Tuesday 29 June 2010

A mish mash of things

Last week Luke was away with the school, doing all the things he loves doing such as abseiling, rock climbing, zip wire, King swing, quad biking etc. It was an incredibly long week for us at home, and we were hoping that it was zipping by for Luke, and that he was a having a great time. Unfortunately the social side of it let him down, spending that long with class mates was a bit too much for Luke, and he came home vowing never to go anywhere again without Mum and Dad! It has set him back with school too. I think friendships is the only reason he goes to school, and now he doesn't even see that as a particular lure The request for home-schooling has begun again, but I am really not sure how realistic that would be. The summer holidays can not come quick enough, and hopefully he can have some time to relax without thinking about the trivialities of school.

As for the rest of us, Sophie had her first ride on the back of my bike. It was lovely to get back on it, but I will need to build up my fitness levels a bit! We went foraging for Elderflowers to make some cordial. More strawberries picked, along with some redcurrants and raspberries. But unfortunately it would seem the extra security measures at the allotment have not been enough to deter the vandals, and they got in at the weekend pulling up whatever they could find. Fortunately for us it was only the remainder of the garlic, which was ready to be pulled anyway, but others lost young plants to the thugs :(

Alec is off on his first cub camp this coming weekend, so I hope he has a great time. And we are getting together camping gear for our first venture into camping with children. We've bought a 6 berth tent which is so enormous the bag for the canvas has wheels on it!! Hopefully this will be the start of many adventures, once I can get past the erecting of the tent whilst keeping tabs on a certain young lady who will leg it at the slightest opportunity! But that's what older children are for, right?!

I feel rather humbled to have received a number of blog awards recently. I will do a seperate post about those when I can sit and think! In the meantime I have some jam to make, and possibly some redcurrant rum!

Wednesday 23 June 2010

GP season swap

This was my attempt at a strawberry plant for the GP season swap. And here is the beautiful wall hanging we received from Michelle. The photo really doesn't do it justice, the neatness of the stitching and just how gorgeous it really is! I can see this being used for many years to come, and may even find it's way into Sophie's bedroom!
Thank you Michelle, and thank you Becks for organising it all. I love it!

You win some, you lose some

Life has been spent down the allotment of late. Usually after I have dropped the boys off at school, before it gets too hot. I usually time my visits around when Sophie is feeling tired, in the hope that she will sleep whilst I am there, and I can have a good go at the plot! However, this week it has been a case of going whilst she is wide awake and it is cool-ish, or not at all!

Sophie has been entertaining herself, by picking strawberries, or helping put the strawberries in the punnets, and I found her "sowing" redcurrants in some seed trays and pots that had been left down there, I couldn't be cross, she was only doing what she had seen me do with seeds hundreds of times before.
Things are looking quite lush in places.

And look what we are getting daily at the moment!!

The redcurrants look promising, I'll have to think as to what to do with them, as we have never had a decent harvest from them before.

But this year the blackcurrants are pretty much non-existant, so no blackcurrant sorbet this year :( I think I may have pruned them incorrectly, I always get confused between redcurrant and blackcurrant pruning.
And just look at the state of the garlic (excuse the weeds!) The onions aren't faring much better either, with bolting, and an attack of white rot.
Lesson learned: keep on top of the watering, and not just on the really hot days!

Thursday 17 June 2010


This last week I have made a concerted effort to stay away from the computer, as I was spending way too long on it, and my children need a present mama, not one who is spending ages staring at a screen. It has worked, I am now at a point where I really don't know how I managed to fit the computer into life, but it has thrown up unexpected issues.

I have wonderful online friends who I can chat to, moan at, laugh with. In an ideal world I would love to have such a community of like-minded mamas near-by, so we could chat, moan, laugh in the real world! I have some wonderful local mama- friends, some who are like-minded too, but do not want to burden them constantly. How do I meet my desire for friendship on a local scale? Should I be content with the friends I have, who may not understand my disgust at having to buy smarties for Alec to take into school (didn't have time to source non-Nestle chocolate beans) for his class project?

