Sunday, 26 July 2009

Our Glourious Seven Week Schedule

Is casually regimented an acceptable turn of phrase?

If I was going to pigeon hole myself – which actually sounds terribly unpleasant – that is most likely a category, or storage void, I would choose.

A semblance of a plan suits me. I like having a rough, yet decided, outline that I can then manipulate, alter and deviate from.

Although my son is yet to start his official schooling, something he will do in little over six weeks, he is at a school affiliated nursery, which means it shuts when the school does, and in turn, means, at present, I have a seven-week blank canvas to paint.

My marking of our calendar, a pleasant ring-bound A4 masterpiece created with family pictures, started to turn into more a mutilation, a defacement of our pleasant reminder of the date, and our impeding activities of note.

Not really fit for purpose. The purpose of filling a seven week schedule, with activities to satisfy all parties, not ignoring any tasks, or jobs, that still have to be fitted around our adventures.

Our 45-day-holiday is planned to be full of outings, all over the country, generally short breaks, designed to be fun, and hopefully making our stints between at home more enjoyable too.

Hopefully we shall really feel like we are holidaying all of the time, even at home.

However this all needs careful arrangement, not only for making the necessary phone calls and ‘bookings’, but, for me at least, it needs to be formulated in a tangible format to continually refer to when making further plans, or answering enquiries as to our movements and availability.

Obviously everything is subject to change, illness would change a lot, as it would too for the people we intend to visit. Cars breakdown, money can run short, breaks can be extended, cut short, or introduced at the last minute.

So, to hold all this information in one place, I called upon an old friend.


There is not much I miss from my 9-to-5 days, but messing about with spreadsheets, designing, changing, learning new functions and finding new uses for, were all things I got a certain amount of satisfaction from. Sad, I know.

So proud, I announced my 8 column, 17 row creation of scheduling joy on Twitter. A piece of work - created while I cooked dinner for my son and his friend - that includes colour, merged cells, fancy shading, all our planned activities in bold, and our TBC stuff in normal typeface.

This thing is prime for lamination and storage, so I can show my son how sad beautifully organised I was.

My tweet was derided and hailed in unequal measure.

The uncouth opting for straight up ‘sad’ insults, those married to the uncouth confirming that they had to do similar (presumable to cope with living with a neanderthal), and then the turncoat, ridiculing my work, to only turn full-circle when they discovered the work of the aforementioned. There are no words, well there are, but as I have questioned their sexuality a lot over recent times, I shall not do so again.

I am sticking to my temporary method, both figuratively and actually, the master is on my laptop, but I have a printed version for quick reference, such as when another child’s parents decides to try and organise a trip out at the leavers presentation.

Copies have also been issued to grandparents, so they know when they may be called upon, and indeed, when we are planning on visiting them.

This approach will lapse as the holidays do, as we return to the more regular school, and its linked activities, and probably to jotting little reminders on our lovely kitchen calendar.

And I can get back to pining for Excel, again.



Mrs OMG Pregnant said...

Ahh I too love a bit of Excel, and use it whenever I can. My favourite things are currently conditional formatting and pivot tables. They please nobody but myself, but that is a good enough reason in themsleves! You should see my wedding spreadsheets, i have vlookups, formatting, pivot tables, if statements the whole lot. It's a work of art!

Dan said...

I standby my previous diagnosis: Sad.

And that's from a mental health professional too.

Tara said...

You put your holiday plans on an excel spreadsheet and only had a few snorts of laughter?
Hells bells, did you put a column in there for 'average number of minutes of fun per day'?
I think you can count me in the derided category.
And Mrs OMG, what in god's name are you talking about?

Mrs OMG Pregnant said...

It's an art form Tara, I'm telling you!

Who's the Mummy? said...

Step away from the computer. Excel = tool of devil.

You think it's just casual fun, nobody will get hurt, but before you know it, it's pivot tables and complex formulae and you can't eat breakfast because the formatting means you can't tell whether it's Coco Pops or Weetos on the schedule....

MuddynoSugar said...

Ignore those who mock, you cannot beat abit of excel, I recently taught myself how to grab formulas from other spreadsheets to update my spreadsheet..I am queen of excel..although I do only use it at work..because I have to, then again i did do an access database for christmas cards...whilst the words, get a life echoed in my nerdy head

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhhh you're all proud. Snort. And 'wife of the uncouth' (how rude), is a girl. We girls have to stick together you know. Now stop boasting about your column and go and finish your colouring. ;D

SandyCalico said...

At the risk of derision...
Playing with Excel was the best part of my job. After reading your post I realise I miss it. I still use it once a month to work out my (lack of) finances. You've inspired me to branch out!!
Right, babies:

chrisandharvey said...

I think you're a genius. Must be - cos that's what I do (without the shading though). I have to - H is with someone different every day of the seven (seven!!!! seven!!!!) weeks he's off school. All fantastic friends, or some family. Luckily, they're mostly teachers or own their own businesses so are free to help. I wouldn't cope without them. I don't know until I collect him what he's done that day - maybe I should ask and then complete a new row for 'activities' in retrospect?? And there's no record for weekends - that's much more free form. Got to have some sponteniety, tee hee.

Have fun guys!

SciFi Dad said...

I use the Outlook Calendar (synched with my palm) to schedule everything from work meetings to dentist cleanings for the kids to dinner with my inlaws. I email my calendar in segments to my wife so she can update the home calendar with any details she needs about my whereabouts.

I laugh at you not because using Excel makes you "geeky", but rather because it makes you nearly a Luddite, or effectively someone who writes with a crayon.

bsouth said...

I've been lurking for a while but after all this excel talk I've had to de-lurk. How dare the people deride you? My life would be empty without excel. Everything I do has a spreadsheet pretty much. I miss my days at work. I must go now and think of something to pivot table.

Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

I laughed, then I actually thought about the calendar in the kitchen and the piece of scribbly paper which I am running all our holiday childcare plans on and thought it was a good idea.

Then I laughed again.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Would be so good if the holidays were organised chaos, instead of just chaos. We have too much planned and I half wish I hadn't!

45 days sounds like a long time!

CJ xx

The Dotterel said...

Seven weeks? Pah! At school we had the whole YEAR on an Excel spreadsheet.

Amy said...

Wow, that's a good idea...

Hmm, I still use Google calendar.. but excel isn't a bad choice!

I wish I had 45 days to holiday with my son ;) Hope it's fun and it goes well!

Single Parent Dad said...

Mrs OMG Pregnant - I love it when you talk Excel.

Dan - Asking for a second opinion would only make it worse, right?

Tara - No. It's just a whereabouts spreadsheet, but now you've suggested it......

Mr OMG - Ignore the uncouth.

Who's the Mummy - I will give it up in September, promise.

MuddynoSugar - I used to use it a lot in my gainful employment, for proper purpose. It is a wonderous thing.

Jo B - I know all about you girls sticking together.

SandyCalico - Have some of that If statement.

Chrisandharvey - I have scheduled some sponteniety.

SciFi Dad - Show off.

Bsouth - Exactly, and thanks for de-lurking. Let me know what you come up with.

Laura - Laughing, caused by any means, is welcome.

CJ - That's because it is.

The Dotterel - Teachers have it so tough.

Amy - Be careful what you wish for ;-).

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