Category Archives: parenting

P365 – Day 296 – find your passion

Go directly to the garden. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

I’m one of those people who never knew what they wanted to do after they finished school. I was the career guidance teacher’s number one nightmare, and my parents despaired that I was never going make up my mind.

As a result, I changed my mind about what university course I was going to do basically on the strength of a throwaway line from a friend, dropped out of the course after one year and four weeks, and did a degree I would never in a million years have seen myself doing two years previously.

Then, having absolutely no idea what I was going to do next, I somehow landed a job in the public service in Canberra. While the prospect of moving to Canberra was less than appealing, the prospect of earning more money than I’d ever had in my life was somewhat attractive.

So I took the plunge, packed up and moved, with the intention of staying for a couple of years and then coming home and doing what I really wanted to do, whatever that was.

History will show that the ‘couple of years’ lasted a bit longer than that. It will also show that I have no more idea about what I want to do now than I did then. But all the time, I was convinced that all I had to do was find what I was passionate about, and then I’d find a way to make that a part of my working life, then I’d be doing work that I loved so much that it didn’t even seem like work*.

Only what was my passion?

I dabbled in many things. I wanted to like things. I bought stuff. I started reading books. I did career inventories. I shelved stuff. I bought more stuff. I stuffed books onto bookshelves. I assessed my Myers Briggs Type for clues. I tried to remember what I loved doing as a child. I tried to imagine my perfect job. I made plans. I ditched plans.

None of it worked. There was too much out there. How could I possibly find the one thing or the couple of things that I was truly passionate about when there was so much stuff to do? Was my gut instinct telling me what I really wanted to do, or what I thought I wanted to do, or even what I thought I wanted to want to do?

How was I ever going to know what I REALLY wanted to do?

What am I passionate about? Am I passionate about anything?

I remember reading some time about in one of the zillions of “Find out what you really want to do and go out and do it” books that I started reading (and mostly never finished) that a good clue is to find the activity that puts you into what I think they called “the zone” – that is the place where you so immerse yourself in what you’re doing that you lose track of time, forget to eat, forget to go to bed . . . and no, I don’t think they were thinking of chatting online all night.

It occurred to me today – as it has at other times – that the only time I really get that completely lost is when I’m in the garden. When these authors described this zone, they were describing what happens to me when I’m gardening.

When I’m gardening I’m in my own world. I tell myself stories, I dream, I replay incidents that didn’t work out so that I get the result I want, I have conversations with people in my head. The real world ceases to exist.

Back in the days BJ (Before Juniordwarf), I’d think nothing of spending the whole weekend in the garden. If I didn’t have to eat I wouldn’t have.

But even so, it’s not something that I jump out of the door to do first thing on a Saturday morning. It is a huge effort for me to get to the point where I’m actually working in the garden and, from there, to that state where I get lost in it. It’s very easy to find something else to do, see something that has to be done, get distracted by something, and then it’s too close to lunch time or we have to go up the street, or we have to go out, or Juniordwarf wants me to do something with him, and then it’s too hot, or it’s raining or I don’t have the seeds I need or . . . .

So despite the fact that I love it, I find it incredibly hard to get motivated to do it.

It seems like a complete paradox. If I love it so much and it gets me into this other world, why then am I reluctant to get out there and do it?

The other factor that comes into the equation now, that I didn’t have before, is Juniordwarf! I want him to get more involved with the garden, but I don’t want to force him, so I just let him do pretty much what he wants outside, show him things that might interest him, let him plant seeds, do some digging and whatever else he is interested in, but most of the time he’s more interested in hanging out with Sleepydog. And the good thing about that it is it keeps her out of my way – she’s a very ‘in your face’ dog.

But getting into the “zone” is harder when I have to spend time with Juniordwarf. Not that I don’t enjoy doing stuff with him in the garden – I do, I love it – but it’s not the same.

And then if he wants to go back inside and do something else, my well-honed sense of Mother Guilt kicks in, and I feel guilty that I’m outside doing my own thing and leaving him to his own devices – despite the fact that he’s probably having a great time inside with his Dad! 

