Almost daily diary!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Work Experience

Tall Girl has just completed her week of work experience. She went to an award winning florists shop in an affluent part of the city, this is the frontage - not a good photo from my phone but you get the general impression.

She looked so grown up in her new 'work' clothes that we bought before hand. She had to wear black and she doesn't normally except for school. Anyway, she looked about 19 and completely ready for work.

I am so proud of her work ethic, she has worked very hard, lots of cleaning and scrubbing but it didn't put her off at all! Every evening she would come home and be excited about returning the following day, although by the end of the week she was quite exhausted, 9 to 5 is such a long day compared to the time she usually spends at school. The company have been so good to her, giving her lots of varied jobs to do and taking her to the flower markets and on deliveries to posh places! The staff were all so friendly too, they put her at ease and my shy baby blossomed and became a confident flower, it has been lovely to see.

I had a fantastic week with my first born. Small Sprog was at school camp and Lovely man was working away so we had some quality girly time together eating, drinking 'mocktails' and watching films. We met for lunch too (her request) and took sandwiches to the 'Downs', sitting in the sun watching the world go by. I shall always remember our time shared together, it was rare and precious.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Small Pleasures

When I moved in here about 15 months ago the garden was pretty much empty apart from weeds/wild flowers - depending on perspective, and a few survived, the Chamomile, Love-in-the-mist and Violas are still nestling amongst the more cultivated plants. 

It has been an unexpected delight creating a small garden, and although there is still lots to do, I realised, this week, that I have already fulfilled one of my goals - to be able to pick flowers from the garden to bring indoors.
Roses and lavender.
The lovely thing about gardens is the way you gather the plants. I have bought a few things from the garden centre but have been given far more plants from friends and family; unwanted plants from overcrowded boarders, cuttings taken with care, presents for birthdays, seedlings, all have their own story which I can tell myself as I wander around checking on growth and progress (I am quite an impatient gardener) and hunting for slugs!


So here are some photos of flowers recently cut. Now I can't cut swathes of beautiful bunches yet but I can pick poesy's. The red rose bush was a present from a good friend for my birthday last year and were in full bloom on my birthday this year. Somehow it felt very indulgent to cut them, place them in a vase that belonged to my Granny and put them on my bedside table on my birthday.

 The sweet peas seem to have taken ages to bloom - see I told you I was impatient - but I guess the weather hasn't helped, there's not been a vast amount of sun and if I was a sweet pea I think I'd be reluctant too. Anyway, so far only a handful of buds have opened but there are masses yet to come so loads to look forward to.
I have planted quite a few nasturtiums over the spring bulbs which faded back in May. They too have loads of buds but not many open flowers yet.

So there you have it. I love to go out every day and see what changes I can see in the plants around, it cheers me up. Each little  bright bloom..small pleasures indeed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mellow Small Sprog

Small Sprog was his usual animated self at the dinner table last Thursday night. "You need to be calm" He said to his sister "like we were in REP." (Religious Education and Philosophy)
"What did you do in REP then?" I asked him, so he went on to describe how they took their shoes off when they entered the class, sprayed something on their hands - apparently the lemon scented one was the best-   and took 5 deep breaths before working calmly through the lesson. "Wow!" I exclaimed, thinking that the teacher was quite brave trying to get a whole class of 12 year olds to take that seriously. "Did everyone do it properly?" I asked.
"Yes" he replied "Even George the Gypsy"!
"Really?" Now that was impressive!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Feeling Blue

Delphinium in my garden
It was my birthday last Wednesday. I awoke to the sun streaming through the curtains and a familiar warm lump by my feet; Stinky cats favourite place to spend the night. He looks at me and I know he is thinking instantly of his breakfast. We walk downstairs together, he does that familiar weaving in and out of your legs thing that cats do, sometimes I wonder if he's plotting my demise, but then who would feed him his favourite food?
I flick on the kettle and feed him hastily before he yowls the house down. I take my breakfast out into the garden and sit in the sun for a precious few minutes before I need to get ready for work. Stinky cat joins me, rolling around in the beginnings of the heat of the morning. It feels strangely quiet, the children aren't home until the afternoon and Lovely Man is working away...and Mum is not talking to me...
Birthday lunch

