Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Dawn early, self-care and last of the sunset.

1. When the alarm goes, it's daylight, and my phone has turned off the blue light filter.

2. Early on, Bettany told me she hadn't slept well and asked if she could walk with me. I had to tell her that I've got meetings all day, so I won't have time to walk. But the call ends just before darkness falls, and we get out quickly before supper and walk around the park.

3. From the top of the park, I can view the last streaks and washes of the sunset.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Grape hyacinths, there he is and buttered.

1. Spotting the waxy blue tops of grape hyacinths among the tiny daffodils in my tiny back garden. They are a very welcome sight.

2. Before Nick even gets home, I can see him in social media coverage of the wargaming event he's at.

3. Alec puts butter and honey on a crumpet for me. Then he makes hot honey and lemon for Nick, who is still suffering with that cough. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Late home, warming up and Letters from a Long Marriage.

1. A polite message from Alec to say that he may be late home from school because he is exploring with a friend.

2. When I come downstairs to the kitchen for my teatime break, I find two damp boys drinking cocoa and eating banana bread.

3. Last thing at night, when I'm always ready to wind down with some lightweight entertainment, discovering that a new series of Letters from a Long Marriage has dropped.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Interview, gloves and pancakes.

1. Interviewing tasks have been just outside my comfort zone, even when I was doing two or three a week. But now today's is done, and I have a recording that I can draw on for the article.

2. There's an edge to the air, and I do not regret picking up my gloves as I left the house.

3. For supper, everyone has a go at making savoury pancakes. They are delicious with ham and slices of Emmental.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Banana bread, knitting and from the fridge.

1. Through the magic of baking, we swap a backlog of rapidly ripening bananas for two loaves of banana bread.

2. When your child asks for a thing that is easy to agree to. We sit side by side knitting and half listening to YouTube commentary about Stardew Valley.

3. Alec spends some time confessing to the things he ate from the fridge when he felt hungry overnight. 'I opened that smoked salmon. And I had some of the pasta, which was delicious. And some cottage cheese, which I didn't like.'

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Rise, black tea pirates and gelatinous.

1. Coming to the end of the uphill section of my walk.

2. Rumours suggest that there is a shortage of black tea. One proposed reason is pirates in the Red Sea, which seems like something from history. I expect the reality is more along the lines of new sources speculating about a bad season in the tea gardens have caused shoppers to buy more than usual, which has amplified supply chain issues. Anyway, Nick has managed to get a box of tea, so we'll be okay for a while. 

3. I think the GM is miffed that we dispatch his boss enemy with a single (rather enhanced) shot, but it does splatter everywhere in a very satisfying gelatinous manner, and we're pleased with our haul of experience points.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Bench in the sun, afternoon up town and westering sun.

1. The dentist was mostly pleased with us so we walk across the common to the coffee van for hot drinks. We have them seated on a bench in the sun on what is probably the only fine day of half term.

2. Alec and I have a poke around in Waterstones, and then we buy a cake for tea. He picks one that he thinks Bettany will enjoy decorating.

3. We take the long way home to enjoy the 4pm sun on the sandstone houses.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Late, early spring flowers and winter scented.

1. I wake late and only when Bettany gets into bed beside me. We already have in the house one teenager keen to protect his space. So I try to be present for all these moments when Bettany wants me.

2. Today my snowdrops are properly out; and in another pot, deep purple crocuses stand tall, waiting for a their moment to open.

3. At this time of year, scented things with unseen flowers lie in wait on the cold street corners 

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Longer walk, the find and herbal tea.

1. There is time today for a longer walk than usual. I've set out early, and I've got a quiet day ahead.

2. I vacuum the sofa and find 20p.

3. Nick comments that he is starting to get used to the taste of the herbal tea I am making him drink for his cold.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Not fade away, sheet music and Christmas chocolate.

1. There is a wild grass on the common that died and dried at the end of the summer. It is still standing in this season of faded greys and duns and drabs, shining bright as sunlight.

2. For Christmas, I got Alec access to a digital sheet music website so he can download any songs he fancies trying to play. It suddenly occurs to me that I, too, can use it. And within five minutes I'm picking out Peter Maxwell Davies' Farewell to Stromness.

3. Nick halves the last of the crazy expensive chocolate he bought me for Christmas and we eat it very slowly.

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

Startle, Traitors and art book.

1. I go to wake Alec and he does a startley thing that I recognise from when he was a baby.

2. Bettany complains that everyone at school is playing Traitors and that she feels left out because she hasn't seen it. I tell her that in my meeting people were saying how entertaining it is and I felt a bit sad that I couldn't join in the conversation. So we agree to watch half an episode a night.

3. I still have an art book from Christmas that I haven't looked at yet. So as I have a spare evening, I spend it enjoying the pictures.

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 ...