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.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
My kids have both loved the Hairy Maclary books. I love them too. The names are so creative. I've called my son Bitzer Maloney since he was a baby because he's skinny. :) I can't tell you enough that I love your school uniforms. Oh, how I wish we had them here. I think it would solve many problems. I can understand the other side of it too, though. I would like some of your rain, so please send it over. It's not really hot here anymore, but I'm always looking for an excuse to stay inside and drink tea. :)ReplyDelete
The weather sure has brought us down to earth with a bump, it's thrown everything from hail and thunder to gales at us today, like you're chillies I'm ever hopeful that my tomato's might still turn red. I remember when my nephew couldn't stop reading the dreaded beast quest books, but now he's at big school and wants be a author when he's grown up, so it can't be all bad.ReplyDelete
I guess we might say that autumn rain painted your window so beautifully, but you had to be there to receive the gift and appreciate it with your camera - thank you!!ReplyDelete
We've had way too much heat here.. rain is supposed to come this weekend and I'm just fine with that. You may need to keep some of your favorite little people books.. for when you have grandkids. LOL! Don't laugh, it happens quicker than you would imagine. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)ReplyDelete
Love the rainy window picture.ReplyDelete
It was hard giving away Stephen's things when he outgrew them, but it must be done if you live in a normal size home. LOL
i can't get passed the first photo, CJ. it's so beautiful.ReplyDelete
and you have reminded me to find my borlotti beans saved from last summer.
my mother still has her childhood books. it's lovely!
The first picture seems like a painting!!! Happy birthday to everyone!ReplyDelete
Wish you a nice day.
Firstly, for some reason, I seemed to have missed seeing your last post, so happy very belated birthday :o)ReplyDelete
Seeing that Hairy Maclary book has bought back some memories.. my son (who's now 22) loved the Hairy Mclary and Slinky Malinki books and was always getting them from the library... he loved a story every night too :o) xx
We have two birthdays in a week in this house too and the rain. I made a mad dash round the garden picking all the tender crops as we have had a heavy frost this week. I too have kept some of my most favourite books you never know there might be another generation to read them too..............we can live in hope :)ReplyDelete
I love that first photo! I remember reading to the Wanderer as a little girl and even later when she could read for herself she wanted to be read to sometimes. She is an avid reader now and since she has moved to her own little studio flat where there isn't much room for hundreds of books she has "discovered" the library - what did I tell her but of course I didn't say anything and she had to find out for herself that it wasn't uncool to go there! We too have little phrases that stick in the memory and have become part of the family vocabulary. Hope that both birthdays went well and best wishes to both for the coming year.ReplyDelete
I too love the first photo.ReplyDelete
As for Sea Quest - it's not something that I am familiar with but reading is reading"
Yes the first photo was fab, I rather like this weather though, as long as it's not too windy! My eldest boys favourite books were the Alfie books by Shirley Hughes. Loved the illustrations in them too along with Brambly Hedge. I've kept them all like you say there are some you just can't part with. It's so magical reading to your children. Always a scary time when applying for secondary school, I was almost distraught when I had to do Harry's, my last child, who has since thrived at his secondary school. Take care xxReplyDelete
As always a lovely post and wonderful photos, especially the first one. As you, and Sue, say reading is reading and I'm sure that his taste will change before too long. Flighty xxReplyDelete
Both my kids enjoyed being read to, but neither of them became passionate readers, which saddens me. I still have some of their babyish books as I just couldn't bear to part with them. Secondary school already, that's when they really start to grow up, they change so much in that first year, and then before you know it, they're taking their GCSEs.ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting my Wetcreek Blog. After planting all those boxwoods, now I need to get outside and tidy up my veggie raised beds before we journey across "the pond" for our stay in The Netherlands. Love the first photo on your post, since rainy days can be cozy. And keep enjoying reading to your boys. That is special time for all of you. Hugs, Linda@Wetcreek BlogReplyDelete
we've been through the sea quest nightmare... one day he'll throw one on the floor and finally get they're all the bloody same... Like you I didn't care, it was nice to watch him read!! We're huge fan of David Walliams here... much better. The eldest liked Morpurgo, the other two didn't. The middle one loved Harry Potter... needless to say the other two didn't... sigh. And yes I felt sad when the baby books went. I gave them to the local nursery... but it was hard!!ReplyDelete
I like that first picture CJ! Yesterday I was Mom multi-tasking - folding laundry while "reading" a book to the little babe. We've read it so often that I have it memorized, so she just had to turn the pages!ReplyDelete
We were lucky and missed any strong winds but the rain and cold nights are taking a bit of coming to terms with.ReplyDelete
Happy birthday to your biggest boy I hope he has a great day. I've just been sitting looking at the rain and realising I didn't bring the guinea pigs in for the night, they have a hutch & lots of hay so hopefully they'll survive, I don't want to venture out in the pitch dark!ReplyDelete
I've also cleared some shelves of baby books recently although most were boxed up and put in the loft, (actually still waiting to go in the loft!) possible for the grandkids!
