Sunday, July 27, 2014

Smiley Sunday

It's been another lovely day here in Devon, and we have managed to spend most of our day enjoying the outdoors.  We didn't have any real plans apart from doing a bit of a clear up operation on the land.  The weather this year has been fabulous growing weather for all things stingy - the nettles have shot up and it generally needed a ol' good tidy around.

The children have loved us being outside with them as they explored.  So often I find myself caught up with doing other things  -  house chores that need completed, researching things online or updating websites, or even dreaded time-wasting facebook, that despite my 'I'll be out in a minute' promises, the time flies by and the children have decided to come back inside.

Today I  made the decision that that would change.  From now on if I say I am going outside I will go outside - doing the minimum of what's necessary and then being with the children.  End of.

The tidying was pretty successful.  We are dividing the back field into differing sections and part of this plan is opening up the small woodland section so the children are free to play in there.  This will be where our 'fairy garden' will be based so I need to tidy it up and get rid of the nettles and much of the undergrowth.  I am strangely looking forward to the task even though it means hard work - I just know that Taisia is going to love it.

We refilled the pond area so the ducks and goslings are now very happy again.  We found this little fella having a nosey around...



He was quite the highlight of the day and probably the most educational springboard - we have learnt so much after researching, including the differences between frog and toads, poison glands, egg strings and clusters, and various species.

Trampoline jumping, role play games, swing swinging and tree climbing were also on the agenda...




along with photograph taking and hand clapping!



Once again we had an evening walk and enjoyed natures beauty...





Before having to 'rescue' two of the ducks from the pond as they couldn't work out how to get out using the ramp *sigh*.  After watching them for a long-ish period of time and seeing the ever-growing stress and frantic state they were getting in trying to get to their friends, we got the large fishing net and scooped them out.  I never thought I would be fishing for ducks!

I am totally loving these outdoor days and the children are too, it also means we are sleeping much better through the night,

I wonder what adventures we will have tomorrow....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A sunny Saturday

Our Saturday has been a joyful mixture of sunshine, laughter, happy children, and beautiful views.  We are so blessed to live here, it's such a beautiful place and the space for the children is just wonderful - a dream.

The morning started with the usual animal chores - ducks, geese and chickens need to be released from their overnight coops, goats let out from their stable, and the guinea pigs and rabbit released from their bedrooms.  They have to be fed their appropriate food stuffs for breakfast, as well as hay for goats, and clean fresh water given to all.

Then it was breakfast for the humans, and a discussion about our plans for the day.  Yesterday I pulled a muscle (I think) in my leg - all I did was kneel down on the floor and I heard a crack.  Agony ensued, it was very painful - so much so that I felt sick and a little dizzy.  Clearly resting it as I slept through the night helped greatly because it felt a lot better when I woke - well enough to hoover the lounge, kitchen. and do the animal chores so I figured a bit of light walking wouldn't hurt.  We went to Tiverton and managed to find a new paddling pool to replace our old one - finding a paddling pool wasn't a problem, but finding the type we need here was.  Due to our free-ranging animals we can't have any of the inflatable types as they wouldn't last a day.  Instead we have to have one of the solid sided type, where the sides stand up as it fills.  Eventually after much trawling (so much for the light walking), we found what we needed, much to Taisia's delight when we returned, she played in and around it for hours...


As she played, we popped the tent up so shelter was available, particularly for the littlest...


Amara loves being outside.  She is a true nature's child, and likes nothing more than feeling the grass blades slip between her tiny toes and watch the birds fly above her head.  Everything is a curiosity and observed with great interest.  Flowers, bees, butterflies all hold her attention, as do leaves...


I can see Amara being chief egg-collector as she grows as she loves to hold and turn the shells within her small fingers.  I am grateful that I am able to give her the opportunity to explore and find her passion.

As Amara satisfied her curiosity being watched by Tiegan and Lee, I enjoyed strolling around the field, making plans of what should be put where, and admiring the views...


Nothing quite says countryside living than the hay in a freshly baled field...


After a lot of play equipment moving and pond liner repairing, Lee had earned a rest...


whilst our ever faithful hound wanted anything but...


Our evening took the shape of a lovely stroll down the lanes to our neighbours for whom we are chicken sitting and plant watering.  Taisia joined us and played on their tree swing whilst Lee and I watered a huge variety of fabulous veggies and beautiful flora.  A tad envious it has to be said, but inspiration was found in abundance as we worked.

