Sunday 27 August 2017

Little brown dog goes to the seaside

yarn bombing!

beach hair

We took the puppy and headed to West Wales for a bit. Oh how he loved it. Galloping across beaches, trying to decide whether or not he liked the sea, enjoying the feel of the wind in his tail and being with his pack all day every day. They were good times for a small dog. The boys discovered surfing which they absolutely loved.

We whizzed round entertaining them with this and that. Lovely, but I would have liked to sit around in the cottage we rented for a while. There was a table by the window in the kitchen that looked right out over a little river. Opposite there was a vegetable garden. I should have liked to sit there and write for a bit. Sometimes there's a different energy when you sit in a different chair.

I can see the attraction of a writing retreat. Although I would miss the children and the puppy. But imagine how many hours, how much I would get done. It's all pie in the sky of course, just something that floated across my mind. Really, I'm very happy zipping about in boats and climbing hills and watching surfing and trying to keep a grip of Bertie.

His scruffy, fluffy hair is growing like mad and his eyes are disappearing. He needs a trim, but it turns out that dog groomers are very sought after round here. I was tempted to try a quick snip myself this afternoon while he was dozing but I decided that he'd probably end up with just one done and look ridiculous. I'm adding it to the giant list of Things To Do Next Week, which officially doesn't start until Tuesday.

We got to grips with the garden today. Everyone pitched in, except the littlest boy who laid on the sofa and read a book. I pointed out that we might be getting more done because of it - no arguments over the cushiest jobs, no fights breaking out over trowels or the good secateurs. Anyway, I'm happy that some sort of order is being imposed. It was fairly horrible after a week away. I managed to stop the biggest boy pulling out the basil. 'Is this a weed?' with hand poised above it. He decided it smelled of pizza, which made me think I might make one tomorrow. I have homegrown onions, garlic, tomatoes and basil. All I need now is a cow.

Unusually for an August bank holiday the weather is set fair. I'd quite like to be back by the sea, but I shall make the most of it all anyway. If it's a day off for you too, enjoy. CJ xx

Sunday 20 August 2017

Summer books

A little summer reading. A light novel for carrying around and dipping into whenever I have a spare minute. Although it's actually quite heavy to carry. I like to have a paperback in my bag for those occasional quiet moments. In fact I've just about finished it now and I think I'll read 'Love, Nina' next. I've seen mixed reviews but I shall give it a go.

The novel outlining book is a good one. I often have ideas as I read through it. And in fact I've been reading that and making outlining notes more than I have been reading.

I'm reading 'Northern Lights' to the children. It's one of my favourite books and I've waited a long time for them to be ready for it. I really didn't want them to have it too soon, before they were ready, and not enjoy it. But they're loving it, and I'm loving re-reading it. Philip Pullman is one of the best storytellers ever, I am such a HUGE fan. He has that magic touch.

Finally, Nigel is there helping me with the fruit glut. Mostly figs at the moment, but apples and pears will be along shortly. No-one eats the figs except me and I can't keep up. One a day is plenty really. Nigel has a few suggestions, but I still can't interest the others in them, even in a tart or with a good cheese. I just eat them raw. I prefer them just before they're perfectly ripe, with a little bit of a fresher taste and texture. If I had a dehydrator no doubt I could dry them for Christmas. Maybe Santa will bring me one.

How is everything with you? Enjoying these summer days I hope. They do seem to evaporate with very little to show for them except a light dusting of sand everywhere, scraped knees and a hundred outside adventures. As it should be. Tell me all, and any summer reading I should know about. CJ xx

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Me and m'puppy

'Get a photo of me with my puppy.'

Littlest boy: 'He's MY puppy.'

'Okay, get a photo of me with your puppy. Quick, there are ants on here. Hundreds of them.'

'Mum, there are THOUSANDS of them.'


Dog jumps down and runs away.

'Did you get one?'

'I got one after he jumped down.'

Catches dog.

'Quickly, okay, just take one quickly. Well, take a few because, you know, I won't look good in most of them.  ...   Have you taken one yet?  ...  TAKE THEM NOW, JUST TAKE THEM NOW.'

Dog runs off. Mother runs off shaking out t-shirt.

It's a really good bench no? Just had to have a photo on it, ants notwithstanding.

Saturday 5 August 2017

With the wind in our ears

summer lunch from the garden

chocolate cake

It turns out that puppies are surprisingly hard to photograph. All that wild unpredictable motion. Brown ones are especially tricky. We took him on his first big outing today, up to the common. All that space. All those dogs. Grass higher than his head. Oh it was exciting. Seeing him galloping along with the wind in his tail having fun is very satisfying. I think the whole dog thing will grow on me. Just as soon as I've had the phone re-cabled...

We've been out and about in between showers, scooting and skating and puppy walking and even a spot of uniform buying. I'm trying to get that tackled early on to get it out of the way. Swimming has been a big hit this summer. Might be something to do with Adam Peaty. I tend to sit and watch, or to be more accurate not watch. I do a bit of writing or reading. It really is quite a luxury not to have to hover over the children all the time these days. A spot of peace! I try and use the time wisely. A little planning for the novel that I mentioned. Thank you for all of your lovely supportive comments, and for saying you'd read it, you are wonderful. Best write it now then.

Have a lovely Sunday. I shall be busying around doing the usual home / dog / garden / kitchen / children things. And trying to squeeze in a bit of writing time when no-one is looking and it's all peaceful. Might even get a whole five minutes. CJ xx