Back to reality with a bang yesterday. I let the girls sleep till 8am, which was probably a mistake. I felt sorry for them after a lot of late nights. However, I hadn’t counted on the fact that the car was a block of ice. I had to use two hands on the scraper. Then halfway down the stones which cover the front bit of our house the car ground to a halt. The back half sounded suspiciously like it had a bad case of the flu. I tried to go forward. No luck. I tried to go back. No luck. The clock was ticking. My New Year’s resolution to be on time for school was in danger of falling at the first hurdle. In fact, it fell rather spectacularly.
The car eventually hobbled onto the road and we put-putted up towards school. Five minutes up the road a big red light with the legend STOP came on with another light saying "ABS". I reached for the handbook. "When the red STOP light and the ABS light come on, stop immediately and call a Renault dealer," commanded the book. Oh oh. I turned off the engine and hoped it was some sort of temporary shock over the cold. The thermometer said minus 4 degrees. I could feel the car’s pain. We managed to stop start all the way to school as the STOP light came on again and again. We arrived 15 minutes late – a new record. I consulted the handbook again. ABS seemed to be in some sense related to the ignition or brake system, but I was guessing. I freewheeled most of the way home and rang Renault who told me it was all okay and totally temporary due to the ice. I looked at the weather forecast for the next week. Last night was the highest night temperature for the next week. Oh joy.
I caught up on work and then rushed to the hospital for an ante-natal visit with the high risk group. The doctor looked very serious and I could see High Risk written in red [blood?] across my notes. Not only am I very old, but I had a placental abruption with my first child. He spoke about inducing, possible rupture of an old Caesarean scar and very frequent scans. It all sounded fairly grim. "What am I doing?" I thought to myself.
I arrived home to find my mum looking fairly stressed. She had bought a cake-making kit for big girl daughter’s xmas present and was trying to construct it. First, she had to take it out of the packaging, then read the instructions while being questioned continuously by three excited children, then try to make the darned cake thing with the "help" of said small people. She was cracking. I looked on, amused, from a distance, having been in much the same position for the whole xmas period. After about three quarters of an hour a rather tiny cake and cakelet emerged. "I think it might be easier just making one from scratch," she agreed. Big girl daughter was undaunted though. She wants to make another today, with me. Arg.
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