Home to complete the evening animal chores, watch the Commonwealth Games on TV to finish what really has been a simple but joyous invoking day.

Days like these are blissful.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Summer of Fun...

After chatting to the children and each of us coming up with a few ideas of what we may like to do in the coming summer months, we made a list.  Sharing here in case anyone is in need of some inspiration to keep the young 'uns entertained.

Our Summer of Fun!

1.   Make plaster of paris models to paint.
2.  Make and play super bubbles.
3.   Stargaze.
4.   Play tourist for the day.
5.  Have a family movie night.
6.  Visit a farm shop.
7.   Have a garden camp-out.
8.   Make jam.
9.  Go on a scavenger hunt.
10.  Have a great british bake-off day.
11.   Make homemade playdough.
12.   Picnic at the Park.
13.   Go on a photography walk.
14.   Enjoy a Family BBQ, help to cook!
15.   Feed the Ducks
16.   Make a moth box.
17.   Have a Water Fight!
18.   Create food for the birds.
19.   Go pond dipping.
20.   Explore Exmoor.
21.   Do a random act of kindness.
22.   Make and fly a kite.
23.   Make lemonade.
24.   Have a craft day.
25.   Go bug hunting.
26.   Make a sundial.
27.   Read 10 books as a family.
28.   Paint rocks.
29.   Study butterflies.
30.   Build insect hotels.
31.   Make a scrapbook or journal.
32.   Create a fairy garden.
33.   Go animal tracking.
34.   Build a woodland shelter.
35.   Go on a night walk by moonlight.
36.   Play Hopscotch.
37.   Become a pen-pal and write a letter.
38.   Go Geo-caching.
39.   Visit a Museum.
40.   Go to a country fair.
41.   Learn a new skill.
42.   Make fruit ice lollies.
43.   Have a badminton tournament.
44.   Create a mud kitchen.
45.   Go to the beach.
46.   Make bread from scratch.
47.   Create a treasure map and hunt.
48.   Do some vegetable and fruit stamping.
49.   Have a science day.
50.   Make our own clothes.
51.   Have a no technology day!
52.   Make decorations for our home.
53.   Create a weather station.
54.   Have a game marathon day.
55.   Make a new friend.
56.   Write a poem.
57.   Make a Teepee.
58.   Host a family quiz.
59.   Watch a sunset.
60.   Start a collection.
61.   Have a country theme day.
62.   Go to a pick your own fruit farm.
63.   Have a family appreciation day.
64.   Start a nature journal.
65.   Make a pinata.
66.   Make some shaped crayons.
67.   Create a Hama bead summer mobile.
68.   Make Rainbow Rice.
69.   Go for a woodland walk.
70.   Start building our continent boxes.
71.   Create a human body picture.
72.   Host a fun fitness challenge.
73.   Make Cress heads.
74.   Create coloured crystals.
75.   Make artificial geodes.
76.   Paint rocks.
77.   Go bat watching.
78.   Do a mixed media painting.
79.   Germinate fruit and vegetables.
80.   Study an artist and replicate their style.
81.   Make a toy for a family member.
82.   Take photos that represent your life.
83.   Make dinosaur eggs.
84.   Create playfood from felt.
85.   Create a ‘miss you’ box for Nanna & Grandad.
86.   Invent your own board game.
87.   Start learning a new language.
88.   Make a book.
89.   Make a marble run.
90.   Make a day in your life video.
91.   Create some outdoor games to play.
92.   Leaf pounding – create some prints.
93.   Have a worm charming competition.
94.   Have a donate to charity clear out.
95.   Create a gratitude or memory jar.
96.   Make some puppets and put on a show.
97.   Create art using items found in nature.
98.   Make pizza from scratch.
99.   Create mini-boats for sailing.
100. Be creative with fabric scraps. 

A printable version of this list is available by clicking here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2 months on...

As I write, Chelsea is in hospital - her fourth hospital stay since the end of April.  Fortunately she is improving rapidly and the difference in her being since Thursday when we took her in is great.

Thank goodness.

On Thursday Chelsea was incredibly weak.  Her paleness was telling.  She had been violently sick over and over for a few days and suffered with dizziness whenever sitting up or standing.  With symptoms getting progressively worse, it was clear that anemia was playing a part again, but we knew the Ulcerative Colitis (diagnosis is currently under review and it may be put down as Crohn's Disease) was the culprit.  A quick check over at the Doctors surgery and straight to hospital we went.  We were expecting it.  The hospital bag was already packed.  I knew things were really bad when Chelsea agreed to me getting a wheelchair for her as she struggled to walk the few yards to the hospital entrance.  Her heart rate was 140 (rising to 190 at one point) at rest, her blood pressure was low, her weight had plummeted to 42kg and her bloods were showing at 81.  Just two weeks previous she had been taken in with bloods at 61 and given a 4 unit transfusion where they had then increased to 118.  Things shouldn't have gotten so bad in such a short period of time.  It didn't take a genius to know that it was down to unseen internal bleeding.

Another 4 unit transfusion, more intravenous steroids, constant fluids for dehydration, and a very expensive 'wonder drug' later and she is transformed into her bright sparkly eyed self again.  I have just returned from visiting her and my heart is being allowed to sing once more.  She is ok.  She has an endoscopy and a colonoscopy booked for tomorrow afternoon and depending on the results of those procedures she may be allowed home afterwards.  I can't wait to have our family unit complete at home once more.

I can't believe it's been over 2 months since my last posting.  Life has been hectic - not always good but also with blessings that must be counted.   We have been trundling along as best we can, often remaining close to home because of Chelsea's health worries, but we have managed a couple of home-ed group meets, including a forest walk and a beach trip.   Sport fever took over the house with Wimbledon and the World Cup being watched daily when available, Callum (who turned 9 at the end of June) in particular totally adored the football and followed it passionately.  He engrossed himself in everything from the team tactics, country flags, and geographic locations.  Hours were spent pouring over atlas maps and flag books.  He talked about them, drew them, and told 3 year old Taisia all about them.  It was great to watch such enthusiasm take hold and the football passion has progressed onto wanting to play - he practices his 'skills' daily, often badgering one or more of his siblings to join in.

With all that has been going on, it has been almost easy to forget we also have animals to look after and a smallholding to run.  Lee (husband) has been keeping himself busy with managing the land somewhat.  We now have a field that actually resembles a field!


The field is where we keep our three gorgeous goats and is also part of the land that the chickens are able to free range.  We hope to section it off so the goats graze a large piece (that will be rotated for rest) and part will be for growing a bit of veg again - we have been very lazy in that department this year, best intentions and all that.  Our animal count currently stands at 8 chickens (one disappeared, fate unknown *sad face*), 5 runner ducks, 2 goslings (biggggg goslings now!), 2 cats (Jasper has completely vanished.  No sign of him anywhere *sob* ), 3 goats, 2 guinea pigs, 1 rabbit, 1 dog, and 3 little fish.  Once Chelsea's health has improved for some time we shall look into the possibility of renting a bit of land and hope to get a pony or two (yes, still have that longing!) and maybe a couple of alpacas as I have a real soft spot for them.  We are still loving our countryside dream and although at times it hasn't been quite as envisaged, we wouldn't swap our lives for anything.

Taisia is enjoying being able to roam around the field without risking nettle stings...



It doesn't stop her being a cheeky monkey though...


Amara is now 9 months old and gorgeous of course.



She is finding life far more fun now that she can sit unaided and crawl around.  There are many adventures to be had you know!  Oh how she runs me ragged!   She is now at the 'attempt to stand using any surface to pull up' stage which is, erm, interesting for the rest of us.

I have had to put my painting exploits on hold for a while as finding time for sketching, planning, painting numerous layers (allowing each to dry where appropriate), washing all of the tools and sourcing materials just far too time consuming.  Chelsea and Joseph used to take it in turns to watch Amara and Taisia for me for a couple of hours in the afternoon or evening allowing me to get on and paint, but Chelsea hasn't been well enough for baby watching for a long while.   Instead for my creative sanity I've turned to sewing.  I find it a lot easier to fit around little ones.   I don't have to worry about teeny fingers wanting to play with glue and paint, brushes being ruined due to lack of cleaning care when littlies wake up needing their mama, or continuously finding I've ran out of a paint colour due to over zealous small people squeezing the bottles and tubes too hard.  Instead I can design or cut out pattern pieces when tiny ones are sleeping at night time and return to sewing them throughout the day as and when I get the opportunity.  Much easier, and the bonus is that I can make useful stuff!  

Here are a few of my makes...


Our Father's Day gift for Lee.  A handprint from each child.


A skirt for Taisia...


