Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Trouble in a canoe, art and a happy clam

Just a few pictures from my week so far.  On Sunday I took the boys in a canoe at the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve.  It did not go well.  Four people, all sticking their oars in, did not make for plain sailing.  The middle and the littlest did really well, but the eldest (up front) and me (at the back) had long and vocal differences of opinion about how we needed to get through the water.  In the interests of getting our money's worth we stayed in the boat for a good hour.  By the end of it the two of us were not in good moods and everyone was wet (don't ask) and some of us had been tocked on the head with an oar.  If Saturday was Swallows and Amazons, Sunday was a little more like Deliverance.

It wasn't all bad though.  The waterways were lovely - a bit like paddling down the Amazon I fancy.

At the end some swans came and had a little peck of us.  Literally.

Back at home I've been decluttering a bit, and sorting out a bedroom for the littlest boy.  Yesterday he moved into what was an office.  I cleared all of the art off of the walls first, then spent a very trying day moving desks and beds and chests of drawers.  I also dropped the hoover on my foot.

When the littlest boy got home from school he was so excited.  He has the biggest capacity for utter joy imaginable, and it really doesn't take very much to make him happy.  So a room of his own was off the chart, even though it is very bare at the moment, and still has a huge desk in it, which will stay for a while until other things are re-arranged.  He has his soft toys and his quilt and he is happy as a clam.

I made the boys hanging signs for their door handles a while ago.

The top one is the littlest boy's, and the bottom one is the big boys'.  It's supposed to be a spoonbilled sandpiper - a very rare bird that the eldest one loves.  But I'm not kidding myself that anyone could actually recognise it.  The littlest boy also made sure that his other door signs were moved to his new door.

It says "keep out", but I can't remember what the bit above it was.  All done on chopped up cereal box.  I love that he wanted to keep it and carefully moved it to his new door.

On Monday he did a bit of pre-breakfast painting as we were up early.

I do feel he has captured my essence, although my hair is slightly more brown than blue in real life.  The sign says "entr" (enter) - not sure exactly where I am entering.  Much as in real life.

The biggest painted a birthday card for a friend.  I just typed "birdthday" by mistake, but maybe that would be more appropriate.

I'm thinking we should handmake all our birthday cards.  So much more personal no?  And quite a bit cheaper too.  I shall ask to borrow the watercolours.


  1. More water.. you are brave!
    Mind you, the swans would have made it (almost) worthwhile for me.

  2. I love this post. You capture life with the boys so vividly. You're so brave taking all three canoeing by yourself, I'm truly in awe. Your oldest looks a lot like my son from the back, similar hair, ears and head shape. I love seeing their artwork; we have a wall just like that in our house, I should share a photo on my blog sometime. I may have to cover up a few names first too, though...I love that painting of you. I hope that wherever you are entering is very pleasant and relaxing for you. :)

  3. Another lovely post. I'm glad your littlest one is so pleased with his new room, and homemade cards are definitely best.

  4. The day in the canoe sounds trying, being clonked on the head with an oar, getting wet, being pecked by swans, definitely worth it though, I'm sure it was lots of fun too. Lovely artwork, I have a boxfull in the loft from when my two were small, so hard to part with. I hope the littlest boy has slept well in his new room.

  5. Maybe you are entering his new bedroom - to clean up!

    I make all my Christmas (sorry to use this word) cards but they are printed rather than painted. I've also recently started to make birthday cards too.

    I would have recognised the spoonbill beak but maybe just thought spoonbill.

  6. I'm sorry the canoeing was rough, but you tell it well. Made me smile... life being like a canoe ride... a mix of wet, good, not good and sometimes getting pecked!

    I love the art! Great cards, and door signs.

  7. I'm sorry your canoe trip wasn't very relaxing. At least you all made it out of there in one piece and you did get some pretty pictures:) That's so wonderful your littlest gets his own room. I'm sure he is excited. There's nothing like a child's unbridled joy. I wish I could muster some of that sometimes:) I love your idea about hand making cards. I started doing that this year since cards have gotten so expensive, and ones from the heart can mean quite a lot.

  8. A bit of an up and down weekend by the sound of it. I can understand your littlest boy's delight in getting his own room as it was something I always wanted but had to wait far too many years before I did.
    I agree that handmade cards are much nicer. Flighty xx

  9. How wonderful - the joy of a room of one's own at such a tender age ;o) Totally agree about the handmade cards - I switched to handmade after teaching DD to make her own, because "do as I say, not as I do" never sat very comfortably with me ! I still make them, and have sadly not gotten any more artistic over the years - no matter though, as that is really not the point......

  10. I'm glad the canoeing wasn't all bad - in between the practical and less pleasant bits I think I'd let my imagination run wild, too - and think of the Amazon or somewhere an explorer would go!
    I love the Swans and all the artwork.

  11. Swans are mean ! I remember when I used to go canoeing on the Thames and the swans were always trying to have nips at you. Handmade birthday cards are a fantastic idea! I've dabbled with handmade cards, but time is always an issue with things like that :/

  12. If you are "into" handmade cards, then maybe you should have a look at my wife Jane's blog

  13. The painting by your littlest is just lovely, something to treasure. And I'm very impressed with your biggest's bird watercolour, it's fantastic! x