me: wrong side of the mirror

Day 57/183: Achievement Unlocked

Until today, I had never dyed my own hair. My hair has been green, blue and purple. I've had synthetic locks, real locks [see icon], and real locks with synth locks tied in. There have been periods where I went to the hairdresser religiously for months, and I've also gone years without bothering to do anything at all with my hair apart from wash it regularly. When I've wanted it, I've always had the luxury of being able to pay professionals to colour and style my hair. It's a treat to go to a salon, especially now that I have children, as it's two to three hours I get to myself at a weekend every couple of months.

Obviously this isn't possible under the current circumstances. I colour my hair regularly now that I have a significant amount of grey, and because my last appointment was in January, my roots were getting quite obvious. So the bloke picked up some hair dye for me when he went to the shop today. He didn't have much choice, but since we're not going into the office at the moment, he got me an exciting electric red. Or at least it was on the box. As you can see above, my hair - at least the part that's not grey - is extremely dark. So the colour took variably, shall we charitably say.

I'm pretty sure I'll be straight back in the salon once it re-opens. It's not just the unintentional two-tone effect, it's the fact that it took me ages to apply the stuff.

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tachikoma: celebratory

Day 56/183: Keiki's glasses


All other news today has been superseded by this item: Keiki's glasses arrived!

A couple of months ago, Keiki's eyes were tested at school, as is routine for Reception (kindergarten) age children. To our surprise, he failed the test in both eyes. We were surprised because, due to Humuhumu's quite severe long-sightedness and amblyopia, he had been checked (qualitatively) aged two and deemed to be fine.

However, once we'd finally managed to secure a full optician's appointment, we learned that he, too, is severely long-sighted. We tried to pick up his glasses last Saturday but it turned out the opticians had just swapped to delivering all new prescriptions by courier. So we had to wait.

We were worried that he wouldn't want to keep them on. It was a futile effort. He tried both pairs, decided to wear the green ones, and then kept them there for the rest of the day without any prompting. He was so excited when we went for a walk and kept commenting on everything he could (presumably suddenly) see very clearly.

Poll #2100410 Keiki's glasses

Keiki in his glasses is

Adorably Smug
Smugly Adorable
me: wrong side of the mirror

Day 55/183: Government-approved daily walk

We've been walking down the canal towpath once a day, every day since the lockdown started. We missed out yesterday, and even though I had spent two hours digging in the garden, it turned out that was a terrible, terrible idea. Note to self: If you don't find a daily iteration of this shot on your dSLR's memory card, you will in fact go bonkers. This entry was originally posted at The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
me: wrong side of the mirror

Day 54/183: A walk through the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

As we begin Week 2 of lockdown, I find myself more inclined to revisit the times before covid-19 transformed our lives. The photos below were taken on my most recent visit to my parents earlier this month. We always go to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge when I see them, as it’s only a short drive on the freeway from their house. This was one of the best trips for bird-watching that we’ve ever had, and that’s even counting the time we saw a nesting bittern.

It were a cold and grey day on the marshes.

Circling hawk.

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me: ooh!

Day 53/183: +/- from a lock-in

+ Humuhumu and I discovered I can transfer Pokemon to her from Pokemon Go on my phone to Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee on the Nintendo Switch. That has helped enormously with whiling away the weekend, especially since I have a cold.

- Keiki and the bloke went to pick up his glasses from the opticians on Saturday morning, as we hadn’t heard anything from them about cancelling the appointment. They were shut, and a notice on the door informed them that new glasses were being couriered out. We have no idea when they might arrive, though, as we haven’t been given any information specific to his case.

+ We made a lot of progress with the garden, at least the portion of it that isn’t an abandoned building site. We’ve turned over 75% of the beds, thoroughly weeded them, dug through the manure, and planted potatoes and quite a lot of other seeds.

- We’re stuck with a half-built house extension with no roof until the ban on non-essential travel is lifted.

+ We made progress on establishing a daily home-school routine with a variety of activities. These are:
  • Half an hour of PE with Joe Wickes every morning at 9 AM. This is also making me fit. Humuhumu is very into it. Keiki was just rolling around the floor getting in the way and cackling on Monday, but by Friday he was trying the exercises 50% of the time, so that’s progress. We all think Joe frets too much about social media and should focus more on the exercises.

