Tag Archives: mornings

Roses, bunting and bats

It’s a good way to start the day, arranging gorgeous roses and lilies in your favourite jug. Even lovelier to see the bunch walking into the kitchen apparently by itself as Ida was totally hidden behind it. She was beamingly pleased with herself.

As was I as I’d finished the flower basket bunting for my lovely Mum.  The sun shone on the  way to drop it off along with some cards and some bubbly things. Zeph and I drew the wrapping paper and he was incensed by my actual folding and wrapping and carefully supervised the placing of sellotape.

We sat in the sun at mums and chatted to the girl next door about her new worm pet. Closer inspection reveals it’s quite flat and dryly dead. “I fink he’s sleeping.” she says in all three-year old seriousness. She makes him a bed out of a dandelion. Ida squatting on our side of the fence nods approvingly. She shares her biscuits and has to be firmly persuaded to leave. We buy two stems of blossom twigs on the way home for the Easter tree. I feel like we’re slightly drowning under WIP’s at the moment. The most pressing of which are those damned…do I even need to type the word? Here’s the feeble amount I’ve actually done…


Zeph asked about Zombies this morning. He’s doing myths at school at the moment and I’m not sure whether this has prompted the intense zombie discussion over breakfast or if we’re drifting into more death obsession. Steve shrugs helplessly. We resolve to wait and see and pay attention. Four specific death enquiries this week.

Lot’s of beautiful things today. The garden is full of ladybirds, bees and hoverflies. At twilight the annoying patch of gnats appears near the back door. I easily forgive them as the flittering bat puts in an appearance on the hunt for breakfast.

Give and take.

When we left the house this morning, late and dishevelled as is customary, I was taken aback to see the heads of my beautiful daffodils in the tub by the front door had been picked. Three sad green stems were left waving forlornly in the wind.

Despite the fact I had foreseen this, despite the fact I had dragged my bulb and forget-me-not stuffed tub there saying, “some bugger will nick it” despite being prepared for countless acts of careless vandalism on my poor concrete front patch I still wobbled. My eyes stung and my lip wobbled. I could feel the gravitational pull of indoors and moved a foot back over the step. Zeph spying the danger signs and fearful of being late after having to coax a deranged parent out of the house with well rehearsed cognitive puzzles seizes my hand and the doors keys. “More flowers will grow Mum” he declares firmly.

The tide turns and we continue on our way. On the walk home from school I decide to imagine my flowers going out into the world with a stranger in need of yellow and beauty. I say to myself, “you are welcome to them person – I hope they give you much joy.” I try to banish bitterness and cynicism.

It is a bit tricky.

I let my self back into the house and have some Marmite toast while I do dishes and some of those tedious everyday things, washing clothes, floors, mould off walls and peanut butter off small faces.

We are meeting a friend for coffee in her lunch hour and head off to town. I avert my eyes from the beheaded stems as we leave and murmur my resolution. Bloody universe I think, aren’t you supposed to be the bountiful one?

I mooch around the bookshop waiting for K and eye up lots of lovely titles I’d like to buy. I miss my discount, mostly I miss my wages. I remind myself of all the books waiting to be borrowed in the library. K saves me from an unadvised splurge and we head for a coffee shop for cake and chat.

It’s lovely to see her, she has a heavy bag in her hand, “I was on the way to a charity shop with this and I wondered if you’d like it?” It’s a big beautiful book on Paula Rego who I adore. I’m so thrilled I’m slightly speechless – “Are you sure?” 

It’s a great hour – Ida is especially charming – she has her magpie eyes on K’s big enamel ring and slice of chocolate cake. We part promising to do it again soon and I start home, the book swinging on the pushchair. I stop to buy an apple from the fruit stall to placate Ida’s indignant squawking about not being allowed to walk. “How much for one?” I ask the man and he shines a red one on his apron and offers it to Ida, “a smile will do” he winks and she miraculously obliges. Immensely cheered we sail on home.

Small things but I feel answered and soothed. Coincidence placebo or not – I do not care. The book and apple buoy me through the rest of the day.

