Living on the Edge

You might say the title of this post is every so slightly sarcastic. We just spent the greater part of the evening sitting in the gymnasium of a school playing bingo. A fundraiser to help purchase books, stationary, and whatever else the profit margin from pens, chocolate bars, and fizzy drinks might raise.

I didn’t win a single thing all night, but the children did. Chocolates, a hot chocolate mug, a cake baking set, and various other bits and pieces. One of the games during the evening involved everybody being issued with a raffle ticket – then standing at their table as each ticket was randomly called until one person was left standing. Our middle girl was third from last in a room of a hundred people – in the latter stages I thought she might explode from excitement.

This is life with children. While other people head out for the evening on a weekend with friends to their favourite bars and restaurants, we sit in school gymnasiums. During the daytime we stand at the touchline of football and rugby pitches, stamping our feet to keep warm, eeking out a flask of hot tea throughout each game. From the moment we re-enter the house until the moment we fall into bed the washing machine and dryer will run flat-out – filled with school clothes, sports kit, and bedding. We fill the machines again, and again – slowly decorating the house each weekend and weekday evening with damp clothes hanging on every radiator.

Before heading out to the fund raiser tonight I made dinner for everybody from whatever I could find in the freezer and the cupboards. Frozen chips, baked beans, and fried eggs for everybody. I managed to explode the yoke of several of the eggs while frying them – I’ll never get hired to cook in a roadside cafe, let alone a restaurant.

It’s now heading towards 10pm, and I’ve shut myself away in the junk room to write this – with the hope of spending an hour or so catching up with distant friends. Before that happens I have to go and break up a fight that appears to be be happening in the upstairs bathroom. I can hear Miss 12 and 13 fighting over the bathroom like it’s a bridgehead in the second world war. I’ll be back.

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