On this day...
5 years ago: Thirty-six months
10 years ago: Apples at night

September is great for cycling. It’s still light in the morning when I’m on my way to work. The mornings are cool without actually being cold, and the afternoons no longer carry the heat of summer. The weather is mostly dry. Plus I sometimes get to see beautiful morning mists.

Actually the best days have been the ones with a hint of rain, maybe the tail end of a rainy night. The bike paths are emptier then. And while it is of course a good thing that people cycle, it also feels good when they aren’t too many.

I had a free evening today; Eric picked up the kids and took care of dinner etc.

My afternoons and evenings are always stressful. From around 15:00 until after dinner, I’m always watching the clock, calculating and scheduling to make sure I get everything done on time. I need to get my job done, so I cannot leave too early – but I also need to pick up Adrian in time, and buy and prepare dinner, and make sure everyone gets to their activities in time. Dinner sometimes needs to be early, and sometimes it cannot be early, because the activities are at different times every day. I feel like a slave to the clock.

So it is extra nice to be able to let go of all that occasionally. To cycle fast only because I enjoy it and not because I am in a hurry. To cycle slowly when I feel like it. To go out for a leisurely restaurant dinner.

Today’s dinner was at Lao Wai, a vegan Chinese restaurant that’s been a favourite of mine for twenty years already. I used to eat there regularly when I was a student because it’s very close to the university. The one and only waiter looks just the same as he did twenty years ago, maybe a tiny bit rounder in the face. Out of curiosity I asked him how long the restaurant has been there. Twenty-five years this month, he told me. I hope they keep going for another twenty-five.

There was a parent/teacher meeting at school this evening, for all parents in Adrian’s class. There was another one at the same time for Ingrid’s class, so we had to divide and conquer. I got Adrian’s class.

The meeting contained very little information, it was all obvious stuff. The only real point of the meeting was to meet the new teacher. Adrian’s class has gone through three teachers in two years, it’s almost become a joke. I really hope this one stays longer so that there can be some continuity and permanence.

In addition to the meeting, I got to see Adrian’s drawer were he stores his stuff, and the handmade sign on it. He’s apparently laid claim to the Moon.

Plenty of apples this year.

There’s no way we can eat them all. We can eat some as they are, and bake a cake or two,] or even three, but that’s it. We’ve made apple jam in the past, and apple wine, and apple chutney. They’ve all been delicious, but we don’t actually eat/drink much of any of those. One batch of apple wine lasts us years. But maybe we could juice them?

Some days we have an office dog. He comes in with one of the developers, occasionally, and stays in the office during the day.

A small terrier of some sort, he is small and cute and very non-threatening. He is very well-behaved, quiet and discreet. He is guardedly friendly without ever being intrusive. He goes from desk to desk and sits down and waits for contact. If I stop petting him before he feels done, he sidles a bit closer, but never actually touches me himself.

After repeated visits and cautiously getting acquainted, we’ve gotten to the point in our relationship where he lets me move him and lift him up. The thing is, he approaches me from the right, because there is a wall on my left, but I kind of need my right hand for working. I like scratching him but I do need to keep working as well. I can now lift him up so he sits on my lap and gets scratched while I work.

He is very good for general developer well-being, and I wish he was here more often. Some people have service dogs; hospitals have service animals. I’m pretty sure that office workers would be happier at work if offices had well-behaved office dogs.

Drawing while Instagramming while watching some stuff on YouTube.

Games night at work.

First we played Joking hazard which was a decent warm-up game, but wasn’t really my kind of humour.

We followed it with Betrayal at House on the Hill which was… weird. The scenario we drew ended up taking us three hours instead of one, and we were quite exhausted at the end. We had very conflicting opinions about the game. One of the guys said he would happily start over then and there if he could only get some food and coffee first. Me, I found it interesting but also contrived and fiddly. I imagine that you need to feel immersed in the story to really enjoy it. We never managed to get very immersed because so much of our attention was needed for the endless dice-rolling and counting of points vs other points, and checking which of all the special rules were in effect at any point.

Still, as a social activity it was all fun, and I’m looking forward to the next games night already.

The Ribes (flowering currant) are among the (surprisingly few) failed parts of the new hedge. Two of the three bushes I planted look to be completely dead, with not a single green leaf on them. Some others that at first looked dead (such as a few of the Spireas) have sprouted at least a few puny green leaves after the drought ended, but not these two. I’m very pleased that it ended so well, given the circumstances.