Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lots of work to do on this school garden

I went to the garden for the first time today. The lady that has tended it for years retired last week, so now it's all down to me. *gulp* There is quite a lot there that I have no clue about growing. It has seven beds.

One and Two - An empty bed ready for some spuds next year and Runner Beans, Chard, Squash and Courgette;

Three and Four - Tomatoes and Chillis, and an awesome raspberry bush;

Five, Six and Seven - Wildflowers, more Beans, Pumpkin, Rhubarb(out of shot) and Strawberries;

I'm a bit scared of strawberries. They've never liked me much. They refuse to overwinter for me at home, instead deciding to die off. I have here a bed of very mature, wonderfully fruitful strawberry plants. Well at least they were until I got my hands on them. They were giving me the beady eye today, they're just waiting to die off, I just know it.

I started pulling up the strawberry runners, and have hundreds of the little bleeders. I bought a carrier bag home and still have literally billions. What the hell do I do now with a)the plants that are being left to overwinter, and b)the runners? Do the old plants in the ground need anything doing to them? I've just been taking out the old brown leaves and leaving the green ones, but is that right? The lady who left gave me a note to get me to remove the straw from between the plants, but I thought they needed that to protect them from the frosts? Does it need removing and replacing? Do the runners need to be in a cold frame/greenhouse, or can I plant them out too?

So many questions.

Seven Months

Kit is seven months old now. He can say "mama" and "baba", is almost crawling, and gives the best sloppy kisses when you ask him to. He's adorable.

I've just been comparing pictures of Isobel and Christian. I got my first digital camera when Isobel was seven months old, so there was a sudden photo explosion. I don't have many of her before that time.

It's funny, they look really alike, until you look closer. She has Pete's round eyes, and Kit has my slanted ones. Isobel's are a grey/green and his are bright blue. She has Pete's mouth and smile, and Kit has my mouth but still has managed to inherit Pete's smile somehow.

She definitely had more hair!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I just can't seem to get my coursework done tonight, everyone is distracting me.

My Mum bought a laptop from someone at work and it took me two hours to connect it to our wireless connection. For some bizarre reason, the anti-virus was stopping it from loading the page. Of course, it took me the two hours to figure this out, and I still don't know how I knew. We got the wireless connection sorted, but not the actual internet page. As soon as I uninstalled it, the internet came on, like magic. The baby has had me up and down like a yo-yo tonight too. As soon as I sit down he starts moaning. Little monkey.

Today has been an annoying day money-wise, as was yesterday. Pete was told on Thursday at our family dental check up that his dodgy tooth(he damaged it playing football 11 years ago), could be repaired for free. He went in to get the work done today, and they sneakily billed him £125 for the privilege. Of course, they waited until after the procedure to announce this fact. I had to put it on my credit card. I was not amused. Yesterday my work called, all chipper, to proudly announce that my course funding had come through, even though I've called them once a week for the last 6 weeks to frantically tell them that the very last day, that could not be extended any more, was the 10th of October. Idiots.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lazy Sunday

My course started last weekend, so I'm trying to get used to working on it any spare moment. I loved having the summer off, but am now finding it hard to get stuck in again. Thank goodness I didn't have to take a year off, I would never have started it again. The content is much, much harder this year. Just glancing through it I can see that. I hope I can do it. I am back to work in six weeks too, which I'm dreading a bit now.

Michael, Taylor's Dad, finally called me. I sent him a begging email weeks and weeks ago, telling him that Taylor was missing him, and he 'hadn't seen it until now', apparently. He's supposed to be seeing him next weekend, so we shall see.

Kit goes up on his hands and knees now, trying to crawl, so I'm sure it won't be long before we are frantically childproofing and stair gating. I'm thinking of getting the playpen out today for him, but it involves massive furniture rearranging missions that I can't be bothered to do. Our living room just isn't big enough for all the furniture.

We are having a nice lazy Sunday today. I'm about to put a lamb joint in and my Mum is taking the kids to the park so I can do my weekly ironing session in peace.

