Friday, October 15, 2021

Sown, coffee and Moana.

1. Wildflowers -- they don't look local, so I think they were deliberately planted -- are blooming on the bank left behind by the construction project at the end of the Pantiles.

2. All through my morning's work I've been vaguely aware that I'm hungry and want a cup of coffee. When It comes, it's very welcome.

3. Bettany singing along to a Moana song. As a heroine, I rate Moana: she is sturdy and practical and she is built like us, tall and sturdy.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Top of the hill, saffron and pineapple.

1. To reach the top of the hill satisfyingly out of breath.

2. The faint scent of toasting saffron.

3. This is definitely not a nice pineapple -- but it will be hugely improved by cooking, either under a sponge; or fried with butter and brown sugar and sprinkled with toasted coconut.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Dawn, boys and sunset.

1. At this time of year we wake around dawn and it feels about right --- not too early, not too late.We will be waking in the dark soon enough, though.

2. To open the front door to Alec and three friends standing there grinning, smart in their Year Six uniform.

3. On a cloudy day to spot streaks of pink on the horizon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Haunting, clear and apoplectic.

1. I've been reading a Victorian ghost story each morning in the run-up to Halloween. This morning's cannot be recommended, but its florid dramatics are a pleasing match for what happened when we tried to get the children out of the door. 

2. The clearness of a window cleaned outside and in.

3. The Cubs, who are doing their reading badges, tell me with great relish about using a dictionary and a thesaurus to find the meaning of 'apoplectic'.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Quiet spot, plimsols and bulbs.

1. To find Nick sitting in the back garden with his glass of wine.

2.  Alec hasn't been wearing the plimsols we bought him for indoor shoes. But the black canvas expanse  has been calling to me for some days. While he is upstairs doing quiet time after lunch I stitch gold stars across the toes. Bettany says I'll be in trouble, but he seems to quite like them, and asks if I'll do more smaller stars around the sides.

3. Digging through the soil of a broken pot I find handfuls of grape hyacinth bulbs waiting for their time.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Small parcel, technical and out to dinner.

1. The small parcel is a mystery: I'd forgotten that I ordered a skein of silver thread.

2. I push on with a story that I'm finding difficult. It was supposed to be a ghost story for Halloween and it's set in a world I'm not familiar with. I got feedback from a technical expert, and it became clear that it needed to be re-worked from the ground up. So I started again, and it was no longer a ghost story. So now I don't have a ghost story for Halloween. But get me: I knew what to do with the advice; I'm still working at my story; and I'm fairly sure that in due course, it's going to be a piece of work I can be proud of.

3. The pub has changed hands, and dinner is a lot posher than we were expecting -- small portions of perfect, exciting food made and served with careful attention to detail. My parents tell the manager that they are here in the 1960s and forgot to pay the bill so the landlord called their parents a couple of days later. He seems slightly astonished to think that people were eating there more than fifty years ago.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Stretch, mud on the towels and no arguing.

1. Playing with polybead clay we discover that some colours are willing to streeeetch into long cobwebby filaments.

2. Alec has come in from playing football and even after washing he has put mud on the towels. It's such a boyish thing that we don't have the heart to be annoyed even though the towels were new clean this morning.

3. The children are, apparently, so tired that they don't have it in them to argue about a new book. They quickly choose Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which I'm sure we've read before.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

After the rain, helper and through the trees.

1. I could hear how very wet it was in the dark before dawn -- but now I walk to and from school the world seems new washed.

2. I do like being a parent helper at Cubs -- aid the leaders in their mission to get other people's children running around and over-excited. Also, learn about fire safety.

3. We stop in the darkest bit of the park and stare up through the trees at the stars.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Jupiter, printer and mango.

1. On a clear evening to see Jupiter hanging just above the horizon. Alec,  trying to get a picture, presses his new phone to the window.

2. I don't know why I fought so hard against reinstalling the printer. After that, it produces the perfect colour image that I wanted.

3. Douglas Adams once said that the only way to eat a ripe mango with dignity is to take off all your clothes and stand in a washing-up bowl. I realise I have one of those -- running with juice and tasting of coconut and resin as the best mangoes do -- as I am cutting it up for supper pudding. I contemplate putting the bowl in the fridge so Nick and I can enjoy it in peace after the children have gone to bed. 

Friday, October 01, 2021

Decide now, building work and wakening.

1. It's been a day of snap decisions. Would I like to join a 9am school tour? Actually, let's meet up town. What about this coffee shop instead? Are you free right now for a walk round the park.

2. The headteacher -- she's a PE teacher -- describes her pleasure in the smooth new sports hall floor; and her boys cheering as the roof came off the old sixth form centre.

3. He is supposed to be napping, but his big blue eyes are open and he's smiling at his mum.

Art book, gossip and watermelon.

1. Among my birthday presents is a new book of Tove Jansson's art, featuring lots of bits I've never seen before. 2. Stopping for a ...