Monday, May 30, 2022

Helper, wild irises and gin fizz.

1. Unexpectedly, a child takes the cutlery basket and begins sorting its contents into the drawer.

2. We turn aside for a moment to look at the pond. A clump of non-descript green rushy-looking things have blossomed into deep blue iris flowers.

3. To mix up a strong gin fizz with some home-made elderflower cordial.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Later start, event and good news.

1. Today Alec has a cricket tournament at a ground close by, so we have a relaxed start and he can take the lead, deciding when we leave and how fast we walk.

2. I honestly thought no-one would turn up for the led discussion I am hosting -- but faces keep popping up on my screen until it is quite full. Afterwards, to see the chatter continuing on the forums.

3. Every time I glance at my phone there is another message of good news about the cricket.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Rain before waking, toastie and editing decisions.

1. Those minutes between waking to the sound of heavy rain and remembering that there is a day ahead.

2. To show your child the joys of a banana and chocolate toastie.

3. When I'm reading aloud to the children I experience the effects of other people's editing decisions as a reader in an immediate, practical way. These experiences -- good and bad -- make me more confident in asking for change and being that editor, even when it makes more work for people downstream from me, and even when there is a risk of introducing errors.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Jumble sale, bench on a hill and Spitfire.

1. As we step off the train, before us on the lawn is a jumble sale. The children step out and marvel at must-have plastic tut, cassette tapes and comic books.  

2. At the top of the hill, to stop on a shaded bench and look back over the way we've come.

3. 'What's that?' I exclaim, pointing at a tiny object that seems to be dropping out of the sky. Nick shades his eyes and looks as it catches itself and rises again. It's someone messing around in a Spitfire, throwing themselves about the empty air for the sheer fun of it.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Morning poem, strawberries and spices.

1. Feeling cheered up by the morning's Brian Bilston poem -- it's about anagrams.

2. In our Sainsbury's order there is a box of very good strawberries.

3. Adding the recipe's spices to the onions and waiting for the smell to change.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tomatoes, foxgloves and thunderstorm.

1. I am almost certain that what I am planting is a lot of watering, nipping and tying in, and then some wavering about whether or not this or that plant is blighted and needs destroying, followed by three cherry-sized tomatoes. But I'll give it a go, nonetheless.

2. Soft grey-green buds on the foxglove spike at the front of the house.

3. During the storm, when the lightning and thunder are simultaneous and the rain is hissing down on the car park below us, I roll over and Nick is there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Lunch, heat and standard for Hollow Earth.

1. There is a bag of pink and brown in the fridge -- conditioned as I am to finding child-made concoctions in the kitchen, I am immediately alarmed. Nick reassures me that he is making devilled kidneys for lunch. He does, and it's delicious.

2. Walking past the police station early evening. Feel the heat rolling off the yellow brick walls.

3. In the course of our adventures, my character pistol whips a dinosaur and then some Nazi stormtroopers turn up. We'll fight those next month, no doubt, and then steal their submarines. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Vigour, fungus and damsel fly.

1. My potato plants have doubled in size and vigour after the rain. 

2. We passed this place not long ago, but now we're approaching from a different direction we see a vast egg-yolk yellow fungus that we completely missed before.

3. One of the Cubs brings us in his cupped hands a black-winged damsel fly that he has caught in the grass.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Bun, idle in the rain and return.

1. He moves to take a bun from the display on the counter, then changes his mind and fetches one from the tray in the window. I wonder why until I get home and pull it open to find its middle still warm.

2. To sit idly in the kitchen with the back door open while the rain falls on the green, green world.

3. I have just got the children into their rooms for the night when... DADDY'S HOME!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Half an hour before our alarm went off, getting ready to go and eerie feeling

1. The sound of Bettany's alarm followed by her footsteps on the stairs and the unique thump of her armful of school clothes hitting the floor, and then with a wriggle and some rearrangements, she is lying between us.

2. As I work I am half aware of Nick filling his suitcase, muttering things he needs to remember, and things I need to remember while he is away.

3. The first time the bell goes, there is a parcel on the doorstep, but no sign of any driver. Moments later, an email lands in my inbox with a photo of the parcel and our closed front door.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wait, passing storm and full water butt.

1. I have waited, and now my cup of coffee tastes really, really good.

2. Nick, discontented, looks out of the door just before he and Alec are due to leave. 'It should have stopped by now,' he says. Moments later he realises that he is half an hour out on his timing. At the correct departure time the sky is clear blue, the air clean washed and every leaf is gleaming.

3. I top up my watering can. After the rain, the full water butt slurps at its lid.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Bolt, blocked and organiser.

1. A rabbit bolts across our path.

2. There is no-one at work on the trench down the middle of the path so we push round the barrier blocking our way.

3. I've been half wondering about encouraging our street to do something for the Jubilee weekend -- but haven't quite had the courage, headspace or energy. Then our neighbour suggests it in a text message, and  I have plenty of whatever it takes to agree enthusiastically.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Dawn, biscuits and dust bath.

1. I wake so early (corvid calling insistently) but when I go to close the window I see that the new building catches the pink dawn light.

2. There are a few hazelnut wafer biscuits in the tin.

3. Peering through a garden fence to watch a sparrow bathing in dust.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Pancakes, bluebells and tea.

1. Batter splashes in the pan -- pinhead pancakes.

2. In a shady place, a flare of blue: drift of bluebells.

3. Several times today Nick has set a cup of tea at my elbow.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Chocs, ginger beer and all quiet.

1. It turns out that the big white parcel in the stairs is a box of chocolates from Coastal Cocoa.

2. The children's great joy at sharing a can of ginger beer.

3. We've had a rough few nights. To come out of the bathroom and find that the children's bedroom doorways are dark, silent rectangles.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Appointment, crema and leisure.

1. It is much, much easier than expected to get a GP appointment.

2. When coffee pours with a perfect crema on top.

3. The sheer amount of leisure owned by Agatha Christie characters -- Tuppence Beresford can suddenly decide to spend a few days driving around the countryside following a mystery that she is not being paid to solve.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Pause, sunlit uplands and never forget.

1. It turns out that I do have two minutes to sit and take a breath after all.

2. For a moment the hills to the south west are lit up by sunlight.

3. I fall asleep clutching the thought, The Romans were an Iron Age people.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Peaks, violets and wing.

1. Whipping eggs until the white peaks stand up.

2. Violets -- grand purple growing in secret against the fence. 

3. From my desk by the open window I hear the thrum of a sparrow's wing.

Hardboiled egg, back in line and foxgloves.

1. I hardboiled a few eggs this morning. At lunch, I note that the one Nick is eating has a perfect yolk -- just a little soft. 2. It just t...