Quest For The Golden Frog

Crash-landed near Tanzania
Surrounded by savages in rabbit ears.
Before you could say ‘My good man, how queer,’
I held aloft my magic spear!
‘In the name of the empire, bring me the frog’!
Amazingly, they made me their king or their god;
I didn’t think this was odd until we got to the volcano…


Woke to a disappointingly gloomy day; having hoped for sunshine the weather was overcast and a little chilly. Eventually finished breakfast and getting the kids dressed by about 9:30, then went out on my bike for an hour or so around 10. By the time I got back, an hour later and 16 miles down, the sun was shining gloriously. J was about to start her online Zumba class, and we had time to briefly discuss the kids’ poor behaviour while I’d been out. Confronted them both, incredibly calmly, about the arguing and fighting that had been going on. Didn’t raise my voice at all, just talked to them (and confiscated their tablets). There were a lot of tears from both, but I think we reached an understanding about appropriate ways of behaving.

Lit the BBQ in the afternoon. The pork belly I cooked on it turned out amazingly, I’ll be doing that again. Ate outside in the sunshine; it’s not yet got to the time of year when our sun-trap garden is too hot to use of a late afternoon. Managed to get the kids into bed reasonably early, and had time for a film before we turned in for the first time in ages: Ant-Man and The Wasp. Fun, but I think I liked the first movie better.


Another lazy start, and after breakfast this time it was my turn to play referee while J went out for a run. As I came downstairs to the kitchen, however, I found unwanted visitors invading the bins. Obviously emboldened by our choice of film last night, a colony of ants have discovered our food waste. Moved the bin outside and gave the worktop where they’d been gathering a thorough clean. I’ve ordered some ant killer online; hopefully it’ll arrive before they get to be too much of a problem.

We fired up the Nintendo and had a good 40 minutes of the four of us all playing Just Dance together. Certainly felt like a (light) workout but because I forgot to put my FitBit back on after charging it, I’ve no idea how much energy I burned. Lunch was a picnic in the garden again, which was lovely – the weather was definitely on our side.

Roasted a pork shoulder for dinner, with an apple juice-based brine injection. Something to do again, the meat was wonderfully moist and flavourful. The crackling picked up the flavour too, though didn’t crisp up quite as much as I’d have liked. Talked with mum outside in the garden while eating ice creams in the sun, then put the kids to bed. Finished off with the season finale of Better Call Saul. Wow. I could see where Lalo’s story was going, but Kim’s… that’s blown me away. Guess I’ll have to wait a couple of years for the conclusion. Boo.


Woken shortly after 6 by a little girl who wanted to go downstairs and watch cartoons; I managed to get her to stay in bed for another hour before bowing to the inevitable. Weather was once again gloomy and there might even have been the odd spot of rain. While not exactly meeting-light, things weren’t too full on for a change, though there was one person who sent out an invitation without an agenda or context at short notice and didn’t want to take “no” for an answer when I declined to join their meeting instead of having lunch. Pressing “Decline” on that one felt oddly empowering.

The meeting after lunch was less helpful. “Here’s something we need that we discussed with, er, the ginger guy on your team. Can you sort it?” Took almost the entire meeting to understand what they’d agreed and with who, and the answer that they could do it themselves and call on us for help was at least acceptable.

I’d intended on enchiladas for dinner but in a fit of complete disorganisedness, the chicken was still in the freezer at 5:30 when I finished work. Instead: emergency lamb curry! After food, the silliness quotient was starting to increase rapidly, so packed the kids off to bed. Just as we were settling in front of the TV, though, we were disturbed by a very much awake boy who was somewhat unsettled. We talked about some fun things we could do (he’s going to make a book about his bears in the vein of Teddy Edward Goes To Timbuctoo, which I’ve had for about as long as I’ve had a bear of the same name), and maybe learn how to knit a scarf for one of them too. Distraction therapy works wonders.

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