I'm beginning to think that I spend far too much time by myself. I'm quite happy with my own company, but my internal chatter is becoming way too loud for my liking. I am not lonely. I have a good network of friends in St Ives. I have a good network beyond that. I just don't see people very much, which is not the best thing for someone who is a natural chatterbox. I think that may be why I am such an Instagram fan. I can log in and out of there whenever I please, and find someone to chatter to. For me it's a bit like popping my head over my neighbour's wall to say hello. And I must say that I've met some lovely people that say hello back.
I don't like where Olly's classroom is situated. It's on the corner as you enter the school, and is therefore the main thoroughfare for all the parents and children to walk through. It reminds me of waiting for a tube, and being buffeted by all the other commuters who are jostling past me to walk to the other end of the platform. It doesn't get any sun either, so always seems a bit damp and miserable. I want to stand further along the playground, where it is sunnier. And where my friend Sophie is. But the flight of stone steps that lead up to Olly's classroom are great fun for five year old boys to jump from, and so I stand there and mope.
And dare I say it, but it's all rather cliquey too. Lots of Mums trying to out do each other with tales of perfect child rearing and perfect children. I'm very tempted to chime in from time to time. I really, really want to subvert their conversations; see what happens if I propose that a bag of Haribo is a great alternative to fruit. Or no, I didn't breast feed Oliver, and I may actually kill everyone in the NCT for being such pompous assholes. The trouble is that I know that I'll go even further and say something really outrageous. Just for my own amusement you understand. But also because sometimes people just get on my chimes, and I want to shout "get a sodding life!!!" at them. Which is rich coming from me, I must say.
Written in my current notebook is a garbled list of ideas for blog posts. I write these lists down from time to time, but nothing ever comes from them. One of them says 'what kind of parent am I?' If I had to describe my parenting style in one word, it would most likely be inconsistent. I am a very inconsistent parent. Usually that suits me just fine; I'm a very inconsistent person. I not particularly proactive. I quite often react badly, and rarely follow through on any threats or challenges. I'm a great one for saying ridiculous things like 'If you carry on doing that, I'm not taking you to so and so's party!' when of course I'm going to take them to the party. I've already bought the present, and I really like party food. Especially the egg mayonnaise sandwiches, which I never make for myself, and are therefore such a treat.
Sam has a girlfriend. I have stalked her on Facebook. Of course I have. You would as well. I have turned into my Dad, who when presented with a current squeeze, would merely look at them over the top of his paper and scare the shit out of any boy that had the misfortune to be standing there. Sam once told me that a girl he was rather friendly with, had told him that she got very bad vibes from me. 'But I'm lovely,' I protested. 'Mum, you looked her up and down, curled your lip and walked out of the room,' Sam replied. (I did. I know I did. I don't care). Anyway, I'm sure she's very nice, but I really hope that he doesn't invite her to visit at Christmas.
The family have been talking Christmas. They are coming to me this year. I like having them here; I don't have to walk home with a very full stomach, and I can hoy my pyjamas on after we've eaten. And because I cook, I don't do the washing up. It's a win/win situation. It also means that Olly won't be dragged away from his toys. And in truth, I love having the family here. I love all the shopping and prepping and cooking. I love making all the puddings. I'm researching those puddings already. There's a treacle toffee tart recipe that looks very scrummy indeed. And I'm not keen on the frozen roast potatoes that other members of the family produce, so I shall present my goose fat drenched roasties with relish.
We have been blessed with the most glorious weather in St Ives this month. Sunny for the most part, although it has clouded over the past few days. The photos above were taken on Thursday. I walked down the hill to Porthmeor beach. The dog beach ban is up, and me and Honey had a lovely time watching the surf, smelling the air, digging up pebbles and looking for treasures in the tide line. I got talking to a lovely lady, who had moved down here a year ago. She was recovering from breast cancer, and her husband had left her six months previously. Some people have to really go through the mill, don't you think? We chatted for quite some time, and I came away feeling a real admiration for her as she faced the adversities of life head on with courage, humility and a truly British sense of humour. She said of her ex: 'I knew that I was better off without him, the day he came back for his drill. He always thought more of his power tools than me. I've never been so happy to shut the door on someone, the stupid prat." How brilliant is that!
The sunshine and mild weather has meant that there is still flowering loveliness in the garden. Who would have thought that I'd be cutting roses, cosmos and dahlias to bring into the house. Sweet peas too. I've had to put off tidying up the garden. There hasn't been much setting of seed yet. The trees are shedding their leaves, however. They sense the turning of the seasons better than anything else. I have set aside a few days in half term to straighten up the garden. There is to be some clearing out, stripping back and moving about. I'm also buying a few dwarf fruit trees; apple, quince and pear. The pollinators are not so numerous, although there have been lots of butterflies visiting the verbena that has self seeded at the bottom of the garden. I have watched a couple of bumbles bury themselves down into hidey holes. I've really enjoyed my pollinator friendly garden this year. It has given me untold pleasure.
I think I'm going to make a stew for tea today. And possibly a rice pudding. Marc has a cold, Alfie is in quiet disgrace after his awful parents evening (bright but disinterested. Not completing homework. Going on report. That kind of pull your hair out stuff). Olly is tired and ready for his half term break. I fancy a bit of kitchen pottering, and catching up on Liza Tarbuck on Radio 2. I might make soup for the week ahead too.
Happy days. Hope yours are too.