  • 15 minutes of yoga daily, thanks to the temporarily free (until 1 May) Down Dog app. Humuhumu loves yoga. Keiki just likes Happy Baby pose. I can now get them to do it on command. It’s a great way to break up bickering fights. “Everyone do Happy Baby pose!” And obediently they roll onto their backs and grab their feet, giggling.

  • Maths with Daddy. He makes a problem sheet with 10 maths questions for them every day. Humuhumu gets annoyed when Daddy makes her do fractions. Keiki thinks it’s funny to add zeroes to everything.

  • Music with Mummy. Humuhumu has learnt C, F and G major scales and chords with both hands. Keiki can find middle C. And play the length of the keyboard with round fruit, of course.

  • Gardening. They discovered the joys of making a really big hole and then filling it in again. Hours of entertainment.
- This was only week one of at least twelve, if projections on the necessary action to curb infection are correct. Maintaining this structure is going to take a lot of discipline, especially with bloke and I trying to negotiate time to work during the day.

+ Humuhumu had a half-hour video conversation with her three best friends on WhatsApp yesterday. It was mayhem. They were clearly overjoyed to see one another. I enjoyed watching the dynamic between them. Two of them never stopped competing for the limelight (and Humuhumu’s attention). We’re going to try and do the group video chat weekly, and individual chats interspersed through the week.

- It's quite difficult to do social distancing on the canal towpath. We're still trying to work out the optimal time of day to go for our walk in order to minimise contact.

+ I’m talking to my parents more frequently and they seem to be happier for it.

+ The bloke found eggs and rice (microwave packets, but at this point I’ll take it) at the shop yesterday.

- Still no pasta or toilet roll, though (WHYYYYY).

How are you all getting on? Hope you're keeping well. ♥

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batou: confused

Day 49/183: Scenes from the pandemic apocalypse

Scene 1 Yesterday. The weather’s nice and we’re digging over the veg patch with the help of the children.

Him: “I’m just going to pop to the garden centre and get some manure and seeds.”
Me: “Good idea.”

45 minutes later

Him: “I bought 300 litres of horse shit and enough seeds and seed potatoes to get us through rationing, when it starts.”
Me: “...”

Scene 2 Today. Weather’s still nice. Veg patch has had manure dug into it and things planted in it.

Him: “If you don’t mind, I’m going to pop to the shops a bit earlier than I have been doing [after the children are asleep] and see if it’s better stocked. I’m not going to panic-buy anything.”
Me: “Sure. OK, no worries, I’ll make dinner.”

45 minutes later

Him, plonking six bags and some large bits of wood on the floor.: “I couldn’t find pasta, rice or eggs, but here are a bunch of gardening supplies and £110 worth of groceries, including tinned spinach.”
Me: “...”

I mean, I’m the American one in this relationship, aren’t I supposed to be the one who goes full underground survival bunker in this situation?

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Bush Fire Hazard

Day 48/183: Last day before lockdown

Before 20:30 this evening, I had a grand plan to proudly commemorate our first day as primary school teachers.

Now that it's after 20:30 this evening and the news that UK is officially in full lockdown for at least the next three weeks has eclipsed everything, this has been scaled back to reporting the result of me attempting to give music lessons to Keiki on the keyboard. I showed him a video of Lang Lang using an orange to play Chopin etudes on the piano. This was his response.


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togusa: it's all rubbish

Day 47/183: Weekly goal check-in reassessment

My last goal check-in was almost exactly a month ago. I stopped doing it because I was on holiday but now I reckon the advent of the pandemic has rendered most of the goals irrelevant. For a start, there’s no way for me to go to the gym for the next few months, and no way I’m going to get through this without the liberal application of booze. When examined in the cold light of covid-19, should any of them should be retained?

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In summary, the only goal I’ll be keeping is the one about reading more than ten books that are new to me. I don’t expect this to be particularly challenging, given that I have at least ten on my bedside table and I won’t be going anywhere for a while. So, sayonara, weekly goal check-in posts. Maybe I’ll give you a whirl in 2021.

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