Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Greeting, eggs and hot cross buns.

1. On this warm spring morning, with restrictions newly lifted, an older man greets me with a jaunty 'Fine day!'

2. A tree decked out with little eggs. Bettany loves a good Easter tree, althought she is less fond of walking, but perhaps I can tempt her out here  soon.

3. The smell of toasting hot cross buns.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Bulbs, walking time and reviews..

1. Candy pink tulips, still streaked with green, have popped out now. In the middle of the pot the deep velvet blue hyacinths are still going, scenting the back garden. 

2. Robert and I walk across the Common to pick up the children from school: peaceful time to catch up.

3. Our writing group has a lot of fun this evening. We're writing product reviews, with a focus on the absurd. The laughter and lightness are a relief and a joy.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Baby, brother and coloured cakes.

1. A message from my mother to say that Rosey has had her baby.

2. A call from my brother to say he has arrived home safely from Antarctica.

3. Bettany's rainbow fairy cakes come out of the oven and they are much brighter and more beautiful than I expected.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Cross off, wren and Word glitch.

1. I drop off a parcel and cross a nagging task off my list.

2. In the park to catch sight of an impossibly small red-brown wren with its tail stuck up in the air.

3. I ask for help with a Word glitch on an editing forum and get a whole host of helpful tips and explanations.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Yellow, cheese and sketch.

1. Patches of yellow blossom have appeared on the bare twigs of the forsythia hedge.

2. At supper Nick puts the cheese board on the table.

3. Alec sitting in bed working away in his sketchbook-journal.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Sick day, leaving cakes and journal.

1. Poor Alec is sick, so we keep him off school. It means a lot to me that we can do this without worrying about work commitments.

2. It's fun to leave a couple of cakes on a friend's doorstep.

3. To see that I am approaching the last pages of the journal that I use for gaming notes. It makes the sense of time passing tangible, and helps me remember the sociable times we've had playing together.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Coffee, cleaning and chocolate eggs.

1. A really good cup of coffee shop coffee and a socially distanced walk on the common.

2. It is satisfying to clean grime off white-painted window crosspieces.

3. Bettany interrupts my work to ask very nicely if she can have a few extra mini eggs for her Beavers activity -- making chocolate crispy nests.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Loaf, recyling and brownie.

1. Alec is hungry and cuts himself a cheeky slice off the end of the loaf that I have just brought out of the breadmaker.

2. To discover that Amazon will give me a little bit of cash for my very old Kindles.

3. Eating a small piece of Bettany's brownie after supper.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Pram, scone and calm.

1. I spot a personal trainer working with a mother who has a pram parked off to one side.

2. The children have picked out a maple and pecan drop scone from the new bakery. Nick brings it up on a plate with a cup of tea and it is delicious.

3. Often dress-up days at school are just stressful with tantrums and last-minute costume changes. But this evening the children talk about what they want to wear tomorrow and help me find it and name it.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Loan, unscripted and long.

1. As I am coming home from my walk I fall in with a neighbour. We end up discussing roleplaying games, and by the time I step through our door I'm holding a brand new game that he'd like me to take a look at.

2. Half listening to Bettany chuntering away to herself in the bath. She making a pretend YouTube video about potions.

3. Alec folds his improbably long body on to my lap for a cuddle before bed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Hum, no rush and vaccinated.

1. Bettany, as usual, claims that she didn't like the film we sat her in front of while she recovers from a bug. Not one of the songs, and none of the characters met her approval. But later I heard a snatch of a tune muttered under her breath.

2. The clock on the station tower tells me that I've timed it right so there is no need to hurry up the hill.

3. Nick got the call earlier today that he can have his first dose of vaccine. When he returns at supper time to say all done, he's bought parcels from the new cheese shop to celebrate.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tiny gardens, ghosts and tiny island.

1. Showing Bettany a few of the things growing in the garden, including the vigorous crop of lambs lettuce growing around her fairy house. Another fairy garden, a shallow pan, has filled with mossy humps and hummocks.

2. To sit with Alec chatting about the Usborne Book of Ghosts, which was much prized when I was little,  and has recently been reprinted.

3. We stumble across the story of Palmerston Island: an English sailor founded a dynasty that still lives there today. If you haven't tried the Radio Garden app, by the way, it's well worth your time. It allows you to navigate a world of radio stations on a globe map.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Cousin call, break through and time.

