Picture this: a Wednesday in a town in The Netherlands, I have a day off from work and the rain is pouring down…
7.30 a.m.: Mama takes pity on her daughter and tells her she’ll drive her to school so that she won’t get drenched during a bike ride that would take 20 minutes. It’s early and mama is not a morning person, so takes it easy and changes from pajama bottoms into pants that are still lying about and pulls on a sweater over her pajama top.
7.45 a.m.: Rush daughter out the door and drive her to school.
8.15 a.m.: Come back home again, find a gift from my cat outside my front door: a dead mole! Pick the mole up with a tissue and dispose of him in our green recycling bin, then time to sit for a little bit and have my Weetabix breakfast.
8.30 a.m.: Mr Esther comes downstairs, getting ready to bike to the station. First day back to the office after his operation / sick leave. Esther takes pity and offers to drive him to the train station so that he too will not get soaked. He says he can take the bus back home again in the afternoon (when time doesn’t matter, the bus schedule sucks).
9.05 a.m.: We leave home, needing a little extra time to drive to the station as the normal route is closed due to road works.
9.25 a.m.: Home again, time to relax and take in the news via print and TV.
10.10 a.m.: Son comes down for breakfast. For school he needs to do a practical assignment from 11.30 till 5 p.m. Getting there by bike, train, bus and 10 minute walk means he needs to leave in 5 minutes and he’ll never make it. He can’t afford to be late and also, I’d hate to see him arrive at that assignment all soaked. So, yes, I agree to drive him. Postpone the morning tea visit to my sister’s (where my mother is also visiting) and tell her I’ll be there around lunchtime instead. Make my way upstairs to take off pj top I’m still wearing and get freshened up and dressed properly.
10.45 a.m.: Drive my son to where he needs to be (half an hour away) but it’s pouring down and I take a wrong exit so that adds a little time to our drive time. Make it there at 11.22 a.m. which is well on time.
Noon: Arrive at my sister’s flat. Catch up with my mother, my sister and her cat. Also do the monthly chore of cutting my mother’s toenails (she has complicated toenails), eat a small ‘krentenbol’ (currant bun) with cheese, typical Dutch thing.
1.15 p.m.: Head to my daughter’s school to pick her up. She is famished (forgot to pack lunch) so on the way back home we pick up some chicken at KFC (she loves it, I think it’s so-so) and get home at 2 p.m. to eat and drink. I don’t have much chicken and especially like the corn on the cob. 🙂 Oh, and we discover a second gift from our black cat in the kitchen: another dead mole! It’s still pouring outside, apparently that makes for great mole-hunting?
2.30 p.m.: Mr Esther texts me to ask what time I’m picking up our dauighter, maybe I could pick him up while I’m already driving around with her. Tell him she’s home already as school was out early but I’ll drive extra to pick him up, so he doesn’t have to wait for the bus which takes ages to arrive and then drives a roundabout route.
3.00 p.m.: Leave home to pick up Mr Esther. Small-town after-school rush hour traffic and a blocked roadworks route, means the normally 5 minute drive takes 15 minutes. Way back is a little quicker, so home again with Mr Esther at 3.25 p.m. The man is very tired, so I tell him to go lie down.
3.40 p.m.: Drive my daughter to a therapist appointment. We get there 5 minutes before her 4 p.m. appointment. I don’t need to go in with her, so I stay in the car and read with music playing during the 45 minutes that she’s gone.
5.00 p.m.: Home again, my son texts. He’ll be at the station at 5.40 p.m. As he isn’t on his bike and needs to head for his job right away, I had already told him I would drop him off. (Job starts at 6, he needs to be there at 5.55 at the latest or he loses his shift and there is no bus that goes close to where he works and walking would take 30 minutes, which is too long). I make use of my half hour of free time to empty the dishwasher and fill it again, clean the kitchen and living room a bit. No time for grocery shopping and we’ve had KFC anyhow, so it would just be Mr Esther needing to get a warm meal, my daughter and I will figure out some sandwiches or something for the evening if we get hungry.
5.30 p.m.: It has finally stopped raining! Bundle up my daughter into the car and we both drive to the station to pick up my son. Luckily train is on time. It’s really busy with rush hour traffic but I get him to his work place with 3 minutes to spare. My daughter and I head on to a local soccer field. My daughter is thinking of taking up soccer and is doing her first trial training. We get there at 6.05 p.m., exactly at the arranged time. Apparently this is also the last training of the season, so it’s not a ‘real’ training session but a mixed (boys and girls) soccer match. My daughter (wearing black pants and a light grey sweater) gets in there and after about 20 minutes, she’s the first one to score a goal! She scores a total of 2 of her team’s 5 goals…
The trainer likes her, she still needs to learn some technique but she plays very nicely and she’s really quick, he says. My kids are both quite athletic and Mr Esther and I always wonder who they get that from…
7.45 p.m.: Back home again. Mr Esther is up and about and just about ready to head out to get something quick for dinner. He also wants it simple, so it’s pea soup for him and me and baguette with several soft cheeses and aioli (a garlic sauce) for us and my daughter as well (she doesn’t like pea soup). Dinner at about 8.15 p.m.
9.00 p.m.: Head out to pick up my son from work. He eats something in the car and also has some leftover baguette with cheese when we get home again at 9.30 p.m.
Looking back on this very wet Wednesday, I think I would have made a killing had I been a taxi driver for the day! I’ll do it again if this man cares to grace my taxi…
Right, it’s now close to 1 a.m. and even though it feels like my day off only started a few hours ago at 9.30 p.m., I do need to head for bed now (and back to work tomorrow). I bet I’ll be dreaming of driving…