28 February 2014

They'll think of something funny, When they write your epitaph

Sometimes I think I'm really not cut out to deal with people who actually seem to like me. I'm fine at work, because it's rare anyone does. 'Customers' I mean, not colleagues. Colleagues are...well, they're all fine, but it's not as if I worry if they like me or not. As long as it doesn't get in the way of the job, I don't really care. It's a job, not a popularity contest.

Anyway, sometimes I wonder where that comes from. Or if everyone doesn't feel a bit like that.

I don't like self pity. I'll come straight out with that, because what I'm about to say probably sounds much like it.

I suppose I like being in control, is what it comes down to. And accepting there are things I'm not in control of. Or not responsible for. I want to fix everything. So I try to. And then, inevitably, I fail, because...they are not things of which I am in control. And then I feel bad. And then I feel bad about feeling bad, because it's as if I've not only failed to fix the (unfixable) problem, but then I am the problem, too. Or deflecting attention from the problem. When...really I shouldn't have stuck my oar in at all and it definitely shouldn't be about me.

I've sat here looking at that for quite a long time now and I'm not sure it makes any sense.

Tomorrow we're cleaning up the school. The outdoor area has been neglected over the winter, and now the kids are gearing up to play outside more again, it needs a good tidy. And Sherlock wants the pond tidied before any frogspawn appears. He says it's 'due any time now', so there we go. Need to attract the spawniest frogs, clearly. No one'll come and live in a scruffy pond. So there's been a quick ad hoc gardening party organised for tomorrow afternoon, where people will come if they can for as long as they can, and get stuff done. I want to clean out the pumps at the least, cut back some vegetation, that sort of thing.

The seminar went well. Odd place to go back to. Not the best memories in the world, that hotel.

23 February 2014

You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to

I found this.

Sherlock is not allowed to use the first expression.

Nor is anyone to call me the one which refers to policemen.

I read something about World War One slang which made it into common use (much of it still in common use, too) and one which I wish had stuck is 'zeppelins in the clouds' meaning bangers and mash. Brilliant.

I do like language, especially when it's all the same language, and dialect bits, or just changes from historical splits - like English and American/Canadian/Australian etc. But even more when it's just English dialect. Although it was the source of a lot of teasing when I first moved to London.

We've said goodbye to Mycroft once more. I swear that the dogs have as much stuff as he does. And we couldn't find Phobos' favourite chew toy. It's a big...like a fake tyre, on a rope. He loves it. Deimos didn't help by parading about with the huge red bone he likes in his mouth. All smug and 'I'm ready to go, what's the hold up?'

John did provide a perfect moment when he stood in the middle of the room, Phobos looking up at him, all wide eyed, and John looked at him and said "Well where did you see it last?" Exactly like he does with Sherlock...

Anyway, found in the kitchen cupboard. Don't ask me how it got there.

So, yes, Mycroft's gone back. And dropped the bombshell that he's considering other 6th Forms, not just Harrow, for next year...

 We're back home. We've been fed. I'm putting the final touches to my seminar, which I'm delivering on Tuesday...now, leave early Tuesday morning, stay over until Weds... or leave Monday night, back Weds....which one?

John is checking Sherlock's homework, piece by piece, to check he hasn't only done the ones he wants to...although it's a bit late now!

And tomorrow, everyone will be back to their respective workplaces, or in John's case, he'll get his workplace back and undoubtedly try to rebuild it, after a week of boys and dogs and chaos.

18 February 2014

Don't accept average habits, Open your heart and push the limits.

We're home! We're a bit wet around the edges, but we're home.

(Big debate this morning - train or bikes? The boys were immediate and unanimous in their answer - BIKES.)

So we headed off and up to Bletchley Park. A nice ride this morning, although Sherlock was wriggling about - like having an eel behind me on the bike.

Once we were there, an in, Sherlock obviously wanted to DO everything, while Mycroft wanted to know what was going on, and when.

So off we strolled, having been kitted out with little ...well, earphones and screens, that fit in your pocket, you know? To the main house, to find out which talks and things we could go and see/walk around with.

Well...the boys decided we needed to do a walking tour, then a talk about the Enigma machine, then a talk about The Bombe... so we did.

The walking tour was very interesting. Amazing to think of all those people, not even knowing what each other did, let alone telling anyone outside what was happening in there! The poor guys who were getting abuse for not being in uniform, as if they weren't 'doing their bit' and unable to defend themselves... the people who arrived single, and left married...still without knowing what their new spouse did! The people who arrived married...and left married to someone different!

And the pressure...the thought that so many lives were in your hands, when they were only 18, 19 years old. Amazing.

Anyway, after that we got coffee (this is a bit of a theme...) and then headed for the first talk. It was in the ballroom - very impressive.

It was...very interesting. I do sort of understand it...sort of. Clever machine.

Then I got another coffee... and we went to the talk about The Bombe. Same old guy... well, I was lost. I mean, really really early on, when we were still on the 'simple' part, I was completely lost...I'm still lost. If you find me, do tell me where I am.

I mean, I can tell it was completely amazing, what they did. I just...don't quite understand how they got there. Mycroft tried to explain, but...well, maybe I should do some reading on it. Mycroft went and spoke to the guy afterwards, and thanked him for his very informative talk.

13 February 2014

It's not so hard to do, And it'll carry you through

Well. Feels like a lot has happened this week.