Hen Weekend

Last weekend I was at Bognor Regis Butlins for my oldest friend Claire's Hen Weekend. It was an 80's weekend so we dressed and danced like a bunch of freaks for 4 days.

Claire meeting Roger, her companion for the weekend;

The wonderful beach. Wouldn't think it was October, would you?

Group shot on the first night, including the much-groped Roger;

I had a fab time, and loved being away from home and all the responsibility. I did miss everyone though, especially Pete. We've been attached at the hip the last 3 months, and have discovered we get on better when we are in each others pockets. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder in our case.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


...or Gods Waiting Room as it's fondly known by many, which the locals hate. Yes, the town popular with old ladies is hopefully going to be our new home.

Eek. After the senior school application worry, I casually mentioned to Pete that if Taylor got into one of the good schools I'd applied for in Essex, I'd be loathe to move away as I wouldn't want to move him, then I'd want Isobel to go there too(and then Kit would probably follow), which would mean we'd be stuck here for all eternity. It's always been on the cards that we'd move as soon as we could, so this idea that we'd have to stay even longer made us re-evaluate the plan, and we've decided if we are going to move we have to do it right now. We have got to try and do it before Ryan starts college and Taylor starts senior school next September. That gives us under a year to find me a job and a short-let flat, and get the boys into their respective new places. Pete, my Mum and the little'uns will follow us down a few months later when we've rented a bigger house. Once settled we'll be registering as foster carers. It's all really exciting.

We've just driven down this after noon to give the children a tour and get their opinions on it. We had a wander around the high street, and down the pier, and got ice creams, and it seemed to be a big hit. Anything is better than where we are now.

We stopped off in Brighton for chips, to show them our new glitzy neighbor, and they were pretty enthralled with that too. We adore Brighton, wouldn't want to live there full time as it's a bit mad, but how brilliant would it be having it a few miles down the road for shopping and nightlife? Now it's all resting on me finding work that pays me enough to relocate.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I must be mad

Isobel brought home a letter this week asking for volunteers to take over the school vegetable garden. I've wanted to start a community garden project for ages and have been on the lookout for vacant plots of land, but never found anything. I went in and volunteered at the school on Tuesday, and handed in my CRB today, so should be able to start the gardening club in 6-8 weeks! I met the current volunteer today, she's been doing it for 7 years but is retiring next week, and it's a bleeding huge responsibility. Eeek. She's got stuff growing that I've never even looked at, and has seven massive raised beds. I can't work with the children yet, so as of next week it'll just be general maintenance and tidying up after school one day a week. I'm really excited but after looking at it today it's so, so daunting. I may have to kidnap my gardening friend Thursday with her horticultural qualification, I feel very under-qualified for the job.

Sunny September

We've had a few days out, in between running hundreds of errands. How did we ever find the time to work fulltime? It seems impossible! The weather has been beautiful here. Hopefully it will stay that way for a few weeks yet. We took Kit to the seaside for a walk(and fish and chips for us);

Then last weekend we went to Thorndon Country Park to look for mushrooms. It hasn't really been wet enough here to find any great amounts, and there were no edible ones, but we did find a few. Isobel is getting good at spotting them for me.

A Fly Agaric with a few nibbles taken out of it;

Apart from our little day trips, it's all very manic here. We are decorating, well, my Mum is doing the majority. We are always running around ferrying kids, paying bills, buying food, posting Ebay feet barely touch the ground. I have just painted some of the woodwork in the bathroom tonight though, so I am trying to fit some decorating in somewhere.

Kit has two little teeth now, but the emergence of said teeth has put him firmly off his food so we are back to square one with solids. He was having three small meals a day; porridge, yogurt, then either fruit or veg puree for tea, but now he has nothing. He has a little ulcer on the end of his tongue where he keep rubbing it over his teeth, bless him.

Here he is demolishing a rusk on one of his rare co-operative days;