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Weeknotes: 2022, week 3

· 4 min read

[1723 Jan]

The highlight of last week was my wife's birthday. She became a round number above 37 and below 41. Child-rearing, The Unspeakable and this 110% WFH have conspired to serve us two very humdrum years, with very little in the way of travel, social gatherings, cultural events, and the other serendipitous offerings that life usually has in store. All that is to say that this birthday deserved some fanfare.

We got to celebrate thrice over the weekend: with my family, with her family, and with a couple of friends; and so she got to blow three sets of candles, and received birthday gifts in all three occasions. Family and friends rock; table talk and home-made biscuits and hugs and friends' news and fabada and roscón de reyes for twenty people are A Good Thing. It's too easy to forget that.

Preparations for the birthday kept me busy and filled what little spare time I manage to find in between washing dishes, dressing, feeding, washing more dishes, laundry, errands, cleaning up, dishes, diapers, dishes and dishes. I got her some presents, arranged a little surprise meet-up, and booked some time for us two. Those surprises required some sneaking out of the house, car keys in my pocket, with the (very credible) excuse of going out for a walk with Breaker of Horses or to run some mundane errand. That was fun.

I also ordered (with a baker neighbour of ours) a very cute (and yummy) birthday cake. It was lovely  this photo doesn't even show most of its custom features. (If you ever need an excellent, inexpensive, home-baked, personalised cake in the Madrid north area, get in touch with me.)

Tuesday was one of those days when tiredness (on my part) and stubbornness (on the kids') combined beautifully, and in the evening I stressed out a bit. My wife was busy with meetings, and I was juggling with the kids, their demands and their afternoon snacks. I wasn't angry at them or anything (just trying to keep them entertained and safe while I was cooking) but I accidentally dropped the mixer on the kitchen floor and spilt almost all of the fruit purée that I had just made for Breaker of Horses. The mixer broke (although we managed to super-glue two broken pieces back together later that day). I felt a bit miserable. I prepared another purée, awkwardly holding both halves of the mixer together with one hand. After that, I had an appointment to get my haircut done, and thankfully the walk out and back, with earplugs and podcast playlist, made me some good.

On Sunday I managed to drop the mixer again, this time on the countertop, and break it again. The wife fixed it once more.

We're thinking of buying a new car. I'm not that sure the expense is justified, me being rather frugal and FIRE-leaning. Our her current car is not yet seven years old, it's in perfect working condition, we always liked it, and we don't use it that much (~12,400 km/year on average). But my wife is right that with the two little beasts, our needs for space have changed: stooping to get them both strapped in their little chairs is a bit of a nuisance; and when we travel to go see my parents in the south, or our friends in the north of the country, we have to optimise luggage a bit too much to fit in the trunk space available.

Since I'm the one who needs some convincing about this project, I chose to start looking first at EVs only. Last week we went to see a couple compact electric SUVs, and even test-drove one of them. Sleek and clean as they are, unfortunately we're not convinced yet that they'd be practical for our use cases: the R-word kept popping up in our discussions, and we need to do some more research and run some realistic simulations in our heads to be sure that a 400500-km-long road trip wouldn't become an exhausting series of anxious hops between charging stations.

Deep in my heart, I want the math to add up for us, and (if we decide to change) go full electric. But in the end it might have to be a hybrid, or even one of those dinosaur-juice-powered ones. We'll see!

Toot of the week: