Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We went to the Pick Your Own farm today, which was quite a drive for a punnet of Raspberries, but fun all the same! We went to Lathcoats Farm just outside of Chelmsford.

I always loved going as a child, and can't believe that this was the first time we'd taken Isobel. My overriding memory of it is the day in July 1994 when my Dad turned up to collect me alone, as Pauline was at her Mum's bedside watching the cancer finally win. We picked strawberries at a farm in Mersea, then went for a picnic and a paddle in The Splash, which is a river that runs across a road. I've taken my brood there a few times, but never to do the fruit picking part that preceeded it. I remember that my Dad and I kind of knew that Mary had gone, even though there were no mobile phones back then so we had no way of actually knowing.

Running through the orchard

Painted Lady

It's all a bit dull here right now as we are in limbo with Pete's work. It's his payday on Thursday but we have no idea whether he will be getting paid anything at all. If he doesn't it's not going to be a very fun summer for any of us. I'm currently selling anything and everything on Ebay, which has to be the most labour intensive way to make not a lot of money ever!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Catching up with old friends

My friend Becky popped in to see us the other day. She lived down in Essex for about ten years, but is now back in her hometown of Coventry, so we only see each other about once a year. We met in hospital having the boys, had beds next to one another, and were really close for years. We spent a lot of time together in those early days, first time mums supporting each other and all that!

Our sons were born ten years ago just two days apart, Taylor on the 8th of February and Robin on the 10th, but the size difference was always quite hilarious;

I had to take a comparison photo while they were here. It was too funny seeing them standing next to each other, Robin looking about eight and Taylor about thirteen.

I may have a giant on my hands.

A few more golden oldies;

Looking at these I've noticed that Kit does that same mouth open smile that Taylor did, not that I can catch evidence on film. Kit is camera shy. They are very similar, except for Taylor's ears! I mentioned getting them pinned back to him the other day, just seeing how he felt about them in case he wanted it done, and he said he likes his ears and doesn't want them changed. Good for him! It certainly doesn't bother the girls, he's inundated with them already! He's had the same girlfriend for about a year now. They are adorable together, all quiet and shy with each other.

Gosh I look young in this one. I met Pete a few months after this was taken.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Schools Out

No more getting up early for school runs. Not that I'll get a lie in as Kit gets me up at dawns crack, but the rest of them get themselves up and fed, so it's easy peasy from here on in. Today we had contractors outside our bedroom with chainsaws at 7am. Very thoughtful of them.

I'm very aware that the rest of this blog post will be very dull for the majority of people out there, but we have family that read my blog, *waves*, and they want to see these.

Isobel's first school report was excellent. You can tell she's ours because the people-pleasing part of her nature is so like me, I hate conflict and do anything to diffuse a situation, and the numeracy skills is very much like Pete.

Taylor's was also very good;

Taylor's test results were really good. An average child(whatever that is!) should be achieving Level 3a/4c by the end of Year 5, which is the year he has just finished.

Ryan had three of his friends over on Saturday night, and our living room isn't really big enough for four almost-adult sized people now, so the rest of us escaped for a couple of hours. We went to the pub as it was a nice evening. Pete decided that the ancient bouncy castle in the beer garden could cope with an adult and two children. He was wrong!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Got my bedroom back!

I decorated Kit's nursery on Thursday, well most of it, and was kind of dreading moving him out of our room as I'd got so used to him being there. He's not a good sleeper really, since day one he's been a late to bed-early to rise kind of person, going down at 10pm and being up for the day at 4ish. Added to that was the fact that he wakes at 1am for a feed, and I haven't had much sleep at all for the last 4 months.

I've never had a baby that likes to co-sleep before so it's been strange. I normally pop him in with us when he won't settle at 4ish. I've kept a single bed in his new room so we can continue to snooze together.

Little did I know that it seems to have been us keeping him awake. He slept in his new room the first night and went down at 11pm and woke up at 6.30am. Dropping that 1am feed has made me feel so much better. The other two nights he's woken earlier(5.30 and 4.30), but hes settled quickly. Long may it continue!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ryan's Room

We finally got the new room built downstairs. We'd planned to get it done before Christian arrived, then we just kept putting it back, but it's finally done. We had a large L-shaped living room before, so we've cut the extra bit off and now just have a square room.

Before the work started

End of the first day


I've got plenty of decorating to do. I'm working on Ryan's room, the nursery and the hallway all at once, just a little each day, and eventually I'll do the lounge too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I left three of my leeks to flower, and the bees have gone nuts for them. I counted twelve bumble bees out there the other day! I finally captured one with my camera today.

I love leek flowers. They smell like cheese & onion crisps!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Three years.

Three years? This past weekend it had been three years since my Nan died. Where has that time gone? I can't believe that Isobel had just turned two when she died. She never got to see her in her school uniform, or hold a proper conversation with her about the things that Isobel likes to talk about, like space, or butterflies. Taylor was just seven when she died, and now he's almost senior school age. Ryan had only lived with us for a year then.

She would've loved Kit. It makes me sad that he'll never know her. He's such a happy, sunny boy, she would've loved to snuggle him.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sports Day

School Sports Days are pretty rubbish these days. There are no winners, or prizes. What is so wrong with teaching our children to have a little competitive streak? Or even learning to be a good loser?

Or maybe I'm just bitter that my daughter wins nearly all her races and gets no recognition for it. My team won the Mum's race too!

I can't say too much here, what with it being a public blog, but Pete is currently off work sick with stress, as they have been trying to push him out of the company for some time with no grounds to do so. We've had legal advice as the company have made a huge mess of the procedure, but for now Pete is home with me and we are having to manage on my maternity pay. We are making the most of it though, money isn't that important to us, as long as we are together and the bills are paid. Time is much more precious.


I’ve been tagged by Thursday whose wonderful photos and writing have helped me while away many an hour.

What is your current obsession?

Decorating, sadly. And the thought of(and lack of) sleep.

What is your weirdest obsession?

I'm obsessed with derelict buildings, and expend an awful lot of energy scanning for them on car journeys, dreaming about them, and trying to get photos of them. I have no idea why I love them so much.

What are you wearing today?

Black shorts and a vest.

What’s for dinner?

We just had a BBQ. I had kebabs with vegetables and prawns.

What would you eat for your last meal?

Smoked Salmon & Asparagus pasta.

What’s the last thing you bought?


What are you listening to right now?

Kit snoring and the fan whirring round.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?

I would love to spend the day wandering around taking photographs with her, with lots of pub stops in between.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?


If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Back to Jamaica. An hour wouldn't be long enough though.

Which language do you want to learn?

French probably. I quite fancy living there one day.

What’s your favourite quote (for now)?

It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped

What is your favourite colour?

Green, most shades.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

The cheap summer dress I bought a few weeks ago. It's getting a lot of use.

What is your dream job?

Working with animals, I really miss it.

Describe your personal style?

50's housewife mixed in with casual festival chic.

What’s your favourite tree?

Poplar. I like the musical sound the leaves make in the breeze, like wind chimes.

What are you going to do after this?

Tidy up after the BBQ probably, then have a glass of wine.

What’s your favourite fruit?


What inspires you?

Beautiful scenery, and watching all the wonders of nature. My current favourite is watching the swifts rolling and diving above my house every day.

What is your favourite photo that you've taken?

At the moment, it's this one taken at Thorndon Country Park last September:

What are you currently reading?

Nothing, I'm taking a break from reading as I'm all studied out from my course.

Go to your bookshelf, take down the first book with a red spine you see, turn to page 26 and type out the first line:

"I thought I recognized the dark eager eyes, the colourless cheeks, the strangely vigilant, anxious expression which I remembered in past times as a characteristic of Alfred Monkton's face, and was about to question my friend on the subject, when he gave me unasked the information of which I was in search." - The Second Century of Creepy Stories, published in 1937(and it smells like it!)

What delighted you the most today?

Watching the bees buzzing around last years leeks that I've left to flower. I left them for the insects so I'm glad they appreciate them.

By what criteria do you judge a person?

Their spelling. I'm not a grammar Nazi but I can't abide text speak.

What item could you not live without?

My iPod, definitely.
Tagged: Dan , Venus, Geek Mama, Kate, Raisin'Cookies, Nins and Peedles

The rules:

1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your invention, then one more question of your own.

2. Tag eight other people.