Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
Friday, June 25, 2021
1. The rose-like flowers of brambles.
2. We make our way to Alec's friend's house very slowly because the boys want to play catch, scramble around on the rocks and go a longer way round.
3. There are thick tangles of black caterpillars on the stinging nettles by the path.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
1. I come downstairs after my phone call to find a bunch of scented sweetpeas in their auntish colours on the kitchen table, as well as some birthday presents.
2. Showing Bettany how to catch and care for pet woodlice.
3. To go to bed feeling as if I've done enough work for today.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
1. We smell and feel the rain coming before it arrives.
2. Bettany's old school books are stuffed with crafts and photographs of class activities. As she takes me through the thick black pages, she can't believe how small she and her friends were two years ago.
3. I am sitting at my desk at the top of the house when I hear a shout. Alec and Nick on their way back from a cricket match in the rain have seen me through the open window.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Monday, June 14, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Wednesday, June 09, 2021
Tuesday, June 08, 2021
1. It's inset day today: a little bonus Monday with a lie-in at the end of half term.
2. A little way off, we see Alec's friend on his bike; and later his mum stepping across the park for a catch-up.
3. To hurry home through the woods with a child holding each hand.
Monday, June 07, 2021
1. To see a stack of pancakes disappearing.
2. As we come across the common I ask if we can quickly divert to check on the tadpoles in Cabbage Stalk Pond. When we get there, a nice little dog, terrier-sized with curly gingery hair, is just coming out of the water carrying an orange ball. She drops it at Alec's feet and looks expectant, so he throws it for her, a good cricketing throw. She races through the grass, leaping like Bambi, and brings it back to me. We play with her for a while, wondering where her owner is. In due course a woman with crutches comes along and claims her dog. We chat -- about the tadpoles, who can be seen wriggling away happily -- and the dog keeps bringing the ball back so we can throw it.
3. At the market we chat to the people at the wooden bunting stall. They have started making little seaside scenes out of driftwood and beachcombings. Although they are not exact portraits, they capture so well the coastal places of Kent and Sussex that we love. Here's Hastings with its tall black net huts; and Dungeness's black and white lighthouse and shacks with coloured roofs.
Friday, June 04, 2021
1. Bettany is intrigued by a woman feeding the geese by the lake shore. She saves her crusts so that she too can summon powerful, dangerous birds.
2. Even at this distance we can hear Alec and his friends shouting in their boats on the lake. Bettany and I hire a boat a bit later: the water is a good place to be on this hot, still day.
3. I use PlantNet to check the identity of a tiny, dainty umbellifer growing in the park. It turns out that it is pignut. I try to learn a few wild plants each year, and I'm so pleased to add this one to my collection. I'm tempted to dig for its edible root, but I think that the borough council and the friends of the park would prefer I did not.
Thursday, June 03, 2021
1. The post-bank holiday check-in emails that remind me I am working with real people. I always like the human being sentence -- the one that remarks on the weather, or mentions the weekend.
2. The news that the wildlife hospital declared Tim's rescued sparrow ready for release.
3. It's not great looking sushi, but we have fun making it and the children are getting some good knife skills slicing it up.
Wednesday, June 02, 2021
1. During a period of warm weather, to slide ice lolly moulds full of orange and pink smoothie into the freezer.
2. To ensure we avoid the attention of the council's weedkiller man we pull out the briza grass and avens growing between the fence and the pavement. The soil smells sweet and damp, and even in that tiny gap there are big worms at work.
3. To sit back with a comedy podcast.