S: It’s hard to actually know where to begin with lately as lately has seemed to merge from the moment we fell off the plane from England in August, to just now when M asked me what we were doing on Thursday evening and I told him we were carving a Jack O’ Lantern and baking 50 squashed fly cookies. That’s the royal we. And that’s the night before our next State visit begins.
M has been away three days each week for the past five weeks. Amalya got a nasty bout of tonsillitis after her first day at school and then she, Indi and I all came down with a horrible virus that floored us all for another week. Our inherited cat has turned into an incurable incubus for a seemingly resistant fungus that is plaguing us to the point where poor Indi is now on a three month course of vile anti-fungal drugs and has a very large patch of alopecia in return for loving the sodding fungus ridden puss. We are all having to wash with a worryingly coloured anti-fungal shampoo and soap and the whole bedroom is being swept, dusted and bleached to within an inch of its life each day. We also have to change all of the bed linen and towels every day too. That’s the royal we.
Our newfound popularity knows no bounds and we have had four lots of visitors in the past eight weeks which has been amazing but has also further challenged my ability to find a rhythm as I have felt like I’m permanently on holiday! Our visitors have come from Cambodia, Western Australia, Scotland and soon England. Indi and Amalya have had playmates galore and quite brilliantly, think that everyone has come to hang out with them. Not us.
The other thing that has been jangling my eyebrows (do you remember when Indi called them eyedrowns?) is the fact that I was tricked into volunteering to be a ‘Class Ambassador’. Feeling more than a little slack for my complete non-involvement at school last semester, I foolishly thought that organising a pot luck breakfast and collecting money for a teachers gift at the end of term would be just the thing for me to squeeze in. Last years’ Class Ambassador assured me that it was a breeze (you know who you are!). Well, this years’ class ambassadors have a job description, have had a half day workshop on how to be a class ambassador and are having weekly meetings to organise social events both in and out of school. Not wanting to feel left out, M volunteered us to hold the first social event at our house. A brunch for 50. Then, when it was organised, he told me that he was going to Bangkok on a work trip. Yes, that day.
M and I have been embracing Friday date nights lately and I got to organise the most recent one. M said that he was feeling really grimy from all of his recent travels and that he’d love a traditional Balinese lulur scrub. His wish was my command and I even booked a table at a cool little warung for a curry afterwards. M says that he isn’t ready to talk about it yet and is still considering some formal counselling but suffice it to say that his massage involved not wearing quite enough (anything), a young lad, yoghurt being massaged into somewhere that he’d have preferred it not to be and a flower bath with water that didn’t fully cover his manhood. Fed up of feeling exposed, M decided that the only way forward was to heap the flowers strategically whilst trying to stop them floating off again and looking completely relaxed all at the same time. He says that he is organising our next date.
And just so that you all know that it’s not just us who invite calamity, one of our most recent visitors got bitten by a monkey on day two of her holiday and ended up having to have rabies jabs. Satisfyingly, I got to give her one of them as a much awaited trip to the beach got in the way of the injection schedule! She also went off at the airport with the wrong Wayan about an hour after they arrived.
To put this into context, Wayan is the name given to the first born son or daughter of every Balinese family and with a population of around 4.2 million that translates into quite a lot of Wayans. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not entirely her fault that she went off with the wrong one.
I told said friend that our friend Wayan would collect them from the airport and that the girls and I would draw a sign for him to hold up, so that they would be sure to find one another. Nic spotted a hand written sign that said ‘Samatha’ (note not even actually my name) and walked over to the guy and said “Hi, are you Wayan?” To which he replied “yes”. “Great” she said, summoning the rest of the family and off they trundled. “You’re Samatha?” he enquired. “No we’re going to see Sam and Matt” she replied admittedly feeling a little confused. “Which hotel you want?” the wrong Wayan asked. “Um, we’re not going to a hotel, we’re going to Sam and Matt’s” Nic replied. “Eh?” queried Wayan “You Samatha?”, “No, I’m Nicola….I think we may have got the wrong driver, sorry”. (Thinking, wow what are the chances of finding two people with the same name in the arrivals area of Bali airport?). They were by then in the car park. So off they trundled back to the airport to find the right Wayan, who was holding up the sign that the girls and I had drawn with THEIR names on, not a wrongly spelled version of my own.
I’m signing off at 10.20 pm on night two of M’s trip away this week. I’d like to be going to bed, but instead (in my role as class ambassador) as I’m co-organising an early years Halloween shindig on Friday morning, I’m off to look for recipes and write a shopping list and work plan! Our trick or treat station involves a spooky dark hollow, leaves, incense (if it doesn’t contravene fire regulations), cobwebs, a bowl of slimy worms to dip little hands into, a (kind) witch, some spooky snacks (said squashed fly cookies-Indi was hilariously appalled when I told her it was likely they would be getting carrot sticks) and apple bobbing, except it’s not apple bobbing it’s rice cracker catching.
And to top it all off, the head of the parent’s association just sent an email out asking all of the class ambassadors for the entire school to be at a meeting on Friday morning so that we can have a chat about how things are going and can look at an updated roles and responsibilities document. They are apparently providing a school counsellor for the session, which I find more than a little concerning! Anyway, I sent my apologies and said that I’d be lurking in a shady hollow dressed as a witch somewhere down in early years if anyone wanted me.