Sunday 26 July 2020

Dog cunning

Bertie has a friend who is a labrador. She knows exactly when I get the good doggy treats out of my bag, in fact she knows before I get them out. Then she sits down in front of me, all obedience and big brown eyes until one comes her way.

In fact, the tasty treats usually come out when Bertie is being naughty. He runs off and does something he shouldn't, I call him back and he gets a treat. I know, I know, but the idea is that he is being rewarded for the good thing, ie. the coming back. I think that's the psychology behind it anyway. But sometimes I wonder... Anyway, there is a theory in this house that his clever friend eggs him on to do a bad thing so that they can both have a treat. Are we all being played do you think?

Cricket is back. Hand sanitising every over and NO TEA, but it's a start.

I've had a satisfying feng shui-ing of a kitchen cupboard, involving getting rid of things dated 2019 or earlier and making plans for the borderline edibles. Morello cherries, I'm looking at you.

Otherwise it's been all work, work, work, interspersed with guilt about not doing exciting things with the children. Although of course they probably don't want to do exciting things with their mother. But that doesn't stop me feeling as though I should be taking them out somewhere and Doing Something. All in good time I guess. Exciting adventures your end?

Thursday 16 July 2020

Books and gardens

It's been busy, busy, busy here, for me at least. Which has meant a huge amount of guilt at not being around more for the urchins. Some of us are feeling a bit flat and, well, like many others I suppose. I had a moment in the garden earlier today, which was a good tonic though. I can see why gardening is prescribed for cheering people up.

Despite the busy work stuff, or maybe because of it, I have no news at all. School, such as it was, is ending, although I feel some people should maybe do a little learning over the summer holidays so as not to completely forget everything. I suspect they will all be rusty come September.

The cricket club is making noises about possible meetings and games. There is football training, after a fashion. And they have all had a haircut. I am still rather in my little bubble. Not sure what I miss and rather fed up with talking/thinking about it all.

Reading has been lovely. In the early evening I sit down with a book for half an hour, once the house is tidy. It is utterly blissful. I've been doing some work afterwards, just to keep on top of things, but that half hour is such a treat.

My neighbour gave me a beautiful scented candle the other day, by way of a thank you for a small errand, lavender and bergamot, so I will be lighting that later. She made it herself and it is a thing of beauty and smells divine. I also have some little rosemary and bay tea lights because I read somewhere about rosemary being good for focus and clear-headedness.

The garden smells rather lovely at the moment as well. A mixture of roses, nicotiana and fig tree. The latter has a lovely scent at times, surprisingly in autumn as well, when the leaves drop off.

I hope all is well out there with you all. I am hoping for some sunshine soon so that I can add a half hour reading in the garden to my day. I am easily pleased.

Saturday 4 July 2020

All you can eat fruit buffet

The garden is full of fruit and also full of birds eating the fruit. Blueberries, tayberries, raspberries, mulberries, strawberries and pounds and pounds and pounds of cherries. Blackbirds and robins and starlings and sparrows and pigeons. It's wonderful. There are two big cherry trees at the end of the garden and the birds are gorging themselves. There's another cherry out the front, so plenty of fruit to go around. I have been picking and stoning and freezing, they are such a treat in the winter.

The new little waterlily in the pond is flowering. The birds are splashing around there more than ever before as well. It's nice to see the garden becoming a little haven for them. Unless the dog happens to spot them of course. At the moment so many of the birds are juveniles, coming along with their parents and wrestling with a giant raspberry or trying to hang upside down and pick a mulberry. The robins are incredibly tame, flying down to poke around in the soil right next to me in the hopes of a worm.

Shops are gradually opening in the little town centre here, although the Council have infuriated shop owners by making the high street pedestrianised. It really is very quiet now. I went in the wool and houseplants shop yesterday and they seemed astonished to see a customer. The stationer was complaining about the lack of business as well. It's supposedly to allow people more space, but the pavements are pretty wide so it wasn't really an issue. Anyway, there is nothing but space now.

I don't really have any plans to do anything exciting such as go out or have a haircut, I'm happy quietly pootling away with the odd chat with a friend or a walk. We do have a couple of outside trips on the cards, but that's about it for now. It's an odd sort of time isn't it. Some people doing all of the things, some people doing none of the things and businesses trying to survive.

It's good to see bookshops opening again, although we don't have one in town any more. I think I would be conscious of how many books I took off of the shelves that then had to go on the quarantine trolley. I do like to take them all down and read the back cover and flip through a few pages. No doubt we will be back to that eventually, so I shall be patient.

Homeschooling is a bit of a battleground as it no doubt is for almost everyone else. Unless I actually stand over people and watch what they are doing they tend to wander off around the internet and get distracted. Have any of them actually learnt anything? Who knows. The littlest boy has made a very fetching row of owls out of toilet roll tubes (art) and watched many videos for drama and PE, but I haven't seen much in the way of maths and no science at all.

The biggest boy has been doing baking and piano, which will no doubt come in useful in life somewhere along the line but probably won't be much help when it comes to A-levels. The middle boy has hurt his arm and claims to be unable to do anything useful at all. I am wondering if that would work for me as well.