In completely the wrong order - Mycroft got wonderful reports from all his teachers. They're almost as proud of him as we are, it would seem. I know he'll be very modest, but he is just an all-round wonderful young man. I hope he'll manage to find quite a lot of time to relax this half term - I know he's got work to do, but we're definitely going to try and all get out places together, too.

Anyway, we'll be back to fetch him for the holiday tomorrow. I guess they put this evening right by when a lot of travelling parents will be down to pick up their boys anyway.

So that's all good. And although Mycroft said he didn't do as well as he wanted in his mocks...I'm sure it won't surprise any of you to know he did extremely well. He just holds himself to incredibly high standards.

And.... well, yes, Bryan. I don't know if it's a long story, or I've just over thought it, or what... Basically, he got the custody sergeant to call me when he was arrested. And... I still don't know what he thought. But he was obviously worried. I just went to the stock phrases. First offence, nothing I could do anyway. I didn't know what to do, I mean...who would have expected that? So then he got angry, said I was ruining him, because he was about to make it big in America, and this would ...mess that up. So I just said the only person who'd messed up was him, and told the custody sarge not to call me again. (The calls are done on speakerphone, so the sarge's can hear both sides of the conversation.)

And...well, I was worried, I'll be honest. I thought he could do something vindictive once he was out.

Then today he called my office. Told me I had to help him. Tried some of the old tricks that used to work - the blackmail, the threats, picking at my insecurities. Except that so many of those insecurities he used to rely on don't exist any more - not like they used to, anyway.

So then I just got angry. And I thought, you know, actually, he's bloody called me, so he can listen to me for once - for as long as it took him to realise he could hang up, anyway. And that actually took quite a long time. Shock, I guess. So I told him a few home truths that have been stewing away inside me. Which I won't go into, because... well, because I don't want to be like that. But yeah, it felt good, knowing that he knew what I thought of him, and he knew I wasn't afraid to say it. And he knew I was proud and happy with my family, and what they thought of him.

So, apart from scaring some of my officers with the ferocity, volume and amount of swearing going on, it was a good thing to happen, really.

I very much doubt he'll go to prison or anything, but he'll at least be given something to think about.

6 February 2014

My report on today at school

Hello it's Sherlock and Today John and Lestrade and Molly came to school after lunch and we did about bodies and how you can find out things using science about what happened to a body if it's dead.

John and Lestrade made up plasticine last night and it was just like big blobs and they didn't even tell me what they were which wasn't fair.

Then at school we had to get into groups and then we each got a piece of the plasticine and then Lestrade showed us all his warrant card and he explained that our plasticine was dead and that with Molly and John's help we had to find out how it had died which is silly because plasticine can't die but anyway Lestrade said later it couldn't be like a body in case some people got scared and so it was just coloured plasticine.

John told us we had to look all over and see if there were signs on the outside of anything and one group found an actual stab wound and my piece had a mark from a rope so first Molly came and told our groups we had to draw a picture of what we could see, and then we mixed up some special rubber and we put it on our plasticine to get the evidence properly of the marks and we did that while John told the other two groups that it was time to cut open their plasticine. But later once we'd finished we cut ours open too with a real sharp knife and we had to be really careful so we didn't ruin any evidence and we checked inside and my piece had glitter in it and it was different colours and so we had to look up in a special book Molly had made and the glitter meant that it was the blood and we looked in the book and at all the colours and we found out that there was poison as well as blood stuff!

And another group checked the cast they made and looked at things like weapons that Lestrade had and they knew which one it was from the shape and another group found out there was water in theirs and it had drowned and another found broken bones in theirs and it wasn't real bone it was breadsticks and theirs had a bruise too and then Lestrade said we'd all done really well and solved the crimes.

And thank you John for helping me write this and yes there were less capital letters and it wasn't as muddled because you helped thank you I hope everyone enjoyed reading my report.

3 February 2014

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling

We're trying to find two suspects at the moment. We have issued notices to the public, which means we get a lot of phonecalls which are no help at all. And hopefully one or two which will actually help.

More excitingly, I decided we should all have a day by the seaside, and booked us a hotel and stuff. It's just after Valentine's, and the first day of Mycroft's half term.

The hotel I chose just happens to be attached to a little coffee shop, who have their own roastery locally. Obviously that didn't influence my choice. At all.

Sherlock immediately began looking things up - last time we went he was, in his words, only 'small'. And not quite so quick to Google everything. He has found this:

It's the old electric railway, which ran up on stilts to keep it out of the sea. It was nicknamed 'Daddy Long Legs'. Sadly it doesn't exist any more, which Sherlock is currently protesting wildly about. We've said if the weather is okay we'll go and try to find the tracks in the rock.

The weather hasn't been okay for the past 18 months, so... not much of a promise.

Our sofa arrived, and has been thoroughly tested now - it's good. Comfy, long enough to lie on, big enough for us all to sit on, the cushions have been approved for fort-building.

And now I've got paperwork to do, and a husband who probably needs a mug of tea, and a Sherlock who apparently needs a hot milk and an ice cream...

Also, there's a Tube strike starting tomorrow. Sherlock is very excited, because he is inventing places he needs to go which will require him to go on the back of the bikes. So there's two public service announcements in one - Tube Strike, Excitable Young Boy On FME's Bike.