This is a combination of (a) guilt that I’m relying on Slabs to spend more than his fair share of time with Juniordwarf, (b) guilt that if Slabs is also doing his own thing, Juniordwarf has to entertain himself and leaving him to his own devices for too long isn’t fair, (c) guilt that I don’t have as much time as I used to with him and that I should be spending more of the weekend with him and that spending time in the garden isn’t as important as spending time with him . . .

However . . .

If I hung out with Juniordwarf all day and did no gardening, then the jungle would continue to multiply at a crazy rate, we’d have no home-grown vegetables and every time I looked out the back window I’d feel guilty about not being out there and getting stuck into it.


For goodness sake!

I wonder if other parents struggle with this sense of guilt no matter what they do? Is this one of those things that no-one ever talks about before you have kids, and even if they did, you as a child-free adult would scoff and tell them to get over it?

Now that I’ve actually written it down, I can see how ridiculous it all seems. 

Where the hell does all this guilt come from? And that’s only scratching the surface. What purpose does any of it serve, except to make me anxious and feel bad – and for no good reason? Surely there must be better things I can put my mind to than making myself feel rotten.

It’s that nasty inner critic at it again, this time attacking me with its little arsenal of “shoulds”.
And I “should” ignore it.

Well, for a post that was just going to talk about how much I got done in the garden today, this has turned into something completely unexpected.

What can I take from this?
  • I need a big push to get me started on anything, even if it’s something I love doing. This can only come from me. There are no excuses. I can either take the easy way and procrastinate, do nothing and continue to feel bad about that, or I can push through the pain of the resistance barrier, do something and end up feeling good about what I’ve achieved.

  • I want to be able to get out in the garden for periods of time that will let me get a reasonable amount of work done without feeling like I’m abandoning my family. I need to talk to my family about how we can make this work – what’s reasonable, what I need and what they need. How they can help.

  • I still don’t know “what I want to do”, but that’s OK for now, because at least I know what I am passionate about.

And today I had a great morning ripping out weeds, cutting branches off a tree and giving myself some hope that I might still get the vege patches under control in time to grow a few veges this year. I even found some veges growing in amongst the weeds. Yay!

* Before you tell me that this is complete piffle, and that very few people are ever able to find that work-passion balance, and that actually working with your passion can end up killing your passion, remember that I was in my early 20s when all this happened, and I really didn’t have much of a clue about anything! (Some would say I still don’t, but I choose to ignore them.)

P365 – Day 128 mothers day

I had a lovely day today, despite being a bit knocked about by a lingering cold that I thought had almost gone, but that made a triumphant return to my life this morning.
Juniordwarf gave me a little stash of presents, which he helped me to open. (What that means is he said he’d help me open them, and then he proceeded to open them himself).
Slabs brought me coffee in bed, then a few minutes later Juniordwarf walked in, very carefully carrying the breakfast tray with my breakfast on it that he’d made (this cooking training is coming in handy!).
I was touched. It’s the first time I’ve had a Mothers Day breakfast in bed, and the look on his face when he walked in the room, with Slabs not too far behind helping him, was something I won’t forget. He was concentrating intensely and he looked so proud of himself.
It really made my day.
I was going to put the flowers he made me at school on my magnetic whiteboard to inspire me when I’m being crafty, but Juniordwarf told me they had to go on the fridge. He was very insistent about it, even though I said they were my present and I should be able to put them wherever I wanted to.
His response was ‘I’m sorry Mum, but they have to go on the fridge.’ He was very serious about it. I think his teacher might have suggested putting them on the fridge when the kids made them and Juniordwarf has interpreted this as being an instruction as to where they must go.
So rather than argue with him, I used it as an opportunity to take down a few pieces of old artwork and put the flowers in their place. And when my mother came to see us, he was very excited to show them to her in their new home.
He’s wonderful and I love being his mum. 

