Thursday, 14 February 2019

Tea at the Ritz






Does anyone else detect the merest hint of spring in the air? The birds are singing before sunrise and after sunset, the frogs are sploshing into the pond in the evening if I venture into the garden and there are crocuses and even the odd daffodil. Also, the middle boy had a birthday (13!), and that signifies the end of the winter around here.

The littlest boy's class had a tea party for parents today to raise money for toilet facilities for communities in third world countries. Scones with jam and cream, ginger cookies with ALL of the decorations on them and, most popular of all, a chocolate cake piled high with chocolate balls, chocolate biscuits, chocolates and chocolate flakes. It had a definite theme.

The boys wore bow ties and served us nicely, although the littlest boy spoiled the effect slightly by constantly pushing himself over my shoulder to get to his giant ginger cookie after he'd served me. You don't get that at the Ritz. But it was generally lovely, helped by the thought that there are less than six months of the chaotic joy that is primary school left for him, and for me.

It degenerated happily into a balloon fight/football game between the boys, which is how it should be. None of the mums were crying yet, but I can feel it building. Secondary school isn't in the same league, although I did once have some very sophisticated fizzy orange juice on the lawn while being serenaded by the steel pan band. It lacked the unrestrained joie de vivre of ten year olds let loose with five balloons though.

The dog has been skating on thin ice again, eating things he shouldn't. He managed to get hold of a disposal glove on his walk the other morning, which impressed his friends, but me, not so much. I flushed it through with an oily sardine and thanked my lucky stars when it, well, I won't lower the tone, let's just say all is well, for now.

He had his hair cut today, so he is all velvety and smooth. His bestie will be surprised when she sees him tomorrow morning. She'll be all, 'Bert, is that you? For the love of dog what happened?' And he'll be all, 'I know. But don't worry, I'll roll in something in a minute and it'll all be good.'

Hope all is well out there. Any spring where you are? Scones? Or are you flushing yourself through with an oily sardine?

Friday, 1 February 2019

White and proper














I was going to say that it's a bit chilly, but in the light of how frozen some corners of the world are right now I am trying to man up and not mention the fact that it has gone below freezing. I made the most of the lightly frozen pond this morning by sliding off the ice along with a load of duck weed that I've been wanting to remove. It was the second time I've done it over the past couple of weeks (and probably the first opportunity I've had this winter) and I reckon with one or two more freezes I'll have a good proportion of it off. It really took over last summer and the water didn't get much light at all. There were frogs in the pond already pairing up and getting ready for spawning. I tried not to disturb them too much.

I've found a use for my fancy French soap (brought for me by the French exchange student), keeping it under my knitting so that the knitting smells all delicious, like lemon tree flower and lime tree honey apparently. It's a tip I got from Lucy at Attic 24, although I can't from the life of me find the right post now. And I think she got the tip from someone else. Anyway, it's working beautifully.

Are we all enjoying Brexit? I'm rather disappointed that it is dominating the news when we could be looking at the usual snow-day fare of children toboganning down hills and being generally thrilled about not being at school. I wonder if we would notice any difference if the drama wasn't on the news at all ever and we all just got on with our lives. Maybe the government could just issue a bulletin once a year and let us know how it's all gone. We could listen to audio books instead or just enjoy the quiet calm.

The dog got a massive amount of snow stuck to him in chunky ice balls on his walk this morning and had to be defrosted in the bath. He is curled up tightly now, warming himself up and dreaming of spring. I would like to do the same, but there are ravening hoards to be fed. All well with you?