30 June 2012

Woodland Meandering



I engineered a little magic for the girls earlier in the week.  I thought they looked like they needed a breath of fresh air and a bit of something completely different.

The top picture is a duck on the lake - the yellow blob is the sun, the green blob is a tree.  I love her paintings at the moment.  They are so very Rowan!

Morgan paints one picture in the time it takes the others to do two.  She always wants the boldest truest colours, and gets very upset by any unintended mark she makes.

Jenna painted the sunset over the dunes in Nothumberland, and a little cottage in a meadow.



Green spiders, unripe chestnuts, alder cones, and tiny baby hoppity froglets were amongst the subjects of life's very own nature class this week.


As usual the bigger ones left an offering for any fairies that might be around here.  And the little toddler got tired feet.

There really are times when everything is just right.  I have to get over my terror of taking all four out on my own so that we can just up and get outside on long days.  It's what we all need.

28 June 2012

Garden Tour

What a mess the garden is in right now.  Yet another year when I tell myself I will be organised and productive, grow lots of tasty fresh organic produce, grow more flowers than nettles and chickweed, generally be green fingered and basically like my mother.  Yet another year when the lawn is a wildflower meadow but the borders (where you can still see them at all) are simply full of a tangle of stingy prickly stuff.  Yet another year when the hedge gets so big you can barely see the garden from the kitchen window.  *sigh*
And yet, and yet...  The roses and the apple tree positively thrive on neglect, and I simply cannot wait to eat those apples as they are always perfect.  I can barely believe my eyes when I see just how many there are this year and how fast they are getting fat and round.  Three different rose bushes are in full flower: the rose bush that somehow survived moving house with us eight years ago; Lael's rose, where his tiny body was buried with so many tears; Rowan's placenta, barely a year later.  Next year, Talia's rose will bloom there too.  The strawberries are doing OK too.  And the blackcurrants.  Mmm.  I can almost taste them already.


You'll never guess why that darn cat is up the willow tree...
After my despairing post about the butterflies, that last (presumed dead) chrysalis produced a glorious living specimen, who obliged me by hanging around in the willow tree for almost half an hour.  How wonderful!  The children were delighted, after the slight anticlimax of releasing three more-or-less battered looking creatures.  Isn't it just gorgeous?
So, there.  Beauty from ashes, all over again.

And next year.  NEXT year...  I really really will be a bit more organised.

27 June 2012

Knitwear Obsession (moi?)

aka Roughly Too Many Pictures of Talia in Cardigans.

Because what's a knitting mama to do, when in a gloriously beautiful outdoor location, but take knit-wear action shots?

Sorry.  You *know* I can't help it.  But I am very proud of that Puerperium.  It gets compliments whenever she wears it too.

Here mum, you want some?  Very tasty!

I finished my Mary's Cardi too, and sewed all the ends in on the way home in the car.



Baby Sunshine here doesn't seem to object to modelling for me whatever I take it into my head to knit for her.  She is such a pure joy, and everything is fine by her.  So very fine.

26 June 2012

Not Very Pretty

Four out of five butterflies hatched.  One was eaten by the cat, who was so entranced with the fluttering within the habitat she knocked it down.  One was injured by the habitat being pushed off the shelf in said butterfly-eating incident.  So, two.
Two butterflies were released into our garden (they are a native species, and we had always intended to release them).  We said a happy goodbye to them as they fluttered off into the garden (too quickly for my useless camera/skills), and we trooped back inside to scold That Bad Cat.
I somehow can't quite bring myself to raise butterflies again.  Not for a while, anyway.  Or perhaps, not in the lifespan of the Pet From Hell.  :S

25 June 2012


What a perfectly lovely week!  Jude's Celebration began our time away perfectly, in the woods, with shared food and prayer and wildness and friends.



We visited the beach (an entirely necessary pilgrimage for me).  Some little people I know had nearly an ice cream a day while we were away.  AND got a donkey ride.  The donkeys were very happy and friendly, and the children adored them.


Here is Talia, in the sea, where I took a picture of my bloomingly gigantic bump in the late autumn last year.  Right Here, I told her, this is where I knew I could do it.  For the first time.  Knew I could birth you, mother you; peace settled on me Right Here.

Martin spent a fair amount of the week engrossed in The Hunger Games.  Mr I-Hate-Reading.  ;)

We went to a few National Trust properties (I keep a tally to justify the membership to myself, and we always seem to break even for the year in June - my membership runs from May).


Barrington Court was great fun to run around.


They had a big installation by Anthony Gormley in the basement, and outside has crafters in the old stables including a really beautiful woodworking shop (the owner of which kindly answered a long stream of questions from Jenna about how he makes his wares).  We came home with a gorgeous candle holder made from slice of branch with the bark still on.  (If you're interested in looking him up, meet Jozef Mesar.)

Oh, and we even went to some open air theatre at one property: The Brothers Grimm by the Pantaloons, which the children adored (us too).  And it was quite encouraging to go somewhere where my children looked like utter angels by comparison!

The girls painted a kite.

Yet more National Trust places to see...  Lytes Cary Manor.


It has this woodland play area that made me desperate for some big logs to put in my garden.




Oh, that smile...

And it also has awesome gardens.




We never did manage to fly the kite the children painted one morning.  We explored Yeovil Country Park, though.

And went swimming at an outdoor pool.  Talia looked very confused.  Here we are afterwards, as the grown ups drink takeaway mugs of tea to warm up!

In the flat we had a challenge to keep the children reasonably quiet; they all have thunder feet.  Lots of crafts were the order of the day week.


You can see why we didn't desperately want to come home, in spite of sharing a very teeny flat for nine days.  We all slept well in our own beds last night though.  And the memories, and the photographs, have given me a lot more smiles.  On what would otherwise feel like rather a bleak Monday afternoon.