July 2009 Update 2
All my most recent posts have been largely doom and gloom so in an attempt to counterbalance this I will report that life in general is improving. The whole of this year so far has been spent either striving for or recovering from gender reassignment surgery with an unhelpful background of a redundancy threat. It is only recently that I have been able to point to any day or any event this year and say that I enjoyed it.
But now I can. I have been on leave for just over a week. Last week I took the campervan for its MOT and fortunately it passed, so last weekend I took the van, my two canoes and six children, if I am allowed to include Matthew in this number, to the Erewash Canal at Shipley Gate to introduce them to messing about on the water. We all had a very good time. Michelle is not big enough to paddle a canoe so she sat in my lap whilst I did the work. I made some beans in the van for lunch, Rhuarhri's share was eaten by him whilst he sat in his canoe. The only person who fell in was me, a victim of bravado of course. I attempted to slide my canoe from the bank and went straight under, but I did learn that you can swim in a long skirt and the water was not too cold. On reporting that the water was not too cold, Roseanne and Caitlin were soon swimming in the canal, shortly followed by Matthew and Liam. Not having learned my lesson from my earlier failed bravado I showed the brood how to do a running dive from the bank, without, this time, coming to harm. Ryan turned up with Sheba and stopped to have a cup of tea and Liam earned £1 opening the locks for a passing narrowboat. Eventually having had a good day out, costing only three tins of beans, several tea bags and a small quantity of diesel we returned home.