P365 – Day 76 cutting it

A while ago, when it became apparent that Juniordwarf was left-handed, I bought some left-handed scissors for him, but he was never interested in cutting anything. Even when he had the opportunity at play group, he never made any attempt to use scissors.
Now that they are doing cutting at school, he’s been coming home and trying out the scissors. Specifically my fancy-edged scrapbooking scisssors. So I said I’d get him the left-handed ones so he could practise at home.
Of course I couldn’t find them. So when I dropped him off at school today, I told him I’d buy him some another pair today, which I managed to do in my tiny window of a lunch break.
When we got home, the first thing he wanted to do was cutting, so I got out the new scissors and told him they were to use with his left hand.
No, he said, my right hand. Because I think that’s how they’re learning in school. (He also seems to be learning to write with his right hand, which looks so weird because I’ve only ever seen him pick up a pen with his left hand. I assume this is because he’s copying what the teacher does and not because of any forcing on their part to change his handedness. I need to check this out. I can’t imagine that system is still around though.)
I showed him how to use the left-handed scissors and he was quite happy with that. He said he’d use these ones at home and the right-handed ones at school.
What a great idea! As a lefty said to me it’s always handy for a left-hander (if indeed he is) to be able to use right-handed scissors, as scissors for lefties aren’t always around when you need them.
So, that matter decided, he settled down for an afternoon of cutting. 
Each time he finished cutting something out he went off to take the scrap paper to the recycling box. 
I’ve been amazed at how much he’s learned in only a month at school – well 13 days to be exact. He’s picking out letters in books. He’s trying to hold a pencil properly, he’s cutting, he’s (apparently) eating fruit. He’s so chatty now too. All of this is stuff I’ve been trying to encourage him to do at home, but he’s never been interested. 
Yet it’s only taken 13 days in school and he has come on in leaps and bounds. 
Initially I had feelings of inadequacy. That I didn’t try hard enough to ‘teach’ him stuff and that I should have. That I missed all these opportunities as he was growing to shape his brain – after all they keep telling us that the early years are critical for kids’ development and if they miss out on stuff during those years there are bits that just won’t develop.
And a few years ago I might have been beating myself up about this, comparing him to other kids who can already read stuff and write a bit and blaming myself for not getting him to that same level.
But . . .
I know that it’s not my ‘job’ to educate him. I don’t have to ‘teach’ him. That’s the job of his teachers. Sure I have to help him, encourage him and give him opportunities at home to do what he’s learned at school, but I’m not a teacher. I have very little idea of how children learn nor of the best way to present things to them so they’ll learn.
My job is to be his mum.
That’s probably the hardest job of all, which is why I didn’t say ‘just’ be his mum.
My job is to love him unconditionally, to show him the world, to model the sort of person I hope he’ll become, to be there for him when he’s sad, to listen when he wants to talk, to be quiet when he wants to be quiet. My job is to help him learn respect for himself and for others and how to be a good person.
As he grows up, that job will get harder, the issues he faces will get more complicated, and there will continue to be days when I feel completely out of my depth. I’ll have to help him get ready to make his own way in the world – to continue that process of letting go, which has already started by him starting school last month.
So I refuse to feel inadequate for not having taught him any ‘school stuff’. Instead, I’m going to share in the joy and excitement and interest he has in learning all these new things at school – because there will only ever be one time he learns any of this stuff. I am going to take an interest in what he’s doing, to be happy for him when he masters a new skill and encourage him to use it.
Above all I am going to be his mum, and I am going to love him just because he’s my little boy.

P365 – Day 53 – bake-a-rama

Now that Juniordwarf goes to school, I only have one day a week at home with him.

What this means is that all the home/mum ‘stuff’ I used to do on two days I now only get one day to do. Last year we had organised activities on both days, so with getting ready, going to whatever it was, doing errands on the way home and whatever else we did, those activities ended up taking at least half of each day. By the time we got home from those activities, neither of us really ever felt like doing much for the rest of the day.

It also meant that I felt a lot less inclined to do any meal planning or cooking in preparation for lunches and morning teas, so basically I never did any of that.

Well this year it turns out that there is no organised activity anywhere that I’m aware of on our ‘home’ day, which is great. You know why? Because we don’t ‘have’ to be anywhere at all. We have the whole day to do whatever we want. If we have to do errands, we can finish them in an hour or so, and be back home before we know it, rather than have to extend the time we’re away from home when we go out to do something structured.

So I’ve decided that Tuesday is going to be our ‘preparation for the week’ day. We’ll do the shopping, bake some treats for morning tea, make anything we need for meals during the week, do the washing . . . and we’ll hang around, build forts, read books, tell stories, listen to music, go out into the garden . . . whatever we want to do. And we’ll have time to do, if not all of it, then most of it.

