Sunday, 11 April 2021
Thursday, 18 March 2021
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Lockdown reading. I seem to recall muttering something about taking more photos last time I passed this way. What I actually meant was for next time...
Has anyone read Where the Crawdads Sing? It has such good reviews, I was so excited about the idea of reading it. Then I started it and it was so utterly dismal at the beginning I couldn't stand it. Lockdown reading has to be very carefully selected I've found. But I did wonder if I should have persevered. Then the library asked for it back, so that was that. If anyone can persuade me to give it a proper go I shall be happy to hear from them. I have annoyed myself rather.
I thought Three Hours was excellent. Hard to say much about it without spoilers, but one line in particular was very damning I thought. More than just a simple entertaining story.
Sir Philip Pullman remains my favourite writer and his Daemon Voices On Stories and Storytelling is exceptionally promising so far. The sort of book where I want to write down all the quotes.
And hopefully Intuitive Editing will help me faff around with the manuscripts. Tiffany Yates Martin seems very knowledgeable on the subject.
And with that, my to be read pile is looking a bit small. Do send any recommendations my way.
In other news, the frogs have gathered in the pond and there is frogspawn. I always feel so sorry for them at this time of year, I see them wandering the streets in the evening, desperately searching for a pond. They are so few and far between. I told a group of teenage boys the other evening to mind the frog, who was sat in the middle of the pavement trying to be invisible. I looked back to check they'd obeyed and found them giving it a ten-foot berth, which made me laugh.
The Bewick's swans have headed back to the Arctic tundra for the breeding season. They had a bit of a false start this year, when the cold weather swept in from the East. Four days after leaving, they turned up again, which is really unusual. Safely on their way now though.
And one final sign that spring is in the air, the clunky, ringing crash of a skateboard shooting across the patio at high speed and smashing into a terracotta pot. Sigh. I spent Sunday afternoon sticking them back together - the skateboard one and the ones that the frost got. Everything is (briefly) together now.
The urchins may be on their way back to school next week. It will be strange without them. How are things in your neck of the woods? Frogs? Books? Skateboards? Do tell. CJ xx
Sunday, 14 February 2021
Well that's rather a dismal selection of photos isn't it. The first one is from two weeks ago as the littlest boy's snowman slowly sank in on himself. His head was at a really jaunty angle for a couple of days and I was waiting for the moment when it fell off. It was pretty much all I had going on to be honest. Anyway, it rained and he dissolved in an instant, so there wasn't even any head-off drama. We haven't had any snow since.
Then the middle boy had a birthday. And that is all of my news. If that looks like a yule log it's because it is a yule log. I didn't make one at Christmas (sometimes it just seems as if there's enough food) so he asked for one for his birthday. Fifteen already. I tried to interest him in an online locked room game, but he just laughed incredulously and explained that such a thing relied on teamwork and cooperation and we never spoke of it again.
Chess has been big here lately. Nothing to do with the television thing, haven't seen it, but the urchins are rather obsessed nonetheless. They have a timer now, which I thought would be a good thing, but it turns out I can't concentrate on going quickly, thinking up moves and pressing a timer as well, it is just all too much.
The littlest boy had an absolute triumph the other day when he beat everyone in the house in one day. The biggest boy said, 'How come when he plays dad he's really bad but when he plays me he elevates himself to international Grand Master level?' The littlest boy went around singing 'I'm the best' for quite a while. Yes, in case you were wondering, we are all totally obnoxious in this house. And deluded.
I am making a resolution to take more photos. Maybe even one a day. I used to do that, but it was a lot easier when the urchins were small and did cute stuff and didn't mind a camera pointed at them too much. The littlest boy and I made some cherry fat rascals just now, from a Sam Stern recipe, so I shall start with a picture of them if I can. They're quite big, but Sam made them twice the size. I can't say I've ever had a fat rascal, I wonder if they're supposed to be the size of a saucer??? I'm not objecting you understand, it's just when I do baking I usually like to end up with more than five of a thing.
I've been taking the ice off of the pond every morning, a good centimetre some days, which is very unusual. I did it originally to lift off all the duckweed, which works a treat for getting rid of it, but then I realised how much the birds were appreciating the water, so I kept doing it. Yesterday a blackbird had a really long bath, which surprised me, given how cold it was.
I've sown some seeds, after being late with everything last year. Tomatoes and cucumbers and sweet peas and delphiniums. Although the hot tomato-ripening days of summer seem a long way off at the moment.
How are things at your end? Good I hope. I shall be back anon with some actual photos and more tales from the sharp end. CJ xx
Sunday, 24 January 2021
Obligatory snow shots from the morning dog walk. Otherwise it's been on the damp side. I did have something absolutely amazing to show you, but sadly now I don't. This is what happened... You may recall I bake a loaf of bread most days in a bread machine. The urchins get through a LOT of the stuff. Well, this morning when I went to take it out, there was a big flake stuck to the side of the tin, and when I removed it, it was shaped just like Great Britain, yes it was. A giant breadcrumb in the shape of Britain! I know! I showed the littlest boy, who was suitably impressed, then I eased it onto a plate and told him I'd show the others, who would also be amazed, and then I would photograph it.
Anyway, fast forward a couple of hours and we fell out about something or other and he stomped off into the kitchen AND ATE IT. The lesson being, if you ever come across something truly phenomenal you should take a picture of it immediately. I am of course hugely disappointed, I was almost certain it would go viral, if not make the front page of The Times. Honestly, you would have been lost for words. It had East Anglia and John o' Groats and Stranraer and Pembrokeshire and I bet I could even have found Northern Ireland if I'd gone back in the bread machine. There was quite a bit of Cornwall missing, but other than that it was pretty miraculous.
Otherwise I'm not sure I really have any news. Does anyone else? I've been working a lot and doing the odd bike ride, but otherwise staying below the parapet and powering on through.
The littlest boy is doing his online lessons opposite me at the dining table, which is brilliant because he has me on tap to fetch things for him whenever he needs them. It's quite funny hearing him in a lesson. I pretend not to hear anything, but of course I am listening to it all. Well, his bits anyway, he wears headphones. His PE teacher said that mums and dads could join in the workout, but sadly he wouldn't let me. Maybe next time...
Hope all is well out there and that everyone is hanging onto their sanity.
Wednesday, 6 January 2021
|The Bristolian pronunciation made me laugh|