Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Parsnips, compost and out of the bed.

1. The sweetness of parsnips in a shepherd's pie topping.

2. I use up the last of my home-made compost; and then it's time to turn out the half-ready bag and give it a mixing. I always put this task off because it seems heavy and messy and I'm always afraid I'll find a foul anaerobic  mess at the bottom of the bag. I'm always glad when I do it -- the different smells are wonderful (there was very little stinking slime this time, apart from the sad remnants of my failed tomato crop), from rain-on-dry-earth to cool under-hedge rot to ancient dry straw.

3. Alec has a book called Ten Out of Bed which I bought because of the cover. It turned out that there was only one page about trains -- but we love it just the same. It consists of gorgeous, rich, jewel-like double page spreads about a little boy and his toys playing pretending games when they ought to be sleeping. It runs on a formula: "There were ten out of bed and the little one said 'Let's play'." One of the toys suggests a scenario (trains, dancing, seaside), and they play it until the toy falls asleep. It's so simple, but very satisfying to read and the pictures are full of details that we discuss (and food, which Alec pretends to eat).
Yesterday I caught Alec sitting on the edge of the bed with his feet wedged into the bedguard, and Nick saw him do it tonight. Baby and Blue Bear were beside him. Baby was getting a telling off for (I think) not sitting up properly, so I propped him with the wipes box. This met with approval: "Alec drive toot-toot! Baby drive toot-toot! Blue Bear drive toot-toot! Let's play!"
It's the first time I've seen Alec engaged in a full-scale pretending scenario; and it's the first time I've seen him copy something from a book.