Bugs, Busting and Bug-Busting

Hah. A January post that’s not about resolutions. Never fear – that one is on its way…


Bugs of all kinds have been a theme in the last few weeks. In December a stomach bug tore through the village, leaving everyone feeling distinctly unfestive. Despite one of my beloved preschoolers throwing up quite spectacularly on my shoes, I thought I’d avoided The Bug (having sprayed everything in a 5 metre radius and disinfected my shoes). But no. It hit me the Sunday night and Monday before Christmas, and I still didn’t feel great on the day – so snacking and boozing were very limited and happened more at New Year.

Since Christmas, my laptop has puffed smoke and made a strange popping noise as a dodgy USB port died, my F key stopped working (fixed by Techie Husband. What would I do without him?), my K key is behaving oddly and the printer has suddenly decided to sleep whenever it wants to, and won’t wake up on anyone else’s terms. Useful, not.

Laptop and Stethoscope
One bug-bear (theme stretch alert) is my need for somewhere proper to write – somewhere that’s not dark, poky or a constant reminder of housework I could be doing, and doesn’t involve being unable to pull back curtains because my desk and its hutch are in the way (i.e. the corner of our bedroom). Somewhere I can have my paraphernalia handy, and not have to pack everything up and move it. Short-term, I think I’ll be moving back to the spare bedroom again (which is tiny, so don’t come and stay, anyone – because once I’m in there with my big desk, you won’t fit.) Long-term, Techie Husband and I have decided the answer is a garage conversion, which will hopefully happen in the summer. I’ll keep you updated with the Great Garage Project, but Step 1 is finding somewhere to house all the garden furniture and equipment it contains, so a shed arrives next weekend. I’ll take pictures but  I can guarantee it won’t look like this… .. more’s the pity.



Well, more busted really. The hand I damaged in the Cheese Sauce of Doom incident hasn’t really improved, much as the GP predicted. Currently debating whether to go and get a second opinion on the ‘nothing to be done, come back when it’s a claw’ diagnosis. It limits writing longhand and, shock horror, peeling potatoes (which was completely impossible at first) is doable but very awkward and slow. The loss of sensitivity in the thumb and poor grip means I drop things more often and have to bend down all the time, so it’s no surprise that my hiatus hernia has been playing up again. These things don’t get me down as much as frustrate me. I just want to GET ON!! 😀


I’m afraid that’s the unglamorous subject of my health column this month, as one of the three annual Bug-Busting Days falls on January 31st. Bug-Busting Day: Say Goodbye to Head Lice may well be in a local magazine near you, so if you have school-age children or work with them, have a read – unfortunately you’re a sitting-duck (but don’t need to be a lice-ridden one, if you follow my tips!).

Bug-busting Day

At the moment this is the only thing  of mine published in print this month, I think. And that’s all I’ve got time for, folks, because self, Techie Husband, Arty Daughter and Constructo Boy are off to a birthday party. Arty Daughter’s best friend (K the Cat)’s mum has a Significant Birthday. For a real step back in time, I’ll end with a photo of K the Cat and Arty Daughter in their Cosplay gear – nearly 4 years ago now, at the Spring London MCM Expo in 2011.

Arty Daughter (right) and K the Cat.
Arty Daughter (right) and K the Cat.

They’ve grown up a lot since then…

The London MCM Expo

So here’s a post that’s sat in my drafts for nearly a month, waiting for me to fiddle with photos etc.
But there was too much for one post anyway, so here is the first instalment of my witterings about the London MCM Expo (MCM = Movie Comic Media).

Those of you who used to grace my Writeous Indignation blog may recall I went to the May Expo, and missed seeing the cast of Stargate Universe due to a late train and no timetable for the shows (gnashes teeth at memory). Techie Husband and I go for the sci-fi and movies, Arty Daughter goes there for the – er, art. And Constructo Boy goes along for anything related to Dr.Who and Star Wars.

Arty Daughter brought along her best friend this time (we’ll call her K the Cat – you’ll see why in a mo), because she has infected her with the Manga Madness too. Poor girl. They had a fantastic time and dressed up, because this is The Thing To Do. K was…a cat, kind of, and Arty Daughter went along dressed as Misa from Deathnote.

For comparison, I give you: Misa

Below: Arty Daughter and K the Cat – a but fuzzy I’m afraid (blame TH, he took the photo!), and Arty Daughter isn’t smiling – not because she is going for the moody look, but because this is just before we left, and her black lipstick had wandered on to her teeth by that time…

Arty Daughter (right) and K the Cat.
Arty Daughter (right) as Misa, and K the Cat.
And yes, K the Cat did have a tail, which attracted strange looks at Stevenage train station 🙂
This time we made sure we were there early, so TH and I caught the interviews we wanted to. Haven, Eureka, Warehouse 13…more on them soon.

Morris Dancers & Free School Meals

Well if you were searching the horizon, hoping to see steam from the boiling cauldron of creativity rise above the roof of the Runham household, then I’m afraid you were disappointed – unless it arose from the manga drawings Arty Daughter continues to plaster the house with, or Constructo Boy’s attempts to be comical when he wrote his spelling sentences homework this week. How he delights in taking the words and turning them into sentences that convince his teachers (whom I have to work with, mind!) that I’m bonkers and our family life is positively freakish… so much damage done in so few words.

In between helping ArtyD prepare for her English GCSE assessment and being madly busy with work (of the Proper Job variety), all the ‘free time’ (ha ha) that I’d earmarked for writing dissolved. I did get some of my coursework for A363 done at the weekend, but that’s about it. I’m hoping the next few days will be better, and holding out for Thursday – we adore Thee, Thursday, for Thou Art the Day without any Proper Jobs. At least the pesky tax return has Left The Building. Phew.

Meanwhile I’ve been gathering data on area stats for free school meal eligibility for a friend, and pondering how to put disappearing Morris Dancers (found here on Julie P’s blog!) and an exploding bass trombone (from a Darwin awards article I read!) into a story. Not necessarily together, you understand – there’s a limit to how much hilarity a reader can take… 😉

I’ve tried to sub to a couple of blogspot blogs today (including Julie P’s Article Antics), but found the ‘ol ‘IE cannot display…’ error. This is making me feel a trifle miffed and Needs Further Investigation.

Right. I must abandon the laptops, chase Constructo Boy to bed, and go back to making Arty D’s costume for the London MCM Expo (of which, more later!).