At lunchtime, after work, I eat in the garden again, Stinky cat follows me like a dog - I am never sure if it is just 'cupboard love'. I relish the last hour of quiet yet I have a small ache somewhere inside me; I check my emails every 30 minutes in case she sends a Happy Birthday message like she usually does on my does not arrive.
In my garden
After picking the children up from school we follow our normal routine; I make sandwiches for the next day and dinner for the evening. Lovely Man returns, we eat and go to bed. Every now and again I remember it is my birthday and then I realise why the small ache is still there.
Sleep takes a while and my eyes fill with tears. It wasn't the day I'd planned, though maybe that's because I didn't really plan anything and I have learnt over the years that if you want to have a good time then you definitely have to organise it first and not just expect it to happen around you but I didn't have my heart in it this week. I could have suggested we go out or do something fun after school but actually I just felt a bit flat.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Country Show

I am a complete sucker for farm animals, so at the country show - seeing as I couldn't smuggle any out - I couldn't resist photographing some. Hope you like them?

This sheep below was sporting a cool and trendy fringe.

These two appeared to be friends

Inscrutable sheep with attitude
(look at his eyes?)

Piggies in love

I fell in love with this cute highland calf, she was adorable-they all were..           

Alpacas, always look quite ridiculous!

And this beautiful bunny, what an amazing colour?

All in all, despite the rain, we had a great time.

For more animal pic's go to Tall Girls Blog !

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day

About 4 days ago I bought 2 cards for 2 fathers both, in some way or another, belonging to me (fathers not cards!).

Every year I scan the offerings in the shops; "Best Dad in the world", "You're a Star", "Do you remember when I was young?", all totally inappropriate to send to either of them, I end up buying two blank cards, one funny (for step father), one with cats on (for natural father, who has passed on his cat loving genes to me) Blank cards, in the end, were the only option, with Happy Fathers Day, scrawled in my own large handwritten letters. My natural father left when I was eight years old, it was almost 30 years before we saw each other again, I like him, and we are quite similar, but he's not really like a dad to me, I guess he's never really had the chances. Step father... well there's bits about it dotted around this to say some step fathers cannot be trusted with little girls. Anyway neither of them have really ever been 'proper' parents, which makes it quite difficult -not just to choose a card but -to understand what it's like to actually have a relationship with a male parent. It's difficult to understand my own children's relationship with their father and on dreary evenings like this evening, I feel quite sad that I will never know what it's like to be loved by 2 parents at the same time. In order to feel what it's like I live vicariously through friends and Lovely Man and from this end it looks very safe and secure, and I am glad I can see how it should be.

I am writing this at a time when I have also had an upset with the only real parent I have had (almost) constantly in my life and when there's no brothers and sisters around either (I am an only child) it feels kinda lonely.

I received an email today from her saying that she won't be reading any more of my emails before she goes on holiday - next weekend- which means she has no intention of being in touch on my birthday, which is the middle of next week. Our emails have been fairly blunt over the last week and she says she doesn't want to be upset before her holiday. And there was I thinking that my imminent birthday may bring about a change, it's been a very long time since she's not acknowledged my birthday.

Meanwhile the children have spent the weekend with their father. Small Sprog carefully made a lovely card before leaving here on Friday and Tall Girl winged it by taking a blank one from the cupboard to decorate at some point prior to the event! Somehow too I have bought -and concealed for them in their overnight bag - presents for both children to give to him this weekend, some things never change, and he will not suspect of course. I hope he has enjoyed his children this weekend, I think, perhaps, that he has.

What does Fathers Day mean to you?

Friday, June 08, 2012

Jubilee weekend on the water!

It was fun!

I think the children will always remember where they were 
for the jubilee!

 Tall Girl was mistress of the lock key!

And boy there were a few locks! 
(though we ran out of time to do this lot - the longest flight of locks in the country )

Sitting on the roof was great fun.

It was a shame to come home, but we shall definitely go again one day.
How was your bank holiday weekend?