My other issue of balance is always the same at this time of year, basically it is inside or outside? So much to do in each sphere! Allotment seems to be winning over! I so wished I had my camera with me the other day, Sophie was crouching down by the strawberry patch munching on a sun-warmed strawberry, it was beautiful! And that is definitely the way to eat them, forget cream or ice-cream, sun-warmed and freshly picked, it is worth having the allotment just for that!

Emotionally I feel rather unbalanced at the moment. Everything seems to take up so much time at the moment, needy children, house, allotment, life! I need a little bit of down-time occasionally, some time for crafting or reading. But by the time the last of the children are in bed (near 10pm these days) the need for sleep has taken over!

Thank you for listening to my ramblings.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

I do wonder about these children!

Apparently yoghurt is so much more than a nourishing snack. It is a multi-sensory experience, and tastes far better eaten off toilet paper! A picture drawn by Alec, which at first galnce made me smile, the dragon, the apples on the tree, the tent with a light by the side of it. But then I noticed the gas cloud eminating from the dragon's behind, along with poo! And there is a little boy by the apple tree doing a wee! A certain low level of humour here!
And then on the back of that picture (apologies for it being on its side) another picture, by Ethan this time, with question marks above the heads of many characters. Why? Because a man on the moon was fishing and has caught a space rocket, and a man parachuting out the plane has a cow parachuting out next to him! A certain off-the-wall quality here!

I love the way these children make me smile each day, as well as a little eye-rolling at times!!

A trip to London

Stuart's niece got married this last weekend, and we were there to join in the celebration. It was a lovely occasion with everything being done by families and friends. From the dresses made by a friend, to the invitations designed by her sister, the cake and flowers made by family, the music from the grooms band. And all in walking distance!

Sophie decided I was not allowed to wear my hat! She also decided that the pews made excellent horses, as well as a great climbing frame. But I think we got away with not disturbing the service too much!

It was a real eye-opener taking an adventurous toddler to London. For one, she was fascinated by the planes (we were on the Heathrow flight path, so plenty of planes to be seen!) Here she is pointing out one of the many planes!
She also pointed out every bus we saw (again, many of them too!) by pointing at her nose, as for the horn in wheels on the bus!
The most stressful part of the weekend though was trying to keep tabs on her, she is used to free-ranging, but with the weather being so hot, all the doors were open, and were open onto busy roads. She gave me a scare by walking out of the hotel via those doors that open when approached, and fortunately was caught before she got to the road. After that I really could not relax until we were safe back home. My hats off to anyone who lives in a built up area who is able to give their children the freedom they desire.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

A weekend of fun, fire, and friends

A weekend away in the forest with other families from the GP forum. Lots of activities on offer, from beeswax candles and air dried clay candle holders (of which the boys made 14!!) Some looking more like grenades and dynamite than candles, but they enjoyed creating them none the less!

A walk through the woods, although I didn't take my camera, I was too busy carrying Sophie who seems to have developed an aversion to the sling :(

On the Sunday we did some activities using the equipment at the centre. Here are the boys getting ready for the zipwire. With Sophie reckoning she should be joining in the fun too!

We also had a go at the climbing wall, Alec and Luke making it look so easy! And Luke and I did the high ropes, which was an amazing challenge, and my hands were still shaking for a while afterwards, again, Luke made it look so easy, even though he said it was the most scared he had ever been! Alec, Luke and I also did the trapeze, again an amazing challenge for me, as balance really isn't my strong point, but so glad I did it! And Alec got further with it than he has ever done before. Standing on that platform at the top with it wobbling all over the place is no mean feat for someone who is naturally cautious!
A BBQ followed in the evening, with lots of playing by the children.
Luke, aka "master fire lighter" organised the littlies in bringing wood for the campfire, and built a roaring fire in no time at all, then rebuilt it after the embers were "nicked" for the bbq!
Marshmallows followed, all six bags of them!!!!!!
Along with some very grubby, tired children...
... a good sign that a fantastic time was had!

It was great to see so many strong friendships formed, between children, mothers and the dads. Thank you to all who went for making such wonderful memories for us all. And a special thank you to Rachel, Ian and Jennifer for all the work done behind the scenes.