I just sat down determined to write a post as I’ve failed in my self-imposed requirements recently but just as I logged on the heavens opened and the most impressive hailstorm started. It only lasted a minute but Ida and I both ran to the conservatory where it sounded like the heavens themselves were falling onto the roof.

I love how she was equally galvanised and terrified. We held our upturned hands out of the door to feel the hailstones sting our palms and she squealed and leaned her head back against my chest. Half an hour later she’s tucking into a fish cake and I’m back at the screen but we are still pleased by the hail but more by the pleasure of sharing it.

Days at the moment aren’t exactly smooth. In among the end-of-school high jinx there’s been lots of hanging around in boring corridors and playing by the sofa while Mummy is dozing/weeping/vomiting but there are Beautiful Things in amongst it all as long as I remember to pay attention. I’m smiling now as I write – thinking about the furious clamour of the hail on the roof and the brightly lit black sky.

I spent some time earlier attempting to clear Zeph’s room for its transformation and pack a rucksack for him. He’s going to spend a week with my very kind aunt in Cottenham, a village outside Cambridge. She has chickens, a huge garden, access to fields and plans for a night moth watching session as well as other stuff. He is foot hoppingly happy. I’m trying not to feel jealous or anxious that he’ll dig his heels in and refuse to come home.

I’m hoping a week away will make him feel like he’s had a holiday this summer, along with some day trips. There was talk of Ida and I going for a day or two as well but his devastated face dissuaded me. “Aunty Alex invited me…” It’s such a strange feeling of pride and fear as he pulls away from me. The day he was born I realised he’d smashed down all my strongest barricades and I was defenceless, vulnerable and exposed. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Anyway – enough of sounding like a Hallmark card. I’m cooking proper tea for the first time in about a week of toast. Its toad in the hole tonight thanks to Z’s heartfelt pleading. Mine is never that successful as my batter always sticks even though I grease the pan – why? why? Doesn’t seem to alter their enjoyment though and we have peas from our garden to go with it. I’ll be bolstering  them with something else but it’s still satisfying.

My hollyhocks are still soaringly gorgeous although I haven’t gone to see how the hail has affected them and yesterday we ate with all due ceremony the ONE plum our tree has produced this year…must do some googling…. 

I’m planning some curtain making for the new room. My hands might not be up to knitting or hand sewing but they should be able to steer stuff through my trusty machine. The thought cheers me immensely. I’m holding it out as a carrot to get through all the hoovering and book lugging that lies in store this afternoon. I’m planning to exploit Zeph terribly as a work donkey. After all he’s going to get to miss all the bunk bed building angst. The boxes of bits are lying threateningly in the hall and up the stairs. Squeezing past the mattresses propped up on the landing has given me a few back-at-home flashbacks. I have two bits of furniture to sand and transform and some flatpack new bookshelves on their way. Gah.


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