The Unexpected Good Day: 2013 365 Challenge #240

Bungyjumping toys

Bungyjumping toys

Today I had one of those marvellous things known as the unexpected good day.

Normally by day five with no break from the kids I’m ready to quit and the shouting has started before breakfast (especially after a long bout of insomnia such as I seem to be having at present).

But, thanks to my gorgeous hubbie taking the kids until 8am and bringing me breakfast in bed, leaving me to read my new Rinelle Grey book, that didn’t happen.

The day got better.

One of my very good friends was free to come over with her two littluns, thus motivating me to clean my house for the first time in a fortnight. I even did the upstairs, even though we close the stair-gate when she comes, as she has a baby. I did have to jump in the shower as she arrived, but husband got back to fill the breach in manners.

Butter wouldn't melt!

Butter wouldn’t melt!

The kids were amazing.

Normally my daughter ignores her friend and plays with the baby, leaving my son to be the gentleman. But the baby was going through a Mummy-or-bust phase and, instead of being upset, my gorgeous daughter went and played with the others. They were quiet. For a whole hour. We kept checking on them but they were squirreled away in the top of the playhouse.

We fed them, they still didn’t come down. We offered frozen yoghurt. They came and ate them, then went back out.

I haven’t had such a good gossip in ages. Even the baby sat in the high chair and ate fruit. I think they were bewitched. I offered to tidy up their toys in gratitude for my morning chat, and discovered two sleds, two scooters and three helmets in the playhouse loft. I’m quite glad I found out after!

In the afternoon we made cakes as a thank you for their excellent behaviour, then they played some more while I did ironing. I hate ironing! But I enjoyed the sense of getting ahead of myself while watching them play circus games through the window.

Monkey tricks

Monkey tricks

Tea in front of the TV – another thank you gesture from me – and they went off to play music with Daddy while I responded to the great ‘free book’ debate sparked by yesterday’s post.

Now I’m walking the dog, dodging tractors, and later I’m sending hubbie to pick up Chinese as I’ve forgotten to buy food this week. A perfect end to a perfect day. I’m enjoying the moment, seeing as it doesn’t happen very often!

Wishing you all a happy, productive, perfect day soon x

P.S. In case you were wondering what bad karma would hit me for speaking of my great day, it came in the form of the Chinese. Our favourie and second favourite takeaways were both closed after the bank holiday and the only other one in the town isn’t the best! Still, a hot meal I didn’t cook and that didn’t generate washing up is alright by me. Prawn cracker anyone?


Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog: ________________________________________________________________________________

Claire gripped the arm rests and closed her eyes. The feeling grew stronger and her eyelids flew open again. The nausea was easier to control if she kept her eyes fixed on the seat in front. Next to her Bethan chuckled.

“You’ve gone green. I don’t think I’ve actually seen anyone go green before. Do you need a bag?”

Claire didn’t dare speak through her gritted teeth so she shook her head; the tiny movement made her head swim. She was only grateful that Bethan wasn’t taunting her for declining her offer of seasickness tablets when they left Wellington. It was too late now. Even if there was time for them to start working, Claire was certain she couldn’t open her mouth long enough to swallow anything: the only thing preventing her from vomiting over the seat in front was the clenched grip of her jaw muscles.

“It’s a shame the weather’s so bad,” Bethan said, as if they were waiting at a bus stop in the rain, “because the crossing is really beautiful. Normally you can stand on deck and envy all the bastards living in the tiny cottages dotted about the sound. Some of them have meandering paths down to the water, with a boat moored up for that essential trip to town.”

It was fortunate that her new friend seemed happy to chatter without getting a response, because Claire only heard half the words. The guide book had waxed lyrical about the beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound. Frankly Claire was only interested in reaching dry land and never getting on a boat again.

Another wave crashed into the row of windows ten metres in front of them. The wave soaked the glass from top to bottom as if someone had chucked a bucket of soapy water at it. Around her, Claire heard children whooping and laughing.

This isn’t a fairground ride. Honestly, how can people let their kids run riot. Never mind how annoying it is, they might get hurt.

As if to prove her point, the ferry pitched forwards as it dropped into another hole in the ocean. One of the younger children fell sideways and bumped her head, letting out an eardrum-bursting shriek. Part of Claire, the part not consumed by the urge to put her fingers in her ears and sob, felt sorry for the child’s parents. The thought of taking such a journey with Sky brought to mind a whole new level of hideousness.

The bucking bronco boat ride seemed to be nearing its end. Out the window Claire could just make out the rising cliffs of the sound. Hope surged in her breast and she began to gather her things.

“Don’t be fooled. We won’t be there for ages yet. Even on a calm day it takes time to negotiate the sound. Although the water will be calmer, the journey will be affected by the weather. You don’t want us to crash into the cliff, do you?”

Bethan laughed and Claire found herself going off her new friend. Maybe it was being the right side of twenty-five, or maybe it was spending her life travelling, but Bethan was far less fazed by things than she was. She glanced at her watch and was surprised to see they had already been travelling for several hours.

Today is not a day I would choose to be longer at sea than necessary. Maybe I should have checked the forecast before agreeing to go south with Bethan. So much for her intention to stay in the capital: she has more changes of plans in a day than I have cups of coffee, and that’s saying something.

Claire looked over at her travelling companion. Bethan had headphones in and her eyes closed. A smile flickered on her lips as she bobbed her head in time to silent music. In a strange way Claire felt comforted by her peacefulness.

Trying to follow Bethan’s lead, Claire risked ducking her head to find her phone deep in the recesses of her bag. After the third attempt she located it and selected the most soothing music she could find. With a cello concerto filling her ears, drowning out the raucous cries of the pack of wild children, Claire felt the flutter of agitation start to settle. She rested her head against the seat and was just drifting off when the boat lurched suddenly and listed to one side.

Claire’s eyes flew open. “What the hell happened?”

Bethan took her earphones out and looked around. With a shrug that only served to increase Claire’s panic, she said, “I think we hit something.”


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