Tuesday 17 April 2018


There's bad news and there's good news. The bad news is that the girls won the dancing competition at the littlest boy's school disco. He was incensed. He has vividly described the boys' dancing for me, and quite frankly I have to agree, it sounds in a league of its own. I consoled him by explaining that people are often not fully appreciated in their own time.

The good news is that the boiler man came and put back a cap on the boiler that has been off for the past five years and which has been allowing noxious fumes into the kitchen during all of that time. I have been in shock since he told me. Check your boilers people (there should be two caps on top somewhere I think, and they should both be ON.) I am expecting a new lease of invigorated life now that I am no longer being exposed to carbon monoxide on a daily basis. Oh, and get a carbon monoxide alarm while you're about it. I have been very slack and I am berating myself constantly. The stable door has been slammed shut.

The littlest boy and I have been enjoying Plumdog and Another Year of Plumdog. Have a look at Plum's blog if you have a spare minute. Honestly, I could spend the rest of the evening reading it, it's the best, just the best. Emma Chichester Clark perfectly captures how a dog thinks and her illustrations are brilliant. We love nothing more than curling up together to read it. Bert and Plum are very similar in many respects, we think he would say the same things and would without a shadow of doubt be best friends with Plum if he should happen to meet her.

He has been reading other stuff by himself (the littlest boy, not Bert). He switched from one series to another and told me it was because he was tired of all the killing in the first series. Oh dear. Should I be policing it a bit more do you think? I didn't realise it was possible for a small boy to get tired of fictional killing.

At school the headmaster apparently went ballistic at half the class for including killing in their writing. I remember helping out at cubs a while back on shadow puppet night. Each group put on a play, and every single one ended up with the entire cast killing each other. It does seem to be how small boys roll when they're together.

I had a conversation with the littlest boy the other day. I can't remember what we were talking about, but I think he was trying to come up with something I excel at. He said to me, 'You're good at housework. But most ladies your age are good at housework.' I'm not sure where to start with that one, it left me momentarily lost for words. But it is a compliment isn't it? I'm almost sure it is. AND, I told him, I know my 17-times table as well. I know, I know, are there no limits etc. No need to write in, I'm exceptional indeed. If you need me I'll be scrubbing the grouting in the bathroom while counting to 289 in increments of 17.

Friday 6 April 2018

The overwhelmingness of stuff

We need more bookshelves in this house. All of us need more bookshelves. We make good use of the library, but we also seem to have accumulated quite a few ourselves. I probably have the least if you can believe that. I should have a cull of them, but the littlest boy is very attached to ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING which makes decluttering a tricky thing. I usually do it when he's not around. The guilt is excruciating.

I've sorted out his clothes and also got rid of a load of mine as well. Even though I don't have masses of clothes, there did seem to be quite a pile of things that I just don't wear. I have been fairly ruthless. I do love that feeling of getting rid of clutter. Love it. Of course it does seem to be a losing battle. The children just seem to need so many things. I am fairly furious that some of those World Cup 'collectable' stickers have made their way into the house. But they do love them. They are an addiction I think. Just one more packet.

I shall try and keep going with the decluttering, a bit at a time. It's that time of year. I feel rather out of control of everything at the moment. Housework, garden, you know how it is. You run the duster over something but twenty-four hours later IT IS BACK. I feel I am going mad with it all. It has won.

I have done no work whatsoever over the Easter break. I gave up. I spent all forty-three of my spare minutes making a birthday card and envelope for a friend. I knitted a bit too, late at night when I was too tired to do anything else.

I've been leafing through the calligraphy book. There are some incredibly talented people in there and some amazing pieces of work.

In the garden the peach tree is flowering. It will look horrible in a few weeks time when peach leaf curl kicks in. It will be so bedraggled I will swear that I'll dig it up and replace it with a plum. But come next winter I won't get round to it. Maybe there will be more peaches this year.

Spring must be here because the weeds are growing. A daisy in between the paving stones, tiny seedlings in the raised beds.

The children are utterly overwhelming when they're here and I miss them when they're not. Oh, it's tricky isn't it. I hope all had a good Easter break, weather notwithstanding. There is still an Easter egg in the cupboard here. It belongs to the littlest boy and I think he has forgotten about it.