I always reckon that as long as children are reading something that is the most important thing, and as we know tastes change as we get older - I had a stage of only reading things that I had read before and another of only reading Enid Blyton, but I moved on! It is bittersweet moving on from the old books and toys, but it is nice that you kept some for posterity too! xxReplyDelete
I couldn't get rid of the Hairy Maclary books either and still remember the rhymes. The were an absolute favourite in this house. xReplyDelete
As a nursey teacher of nearly 40 years I have several very large boxes of books in my loft one of which contains many of the Hairy McClary stories.ReplyDelete
Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I've just been enjoying reading yours - it's now on my Bloglovin list.ReplyDelete
Don't get me started about putting tinned stuff on the church window sills with the flower arrangement (I refused and put mine in the food bank box behind the church door)
Last week was my birthday too... might have something to do with the post exhibition reflective mood!
Beautiful photos; especially the one with the rain on the window. I too love the Hairy Maclary books and Pumpkin Soup was also a great favourite. I couldn't bear to give them away when my girls outgrew them and they are stored in the loft for sobbing over in my dotage/ future grandchildren! xReplyDelete
I suspect I'll end up stashing all the 'little' books up in the loft... maybe with the exception of any Weetabix-smeared ones. It's hard letting go isn't it? Of each little stage - you know there's no going back.ReplyDelete
Hey, one day we'll be grandparents. Apparently it's great!
The rain's hammering here at the moment. In fact we're off out later to buy more wellies and some glamorous waterproofs. It's either that or living indoors for the next seven months...
Love the chilli plant and it's two-fingered salute!
I adore Pumpkin Soup. I bought it for Alfie and now it's a favourite of Olly's. I read all the Harry Potter books to the older boys. I enjoyed making up the voices. I look forward to doing the same with Olly. I think I will kep the books for future grand children..ReplyDelete
That first photo is fantastic.ReplyDelete
I understand the bitter sweet feeling. Save a favorite or two for a box. Husband says I save it for the son, but I save it for me. with the first soccer jersey and a rattle. small favorites with strong memories. Too many art projects so my friend recommended taking photos of them.
I think your eldest and my son are close in age. This whole time for me feels bittersweet. When I get them, my hugs linger a lot longer now. ha! "Mom, let me go!" ack!
I love your photos so much. I also loved reading to my two oldest when they were young, it was such a special time. I kept so many of their books and now I am reading them to Little Buddy. When my oldest was in first grade he read this series called Captain Underpants, you can imagine it is not the deepest literature, but he read it all the time, laughing out loud as the Principal of the school turned into a crime fighting superhero who wore underpants and a cape. I loved to see him reading so I let him read just about anything that took his fancy.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean about keeping favourite childrens boos. Even with our extensive decluttering I had to keep some! I love Hairy Hairy Maclary too! Sarah xReplyDelete
I have kept a secret stash of some of my children's books, I couldn't part with them all.......... they grow up so fast....ReplyDelete
I understand the bittersweet feeling about transition and I don't even have kids. I sure hope my mom saved some of my most favorite books. I still remember the first one I ever read myself-- Freddy the Frog.ReplyDelete
I love the line about the jalapeños and I bet you're right about the gesture from the stems. Somehow your line about the countryside made me feel like I could smell it too.
Love the first photo and the one of the chilli expressing how most of us feel at this time of year. I'm struggling to adjust to the descent to winter. I wouldn't mind so much if the days were getting so short. Have a lovely weekend.ReplyDelete
I still have a lot of the little books that our crew enjoyed, including some with that self same duck. They are just too precious to part with. Small mementos of entire childhoods. Don't throw too many away, you will value them even more around about the time your kids leave home. I'd rather have the books than all those school photos I was strong armed into buying.ReplyDelete
I'll echo Annie and say keep as many of the books as you dare. For you, and perhaps for the future too. My mum got rid of ALL our childhood books and I've spent the past 15 years trying to remember the titles and then source them from abe.com. Reading to a small, warm, snuggly person is truly one of the best things in the whole world. xReplyDelete
I had to donate some of my books to the charity shop in order to fit in our second child amongst all the other stuff I (apparently, ahem) hoard....but now we have loft space to store children's books :-) My girls both love books (thank goodness!) and Hairy Maclary is a favourite here (yes I can recite them!!).ReplyDelete