August Snippets

 

Do you ever get that feeling that time is moving slowly and quickly all at the same time? We don’t do a great deal with our days at the moment, spending most of it at home, just pottering about and enjoying each other’s company. All three of us (not including Andy as he’s at work all day) are happy just being right now and I see no need to force activities and days out on ourselves when everyone seems happy. Time does seem to pass very quickly though, despite being full of simple, slow things. It’s mid- August already and it feels like this year is going past very quickly. Already there’s a slight sniff of Autumn approaching … the air coming through the bathroom window in the morning is cool rather than dry and hot, and I have that sense of foreboding again that I’m coming to associate with the turn of the season and the approach of TTB’s September birthday.

We are really enjoying our flower pots in the yard. I was so happy to get them, but I hadn’t anticipated the joy that they’d bring to my little boy. He knows the names of all of them and hops up and down with excitement each time a bee or hoverfly visits. One time there was a butterfly and he nearly kerploded with the excitement of that! He loves to deadhead the flowers as well and has a little paint kettle with a handle that he collects them up in and then saves them to put into the compost bin. I really want to grow more things; we’re discussing building a raised bed planter to see if we can grow a few vegetables. I think it’s important for him, and his sister of course, to know that things grow and to see where food comes from. I think it’s amazing, looking at that bright sunflower, that the tiny seeds we planted back in April have turned into big, healthy plants. Amazing that the tiny seed contains all the information to know how to grow. Seeing TTB’s delight at the growth of these plants makes me want to hug him so tightly!

We use the yard rain or shine, really. The other day was raining and he wanted me to come out with him but I couldn’t because I had TTG in the sling on my back and had no protection for her from the rain. In the end I stood in the doorway and we made lots of bubbles with the bubble gun I bought a few weeks ago. It’s the best thing! It’s just a little handheld fan behind a few bubblewand circles (you know what I mean!) that you dip into a little tray, turn on the fan, and voilà, many many bubbles!

Extra points if you can make them stick to the wet door or make a really big one.

It is sometimes tricky to get him to come back indoors though, so I suggested a hot chocolate. “Oh yes please!” Hot chocolate for two on a rainy day: perfect. We have a new dining table now, and chairs, and it’s just WONderful. It’s made such a difference to our dining room and our lives really! Our previous table was a round one with one pedestal leg; my mum very kindly leant it to us but it became less practical as time went on as it wasn’t big enough and TTB kept knocking things onto the floor because the shape of it meant there was only a small bit of table in front of him. Andy bought a new table and chairs as a surprise while we were away and I LOVE them. And my dotty table cloth! It’s really changed the room and it’s made me so happy.

Lastly … we had a really good day out at Harlow Carr last week with my friend and her daughter. It’s beautiful place and I want to go there sans children some day so I can look at all the plants and take lots of photos. There’s an Alice in Wonderland theme at the moment with lots of activities and things to do but … all TTB wanted to do was watch the gardeners doing the landscaping with heavy machinery! SO much excitement: a mini excavator with caterpillar tracks scooping earth into a trailer, among other things. My knowledge of heavy machinery has come on in leaps and bounds since this boy developed an interest in them. He’s too clever for words. He can even tell you about the hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic hoses and whatnot. He was rather disappointed that he wasn’t allowed to climb in and drive the ones that were unattended though!

 

Garden Wildlife

 

Hi! I can’t believe I am actually sitting in front of my laptop, with my blog page open and some photos uploaded and ready to post. Precious time! While I do not in any way dislike my life right now, and am happy and grateful and content, squeezing any time at all for doing anything other than necessary things is tough. As soon as everyone is fed in the evening (that’s all of us, Baby now eats Real Food as well), it’s straight up for bathtime (weaning is so messy) and then bed. I came downstairs at 8pm and spent 20 minutes tidying up the duplo that was all over the lounge (we had loads of fun with that today), ten minutes clearing up scattered food from under the highchair, started emptying the dish rack and then Tiny Tin Girl woke up. I settled her down for about 15 minutes (during which time I cleaned the highchair, ate two biscuits and started to make a cup of tea). Then she woke up again, but having predicted this I took the sling upstairs with me and have just put her in a back carry and now she’s fast asleep. It’s 22:20 now, and I am finally here with my blog. Hurrah! I feel a bit like my laptop is located in the middle of a dense tropical jungle and I have to battle my way towards it.

I hope you understand why my blogging is so infrequent! I’m sure you do. I’ve let go of all feelings of being frustrated about it now and it makes it even more enjoyable when I do get on here. I want to thank you all so much for the things you said about my latest blanket. I read all of my comments on here and on Facebook, you say such lovely things and I really appreciate it. Oh and making a colour placement chart is high on my list of things to do even if it’s just a hand drawn one that I photograph, I will get it done!

We were lucky enough to spend two weeks staying with my mum (we came back late on Saturday night). We had such a good time. TTB was happy off pottering around the garden and being entertained by my family and so when TTG was asleep (in the sling of course …) I was able to spend some time taking photos with my SLR and it felt very decadent and enjoyable to do so. My mum has a beautiful garden. I was saying to my sister that it’s really lovely and established now and I have to look at it with fresh eyes as I sometimes just think of it as the same garden as when we moved in 20 years ago – a new build plot with a square patch of sticky clay soil. My mum has worked really hard on it and it’s certainly paid off.

This is really long winded way of saying I took photos of insects isn’t it? Sorry. What you should know is that each one of these photos makes me want to pop because I’m so pleased with them. I’m getting a lot more confident with manual settings and that makes me really happy. I don’t edit them at all (no idea how!) so these are all just as they come out of the camera. The first photo is a Gatekeeper butterfly (I think) and it kept coming back to this same plant over and over again during the two weeks. It was the only butterfly to do so, so I think it must have felt really pleased that it had this whole plant to itself.

This is a Peacock Butterfly on the Buddleia. The thing that pleases me most about this is that I took it from the ground with my longer lens and it was a good 4 metres away from me, AND I had a baby on my back who wasn’t keeping still and I still managed to get a good photo.

 

 

This Painted Lady was actually on my Grandma’s garden step, not my Mum’s garden step but I’m still counting it because I am THRILLED with these photos. We arrived at my Grandma’s house about 4pm, I was holding TTG after getting out of the car when my brother told me about the butterfly. I thrust TTG to my mum, grabbed my camera and crouched right down to get these. It’s so fluffy!

This Southern Hawker dragonfly was possibly the most delightful surprise, wildlife wise (the hornet that chased us aggressively around the garden was the worst surprise). I don’t know where it came from as there aren’t any bodies of water near to my mum. It’s so perfect and shiny that I think it must have been newly hatched and was drying out. Isn’t it wonderful? I think you should be able to click and enlarge the photo – check out the wings! It’s like stained glass. So intricate and perfect. I think I danced a little jig of “squeeeeeeee!” after taking these photos.

Then it flew around the garden a bit and came to rest on a different tree. Again I used my longer lens here.

I really love British wildlife. We have so many wonderful creatures here! I love to photograph them when I get the chance. I’m sorry if you don’t really like looking at insects! I sometimes wonder if I should make my blog fit into a certain genre or category, but that’s a bit boring really isn’t it? I just like blogging the things I like and think about (there’s quite a lot of those). Crochet, walks, being mum, photos, insects. It’s all good isn’t it. Lots of things. But yes. Taking photos makes me happy and I am so glad that I have this place to inflict them upon share them with you :-)