Friday, 30 April 2010

Excuse note

It felt like a full, and glorious, week of birthday celebrations! It ran seamlessly into a weekend I had to spend ill in bed, which did itself run less seamlessly into a week of marking coursework. That week is now about to run helter-skelter into two months of marking GCSE French orals and marking more coursework.

The only WIP I'll have in my basket now will be whingeing-about-coursework in progress. I should pin that over the front door. Abandon smiles all ye who enter here!

There was at least today's Bean Birthday for Crafting Niqi! Crafting Catherine made the fabulous crown and I managed to tack on the cord with marginally greater straightness than the sequins!

To all teachers and examination students (and hopeful political candidates) I can only declare "Bon Courage!"

ps Sammy Wilson was apparently at our front door tonight and Prince Charming DIDN'T THINK to tell him that ours was the house of the woman with the blog. I ask you?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Seven things to love..

...about Mattman! You are speedy and fearless on your silver streak of a bike.

You are clever, and thoughtful, and thought-full.

You love adventures; and your swimming is brilliant.

These seven wobbly turrets were for seven awe-giving years of you, our very great love! Thank you, and Happy Birthday!

Thursday, 15 April 2010


What I thought I might be blogging about this week were correspondance cards and poetry.

As it turns out I'm blogging about al fresco lunches with oily fish,

..and pre-homework snacks. Because we're worth it. All very ordinary, but calm and mellow ordinary! Hope all your Thursdays have been nice too...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Composition: What I did during my Easter holidays.

I had a lovely time this Easter because:

182. There were none of these.

183. I witnessed the stoicism of strawberies who were absolutely, completely, undoubtedly, steadfastly determined to reach the top of Belfast Zoo, aka Cave Hill, in driving rain, cold and sodden gloves because they hadn't seen the cheetahs yet.

184. I managed my last two Friday Cake Bakes by tea-time on Sundays- tarte au citron last week and cheese scones today. The latter being an absolute triumph because creating something out of culinary nothing has never been my strong point!

185. We were all here (and there, and many places in between) with much mellow loveliness. I may not have had purity coming out of my head and tranquillity out of my derriere at ALL times, but it was good! Better than Jo's likenesses!

186. I was genuinely delighted to read that in 1387 Niall O'Neill built a house at Navan and entertained the poets and historians of Ireland. That's the house I want!

187. Navan is obviously still the best place for entertainment- all strawberries awed at the array of activities on there during Easter week. The Penultimate Crowning Glory being the discovery that after the toys in the sandpit beside the terrasse (where I was blissfully ensconced, teacup in hand) and even after the digging up of all loose change surreptitiously buried by PC there was actually a whole layer of mock dinosaur bones waiting to be reconstructed!

188. The Ultimate Crowning Glory was the suns' Friday Cake Bake- an iron age one. First make your dough...

189. The sun has shone hot and long for four days now. While I realise that this is, as usual, very bad news for those studying for impending exams, hooray!

190. I am deeply grateful for the old-fashioned education I had that chastises me for the laziness of a composition in evil bullet points. I'll go and write a proper one now. In French. And sell it to anyone worried about having enough material in the perfect tense for their GCSE French Oral- because they've spent the last week sitting in the sun!

191. The desert of Lent and passion of Easter bring us now to the House of the Spirit! Pentcost and counting..

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Bienvenue au jardin potager

When, in a former life, I worked glorious summers on kids' camps in France there was a brilliant little song that started, " Welcome to the vegetable patch" and I have no idea now how it continued. I wish I did, because I think it was a formative experience- more on the aspirational level than in practical terms, you understand! Although today I think we did quite well...

Prince Charming installed our new raised bed, and promptly filled it with seed potatoes.

The rhubarb has finally decided to make a break for it and emerge from the clay.

And I spent a portion of the day clearing out the strawberry bed and planting one newcomer, bought last week at Jo's insistence!

I also got around to potting a fresh batch of thyme- replacing one of many pots that just didn't survive the prolonged snow this winter. Not a bad way to end the holidays- bienvenue au jardin potager des fraises larmoyantes!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Lesson ?- To have faith

Oh but I have smiled and laughed and cried this afternoon! And as soon as I stop smiling and laughing and crying I'm going to fit myself out in tea-dresses and tank-tops!

Don't let a lack of small children keep you from this film- not if you value your dresser of tastefully mismatched china and your bedecked wellies! Or even just Maggie Smith...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Feasting on Lenten Couplets

I was feeling actually quite sad yesterday. We were down to the last two slices of my Friday Cake Bake on Tuesday. And when I turned from March to April on the calendar, I realised I was loath so to do.

March was really a lovely month here in the Land of the (sometimes) Tearful Strawberries. Lots of reflecting on life and just being able to enjoy the flow. I had started Lent with a desire to find an attitude that could be more upbeat and positive thinking, and gradually that seemed to become the case.

The two words that I was praying through, in Lenten moments clawed back from the greedy facebook, were anxiety and anger. And indeed there has been grace. Much. One long polished by age and love couplet above all,

You will go out with joy and led forth in peace. Isaiah 55:12.

So in the midst of a hormonal low, and a sadness at the end of a veritable Lenten feast, I was smiling at another page of the journal...

On to today- Good Friday meditations at church. Prince Charming is leading the last half-hour and is gearing it for children and families. The theme is bravery- when we have been brave- and looking at the bravery of Christ on this day, the sadness of a Parent, and the glorious why.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

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