Today was the first day of this, and it was fantastic.

I may have overestimated what I thought I could get done and it’s true, I ended up still in the kitchen at 9pm cleaning everything up, but today Juniordwarf and I baked some ANZACs and some banana bread, we made savory toast for lunch, I made chicken stock, dinner and did the time-consuming stuff for tomorrow night’s dinner. We did the shopping, we went to the library, we had coffee (he had a babycino), we did two loads of washing and we played with the dog.


And you know what? Even doing all that stuff, I didn’t feel stressed, or tense or overwhelmed at all (except for the one time where everything had to come together at once at dinner time), and I had one of the best day’s I’ve had with Juniordwarf for ages. I didn’t waste time on the computer, and when I did go on it, I did what I had to do and got off, and I didn’t feel guilty.

It makes such a difference when we have no obligations whatsoever. Much as I’m glad we had the organised activities over the past four years, it’s nice right now for both of us to have a rest.

So in the spirit of the best cooking blogs, here are our recipes:

(Courtesy of the Central Cookery Book, by A.C. Irvine, 17th Edition, Published 1992 – the Tasmanian classic.)

130g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup flour (we use plain wholemeal)
pinch of salt
1 cup coconut
1 cup sugar (we use dark brown sugar)
1 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons bicarb soda
2 tbsp boiling water
6 drops vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Grease 3 oven slides. (We use baking paper and we only need 2.)
3. Gently melt butter and golden syrup (do not boil or burn).
4. Sift flour and salt (I skip this step. Wholemeal flour doesn’t sift well.)
5. Add sugar, cocout, rolled oats and vanilla to flour and salt.
6. Dissolve bicarb soda in water.
7. Mix all ingredients together well.
8. Put out in small balls on oven tray, allowing room for biscuits to flatten and spread out during cooking. (Or in Juniordwarf’s case, squoosh some dough together and throw onto the oven tray.)
9. Bake in oven 10-15 minutes (I recommend watching them very closely after 10 minutes.)
10. Allow to rest on tray for ½ minute before lifting off with a spatula to cool on cake cooler.

Banana bread
(Courtesy of Superorganisermum. Except her recipe has blueberries and I didn’t include them.)

150g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 ripe bananas, peeled, mashed (see notes)
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2  cup milk
butter, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
2. Grease base and sides of a 7cm deep, 11cm x 21cm (base) loaf pan. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale. 
4. Add egg, in 2 batches, beating well after each addition.
5. Stir in banana. 
6. Sift flour and baking powder over banana mixture. 
7. Add milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
8. Spoon mixture into loaf pan. Smooth surface. 
9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Ours needed over an hour.)
10. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Lift onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 10 even slices.

P365 – Day 46 – climbing

I thought today’s post was going to be about how I was feeling on the very last day before Juniordwarf entered the formal education system. I started to write the post as a letter to him. I wrote about how everything was going to change, I wrote about my hopes, my fears and my sadness at beginning the process of letting go.

And I realised I could never publish it.

This is a letter from me, for his eyes only. He may never read it. 

I don’t know if I even want him to.

The same goes for the other pages and pages of writing I’ve done since I started this journey of motherhood and, before that, my journals dating back to when I was about ten years old. Part of me wants him to read it when he’s older so that he will be able to understand me better, and part of me thinks he probably wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested about my life. I don’t know if I want anyone to read them, or if I want them to be wiped off the face of the earth once I go.
So the day before the first day of school is not the subject of today’s photo of the day.

Instead, I have a picture of Juniordwarf demonstrating one of his new skills – climbing up to the slide in a rather unconventional way. He’s never been much of a climber, but just recently, he’s got much more adventurous, and when he did this for the first time the other day, I was blown away.

I’m so proud of him.

P365 – Day 19 back to school part 1

This time in exactly four weeks, junior dwarf will have started school.

