write when we have an idea and want to share it with the rest of the world. The human thirst for knowledge is only matched by the human desire to tell everyone else our knowledge."


Went ebay mad today (and komplett).
  Stuff for home PC (video editing (DVD writer, more memory and disk space) and  wireless router.
  Palm Tungsten for FIonn.
  GPS thingy for me.
Kate did jump ahead (edumicational prog for 4-5year olds) on my laptop this morning.
Took a break and zoomed about on bike.
Family cycled to Marlay park in afternoon.
Back wheel of my bike rip in tyre and puncture.
Pumped a few times on way back.

Twiddled bike bits at home. Daire's saddle and gears.
Fixed puncture while eating tea and Kate & Maeve also eating and helping.
Amazingly fix seemed to work! Supported tyre with bit of rubbery plastic.
Daire's gears a bit mysterious.
Wasn't getting top or lower gears I think.
Took whole thing apart. Hmmm. Nothing to adjust there?
Seems now to be going higher & lower but not all the way.
Maybe springs have gone tired so doesn't have range anymore ... ?
James isn't at all shy now of cycling ridiculously small bike up & down footpath.

Yesterday (Thur) brought Mary and Simon to train via Ballsbridge (and bad traffic).
With all kids. Then went to zoo.
Lots of humans as well as the other animals.
Zoo was okay. Nice. But high ratio of "Mnyehhh I [don't] want xxx".
Elephant's seem now to have a mad bigger/interesting enclosure.
Feeling pelts and bones in last little house and 3 kids of buggy to car was best bit.
Then to Temple bar (bad traffic again) and eat in Italian.
Aiming for Italian QUarter on North side but note to self: there isn't any option to turn off and park AFTER you pass it going East. Couldn't bring myself to pay for terrible chips/food (and Q) in zoo (even if they seem to have changed the eating buildings).
Finally home (bad traffic city centre but actually okay the rest of the way) just before rush hour.

Did more sawing and screwing. Attic shelves and camping box. Kate's bed boards. Kitchen little soup packet holder.
Maeve in creche. Daire visiting or visited, Kate again playing loads on bike. She makes a "rainy day" book with paints.
She drives the book and gets me to add the writing when she has 4 pages.  A front cover and more pages are added with Daire's help as morning progresses.
I moved dry clothes round house and made more wet clothes as well.

Paints come out repeatedly these days.
Girls love them. I generally say yes. Spread newspaper. Splork new paint in pots, get water, clear pages.
Then leave them off.
Maeve paints a bit at first.
 Then paint hands.
  Then paint hands and arms all the way up to clothes.

Tue I'm tired and sleep in and we're not all set till 10. A bit late to  bring Maeve to creche so she stays home.
We do lots of stuff. If  there is a third girl (Emma)  there's no trouble between Kate & Maeve.
Moving clothes around house.
I tidied a little prep for Mary visiting.
Maeve very funny paints arms up over elbows black (again! (well actually it was blue last time)).
Mary out this evening (after meeting Pauline who is off to the UK).
Fionn cooks salmon for dinner and roast veg. I'm STILL out back finishing off woodwork.
Before Mary arrived was phoning Pauline and  Mary.
No I do not want to drive into say bye. I picked up from Pauline on phone that they were busy. Actually they got ferry this very night. Couldn't pass this onto Fionn. But phew after rest we were good again and dinner was lovely AND yummy too.
I feed girls salmon + tagliatelli + beans before Mary comes.
Maeve and I collect Mary from Luas.
So girls get to meet Mary and stay up late.

Myself and Daire & Kate go first to Chadwicks with car.
We get wood, screws with decent sized wall plugs, a rasp, a mallet (Daire likes mallet!), tub of plaster stuff, ... bits.
Some 2x1 wood.  Blackberries outside. Then to Bizmart to see. Epic visit. Daire is boss in big desk. Kate is Boss 2? Or assistant or secretary or something. Anyway. Nice desks and chairs. Stationary is work oriented. No school stuff. They have apple macs. On internet. Unprotected (watch popups!). We see photo kiosk machine. Grab digital camera. Kate & Daire & I take pics of my head. Print out passport photos. 5 euros. Not great value but handy I guess. Daire does "Which is your Star-Wars character?" personality test. Shop shuts 5. Whew! Where did the day go!?