She loves it because it's so 'twirly' when she spins :)


and a dress for Amara...


I am thoroughly enjoying building up my sewing skills and have soooo many clothing items I want to make for the children (and eventually for me!).

In the next few weeks we shall be attempting to structure our days loosely to ensure everyone has their needs met with ease.  So much has fallen by the wayside as we try to fit in hospital appointments and doctors visits that I really think we need a plan.  Having had a sit down and natter with the children they seem to agree and so we will be seeing how we can get time to work better for us so we are able to do all that is desired within a week.






Sunday, May 04, 2014

Getting there...

This week certainly feels as if we are getting back to normality - whatever normality looks like in any home-educating family, let alone this one!

Chelsea has been doing ok at home.  She has had an appointment at the Doctors where blood tests were taken for further analysis.  A little weight has been gained and on the whole all was good.   We think that mushrooms may be the first trigger that we have come across thus far as Chelsea had incredible stomach pains after eating some.  The poor love was in a lot of pain.  She has also been experiences sensory hallucinations - one where she thought she was actually swimming and another when she believed she was in a bubble - side effects of the medication unfortunately.  We have a hospital appointment with the consultant booked for the 15th and an appointment with the dietitian booked also.

Callum has been spending a great deal of time looking through our Atlas collection and learning where various countries are placed in relation to one another.  He has also been fascinated by the flags and can identify far more than I can.  He asked if I could print out a flag outline for him to copy some of the designs as he wants to hang them up.


Those beautiful flowers were sent by a lovely lady and are now fully in bloom.  They make me smile every time I pass them.

We have planted more seeds and reluctantly purchased more after our first ones perished due to the shelf collapsing in the awful storms.  Our runner beans are the first to sprout, the children are so very excited - I do love their enthusiasm for all things outdoors.

Speaking of outdoors - Lee has made a start on building a small treehouse in the back field.  It was going to be just a platform with a rail at the edges to prevent topsy turvy downfalls, but Taisia has other ideas that we discovered when she started planning the curtains and colour of the door.  It seems that Lee has a much bigger job on his hands than he first envisaged!


It has been a good project for Joseph to be involved with and he has been helping out with the measurements, wood sawing, and hammering! 


A certain little lady was very excited...



Here she is testing it out for the first time....oooh, I'm high up aren't I?!


We have a few new additions to share with you in the form of two gorgeous ducklings...


and two goslings...


All four are incredibly people friendly but the goslings are just adorable, always seeking out human companionship for chatter and cuddles...


They are under heat at the moment as they are such littlies, but we very much look forward to watching them grow.

In other news I have been working on some resources , including a selection of topic 'springboard' boxes.  Each box will contain a variety of items including printed matter and relevant display items.  I have had an idea of doing this for a long while and now the imposed home time due to Chelsea's recovery has given me a kick up the bum to put the idea into action.  I'm really enjoying the process although putting something together for mixed ages can be a bit of a battle.  I'm currently putting together a "Weather" box and one about "Butterflies" and my children are enjoying looking at what is being created.  I'll explain more about the boxes with photos at a later date, hopefully very soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Whirlwind coming through...

Yesterday was certainly interesting.

Taisia was in whirlwind mode and quite seriously we have never ever seen anything quite like it.

She rushed from room to room, garden to house and back again, causing as much disruption and chaos as she could possibly manage.

Cupboards were climbed upon or emptied, CDs were found and strewn, board game and puzzle boxes were tipped upside and pieces thrown, toys were scattered, clothing misplaced, foods hidden, plug sockets attempted to be played with, the rabbit was let out his run, the chicken food mixed with water, dialling out on the phone,  oh the list goes on and on.

Taisia is usually a fiercely independent three year old, of that there is no doubt.  She is feisty, strong-willed and energetic, and we love her for that.  But she is usually safe and trustworthy, knowing right from wrong and most definitely aware that dangerous exploits are a no no.  I can normally trust her implicitly, and although of course she is under a watchful eye as any 3 year old should be, she is allowed a great deal of freedom.   She would never normally touch the animals housing or their food without having someone with her to help, it's just how she is and how things have always been done.   Yesterday though she was just off the scale.  In 18 years of parenting I can quite honestly say that I have never witnessed anything quite like it.

Numerous times throughout the day she attempted to cook.  The first time she wished to make egg surprise (?) and cracked a couple of eggs into a bowl (shell and all), mixed in various sauces and seasoning and popped it in the oven.  I promised her that when I had settled Amara after her feed we would bake some cakes and biscuits.