1. The way my sister's toddler asks for Alec and Bettany as soon as the call starts.

2. One of the steps in the archaelogy course Nick and I are doing is to try copying the shale pendant found at Starr Carr. I have a go at drilling a piece of slate using a flint. The moment I break through is remarkably satisfying.

3. We've gone for a slide-in-the-oven ready meal this evening, which means there is time to relax before supper.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Sprouts, reading and artefact.

1. The marvel of finding a sprouted acorn at the bottom of the compost heap. But also the beanstalks that have grown on the kitchen windowsill from hard dry beans. 

2. Alec takes over reading our book when my voice gets tired. We end up discussing the best voices to use for the different characters.

3. Nick and I sit in bed marvelling over the stone age pendant found at Starr Carr. It seems like science fiction to experience an object remotely -- but that's the power of skilled observation and thoughtful analysis by expert archaeologists.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Easier than expected, together and orange slices.


1. I need to deal with officialdom. I'm patient and persistent, and it is much easier than expected.

2. After lunch, Nick and I change the children's beds. Housework is much easier when there's two of you doing it.

3. To bring bright slices of blood orange to the supper table. They warm the room on this wet night when darkness fell early.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Tea, exercise and houseplants.

1. When I come downstairs there is a cup of tea waiting for me.

2. I really didn't want to exercise this morning, but the storytelling on Zombies Run! is just that good. 
 
3. To gather our few houseplants in the bath and wash the dust off their leaves.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Return, cutting and shanty.

1. With enormous relief we send the children back to school. 

2. To show Alec how to take a cutting from a leggy lemon-scented geranium.

3. At bathtime Bettany is singing a fragment of The Wellerman, which she says she's picked up from an advert. It's fun to play a few different versions so she can learn the rest of the words. 

Monday, March 08, 2021

My daffodil, way and PTA.

1. The first daffodil in my north-facing front garden has opened. I know there have been daffs in the supermarket for weeks, and they are all over other people's gardens -- but this one is my own.

2. Because we are breaking in the children's new shoes we walk to Nana's along the road. It's boring, but very quick, and it makes me appreciate our usual ramble through the woods.

3. The PTA is making a tiny surprise for each of our children on their first day back to school. I can't help out this time, so I didn't join in, but I can see the buzz on the WhatsApp group and I so much appreciate their energy and enthusiasm.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Height, parcel and ghost.

1. When I come downstairs Bettany makes me stand against the wall so she can measure my height for her maths worksheet. 

2. Our friends send us a surprise Ocado delivery of olives, chocolate eggs and Champagne as lockdown loosens.

3. Listening to the finale of The Battersea Poltergeist on BBC Radio 4. I'm still in #teamonthefence. I find the storytelling around hauntings fascinating, much more so than the levitating girls and teleporting objects; and this series covered it really skillfully and ethically.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Fog, coffee and learning.

1. It is a very misty morning, so that the buildings across the car park are barely there. I tell Alec about the time when he was a very tiny boy and called me to look out of the window on a foggy morning because he did not understand what had happened to the world.

2. The sound of Nick's tread on the stairs -- he is bringing me coffee while I work.

3. To sit in bed doing a few tasks on an e-learning archaelogy course with Nick. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Down/up, tomatoes and compost.

1. The beans have put out hairy roots and leggy stems.

3. Bettany quietly eats most of the tomatoes I sliced to go with our lunch. She enquires about a flavoured salt I had forgotten to put on the table.

2. Under the dry leaves is compost ready to use, and the rotted stem is all that remains of our pumpkin.


Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Spontaneous cuddles, parcel of books and ship tracker.

1. When the children go back to school I will miss the spontaneous cuddles.

2. A parcel of books arrives -- this time I've ordered things I actually want to read, rather than books I should be reading. 

2b. The whole school is studying a picture-only book called Journey by Aaron Becker as part of World Book Day, and I ordered a copy. The children have only seen it on screen and Bettany in particular is very excited to have our own book.

3. To use a ship tracker to see Uncle Rob's progress towards home.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Plastic tut, alone and wave.

1. We passed a box of 'free to a good home' things on our walk. Bettany picked up a plastic toy that might be a tiki bar. She has been playing with it ever since, adding characters to it from our 'people' jar.

2. In the woods I steal away for a moment alone.

3. As we are crossing the road a friend drives past waving wildly.