Tag Archives: Sunny Days

Now we are four


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.



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


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.



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


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.


There is a world outside, and it’s got toy cars

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I would like to report something momentous: yesterday we all left the house together for an outing, all at once. We only traipsed up and down the stairs to load the car twelve more times than usual. We went to Beale Park, which turned out to be a wonderful destination for crazy-hot weather, a tank of a pushchair you’re not used to pushing yet, and a toddler with a severe case of cabin fever. There was a giant paddling pool, lots of animals, a little train ride and a whole village of toy cars and bikes. Edward preferred the inside of his eyelids, but Henry was entranced.


A valuable lesson we all learned is that Henry will do an awful lot to get a ride from a goose. Despite all possible discouragement (including from the goose).


This dinosaur-backpack-with-parent-strap invention? Best thing since the lightbulb. Oh, are we running full pelt towards that river, my darling? YOINK.


I’d forgotten that newborns are quite content to spend all day sleeping, eating and rocking a pair of dungarees. What a glorious thing to be so happy, so uncomplicated, and so sartorially confident.


He is actually using that cup to try and get the water away from him. The pool was ‘FWEEZIN’, and Mr Fearless over here was desperate to get out from the minute he got in.

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Family-of-four photo. I love it: we’re so symmetrical. It’s also nice to commemorate this special stage where Henry uses Tim’s ears as handles during his shoulder rides. My pelvis still hasn’t forgiven me for that pregnancy thing, but ice cream really helps with this. And, you know what, with most things.

Good HEAVENS is this post going to win the Pulitzer Prize, or what? Two-hour sleeping stretches do wonders for my words.

PS – on that note, I have a couple more What I Wish I’d Known About Two posts scheduled for the days this week when I can only think in monosyllables. Stay tuned!

and it’s Spring and…

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan whistles


It has been a long, long, dark winter. Cold, to make your skin crawl. Wet, to keep us fenced indoors. Our flat never feels smaller than when we don’t want to leave it. It has more of an effect on my mood than I’d like to admit.

For this reason, and given that Tim is away for five days (at w-w-w-work, Henry tells me; the w’s seem to take a lot of effort), it’s been especially wonderful to have a week like this. We have had the loveliest time.

It might not last for long – well, almost certainly not, as we’re in England – but it came just when I needed it. (Having said that, Amsterdam, any time you feel like giving us a Timothy back, go right ahead.)

A good day for good company


It’s true, it’s true: days that start with sunshine can take you just about anywhere.

Today we woke up and the skies were clear for the first time in several millennia. We flung open all of the blinds and had celebratory pancakes for breakfast. Then we followed the sun all the way to Oxford, and met old friends for lunch and ice cream.

It’s been ten years since we first sat in G&D’s ice cream parlour at five to midnight, feeding late-night essay writing with chocolate sauce and easy conversation. When I miss my university days – and I do – it’s those nights and these lovely people I think of. I love catching up. The conversation comes just as easily, and the ice cream hasn’t changed much either.





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Photo 26-01-2013 05 25 08 PM


PS: Henry’s first time on a bus. HA. Every time the driver set off, he let out this ear-piercing scream of joy and got so overwhelmed he had to do something like lick the window. For which, fellow passengers, we’d like to apologise.


I was thinking today about how attached I am to this house. The house we came back to from our honeymoon. The house I brought my baby (babies?) home to. The house in which he took his first steps and said his first word*. The house with the big skylight overhead in our bedroom. How will I ever give it up? Our next house better have an adventure playground, that’s all I’m saying.

On clear mornings, the sun streams through the skylight and there’s a neat square of sunshine on the carpet. I can’t resist going to sit in it, wherever it is. I plop Henry down in it after his bath and let him dry off in the warm. We turn our faces up to the light and luxuriate in it like fat cats. Also like cats, we discover many tangles of hair around our persons on the carpet. This is when I make my weekly resolve to vacuum more often.

This morning, the sunshine lit up the doorway to the landing. Henry was napping. I sat on the floor with my scriptures and read and thought, delicate heat on my skin, glare on my face, metal carpet strip digging into my bottom. It was everything I needed to have a good day.

Our next house better have an adventure playground AND a tap that delivers melted chocolate AND a built-in cinema. Or, you know, just a big skylight and some quiet half hours.

*Incidentally, I’ll give you three guesses as to the word he chose. He’s been babbling ‘dadada’ for ages, while I’ve been in comfortable denial. Now there’s no mistake: ‘daddy!’ ‘daddy?’ ‘daddy!’ ‘daddy!’

Tsk. Favouritism.


The sun came. Oh, it is marvellous.

On Sunday, we had some friends over for dinner and then went up to The Holies in Streatley for a walk. It’s a National Trust-owned slice of woodland with gorgeous views over the Thames Valley. And it’s best in sunshine, so there we were.

On the way, we found a bench where Tim’s family had had a photo taken eons ago, so we took another to start a Family Tradition (if you do it twice, it’s tradition. Or, if you’re me, if you do it once and announce very loudly that THIS IS A TRADITION NOW, it’s a tradition).

I also discovered that a) you can’t roll skinny jeans into workable shorts, and so b) I have no shorts, and also c) I am total insect fodder. My ankle has swollen bites all over it. They look, I am sorry to say, like little boobs. Inappropriate ankle alert.

And on that bombshell, some photos.

The Holies and Lardon Chase, Streatley, Berkshire. Good for stargazing, deep thoughts and Sunday afternoons. 

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