Actually he will be starting Kindergarten, which, for our interstate friends, is the non-compulsory year of school that comes before kids start school proper at the age of five. It has different names in different states, and Kinder is sometimes the first year of mandatory school, hence the confusion.
Where junior dwarf will go, he’ll do three full school days.
It’s going to be a huge change for us. Since he was about one year old, I have worked three days a week in my day job and have been at home with juniordwarf the other two weekdays.
Once school starts, I’ll change my work hours and only have one full day at home with juniordwarf.
It’s going to be so weird, and this subject deserves a whole post on its own, so I’m not going to say anything else on it right now.
Today we went shopping for a lunch box and a school bag for juniordwarf. I had no idea what would be needed. School lunches are something completely new to me and I am kind of terrified about having to start getting them ready each day.
I remember saying to someone last week that the first time I looked at all the back to school stuff in the shops, I got very scared and overwhelmed. It reminded me a bit of the first time we went into a baby shop and saw all the stuff that was in there, and totally freaked out at what it was all for, how much would we really need and how we were going to sort out the necessary from the fluff.
I felt a bit the same way when contemplating school lunches.
Apparently meal planning is going to be very important from now on if I want to stay on top of things.
Anyway, juniordwarf was a bit out of sorts today, so we never got to the new bag. We only really looked at lunch boxes.  Taking advice from people who have done this before, what was going to be important was whether or not he could easily open the box. We’d tried a few weeks ago and he wasn’t interested in even trying, which was somewhat discouraging. Today we found a couple of things that he could easily open, and a cooler bag that I’m pretty sure he’ll get the hang of pretty quickly. Especially if he wants to eat!
He was quite taken with the black lunch cool pack, so we got that, a sandwich box and a snack box. I’d already got some extra freezer bricks, so he can use what he calls ‘the green bottle’ to keep his lunch cool.
So mission almost accomplished.
The next step is to make sure he understands what he’s in for when he goes to school.
We’d already been going to a pre-kinder/play group session at the school last year, run by the Kinder teacher. The idea is to get the kids used to the school, to meet some other kids they’ll be at school with and for the mums to get to know each other too. Toward the end of the year it got a bit more formal for the next year’s Kinder kids and they spent a bit more time doing ‘school stuff’ with the teacher.
The big difference this year – aside from the fact that he’ll be there all day instead of an hour and a half – is that I won’t be there with him.
I don’t think he quite understands that yet, so I’ve started talking to him about what will happen when he goes to school, explained that it will be a bit like daycare, as I will drop him off and he’ll stay at school all day with the teacher and his friends, and then I’ll come and get him at 3 o’clock.
The first time I explained this, he got very upset and said no he wanted Mum to be at school with him. My response was that he’d be with the teacher and his friends and that didn’t need me there, just like he didn’t need me there at daycare. He seemed OK with that for now.
I hope it’s going to be that simple, but even if it is for him, I doubt it will be for me. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be one of those mums who cries on their child’s first day at school.
I never thought it was a big step, after all he’s been going to daycare most of his life, and on the face of it, dropping him off at school is going to be the same as dropping him off at daycare – just like I told him.
But on reflection, it’s not really. It’s his first real step away from me, into a world where, for the most part I won’t know what happens. At daycare, the carers fill us in on what juniordwarf’s been up to during the day; we know what and how much he ate, who he played with, when he went to the toilet and what he drew.
At school, we’ll have to rely on what he tells us. Of course we’ll be able to find out about what’s going on from his teacher, but it won’t be the formal reporting we get from daycare.
It’s his first steps into the big world, and his first steps to independence. Small steps mind you, but steps nonetheless. He really won’t be my baby any more (even though he always will be!)
And so I suppose thinking of it like that is going to see me as one of the tearful mummies on the first day of school.

P365 Day 9 – I wasted time (9/1/2011)

John Lennon once said, ‘Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted’. I don’t know when he said it or the circumstances that he said it in; whether it’s one of his lyrics or something he said. But I don’t really care where it comes from – it’s a view I subscribe to.

Today I wasted time. I really did.
I had a lot I wanted to do this weekend, most notably clear up the piles of clothes on my bedroom floor that have sat there, unsorted, since we put the new wardrobes in after Xmas.
I also had to find the power cord to an air cooler that we’re hoping to sell at a garage sale, but without the cord it will be useless. I had this niggling feeling I’d thrown it out in one of my decluttering frenzies (these are few and far between).