Zeph has a headache after school. I know it must be bad as he doesn’t even want to swim. We head straight home and sprawl on the sofa. I rub his forehead as Ida builds brick towers and spin a long story about two mermaids. It’s one I used to tell Zeph when he was smaller. It feels good fishing them out, dusting them off and sending them off on a new adventure. When it’s over Zeph wonders out loud what they’ve been doing in the long storyless interval. I wonder at how effortlessly metaphysical kids are. We notice Ida is drawing on the floor with felt tips. That, people, is where abstract thought gets you. Gah.

Best BT – tea turns out just right. Steve says how good it is twice. I smile modestly. Bloody littlewomanish leanings.

Rude awakenings

I had to wake Ida this morning. I left it until the last possible moment – Zeph and I had done spellings, sandwiches and biscuits and she was still curled up like a possum. When I lifted her out she sleepily lashed out and began wailing.

I gave her a big hug and inhaled that amazing sleepy child aroma, a bit like vanilla biscuits. “I was ASLEEP!” she howls. I laugh in a hollow fashion as a million 4am’s spring to mind.

There followed a ten minute tussle with her refusing to relinquish her pyjamas and then having been stripped rejecting violently even her favourite purple owl dress.

It doesn’t bode well for those future teenage mornings.

My mum used to lunge into my bedroom, fling back the curtains and trill “what a beeeutiful day!” It didn’t help.

Things got worse downstairs where she threw a bowl of cereal at me. Hmmm. Not a morning person then, just like her mother. I am always cheerier when I wake up on my own. It’s usually early as my body clock has been steam rollered into submission by two early bird babies. Alarm clocks, noisy dressers (pointed look at Steve) and rambunctious children leave me feeling grouchy. Zeph went through a hideous phase of creeping into bed with us and then gently peeling up our eyelids.

Still the day went up after that. Ida and I made a chicken pie with pastry top and bottom. I am sure I can get four meals out of Sundays roast chicken. (It was free range – it has to stretch) We did some gardening, varnished a pig woven out of willow, looked at ladybirds (it was a sunny day and our garden was full of them, all yawning and stretching their wings) and bought a pineapple for pudding. I sliced it up at the table and shared it out. Now we’ve all got tingly tongues. Steve has told a charming story about its flesh dissolving enzymes and Zeph has gone upstairs to brush his teeth.

Ah – all my beautiful things.

old invisible friends

I’m starting to think I may have to stop listening. It’s getting beyond a joke, I cut my finger quite badly this morning while chopping onions for the goats cheese and caramelised onion mini tarts I’m making to stow in the freezer for a party a few weeks off. I was already weeping when the mention of that damn gorilla suit made me sob convulsively and viciously slice my digit.

Sunday mornings won’t be the same but it’s getting ridiculous and the kids are  concerned. What you have to understand is Nigel has been in my life since I was a child. Of course I’m grieving.

Bloody Archers. God I love them.

I used to hate them. The tumpty tum music was part of a Sunday at home. My mum didn’t have the time keeping abilities to listen to it during the week but the Sunday omnibus was a soundtrack to my childhood. We didn’t have a TV so the radio was on a lot and I clearly remember Mum talking about the characters as though they were family friends while I sneered, wrapped in teenage angst. Sulkily helping prepare for big family sunday dinners, peeling veg while Elisabeth acted up, Nelson was suave, Tom protested GM crops. I remember sunny mornings sat in the veg patch weeding with the radio jammed into the gap in the kitchen sash window while mum hoed.

Now I’m not the kind of person who can commit to anything on a regular basis and my lifestyle in younger days (ah me) was not one that could fit in an appointment with Ambridge on Sundays easily. But there were occasional catch ups and my mum could always be relied on to pass on big family news.

When I met Steve they came back in a big way as he regarded them  as the de rigour back drop to the sunday papers and the habit has persisted. The radio is usually on as I potter about and the sound of it now produces a pleasant feeling of domestic achievement as I pot seedlings and peel veg and bake. (I am not unaware of the irony as I catch Z’s lip curling from the corner of my eye).

What I like is how it’s all in real-time. Instead of TV’s fast track story lines things unfold in an organic (ahem) manner. Jack’s altziemers has been progressing over the last five years. I’ve grown up with Elizabeth. I was pregnant at the same time as her. I  honestly feel heartbroken hearing her and the twins grieving. Does this make me a credulous fool or emotionally literate?

I just said to Z that he’ll find himself listening out of choice when he’s older and he’s rolled his eyes spectacularly. We’ll see. I’m sewing the seeds.