Friday, March 25, 2022
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Monday, March 21, 2022
Friday, March 18, 2022
1. At coffee time it's warm enough to have the back door open and we can hear birdsong.
2. I lay a trap for grumpy Bettany, who won't talk to me. I go upstairs and turn to a YouTube video of Li Ziqi making maltose lollipops and crunchy fried dough twists. In due course my sulky child comes upstairs and sits on my lap.
3. The children chose a book that I wasn't sure about -- Noah's Island by Frank Cotterell-Boyce. It's about a school trip stranded on an island in the Atlantic because they've broken the internet, and it's all rather surreal and feels a bit contrived. But the characters are rock-solid convincing, and I'm really starting to care.
Thursday, March 17, 2022
1. The postman hands me a long awaited packet of photo prints -- two pictures (lots of copies for grannies and godparents and aunts and uncles) of the children.
2. Bettany is rather taken by poetry at the moment, so we curl up in bed with the wonderful Puffin anthology, I Like This Poem. This is my second copy, as the first one fell apart from being read and read and read.
3. I've been pondering the strange yellow-grey sky all day. The Sainsbury's man says it means snow. Even the poet George Szirtes (one of the best people to follow on Facebook) remarks on it from Norfolk.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
1. I spot Alec coming out, all woolly hat and long legs in his PE kit. He doesn't want to walk home with me and Bettany, even though there's no-one at the house, and I've got the key.
2. Bettany hates the snack I've brought. She also hates the way I try to walk home. She wants to go across the common. 'Then I can catch a rabbit and eat it instead of banana.'
3. It's like the woodland has hidden spring in its fists. Guess which hand?
Monday, March 14, 2022
1. Thick slices of tender pink ham from a gammon joint, rosemary roast potatoes and bright spinach with grana padano.
2. Bettany asks for a small piece of an unfamiliar pudding. When offered seconds, her face lights up.
3. It has been raining steadily all day. But when I glance up just before home time, I can see clear sky on the horizon.
Friday, March 11, 2022
Thursday, March 10, 2022
1. To read science fiction on the train.
2. I meet a friend at the British Museum But there's time around that to look at other things. I lead her straight to the Benin bronzes, because everyone should see those. They are not behind glass so you can look right at them, rows and rows of them, along the back wall. As we are leaving, a party of tiny school children come in. Two girls, hand-in-hand, make a beeline, past all the cases, to the bronzes.
3. We're really here for the Stone Henge Exhibition. I can't stop thinking about the Scottish stone balls; and the mysterious chalk drums buried with three children.
Tuesday, March 08, 2022
1. I order jasmine tea and a madeleine and feel very dainty.
2. Some of the pale crocuses are beaten down by cold rain and careless feet -- but as a body they are standing strong and purple.
3. It turns out that Bettany doesn't like sherbet-filled liquorice, so I quickly eat it for her.
Monday, March 07, 2022
1. Can't see returning geese, but I can hear them honking above the clouds and in the dark. Now I know that for sure spring is coming.
2. He says that his neighbour has sent an apologetic text message about the noisy party last night. He adds, 'But she's eighty-five!'
Friday, March 04, 2022
1. After weeks of sulky, ill-tempered weather, to step outside and find the air and the light are kind.
2. The groundsmen have weeded the iris beds so that the rhizomes -- fat with hope -- are exposed beneath the ragged fans of leaves.
3. There is always a pile of paper at the end of the kitchen table. To clear the lot into the recycling.
Thursday, March 03, 2022
Wednesday, March 02, 2022
1. It's the day we hear what secondary schools our children will go to. I've been hearing about disappointments all day, and it sets my nerves on edge. To hear the news that all is well, and we've got what we were hoping for.
2. I have gone into the sitting room to be out of the way while Nick and Bettany make pancakes. After a little while, Nana pops her head slowly round the door and says that she's going upstairs and has left them alone in the kitchen, in case I need to keep an eye on them.
3. As we hurry home together after dark the fog and the drizzle throw the glare from the streetlights around us.
1. Bringing donations to the charity shop with Nick to carry the awkward things. 2. Sending an edit back when I have very little to say, ex...
Today a special guest post by Nick... 1. My wife's courage and stamina as she painfully brings our baby into this world. I'm so prou...
1. This week there are green-orange leaves caught in the water gully. 2. He comes up to ask me how scary is The Haunting of Hill House, wh...
1. She brings soft almond cakes for pudding. 2. In the fridge I have a jug of lemon iced tea. 3. Sifting compost as the evening cools.