In evening visit Doreen and cut grass front & back and weed/tidy front.  (I think Sunday).

Ruth and Gordon and Maureen and John and Colm arrive after 11 Sat.
Talk and games and cook food. Music, DVD quiz, scrabble. Sat is raining so we don't venture anywhere.
Nice visit. On Sunday we go up three rock hill.
Maeve in 3 wheeler buggy. I push. We go right earlier (new gravel track) for curiosity and up steep through
wood but 3 wheeler buggy is okay at end of that.
Last bit others go through woods.
Daire & Colm get to top first.
On way down Kate & Maeve go on buggy.
We pass FIonn & John just emerging from short-cut.
We pass Ruth and Gordon and Maureen on road.
We nearly catch Colm and Daire (whe haven't gone on any road on way down).

Motorbike test 11:30. Arrive over early. Drive a few roads before park and wait.
Tester not chatty. Questions smoothly enough. Driving goes reasonably well I think.
Out of car park, left and left. Down that road a bit and left ... left again and right (before back at
driving test centre).  Up road with left bend then right to Nutgrove shopping centre.
I had noticed new roadworks with twisty Stop/Go signs driving this in other direction just earlier.
Stop for us.
And when it goes Go we start but worker starts jumping and waving, so flap slowey/stoppy hand and wait for
the Stop signal jumper lady to get past.  Tum. Tee Tum. Right and quick left (then right and left and stop).
Then do slow stuff.
I do terrible TERRIBLE U turn.  Radio a bit in way.
Observe and leave van pass okay. Quite safe but shaky when start and don't have enough space. Look and bump up on shallow footpath. Gah! :( Och. The slow straight forward a little shaky at start but gets better fast and persuade clutch hand to control speed so well in control.  Rest of test good bit more driving.
Back to centre and tester signs cert before asking me to sign and telling me I've passed.
YAY!  I express happiness with a "Thank-you".

Fri afternoon. Fionn goes back to work.
Daire and I cycle. Kate on back of my bike with video camera.
We cycle down to Sandyford Ind. Est. to new Dunnes stores.
Not sure where it was.
We ooh and aah first at the fancy curvy bike park.
Then at the buildings and  garden areas inside.
We go exploring - trees and teletubby hillocks and water around imaginarium are nice.
Then in Dunnes we get drinks for kids, some fruit, bread, dishwasher tablets and a salmon.
Later we freeze poor salmon as teatime rushes past us.
Maeve sees the salmon (vacum packed in clear plastic) when we're at home and she loves it!
And looks very funny holding it!
Everyone who visits on the weekend sees Kate's video.
Lots of my arse and the moving ground.
She doesn't lift it up much until we pass a crane.
Very nice hearing her commentary though (most of which is missed when cycling).
"It's all green now. It's all grass." should have been a clue that camera was pointing at ground!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Motorbike test

To: jonathan coburn @


 Just a note to say thank-you for the day of training I did with you.
 I got alot from the lesson and I'm still practicing/absorbing the information.
 Especially on position & control with cornering, observation and slow speed.

 One thing I realised after the training that with slow speeds my clutch hand was instinctively
 following throttle hand. If I wanted to speed up my clutch hand was actually squeezing
 and the opposite for slowing down.  Is this common?  I'm aware of it now and it is
 getting better. Keeping the throttle constant and controlling speed with clutch works much better.

 I had the test 11:30 on Friday and passed.

 The test went pretty well though I made a mess of the U-turn.
 I got 5 grade 2 faults: position turning right, observation turning left,
   clearance stationary vehicles, motorcycles safety glance and u-turn.
 One grade 1 fault position on the straight.
 The U-turn was done on the concrete roads in the estate opposite Nutgrove shopping centre.
 There was plenty of room only I was shaky at start and didn't turn tightly enough.
 Observed and bumped up off of the road even onto shallow driveway exit.
 Not dangerous but a really terrible U-turn!
 Other slow manouveres were done well though.

 That's it. Thank-you! :)