Tag Archives: sunshine



How amazing is the sunshine? Admittedly I’m quite enjoying sitting in the cool of my house after a hard hour smashing china under the rays.



Don’t get me wrong I love, LOVE the bright glorious light. I genuinely sprang out of bed this morning with an appropriately cheery song on my lips.


I just like looking at it from the shade. With an icy clinking drink in my hand.

This weekend Zeph learnt to ride a bike. At 10 I feel bad for letting it get so late before enabling this ritual but we’re not really bike riders. He’s wanted one for ages so when passing the Raleigh shop on Barton street we amazed him by actually going in and purchasing a second hand bike and a brand new helmet.

Of course his joy was short-lived when he got on and couldn’t ride it instantly but he’s a stoic optimist my boy which fills me with pride and half an hours googling and some remedial first aid led to us getting up at six on Sunday morning. We made our way to a very quiet park with a small hill to put in a bit of coasting practise before graduating to pedalling then turning and finally, by the end of the day cycling from a standing start. Brilliant.


Saturday night after a shower we counted sixty one distinct bruises, three big grazes and a fine set of hand blisters but one incredibly content boy. I feel swollen with pride at his perseverance.

It turns out cycling, balancing on a bicycle, is one of those things that is near impossible to explain. You just kind of do it I offered feebly, realising how unhelpful it was.  Your body makes thousands of miniscule adjustments to keep you upright and all you need is the time and space to let it get on with it. With lashings of patience and encouragement – balancing the “that’s amazing!” cheering with the book reading indifference is a parenting tightrope I’m getting better at. I will take a leaf from someone else’s book and persevere.

Also – take that Homer Simpson mug…






The sun is shining – I am ridiculously grateful. Even though it exposes the air in my home as thick with dust, the lift to my spirits is immeasurable.

Fickle and shallow as it may be, the BT’s are much easier to see in the open dazzle of sunlight. Ida and I did some park mooching yesterday afternoon, me reading a book while she clambered up the climbing nets and mountaineered up the slide (what’s wrong with going up the ladder?) I had a real whiff of long summer evenings which put heart into me.

Right now I’m taking a break from fashioning some giant gamekeeper style keys for Steve’s dressing up Saturday in the shop. Inevitably he is Hagrid – it would be a shame to waste the beard. Zeph begged him to be Edward Lear with his beard full of birds but he shied away from having an owl under his chin all day. Also he does gruff and uncouth much better than twinkly and genial. He may look like Manny but his soul is Bernard through and through.*  Which suits me.

The lighter days are encouraging me to put my head up from the path in front of me… and I’ve joined Twitter. Always on the cutting edge me.

I like it a lot but not sure it completely suits my skill set. I feel slightly struck dumb. There’s a feeling you’re shoving your way into things – I feel awkward but there’s so much to enjoy as well. Not least a sense of connection.

Reflecting on how brilliantly blogging has turned out for me I’m determined to try more new stuff. Zeph has clearly caught my internal resolution from the air. He’s just done a few climbing sessions which he really liked and joined football club. Tonight before bed he has chilled the blood of both Steve and I by casually asking if just anyone can do taxidermy.

The mind boggles. I am afraid to google.

*Black Books 🙂

I am the summer grinch

It’s been a pretty grey and rainy summer so far. Zeph has pointed out a few times that it’s too cold to wear sandals to school much to his annoyance. Today was the blazingly hot summers day you would hope for in June.

One hot day.

I’m already too hot and really cross.

I’m just not brilliant at sweltering heat. Basically my fine figure insures I’m toasty warm on quite chilly days. So the baking sun gives me a headache. Unlike my sister who physically needs the sun as much as any basking lizard.

I’ve spent the day wafting around the house, administering cold drinks and freeze pops to my giggling naked children and sitting under the hideous ceiling fan that I curled my lip up when we looked round this house before we bought it. Before I experienced the pleasure of its gentle breeze. I’ve learnt to never look at it and appreciate its cooling capacities instead.

We spent a happy hour before bed watering some of the plants and getting our bare feet wet. It was balmy warm and there were bats in the evening sky. The paving stones were still warm and the garden smelt divine. I’ve got some night stocks flowering and their scent seeps across my tiny patch. As the light gets dimmer they seem to glow and attract moths who hover around them kissing their pale faces. This is definitely my favourite part of a hot sunny day. This and the early morning, full of blue sky promise.

Of course the good thing about living in britain is it’ll be raining in a minute. Although we are technically gripped by drought. So I’ll just stock up on freezepops and try not to whine.

Woodlouse tipping

I’ve had a tiring day being on emergency services call for woodlice.

 Ida recently discovered woodlice. She’s not that keen on ants, centipedes, the millions of little wolf spiders who sun themselves on our walls but she loves woodlice. When she sees one she has to follow it peering at it very closely. I don’t know if you watch woodlice a lot but they’re pretty clumsy. Often they tip themselves up and lie with their many legs wiggling helplessly. This is Ida’s cue to sprint to wherever I am and insist I come to their aid. Often by the time we arrive, panting, one of us hysterical, (odds are even as to who, can a person no longer even pee in privacy?) it’s usually gone. Bloody sensible woodlouse. I wonder about a world inhabited by a blonde giant who likes to loom over you.

Although slightly exasperated at the twentieth call out I am secretly enchanted at her growing observation of her surroundings. She spent the afternoon mostly crouched in the classic Shirley Hughes toddler squat playing with moss and leaves, mixing mud sand and water with a stick and watching insects.

I have felt worried that we’ve been too skint to do many exciting things this holiday but reflection shows our backyard is a smorgas board of exciting experience when you’re two.

Some friends are coming for an egg hunt and barbecue tomorrow so we’ve done a bit of tidying (scraping rust off the battered old thing and unearthing the half bag of mouldy charcoal from last summer) We’ve also made some darling cakes decorated with mini eggs for the stand (internal whoop) the icing turned out a little greener than I planned, more grotbags than pistachio. Ah well.

I have flashes of light heartedness today in the sunshine, I try and note them all, storing them up for the early hours like an emotional solar panel.

I’ve even managed to wash up. Lawks a mercy.