Taisia went out to the garden to join Callum and I could hear her playing happy role-play games with him so was reassured all was okay.  A short while later I heard the rustling of wrappers and I went into the kitchen to see what was going on, carrying a very tired and wanting to sleep bubba with me as she hadn't quite settled.

Apparently she was making a cake...


There were more eggs on the kitchen surfaces.  She had mixed brown sugar, flour, icing gels and eggs into the most scrumptiously sticky gloopy mess.

She thought it was hilarious!


Bless her.

We are not the kind of parents who get angry at such antics, probably because they are such a very rare occurrence!  We may give a sigh at the extra cleaning up that needs to be done, but we know it is a valuable part of childhood experimentation, learning, and play.  I watched as she rubbed and squeezed her hands in the gloopy mixture and allowed it to run through her fingers.  She liked the texture, she liked the feel of it, she described the roughness of the sugar and the softness of the egg.

That said, I do hope she doesn't make it a habit that is repeated too often though!

We sat and thought if there could be a trigger for the whirlwind that had been unleashed within our four walls.  We discussed things like boredom, lack of exercise, sleep issues, and food.  We thought about what she had eaten recently that was unusual for her and the one thing that stood out as something Taisia had never had before - a Chupa Chup lollipop!  After a little internet peeking, it appears that if that was the trigger for Taisia, she isn't alone.  There are many people speaking of more hyper than usual children after having such a treat.  Actually today, we went to the supermarket and overheard two children asking their mama for a Chupa lolly.  Her response (to the boy) was "Can you remember the last time you had one of those?  You were bouncing off the walls!"

It sounded mightily familiar.

I am very happy to report that normal service has been resumed here in the Pollard household.  Taisia is back to her calmer more approachable self, which was just as well as she had her first Ballet class at a new dance school this morning.  

After the disaster that was Tuesday's experience (for me, not for Taisia, she enjoyed herself muchly), we heard from a very lovely lady about a Saturday morning dance school in the town.  I figured that one may suit us better.  For one, people would be coming from a variety of local areas as they didn't have to worry about being on time to a class straight after school.  I hoped this would mean it didn't feel so cliquey.  I also thought that the parents would be less 'school' orientated at that time as they wouldn't be sat their with children in school uniform going through homework diaries and spelling test lists.

I was right.

Immediately it felt better.  It felt more organised, professional and comfortable.

There was a huge room with tables and chairs to sit at, no pressure to sit in a small enclosed space with few chairs.  I actually spoke to a few of the parents and didn't feel out of my comfort zone at all. It all felt a lot calmer, and the children seemed calmer.  I wondered if it was because on Tuesday most of the pupils had come straight from being at school and they wanted to let off a bit of steam - it got a bit noisy and frantic at times, particularly in the waiting area.

I was welcome to watch the class (unlike on Tuesday) and did so, although Taisia didn't need me to stay with her.  I wanted to see how the teacher interacted with the children, what sort of things they did and if I thought it was suitable for Taisia.

It was and she loved it.  So much so that we have ordered the 'kit' and will be paying for a term next week.

The ladies at the desk were lovely and very helpful when at the end I wanted to order the dance uniform.  We are now the proud owners of a leotard with fitted skirt and are awaiting an order of cardigan, ballet shoes, and tights.  A bonus is that the 'uniform' for this school is bought from a cheaper place than the other class, we were able to get the cross-over cardigan included for the same price as it would have been without.

I'm so so glad that the utterly lovely JC told me about the Saturday classes and that I had enough courage to give it a go again.  I'm also mightily happy that Taisia wanted to try it too.  At first she was rather adamant that she liked the first class and didn't need to try another.  It was really touch and go right until this morning but she said she wanted to go dancing when she woke.   Taisia is the first of my girls to show an interest in learning how to dance outside of our home.  It so reminds me of my old dancing days.  I started at around 3 years of age too and gradually took on more classes.  I studied tap, ballet, modern, gymnastics, and jazz.  I enjoyed it a lot, and got on quite well with the other girls so it was a nice social time too, particularly whilst waiting in-between lessons.   I gave it all up when we moved down to Devon and I wanted to devote my time to horses - dancing went out of the window and every spare minute was spent at the stables.  I loved that too but am sometimes tinged with a little sadness that I didn't carry on with the dancing exploits.  I'm left with albums filled with exam certifications and competition medals and of course nice memories (I can still remember many of my old routines!)

