Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Rain, chillies, books and a little wistful musing
Suddenly autumn is here. Wind, rain and bits of tree all over the place. It will take me a while to get to grips with it.
On the window a couple of jalapeno peppers are trying hard to ripen in the gathering gloom. The plant is making a little two stemmed gesture to the weather I think.
I've been decluttering and getting out the winter clothes. Winter school uniform is back, and the boys went to school in shirts, ties and long trousers yesterday. It also happened to be school photo day. It's always a delight to see what the photo of the three of them together looks like. I sometimes wonder if there's some sort of unofficial competition to see who can make the most hideous face. For only twelve English pounds, a copy can be mine for all eternity. Hard to refuse.
The littlest boy has discovered reading. He is obsessed with the Sea Quest books. While my opinion of them is best left unprinted, he is reading, non-stop, even at school in his lunch break, so I daren't say anything. I just hope he eventually loves proper books just as much. Anyway, our book shelves are rather crowded, so I've taken some of the more babyish ones out and given them to Oxfam.
I've written before how I struggle a little with these bittersweet moments. I have so many happy memories of snuggling up with little people and a pile of books. They all absolutely loved being read to, for hours and hours. I still know the words to many of the books off by heart. In fact if someone says something over the tea table that reminds me of one, I'll start reciting it. "Here's Duck who thinks, this sunny day, the beach is just the place to play." Genius. Some of the books I just couldn't bear to part with. The Pumpkin Soup ones by Helen Cooper have the most beautiful illustrations. And Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack, oh how I loved it. "Over the lawn and asparagus bed, ran Hairy Maclary to hide in the shed".
So some have gone, some have stayed, and there's a little more room on the bookshelves for some of the wonderful books I've been finding for bigger readers. I read to the two younger ones every night, and we've just started "The Dreamfighter and Other Creation Tales" by Ted Hughes. They're a little reminiscent of Kipling's "Just So Stories" - tales of how various creatures came to be the way they are. It's tricky to find something that both of them enjoy. If it requires too much concentration, the littlest boy loses interest. He is very quick to tell me a book is rubbish if the first page doesn't grab him. I'm thinking I might make a place here with a list of the books we've enjoyed.
Thank you for all of the kind birthday wishes, it was indeed mine. This week it will be the biggest boy's too, he'll be eleven. His last year of primary school is under way. The application form for secondary school is waiting to be done. I haven't got round to it yet. Not sure why. I think I'm a little bit scared. What if it's not okay? I know, I know, I'm being silly. I'll get to it soon.
We walked in the local woods at the weekend. Lately we've been exploring our local area a little more. There are some lovely spots, and it always amazes me how peaceful and rural it feels just a few minutes from home.
I might not live in the country, but I can smell it from here.