Up The Garden Path

The builders of our house put in a path from the back door to the back gate. Now for most people, a single line of slabs might be quite sufficient. We discovered that when we are carrying the shopping from the car and one child is trying to overtake and another is charging along on their scooter, one line of slabs is not sufficient. We also had a bit of a puddle problem. Every time it rained a puddle formed halfway along the path – another reason to want a bit more walking room. So I made some.

Path MakingWe have a wider path! It is nice to feel you have a little bit of space when walking along, and even nicer to be gradually getting rid of the ‘new build garden’ feeling. Mr 6 is not quite so impressed because stones are not the perfect scooting surface. I however am thrilled that the semi permanent puddle is no more. We have had some really heavy rain recently, and the improved drainage because of the stone borders means that the path has stayed clear.

Win – win!

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Magnolia No More

Round here at least, all new houses come in the same shade of magnolia. It is the safe colour. The colour that anything goes with. That, of course, makes it the most boring colour possible to have on your walls.

We finally have one room which is not magnolia! Miss 11 has quite a definite vision of how she wants her room to look, so she, by virtue of knowing what she wants, is the first to get it. Yesterday we painted her room. We being mostly me with Miss 11 and Miss 12 learning that painting a wall is only fun for the first five minutes or so.

What do you think?

Panted BedroomThe colour is Tropez Blue, and it creates a lovely backdrop to the pink accessories which came from her colour scheme at our last house which was a combination of shocking pink and even more shocking pink.

Tropez Blue Room

The next step is to paint all the wooden furniture black, and then to hang all her pictures and photos to get rid of the bare look. That should probably keep me busy through next week end and beyond. After that, Miss 11 must learn to keep it a bit tidier than she has been used to up until now!

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All Things Wild

I went to a birthday party for a six year old yesterday. It was at All Things Wild, which is at the Domestic Fowl Trust in Honeybourne. It is a great place for a party, particularly when the sun is shining. We were incredibly lucky yesterday, that despite the occasional heavy shower, including a thunder storm at 6am which woke us up, the afternoon was hot and sunny and dry. Perfect to get out and see the animals.

Master 6 had a lovely time, and now wants to have his birthday party at the same place. I was a little surprised because he has never been particularly interested in living things, but perhaps he is exiting the pirate phase now, and is expanding his interests beyond his current range. He did seem to like looking at all the animals.

The peacocks wanted to stay in the shade,

Peacocksbut the pony was happy to come and say hello.

PonyThere was one thing which really tempted me. See this little fella:

ChickThis chick was for sale along with thirty or so other cute little bundles of feather. I could easily have gathered up handfuls of them to take home. While the kids were stroking rabbits and guinea pigs and goats, I was imagining having a garden full of chickens again. Unfortunately all the chicks here were unsexed so you’d just have to wait and see whether they laid or crowed, and there’s  no way I would pay £10 per chick unless I was sure it was female. Also Mr PC would not be impressed if I brought home chicks, and Princess would just consider them to be dinner. My rural idyll with chickens and muddy boots by the back door will just have to stay in my imagination. It’s probably better that way – I can imagine the weather always nice!

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A Big Change

Tomato SeedlingsIt has been a while since my last post. This is because big changes have been afoot. I have a job! It has been something I have been aiming for for a while, but once I had finished my AAT qualification it made it to the top of my must do list.

So, I am now a full time worker, an assistant accountant, which is great. It is also time consuming, hence the absence from this blog while I get used to being out of the house for nine and a half hours at a stretch every day.

It is exciting and tiring and life enhancing and life constraining all at once. I have loads to learn and lots of systems to get used to. Until I am a bit more settled I might not be updating this blog quite as often as I used to. I shall try though, as I shall try to fit in just as much cake baking and plant growing  and crafts as I did before!

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Beginnings

Tomato SeedlingThis is my favourite bit. The thing I love most about gardening. The first moment I spot that a seed I have planted is on its way, against all odds in this case. The seed is old – it should have been planted two years ago really, but we were too busy trying to move house then. The compost is most definitely not seed raising mix, it is just what was left in the bag at the end of last year.

On Sunday I planted 24 tomato seeds. Today nineteen little seedlings have poked up from the ground. I am already thinking of all the lovely tomatoes I will get to eat in the summer, and hopefully, all the tomatoes I will store for use in autumn and winter. They are Roma tomatoes, the same as I grew last year, so I know they will be delicious.

The thing I like least about gardening is heavy digging. I suspect I might be expanding my collection of big pots for growing tomatoes in.

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Sunny Springtime

March has been lovely so far. We feel like spring is here. There has been washing dried on the line, and faces raised to feel the warmth of the sun. Today we went to Hidcote for the first time this year. We joined the National Trust in late summer last year, so we have seen the garden with the Autumn borders all out, but I am sure we will be going back regularly to see it in all phases.

Today, there wasn’t much in the way of colour out. The garden is still mostly wintery, and a quite a lot is still roped off to stop people trampling down the few blades of grass in some areas. What was out, though, was lovely in the sunshine. I love the first flowers, those first signs of spring.

Crocuses

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Kids in Costume

World book day has rolled around again. It’s that time of year when we have to rustle up costumes, and are then expected to spend ridiculous amounts of money on overpriced books at the book fair at school.  Of course paying the stupidly high RRPs, means that the school gets some books too, but I am so tempted to go to the librarian with the Book People catalogue and let her choose anything from it, than to pay over the odds for a couple of uninteresting books from a limited selection.

OK, enough of that. I shall complain no more. In fact I wouldn’t complain at all if I though that book prices were high because the people who actually wrote them were well paid. I also don’t mind paying RRP in independent bookshops, because they have huge overheads and need that profit margin. It’s companies that don’t have those overheads, but still expect you to pay £6.99 for a sticker book that annoy me.

On a brighter note, does anyone remember this post from two years ago? I am feeling quite smug today, because that costume is now having its third outing. Mr 6 has it now, and is thrilled with it. Fantastic Mr Fox is a character that he knows and, more importantly, can remember so he can tell people who he is.

This morning in the playground there was a sea of colour. There was no trouble finding where Wally was, as there were several. I saw a hobbit, Winnie the witch, a gaggle of princesses of various names, a couple of spidermen, and a cat in a hat.

There is a huge difference between the school here and the one in Pembridge where we used to live. In Pembridge, almost everyone had home made costumes. The imagination and inventiveness on show was breathtaking, especially for me, whose imagination and creativity in the costume department can only be described as ‘lacking’. Here, the vast majority of costumes were bought ready made. A contributor to this must be that far more of the mother have paid employment here. More money, less time. It’s a trade every family has to consider. I salute everyone who made a costume for their child, and I sigh in relief that this year I can rest on the work of two years ago, and next year I will probably just buy one.

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