I've had a slightly surreal day.
Tomorrow I'm off on the epic Polish trip (trying desperately to keep my flying nerves under control and NOT feel guilty about leaving the sprogs), so I spent the day in the main sorting the house out for the onslaught of four children and a husband home alone.
I was planning to go for a run, but then realised I needed to pop into town to pick up various bits. I know, I thought in a moment of brilliance, I'll take the bike (biking being the bit of my triathlon training that somehow I never get to).
The only trouble with this brilliant idea was that my tyres had gone flat since I last got on it, so I had to pump them up first. The back one didn't seem too happy at all, and in fact the whole cycling thing turned into a bit of a nightmare as it was squeaking away like anything by the time I got back. I know I don't cycle very often, but it shouldn't be THAT knackering to do it...
I got home in time to finish sorting washing before Spouse arrived home for lunch. Thursday lunchtimes usually involve Spouse dashing in for half an hour and a sandwich, while I sort the kids out a picnic tea as they do tennis later.
Thursdays are my most complicated day of the week, as I pick the younger three up from school, drop no 2 off at no 1's school for tutoring (we are doing the same for no 2 we did for no 1 though we may leave it up to her if she sits the exam or not), and then take nos 3 &4 to their tennis lesson. No1 meanwhile has taken to sitting in the library till 5pm to do her homework and then walking down to meet us. I pick up a friend's daughter from school, so she drops no 3 back to me.
Though this all sounds hideously complicated, I actually enjoy my Thursday afternoons as there's quite a big gaggle of mums most of whom I know fairly well, and we actually get to talk to one another while our sprogs play tennis. In between lessons they also run riot with their mates in what is a pretty safe environment.
Today, however, nothing went according to plan.
I got in the car at 3pm ready to go to school. I started the engine which died. I tried again and second time it fired up. I should have been warned, but once it was going the car seemed fine, so I forgot all about it.
Until I walked back to the car with four children and only quarter of an hour to spare to discover the bloody thing was dead as a dodo. Oh shit. I'd probably left the lights on last night and the battery was flat. Spouse would be sooooo pleased (it's not like he never nags me about that or anything).
I piled all the kids out, plus the back pack with all their clothes in, tennis rackets and a cold bag with their tea, thinking oh bugger, it's a long way to the school with all this gear, when I ran into a very generous friend (who is already helping me by having ALL the kids tomorrow), who bailed me out and took us to drop no 2 off then back to the tennis club. We did have to take an old chair out of her car and put it in mine to fit everyone in, but still...
I got to tennis, sorted the little ones out, rang the AA who on learning that I was actually ten minutes from my car, said they'd text me in fifty minutes. Fifty minutes took me to ten minutes before no 2 was due to be dropped off, so I left a somewhat less then coherent message on my mate's phone (which she later told me she heard while she was in the middle of teaching her class, as she'd forgotten to turn her phone off), and THEN realised that my sodding phone was running out of juice too.
Luckily Super Organised Friend was there and said ring them back and give them my number. As I was about to do this, the AA sent me a text to say their man was on his way. Phew. I rang no1 to tell her what was happening and SOF kindly said she'd sit with everyone till I got back, while I raced back to my car.
I then texted my friend back to say I'd be back in time and waited for the AA man. As he arrived my phone rang. It was my mate, but as I went to answer it my phone died. So now that battery was flat too.
AA Man was very efficient and diagnosed a very dodgy elderly battery (so not my fault then. Double Phew.), and told me to drive it for half an hour and it should be ok. Only trouble with that scenario was that I was worried it wouldn't start again if I left it for too long at tennis. So I decided the best thing to do was to go home, try and recharge my phone, ring Spouse and get him to pick us up, and cycle back to tennis.
All of which I duly did, so I was able to text my mate to say all was well and ring SOF to say I was on my way back. I pumped the back tyre up again, thinking maybe I'd not done it enough earlier. I DID have a moment of thinking perhaps I should go on Spouse's but stupidly it was only a moment and I got on mine instead.
I was two minutes away from the tennis club when I realised the ominous squeaking my back wheel had been replaced by the sound of metal hitting concrete.
Now my bloody tyre was flat too.
It just wasn't my day.
Spouse's first words when he greeted me were, you've left the lights on one too many times, so though I didn't think I was to blame for the state of the battery, apparently I am.
We left the bike where it was, brought everyone home and Spouse went out later to fetch no 1 from her tennis lesson and my bike.
Luckily HIS car's battery isn't flat.