The senior leaders at the school asked me to join them for their end of term meal at a local pub, unexpected and very kind of them. There were twelve of us and we walked from the school, two or three miles each way – this was in connection with the charity we are supporting, Walking with the Wounded – double amputee and Paralympian Duncan Slater was our guest at last night’s prizegiving: or rather he should have been but he’d had an injury and couldn’t make it, so other representatives came instead. The idea is to walk home from work one day, but this isn’t really practicable as some of the staff live miles away and it’s the wrong time of the year for it (although Duncan was one of those who walked to the South Pole, so it’s not an entirely valid excuse) so a brisk five mile round trip was our compromise. In fact, walking from the school to the pub and back was further than walking to school and back for me, so I’m on the right side.
I looked up the date when Anastasia went to sleep and it was about a month ago, so I reckoned I’d better start getting her out of hibernation. I’d bought a large, fairly shallow plastic box and put earth and gravel, a big, flat piece of chalk, some bark and a small clay pot and a water dish in it. I set up an infra red lamp to hang over it on the kitchen counter (well away from the cooking area, of course) and went to find the Tot. A month ago, I’d spent some time searching for her as she’d dug down into the earth, I’d got her out and given her a bath to wake her up as I hoped she wouldn’t hibernate yet, but she was determined to. This time, I looked first in her original choice of spot and there she was. So I took her straight through and buried her again in the box, so that she wouldn’t be woken too quickly. She’s been stirring a bit this afternoon and tomorrow I’ll put the lamp on to warm her up, then bath her and try to persuade her to eat. In the meantime, Natasha has stopped eating but is still trundling around her enclosure. I’ll stop heating it to try to get her to hibernate for a few weeks. This is all vastly more complicated than I wanted it to be.
Tomorrow evening, Bex is coming to fetch Ben. I’m going to miss him, but I know this is the right decision. He’ll love living with them and Spike is so looking forward to it. I’m all right on my own, I’ll just talk to myself even more than I do already.