So with all this stuff to do and, with the memories of recently viewing ‘The years are short movie’ fresh in my mind, also wanting to spend some quality time with juniordwarf, what did I do?

I slept in (or, as sleeping in with a young child is not normally possible, I stayed in bed late). I stayed in my PJs until after midday. I fiddled with my blog unnecessarily. I posted photos. I read other people’s blogs, I tweeted, I facebooked (if that’s actually a word).
This is all stuff I love doing. I enjoy it. It’s not wasting time.
But all the time I felt guilty. juniordwarf was happy doing his thing, and I kept taking breaks to spend time with him. We listened to music, we built towers, we looked at photos and we discussed Captain Janeway’s hairstyle.
But I still felt guilty. The pile of clothes continued to haunt me.  I felt like I was leaving juniordwarf to entertain himself too much, I was spending far too much time in front of the computer, and I had no idea where the bloody cord was. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was it had been tossed out with a pile of other superfluous cords.
I felt like I was wasting time. And because I felt guilty, I wasn’t enjoying the time I was ‘wasting’, so it really was wasted time.
Part of a Happiness Project is to make resolutions. Not vague resolutions of the New Year’s variety that you stick to for a week and then give up, but a
commitment to concrete, measurable actions

The Resolutions tool is the most important tool in the Happiness Project Toolbox. It allows you to commit to a resolution in writing and to track your progress. Frequently reviewing your resolutions keeps them uppermost in your mind, and scoring yourself gives you visible feedback. One suggestion: by framing a resolution as a concrete action (“Rent a movie once a week”) instead of an abstract goal (“Have more fun”) and by holding yourself accountable, you’re more likely to make progress. 
The basic tool to achieve this is a chart for each month (I love charts!) where you record each resolution for that month, and tick off each day (or fill in a square, or however you do it) if you’ve kept the resolution for that day.
I realised that there are days I spend a little too much time on the computer doing stuff that’s enjoyable, but not essential, at the expense of spending time with juniordwarf or doing things that really need to be done (the pile of clothes continues to spring to mind).

I wanted to minimise this as much as possible, so my original resolution was to not turn the computer on during the days I’m at home with him (a ‘concrete action’).

However, I quickly figured out that this wasn’t a realistic resolution. Some days I’d need to turn it on to write a letter (yes, sometimes I write letters, especially to places like banks and Centrelink, but as my handwriting is so bad, they have to be typed in order to be understood), check email, or whatever. Sometimes I’d want to grab a few moments of ‘me’ time and hang out online.
I don’t have a problem doing that. I need ‘me’ time – everyone does – but I do have a problem with the fact that I find it too easy to go on the computer for one thing, then get distracted by other things online, chatting with people, following links, looking at photos, and before I know it, an hour has passed.
I don’t want to look back on juniordwarf’s childhood and remember it in terms of time I spent on the computer. I want to remember things we did together, fun we had, stuff we both learned. I want to be fully present with him for the time that I’m with him. Yes he needs to be able to entertain himself, but he needs time with me too. I don’t want him to look back and remember his Mum as someone who spent her life in front of a computer screen.
I can’t be fully present with him if I’m doing computer stuff.
So in a long-winded way, that’s why I feel like I wasted time today. Sure I got some computer stuff done that was nagging me, and I also had fun with my boy. But I could have had a whole lot more fun. And most, if not all, of the computer stuff could have waited till later.
After all of that, I think a more realistic resolution is to maintain a balance between doing things that have to be done, making time for myself during the day doing things I want to do without feeling guilty, and being an engaged parent.
The balance will be different every day. Some days juniordwarf might prefer his own company more than mine for a lot of the day – and that’s fine. Other days he might want to spend a whole lot more time with me – and that’s great. I’ll have to rely on my own feelings about whether I’ve achieved the balance each day – it’s not something I can measure. It’s not a ‘concrete action’, so it’s probably not a ‘true’ resolution. But I hope it will work for me.
Today the balance I wanted to achieve wasn’t there. So there’s no tick in today’s resolution box. But tomorrow is another day. And I resolve to do better tomorrow.
Oh and I found the cord. It was in a cupboard in the laundry in a spot I never look. I think this means some further decluttering may be in order.
Resolution anyone?