Spring doesn’t seem so far way when you’re planting springtime bulbs. Who am I trying to kid? 

We spent this weekend digging out unwanted messy bushes and weeds from the front of our house ready to plant pretty flowers. Tulips, Aliums and a couple of other flowers that will look pretty and colourful next year…all being well. 

We made two trips to the garden centre last week, firstly to buy some seeds for quick growing flowers (they don’t exist this time of year, so we settled for cress seeds). I was lured by the bulbs and so went back later in the week when my dad was visiting. After making my selections (‘Stop now and go to the till!’ Dad cries….but so many pretty flowers!!) we ate cake and sat in the sunshine while the boys played outside.

So bulbs to plant gave me the incentive to start digging (OK, I weeded. Matt dug). 

I was very patient and restrained, allowing all the kids to help plant the bulbs, fighting every urge to lock all other members of the family indoors while I carefully planted exactly where I wanted. There was a little method to the chaos, hence the lolly sticks, but I decided random would look ok too. I hope they survive the winter and any passing animals who might want to dig them up (or children!). 


There’s something very satisfying about planting bulbs for next year. Ooh, is this what planning feels like?


since we last met

we have…

Moved house, rescued baby ducklings and returned to a stream, had more kittens, hosted many friends and family in our new home, acquired chickens, eaten lots of lovely fresh eggs, decided to stop paying a cleaner and then quickly reversed that decision! Enjoyed a foreign holiday (so lush!), picked a lot of blackberries, spent a dreadful wet bank-holiday Monday buying school shoes (insane decision), endured a mini festival, harvested our first vegetables (it is completely acceptable to use the word ‘harvested’ when picking from your own back garden), devoured a lot of pancakes (with crispy bacon and maple syrup, then warm blueberries and creme fraiche…because you needed that detail). 



I’ve started to write so many blog posts and found myself stuck or without time to finish the job. Not having written for so long, it’s hard getting started again. And when I find I have some time to write, I also feel the need to sit, stare at the walls and REST. I have some time for myself today and I can become paralysed in deciding what to do with it. Options: Walk at an adult pace until I feel tired enough to stop (yes I long for this!), eat something nice somewhere nice, phone a friend, make a lampshade, knit, write, read a book, catch up on blogs. So I’m trying not to let myself become paralysed by the choice and just move….do as many of those things as possible; don’t fret about what order they are in or try and create the perfect day. Just do it and hopefully at the end of it, I’ll feel more refreshed. So that’s what I’m doing here; just writing.

I’ve been tackling some things that take too much time. Life-sapping things, like tidying up too-many-toys. I’ve created a toy library in the loft room. The idea is that the kids have a couple of toys out at a time, then swap them when they want something new to play with. Having a clearer space and just sorting through everything was very therapeutic and the house feels much calmer.

The kids have been playing really nicely when they come home from school and seem to enjoy that space and freedom to play again. I had hoped to have a really good story time with them but they seem to need the space and freedom more than sitting listening to stories. Their bodies need to move a bit more. I’m looking forward to winter evenings when it’s cold enough to light a fire. I imagine us snuggling under blankets in front of the fire, reading together.

So…school. Yes they are back. The elder two anyway. What a journey in deciding to send them back! I could talk about it for hours, but the long and the short of it is that places came up for them in a nice local school. They wanted to go back. We talked endlessly about our options and I was pretty much standing alone as the only person who wanted to carry on home educating.
There’s been a few ups and downs with going back…mostly ups actually, and it’s nice to see them happyand enjoying the experience. At times it’s been tough for them to be the ‘new kids’ and I’m trying to stay close enough to catch the moments when they need to let off steam or have a cuddle and a cry.

And I’m trying to unravel myself from the big ball of home educator enthusiasm, because it doesn’t really fit anymore. Not for our complete family anyway. I’m left with some confusion, and a whole variety of strong and competing emotions (ahem) about the purposes of the last year but I think I’m meant to stop fuelling that fire. For now anyway.

And it’s nice to be back here. Even if it’s not perfect.