Now we are four

SAM_5463

Things that have occurred since Tim started his month-long gardening leave:

1. We have settled into a pleasing division of labour where I’m doing all the laundry and he’s doing all the washing-up, because these are the tasks the other one hates. Consequence: the laundry and the washing-up are ACTUALLY GETTING DONE;

2. Tim is watching twenty-seven thousand movies, all of them starring¬†Tom Cruise or Kevin Costner or Matt Damon doing punchy things or getting their daughters kidnapped or finding out they’re actually a reengineered clone of their former selves;

3. We have lost all concept of ordinary time;

4. We’re going on a lot of walks.

The weather has been lovely, and it’s been nice to forget Bank Holiday weather predictions for once, and just go out when the sun shines. I’ve had a lot to get done lately, so Tim’s been doing the daily park trips, but last week we made it out together to Basildon Park. The sun was shining, Henry did a wee in the woods, rather than in his pants, and all was right with the world. Then we headed off past the manor house on one of the woodland walks, and the heavens opened. We were drenched, right up until we got back to the car, when the rain stopped and the sun came out. Nature’s revenge for the woodland pee? I don’t know, but what I will say is that the rain cloud followed us around for an hour and it did not rain at all at home, so MAKE OF THAT WHAT YOU WILL.

Mushrooms. They never seem to sell any of these, and I’m glad because I love them.

SAM_5462

SAM_5465

And now, your daily ovary explosion, courtesy of the bear.

SAM_5507

In the woods these days we look for Eeyore houses and sing the Winnie the Pooh theme song. Henry says ‘Crister Wobin’, and it kills me.

SAM_5521

SAM_5523

He was actually a lot happier than this looks. And wetter, too.

SAM_5532

This photo was taken from underneath an umbrella, underneath the rain cloud that hated our faces. Netherfield was nice and sunny at the other end of the field, but then Netherfield hadn’t peed on a tree. Lesson learned.

SAM_5524

The afternoon Mr Bingley did not invite us for tea

???????????????????????????????

There are two reasons for visiting Basildon Park. One is that it’s the house they used as Netherfield in Pride and Prejudice (the film version), and I’ll take any excuse to prance around the grounds on an imaginary horse, shouting OH MR GINGER BINGLEY I ADORE YOU. Don’t even tell me you wouldn’t do this, because I know you would.

The other is the chance to put your son next to a wooden rabbit to see how astronomically he’s grown in almost two years.

blOGGY1

Please put away those giant legs, Master Jeffcoat, and go about your business.

I came here with my mum just after Henry was born. Apart from a moment of madness where we made him ride the aforementioned wooden rabbit – which produced the best Benjamin Button face of disgust we’d ever seen – he managed to sleep through the tour, unimpressed by chandeliers and scones the size of his head. Last week he took rather more interest in the surroundings, though for that reason (and lack of time) we only visited the grounds rather than the house. It’s one thing to climb a fence; quite another to climb an 18th century four-poster, no? We followed the trails with sun on our faces and the sounds of a four-person choir floating over the hill, and it was just beautiful until we tried to take a group photograph, when it wasn’t.

???????????????????????????????

We only scratched the surface, and they’ve worked so hard to make it exciting for children: there are miles of footpaths we never reached and an interactive ball-run exhibit, not to mention a tea-room and many more unsat-in deckchairs. There is something about a deckchair that makes me feel all lah-di-dah. It’s not quite a carriage, but it’ll do.

Oh, and in news not unrelated to these photographs, I finally have a haircut scheduled for next week. Goodbye, insane wig-head. The way I feel now, you’ll be lucky if I don’t get a buzz-cut.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading.

Come in the summer for the walks and scones and open-air cinema.

And then come to my house, because we’re ten minutes away!