Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I finally managed to force myself into the garden this morning, after I'd left the children at school. Didn't achieve much. Was attacked by a couple of spiders and as my spider catchers were all absent, (not that they catch outdoor spiders admittedly, but I find their presence reassuring. Someone to hear my yelp.) I just couldn't bear it and had to give up. Pathetic, I know, but it's the thought that one could somehow get inside my glove or crawl up my sleeve, euuw, no can't think about it.

Anyway, saw my first pair of swifts this year, to join the handful of swallows and house martins. Hopefully, these are the ones that travelled first class, the others will be here soon.

"Spring is here,
The grass is ris,
I wonder where the birdies is.
The bird is on the wing,
But that's absurd,
The wing is on the bird!"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Being brave

We really are so lucky. The children asked if they could go for a walk today, by themselves and I was able to say yes! They took a picnic and walked along the cycle path to the next village, about two and a half miles away. There's a playpark there, so they ate their picnic and played a while before they came home. They were away for nearly three hours altogether. And they were precisely that, all together! It's quite unusual for them to want to be together by choice, so that made a nice change.

I did have the security of knowing Rhiannon had a mobile phone with her, David's old one, but they also have friends in the village, so there was somewhere safe to go to if needed, which is reassuring.

But we really are so lucky to be able to allow our children the kind of freedom we had as children. A rare thing indeed.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I get really fed up with cats and rooks in my garden. I had to give up on the vegetable and herb patches because the cats kept using it as their toilet and the rooks kept digging it up! I still regularly shoo them away when I spot them.

Yesterday I saw a black cat or a rook through the etched glass in the back porch door, (which was why I was unsure as to which it was exactly) so I quietly fetched the key to the door and placed it as quietly as I could in the lock.

"I'm going to have to be quick, unlocking then opening the door," I thought to myself, so I took a deep breath, turned the key and as soon as it clicked, snatched open the door to find...

...a black bin liner on the path.

Well disguised.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'Tis cold

I thought it would be nice, well, the done thing really, to wash and dry the ski suit Ciara borrowed for her recent ski trip.

So I did. I washed it today with the technical stuff I have (had, finished it) to do my outdoor kit and popped it on the line outside to drip off the worst of the wet before hanging it indoors to dry.

Just chipped off the icicles when I brought it back inside. Doh!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Doing my bit

I'm going to do my bit and take part in a sponsored walk with a few friends along the Dava Way to raise funds for Ciara's old Brownie pack. Ciara is a Guide now, but she still goes to Brownies as a Pack Leader. (Sounds grand, she's a great help with a difficult Brownie I gather!)

David and I walked the Dava Way about eighteen months ago as the second day of a two day backpacking trip, so I know I can complete the walk and in fact it should be easier because I will not be carrying a 24lb pack!

I considered it would good training for the Big Walk.

We did a training walk on Saturday, "Just 12 miles!" said Angela (Fluffy Owl) enthusiastically, "Varied landscape, it'll be fun!"

It was actually good fun, but nearer 14 miles and the first six and a half were up hill... We lost Brown Owl enroute, but she hadn't been well for a couple of weeks, so we forgave her that. Her husband picked her up from Angela's house where we enjoyed our lunch and especially the hot soup, tea and flapjack she provided as a treat.

It was good and I'm really looking forward to our next walk. It'll probably take more to recover from the Scrabble night we're having here on Friday!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Killing time

So, the rash (and it's twin on his back) is looking increasingly suspicious, so I've been a responsible parent and kept Aedan off school so that I can take him to the Doctor for comfirmation. (I don't want to be responsible for triggering an outbreak of chicken pox at school, might not be popular with some...)

Unfortunately, there wasn't an appointment until 3.30pm, which brings all sorts of other issues, like I don't want to take all four children for Aedan's appointment and David is at work! Not to mention that I'm rubbish at waiting. I want to know now, is he contagious, or in plain English, can he go back to school!

So Conall's coming with us and the girl's are sorted and I've been killing time. What's the best way for me to occupy myself? Why, baking of course!

I have three loaves of wholemeal bread rising, the batter for individual mini hot christmas cake (sort of) puddings for tonight chilling in the fridge, fruit soaking in tea for a fruit loaf and cookie dough made into sausage shapes wrapped and in the freezer freezing. Talk about industrious!

I feel good, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.

Well, for a short while anyway. Here's hoping I'm wrong about the rash.


Yep, it's shingles. Painkillers if desired, (he's not in a lot of pain) anti-virals to take off the edge of the attack and at least a week off school, until the blisters are scabbed and dried.

Deepest joy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh, great

Hmmm. Well.

Aedan has been complaining of a sore back this week, to the side of it really. Didn't think anything of it, they've been back at school a couple of weeks and the PE speciallist is off, so the supply is doing weird and wonderful excercises with them, I'd assumed it was that.

Now, I'm not so sure.

Now, he has a rash, in a very localised area on the side of his chest.

The same side as the sore back.

The sore back that it now turns out was sore to touch rather than "On the inside."

Sounds and looks a bit like something I had as a child.


I feel an appointment at the doctors coming on on Monday, that'll be the fifth time in two months, unheard of! Can't believe it took me three days to realise, muppet. Always said he was more like me, I like unusual illness.

Here's hoping I'm over-reacting and by Monday it's gone.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What we did at Christmas

Went on a couple of short walks and saw these:
Mum, Ciara and the boys, from behind.
A frozen seed head.
Some common seals.
A female red-breasted Merganser.

We also had these in the garden:
Long-tailed tits.
Please excuse the layout, someone around here's having problems. Again. Ahem...
So, anyway, the wildlife side of things was quite good.