Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Life In A Day

I woke up this morning to a rather damp, grey and mizzly view. The light was low and the lamps were still on mid morning. I needed to be at the hygienist for 9.30, and go quote a job at 10. Talk about time management. And also child management. I'd asked Sam to look after Olly while I was away from home, but he announced to me that he was off for a few days. It rather put me on the back foot; childcare has become an issue of sorts since I've started Ship Shape. I guess it didn't help that it coincided with the summer holidays. We've muddled through okay, I guess. It is only part time at the moment. But the way things seem to be heading, it will very soon be more full than part.

I'm chuffed to bits in a way. I never thought I'd be part of something that's taken off so well. And while I don't need my degree (quoting Catullus and Ovid is not particularly relevant), it's fab to be part of something that feels so good. I'm feeling positive inside. My confidence is slowly re-emerging, and I'm daring to dream that this little scrub venture may just be the start of something rather more adventurous.

Anyway, Alfie stepped into the breach, after promises of a pasty, a coke and a bag of crisps. When I got home, I needed to do all the other stuff; washing, vacuuming, ironing, picking up and putting away. But I also needed to do some work stuff. Alfie had gone out with friends, clutching the pasty. Olly wanted to play. I sat and had a stab at working. And I did get some of it done. But there were the constant "Muuuuum," interruptions going on too. They punctuate my daily life, and I have never been very good at filtering them out. I'm terrible for jumping up as soon as I'm called. So it's no surprise that Olly got rather frustrated with it all, and came looking for attention. The kind that required him to sit on my lap and nuzzle into my shoulder.

Oh the guilt!!! His last day of the school summer holiday, and no fun to be had. The sun had appeared by this time, which kind of rubbed salt into the wound a little. I wouldn't have felt half as guilty if it was still lashing it down. What's a Mum to do? The only thing I could. We went out. A well trodden route to Clodgy. I've written about it many times here. It's one of several regular walks that we do with Honey. It was also one that I thought would be the least muddy. I'm adamant that my flip flops remain on until at least the end of October

We wandered up Burthallan Lane and watched the builders hoist roof struts onto a new build. It was all very exciting. We wandered past my favourite house, and noted their abundant apple and pear trees. I made a mental note to add fruit trees to my 'for the garden' list. I do this every year, by the way. We do have little apple trees growing away in a pot. Olly planted two pips earlier in the summer, and they seem to be thriving. All the way along the lane, the hedgerows were laden with blackberries. Olly scoffed his body weight as we wandered along. The ivy is in full flower, and the bees were in a feeding frenzy. So too were the butterflies. I was surprised to see so many; it was rather windy. But see them we did; Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, Tortoiseshell, Large and Small Whites. It was brilliant. One Red Admiral took rather a fancy to Olly's bright blue jacket and kept fluttering about and nestling on it. Olly loved it.

We looked at the multitude of spiders that seemed to all be hanging out in the centre of their webs. Is that a thing this time of year? Are they on display for a particular reason. Olly got up quite close and personal, which was pretty impressive for someone with a little fear about all things arachnid. The swallows are still about swooping low along the lane, but their numbers are getting less and less. And no sign of the barn owl, although we know that she is still there. The hedgerow flowers are still going strong, although many have already set their seed, their dried and pared back forms in contrast to the lush green of the ferns and grass. We found elderberries and sloes, which I collected (there is a jelly bag full of my hedgerow spoils drip, dripping in my kitchen as I type). A chap out walking told Olly that the blackberries further down the coast path were "'andsome, my boy." How I love the Cornish vernacular. It's not heard as much these days, but is full of friendly familiarity I think. A soft burr of an accent, that suits the environment so well.

Down the path we ventured, all thoughts of returning home gone. Pops was in his stride now and literally galloped down the path, hop skipping all the way. He stopped here and there, climbing this stone and picking more berries. He notices so many things. I'm constantly amazed by that. I always think that he's just whirly gigging along, and then his head shoots down or whips up, and he's pointing and calling. Either he's telling me what he's found, or asking me what it is. He still carries the hope that he'll one day see a crab spider. Or a lizard. Or perhaps even an adder. Bless my boy, with his half cup full attitude.

By now we could see the sea. It was all froth and undulating far out in the bay reaching towards the shore. There were a few people at the point. Some had been out walking, and some were just sat about or taking photos. It was beautiful today. We ambled down to our favourite rock, and Olly climbed all over it. Honey was wagging her tail and barking with glee, and I just stood and stared out to the horizon. We climbed down over the rocks to be nearer to the water, and watched as a large flock of Guillemots passed. Olly had never seen one dive into the water to feed before. It's quite a sight. They hover then keel around and dive down, hitting the sea at great speed. They have a long skewer like beak, that must break the skin of the water at such a force. Anyway it was wonderful to watch so many of them dive bombing right in front of us.

We carried on along the coast path all the way towards Man's Head, the rocky outcrop that overlooks Porthmeor Beach. There weren't many people on it today. A combination of back to school and the wind coming straight in off the Atlantic, I guess. The sand looked very white from our vantage though, and an intrepid kite surfer made his way out over the rolling breakers that were surging in. We wandered past the bowling green, and up the steep hill towards home. Poor Honey was flagging by now (she's snoring on the rug as I type. I thought that Olly might have been too. But no, he bounced and chirped all the way home.

