Seven Things I learned in the last Seven Days …


• That IB maths is necessary if you want to read psychology at University College London; my middle daughter loves the idea of counselling but hates the idea of maths. UCL insist upon it. As does Oxford. Cambridge and St Andrews don’t. Funny that.

• That despite the fact we have a several-acre-wide blue tarpaulin covering our entire roof in manner of refugee shelter not dissimilar to something the United Nations might use in a crisis situation, the house still leaks like proverbial sieve. Buckets bedecked our bedroom last night and the kitchen was an inch deep in water so that this morning I had to paddle through to make tea.

• Not that I mind – the rain. Although I knew as much already, its return has reminded me of Africa’s steadfast ability to forgive. The lawn is green, the spider lilies are dipping pretty white heads coyly and the veg patch is popping with green shoots, except where fat Labrador sought to create a nest for herself and tossed the seeds out as she dug. We won’t have coriander in that corner of the garden then …

• That despite my fears, I can manage a glass kiln. Finally stopped regarding mine with fear and trepidation, unpacked it, read the instructions, cut some glass, put it in side and turned it on. And I did not burn the house down nor did kiln blow up. I now have five festive – albeit slightly wonky – new decorations for our Christmas tree this year. And lots of plasters on my fingers. Give Blood: Become a Glass Artist …

• That Hat is increasingly adept in the kitchen; she made focaccia this week, dredged with oregano, black pepper and coarse salt. Fatly plump and warm from the oven, we ate it with minestrone soup just to extend the whole Italian thing.

• That as well as having an IQ and an EQ, you can also develop an AQ: adversity quotient, a measure of resilience. My friend B – a father of two – does not believe men have EQ but I know he does. As well as lots of the other kinds.

• That Precision Air has cancelled the flight my daughter needs to board when she comes home for Christmas. This – though – is not so much a question of learning something new about Precision, rather being reminded of something old and tiring about them.

17 Responses to “Seven Things I learned in the last Seven Days …”

  1. Mom de Plume Says:

    UNISA also don’t require maths for psychology, but it might come in handy. The one compulsory module that runs throughout the degree, including honours and masters is Research Science and it is horribly based on things such as probability, statistics and lots of scary equations that I really couldn’t get my head around (although hopefully I have convinced the exam markers otherwise:)) So that may be why some universities stipulate it.

    Glass artists sounds fscinating… where did you learn that?

  2. lulu campbell Says:

    Love the picture – is that your glass decoration? I hope daughter gets on flight – presumably that will happen…..I’ve changed blog site – can you re-join as follower please so that I know when you’ve posted something? SO much rain. Lxx

  3. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thanks for that Mom de P. I am told that so long as she has a good IGCSE/O Level/MYP whatever they call them these days (‘not O’level Mum, that was in the O’lden days … when you did them’ … in Maths, she will be fine with the stats and sums. i do hope so …

    I love your new site, Lulu. Adore the beatiful ele banner. and I’ve amended my link to you x

  4. R. Sherman Says:

    I’m afraid the math requirement is ubiquitous. My daughter had to have four years, including calculus, even though she intends to study English and Theatre.

    Go figure.


  5. Iota Says:

    Glass art? Is there no end to your talents?

  6. Mwa Says:

    I hope your daughter gets home okay.

    The glass art – how great. I had the same with baking – so amazed the result was edible, even delicious. I think I may finally use that sewing machine I bought years ago and never used.

  7. Grannymar Says:

    The glass art sounds interesting, I must investigate…. something new for 2010!

  8. Hadriana Says:

    Hi RM,

    AQ…hmm…I reckon I must have a pretty huge AQ by now! 😉

    Wishing you and yours a very super Christmas and all the very best for 2010! Hadriana xx

  9. WendyB Says:

    I’m skeptical of men having EQ too but maybe I’m just being sexist.

  10. Mama B Says:

    Calling Reluctant Memsahib? I hope your daughter made it home and you enjoyed Christmas. I miss your blog. You write brilliantly. We set up a blog when we moved to Tanzania in October, but it has descended from an original idea of witty and aesthetic commentary to rather stodgy news reports. Much appreciated by snow-bound relatives but not very self-satisfying.

    I was debating the merits of being a ‘homemaker’ (do you know a better word, please?!) with my visiting brother this morning. Hard to resist the pull of the status/appearence of importance of a career, but I’m glad I’m doing it at the moment. Plenty of time for paid employment again later. Encouragingly, he agreed.

  11. Andrew Says:

    There’s a reason why some people call it “Indecision Air”

  12. Iota Says:

    Hope you had a very lovely Christmas and New Year. I’ve tagged you at mine.

  13. nuttycow Says:

    Happy new year! I was out in NBI with my parents over the holiday – it was so nice to be back! El Nino must have struck you with a vengance too by the sounds of it. We had 4.5 inches on new year’s day!

    Love to all. x

  14. Rob Says:

    As the dustbin man said to the outpost blogger: Where you been? Oh, all over East Africa. No! says he, where you really been? Honestly, all over the place. No! No! says he, where your wheelie bin! Oh, says she, right.

    Looking forward to a good write up with pics on your travels.

  15. carol Says:

    Ha Ha Rob, good one!

  16. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    xx very good Rob

  17. Iota Says:

    I like Rob’s joke!

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