Hmm, not a much else to report really.

The rest of today was spent buying animal feed, nipping to the supermarket, and attempting to rescue the trays of planted seeds after the shelving collapsed - we failed and need to purchase more seeds to plant again.  Frustrating both time and money wise.

I sat and did a bit of a 'work' with Taisia at her request after dinner.  We had spotted a couple of early learning books from the supermarket and this evening she enjoyed sitting with me and doing a few pages.   She was very proud that she was doing 'work' and made sure each of us knew about it.   We looked at the first 5 letters of the alphabet, identifying them, looking for differences in shape and their sounds.  We talked about the differences between the letters d and b and suggested words that began with each.  We searched around the room for items that began with those letters and Taisia attempted to draw them.  We could only finish the session when I agreed we would do more tomorrow - Taisia wanted to continue but it was getting late and I confess I was struggling.

Chelsea has been sleeping a lot which isn't a bad thing.  She has also been eating a lot which definitely isn't a bad thing.  Her appetite is certainly a healthy one and she is often heard to be saying that she is hungry.  She has been well and truly spoilt with a range of gifts from gorgeously fabulous friends, most of which we have never met in person.

We all feel incredibly grateful and blessed.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Making a start...

I can't begin to tell you how good it was to know that Chelsea was safely tucked up in her own bed here at home last night.  Once again our family was back together again and the house lost that something missing feeling.

Bliss.

My morning started with Taisia waking and getting into bed with me (her bed is right next to mine).  We chattered about the sunshine and the blue skies, watched the birds fly past the attic windows and discussed our plans for today.  Our talk went something like this...

Me: "Oooh, what shall we do today? Maybe we could plant some seeds? Or we could bake some cakes? Or we could read some stories together?"

Taisia: "Well, erm, yes. You can do all of those mama. And I can just do my own things!"

It made me think about what she would be like in a school environment, being told where to be and what to do throughout the day.  It would take a lot for me to exchange her current lifestyle into a school attending one.

I just love the fact that she knows she can do her own thing and is confident enough to say as much.  I was never like that as a child.

Of course the morning chores were the first on the to-do list.  Everyone needed to be let out, checked over, fed, and watered.  It is all the more pleasant soaking up the fresh air when the sun is shining, even the animals seem in a happier place.

After breakfast Taisia decided he wanted to make a start on a few puzzles.  First there was the alphabet one...


Followed quickly by the Gruffalo and a shopping one.  The shopping puzzle was a Poundshop bargain; you put the pieces together and then have characters to use for a role play type game.

Meanwhile Joseph and I discussed what's going on in the news.  We talked about the Russia / Ukraine situation and the awful ferry tragedy.  We spoke about the Madeleine McCann latest and decided we don't believe anything that the newspapers report regarding that case any more.  Joe is really interested in what's going on around the world.  He is really clued up on things, researching every story and is my go to when I need to know about in more detail.  Callum overheard us and went over to the globe to search for Russia and Ukraine, we then talked about Crimea and the recent situation over there.  This led to laws and who makes them, our politicians and political stances and the up and coming local elections.

As the sun was shining we headed out of doors.  Chelsea managed to join us for a little while, dressed in pyjamas and dressing gown bless her.


She has spent quite a bit of her time today feeling really tired.  Fortunately at home she can fall asleep and not get awoken by nurses asking a question or needing to carry out some sort of check.  In hospital she had cannula changes in the early hours, weight checks at 3am or 4am and random questions about her eating and toilet habits before dawn broke.  At home she can just sleep and get as much as she and her body needs.

Meanwhile the rest of us toiled until we ached!

We planted seeds...


Radishes, tomatoes, runner beans and carrots today.

We also upgraded our fruit bushes to larger pots...


Redcurrants, Gooseberries, Blueberries, and Raspberries so far.

and we chatted as we dug out the weeds and nettles (I'm annoyed at myself for leaving it to get so overgrown again!)


Callum ensured we were all kept safe and that dragons were kept at bay (thanks to the recent St George and the Dragon stories)...


whilst clearly little miss flowerpot in the background was doing the same!

We also fed treats to rabbits and guinea pigs...


looked beautiful as we pondered...


and I felt a rush of anticipation as I stood back to see what will become the start of this years growth...


Normality.

Blissful normality.

I embrace you with all my might.