Archive for February 2010

coffee break

Hot chocolate on the front steps in the sun – why are my children infinitely better behaved outside? It was heavenly to sit and read a book while they played; I’m still reading the Morville Hours and enjoying her description of her garden through the seasons – although I’m wondering if it isn’t better read slowly, in season, throughout the year.

I’m loving the extra daylight and stronger sun of late February, even if my crocuses are encased in ice. (Is anyone interested in my photographic record of the evolution of these three flowers in the garden?) We have our evenings back, with enough daylight to go for a walk and meet Cory on his bike, and enough sun to have a run-around in the garden after nursery in late afternoon. It feels like it’s lifted my mood and reconnected me with how gorgeous the countryside is around our home. Unfortunately the sun does have a tendancy to reveal all the dirt and dust in my house – another reason to head back outdoors.

spring sprung? not yet…

springperhaps The weather’s been a bit of a tease lately, with the flowers in the garden yesterday lifting expectations that were dashed this morning. It’s not that I don’t like snow, we had a snow fight today and had a glorious time, but my heart is already lusting for spring.

We ended up planting bulbs from yesterday’s expedition to the garden centre in the front garden in the snow (it wasn’t thick on the ground) because I’m much more in the mood to dream about the garden than build a snowman. This is the antithesis of the living-in-the-present I’m aiming for, but surely understandable in mid-February…

notyetAnd I’m in need of some quiet days pottering about the house and garden after my week in London; I was there for training for a potential very part time job opportunity. I am happy staying at home, but one day a week would be a nice reassuring way to keep my hand in until the boys are at primary school. But four nights in London away from them (my first time away from Fraser), was a struggle, and I missed them more than I expected. The fact that I’m able to spend days with them where our only accomplishment is planting a few bulbs is a real treat and I think I appreciate that a bit more now.

libertyCory did a great job being the single parent while I was gone, although he was spoiled by three sets of neighbours looking in on him and making sure they were fed, entertained, and kept busy. Moving out of town into a small community has made our lives so much better – just knowing that we’ve got people to call on reduces stress levels. When Fraser had his surgery and we ended up staying in hospital later than expected, Cory went home to put Duncan to bed and then asked the neighbours to sit in with D until we got home. The fact that we had a list about a mile long of people within the block that we could ask to do this made me feel so secure. In the end, we didn’t have to go further than next door.

In fact, a week in London has highlighted how lovely it is to live where we are. I’m not denying that walking through Liberty on Saturday wasn’t a visual delight (photo to right), or that I couldn’t have spent a lot longer exploring the city. (I was watching the time a bit too closely as I’d only a few hours before my flight home and I wanted to make the most of it.) And sneaking in a quick visit to Dr. Johnson’s House, where the first comprehensive English Dictionary was compiled in a garret room made present day London seem much more connected with the historical one that I’m so aware of.

But being back home, with space all around and a view of the hills from the village that’s practically postcard worthy, made me realize how lucky we are to be here. I’m not sure how we lucked into our lives, but I’m very thankful. (It’s easy to say this now, at 8 pm, when the boys are asleep and I’m looking forward to a glass of wine and a new book, don’t ask me to repeat it at six am tomorrow morning though.)


dashing This knitting thing provides some instant gratification compared with quilting. Here’s dashing, my new wristwarmers – knitted over a couple weekends in thirty minute bursts. No sewing machine means no set up time and that makes life way easier. I’m working on mittens for Duncan now – he’s picked out the wool himself and is very excited that it’s camel wool – his current favourite animal. How many times a day do you hear “let’s pretend we’re camels mummy…”.

20. look at me!


If this month has a favourite saying, it’s “look at me!” and we always do. This attention grab is successful because I never know where I’ll find you. Four feet in the air on top of the play kitchen? bookcases? perched on the backs of sofas? And always with a cheerful grin and exclamation of success. The accomplishment is impressive, sentances and scaling heights… just don’t fall!

But you’re sick right now and not climbing anything. We’re down to a diet of bananas and milk, as cleaning up everything else when it makes a reappearance is too much for your parents. (I’m on my third load of laundry today, and about the 7th in the past 36 hours.) I hate when you’re sick, not just the cleaning things up but the nagging worry that goes with it – how sick is he? when do I call the doctor? what if he chokes in his sleep? Your father slept in D’s bed last night so he could hear you (and he did successfully get you to the sink in time at 5am with only minimal mess) and I had a snuggly Duncan in bed with me (yes – I got the good end of that deal).

cheekyfraserMy poor wee man – get better soon sweetie!

Oh wait – sleeping in Duncan’s bed? Yes – this is the month we’ve moved you and your brother into the same room. And sure enough, you started sleeping through. My social little bug, you hated sleeping alone in case you were missing a party. Having Duncan in the room with you seems to reassure you that it is actually night time and you’re sleep habits have been improved greatly. Having a spare room for daddy’s office on work-from-home days isn’t a bad thing either…

hand (made) luggage

handmadeluggage I finished this bag last night and then stayed up looking at it, too excited to sleep, until after 11. With two nocturnal visits from a preschooler who decided it’s nicer in mum and dad’s bed and a 6am wake up from a toddler, I’m feeling it this morning.

There’s something amazing about finishing a project, the feeling that you’ve created something out of plain fabric and tools. This is designed to be my airplane hand luggage – as spacious as a suitcase without the weight and bulk. It’ll hopefully double nicely as a normal shopper at destinations (albeit slightly larger than normal but then I could just buy more…). I’m itching to get on a plane just to try it out. And at £5 for fabric (John Lewis sale bin), it’s a lot cheaper than the baggage charges for one suitcase on easyjet.

(Note that’s breakfast peanut butter all over D’s lovely face and yes, it does look like he has bags under his eyes. If only they’d sleep in…)

(This hat is currently being worn around the house to indicate who is the train driver – but I suspect it originally was loved by another owner. If you’ve left it at ours, can you let us know and we’ll return it?)