Back home, I sorted out the hedgerow spoils and started gently heating it on the hob. Olly wanted to make some fairy cakes, and so with minimal intervention, he weighed out the ingredients, mixed and scooped the mixture into cake cases. He also ate a lot of it too, but hey, what's the last day of the holidays for? I made the boys the easiest tea ever (fish fingers, chips and beans), and started on mine and Karen's. She was popping round to discuss Ship Shape related matters. So, linguine with red pesto, ham and mushrooms. The cakes were iced with what looked like green sludge. Olly mixed all the food colourings together. He then used every sprinkle in the cupboard to decorate them. I didn't fancy one.

Bath and hair wash, followed by a bit of 'Horrid Henry' signalled the quiet hour of the day. By now Olly was subdued and cuddly. All rubbing of eye and making nests out of cushions and throws. I took him to bed at seven, and let him read until half past. Downstairs I started on the ironing pile, adding names to new school uniform with a Sharpie as I went. No name labels here. They lose everything by half term as it is, and in all my years of parenting, I've never yet found anything in lost property. Back up for lights out, and a tickle of the back and shoulders. Olly is partial to a bit of fuss, and I pandered to him this evening.

Karen and I continued our Ship Shape shop talk, and after she went home, I amended, printed off and filed the days work. Alfie appeared by my side. His new black jeans and Vans trainers came today, and I could tell that he thought he looked the cat's meow. He asked for money to go buy a pizza. The boy has literal hollow legs. I made him cheese on toast, with a side order of Cheerios. And a cup of tea.

Alfie starts his final year of secondary school tomorrow. Olly starts his first year at Juniors. It's all change here at Today's Stuff. The seasons are moving along, and already I can feel that this part of the year will be quite different to what we all have been used to for so long. There's a air of expectation and moving forward. There's a good vibe going on, and I for one am happy about that.

Lots of love friends,

Leanne xx

(The photos above do not correspond in any way to the text. It's all very frustrating. I can now upload my pics, and after a while they appear in my OneDrive account linked to my computer. I don't have the patience for that to happen this evening. So some photos that I took a week or so ago, on another foray out with Olly. I though you might like to see them anyway. I'm not much for continuity, me).


  1. It sounds as if Olly had a wonderful last day of the holidays - first year of Juniors; how did that happen?! I'm so glad that your business venture is starting to fly, you deserve its success. A beautifully written, lyrical post. xx

  2. A wonderful, descriptive post. Makes me want to visit your Clodgy walk in real life. Thank you xx

  3. What a glorious walk, and a fantastic post. My littlest one amazes me with all the things he spots while ostensibly flippety-gibbeting about as well. I think his big brother must have instilled some bird/nature watching in him somehow. So glad your business is going so well. I am feeling that September energy chez vous, it's always good when that happens. A smidgen of it here as well in fact. CJ xx

  4. It sounds like you had a thoroughly good last day of the holidays. Juggling work and young children is Not Easy At All – my hat is off to you – but I am so glad to hear that Ship Shape is going places. Your comment about the fairy cakes made me smile; I don't think I ever fancied anything my children made until they were teenagers and able to treat food as food rather than a science experiment. I'm feeling the times-a-changing here, too, as my eldest starts his last year of school. Ever. It's a funny feeling. Hope all your boys have good years (and you, too). Sam xx

  5. I've just discovered your blog, Leanne. I love it! All those gorgeous photos, interesting wise and funny observations. I'm going cosy up this autumn and do some scrolling back through your archives . I've two young grown up sons myself and I live miles from the sea. I've a ginger cat and whilst I'm a bit scared of dogs, the one in your photos looks lovely. I liked the bit you wrote in one post questioning whether you did the right thing, not combining a career with bringing up your sons (I'm paraphrasing), as I do that a lot. On balance I did do what was right for us. Good luck with your new business. Look forward to reading more.
    Karen, Yorkshire xx

    1. Hey Karen,
      Oh thank you so much for your kind comments. That's made my day!
      L xx

  6. It sounds like a busy day full of the things that matter to you. I'm always amazed at how we can watch a family grow up through a blog. Your boys sound like they're growing fast, and the older ones sound like actual men to me at this point. I'm so happy to hear that your business is off to a strong start, good for you. I wish you lots of success.

  7. sounds like a very lovely way to spend the last-day-before-the-first-day -- full of all the best things. xo

  8. Lovely post. Did write a comment before but the power went off and lost it I think? Glad all going well. Xx

  9. A lovely way to spend the last day of the summer holidays. I had a friend around this afternoon with her 3 year old. As we sat in the garden drinking tea we watched the butterflies of the buddleia and marked the progress of three slugs sliding across the gravel. It was good to marvel at things through a child's eyes, as you have done here on your blog with Olly. So glad your business has done so well. Sarah x

  10. Ahhh, that was a great walk with you and your lovely Olly. Thanks for writing so well that I felt that I was right there with you both. A joy! Congratulations on your growing business, and don't worry if you struggle to get the balance right. I think we women always struggle with this no matter what.

  11. Ha, I can stil,l quote a bit of Catullus, but only the most obscene bits

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  13. Hi, I have just caught up on your last 4 posts. Wow! What a fantastic thing to start your own business, something that we all fantasize about, but most never do. As usual you have posted the best photos, I am determined to have a holiday in Cornwall next year!