Saturday, 7 February 2015
Mud and culture
It occurred to me today that if I wait until I have some decent/cohesive photos to share it will be a long, long time until there's a post. At this time of year I seem to run low on pictures for some reason. Low light? More time spent inside? Sometimes I just forget about taking pictures.
I laid out some fabric for a quilt this week. Just simple strips. I could do with it being finished already really, it's been chilly here although no snow yet. We were in Stroud this afternoon, a small town situated at the convergence of five valleys. The hills around are wonderfully steep, fields dropping right down to the edge of the town. The shops are well stocked with sledges and snow boards and all sorts of fun things for sliding around on. All they are missing is a little snow. I doubt if there will be any now, we quite often have years with no snow at all. At best it is usually just a two- or three-day thing.
The little people are peering at the things the middle boy dissected from an owl pellet. Apparently vole jaw bones and skulls, bird's bones and a fish vertebrae. Yes, that's a punnet of strawberries right next to it all. Yes, we ate them later.
The lemon is a home grown one. I was thrilled with how juicy it was, they've been a bit dry before. I think the trick might be to pick them a bit earlier. It was oh so sharp, I made a face like a dog chewing a bee when I tasted it, but I put the juice and zest in a treacle tart and it was lovely.
The bird photos are filched from the biggest boy. He took them at the wildfowl and wetlands place last weekend. The bird in the water is a water rail, it made our visit pretty much the best one ever.
On Sunday we watched football in the muddiest place imaginable. The littlest boy sprinted into what can only be described as a swamp and ended up flying through it horizontally. The mud was dripping off of him. We'd been there about a minute and a half. He was delighted of course. He and the middle boy spent the afternoon shinning up trees and hitting things with sticks. They could happily do that for hours.
The middle boy's class went to see Julius Caesar this week. They hadn't studied it at all beforehand and I'm not sure any of them understood it much. They've "done" the Romans and were expecting togas. Everyone was wearing suits and carrying briefcases. Apparently it was reimagined "in a modern world of media manipulation, digital information and 24 hour news" . I asked him if at least the stabbing and dying was done in fine fashion. It was not. The blood was made of paper. I assume this is to ensure there are no nightmares afterwards, although anyone who knows small boys knows that having sat through Julius Caesar only to find there isn't even any genuine blood flowing is exceedingly disappointing. A few good thrusts of the dagger and a liberal spraying of blood can make up for a lot.
Around the tea table we had a little discussion about Shakespeare. Someone asked me about "The Winter's Tale". I said that it has one of Shakespeare's few stage directions in it, "Exit, pursued by a bear". The biggest boy said, "You've told us that before." I said something like, "Sweetie, I've only got a certain amount of conversation, I think you've been through it all now, we're on the second go round." The other half said, "Imagine how many times I've heard it". It occurs to me I may even have written it here before as well. Am I going round again? Time for a swift exit. Pursued by a bear.