Thursday, 16 April 2015



Olly and I ventured up Rosewall after tea this evening. The sun was still gloriously warm and bright, and I didn't fancy another game of Connect Four. We have been shrouded in mist this week, and it has felt oppressive at times. Rosewall Hill looms up over the top end of town, and is a fabulous place for running, playing, sitting and staring.

We scrambled over the cairn and played hide and seek. There was the gentlest breeze, and no real need for coats. The sun was out over the sea, and I thought how wonderful the sunset would be later. We smelt the gorse, and looked at the tiny wood anemones taking shelter among the crags and gullies of the cairn. There were brightly hued lichens, and teeny tiny sedums eeking out an existence too. We could hear the gentle noises of cows and sheep in the fields that lie tucked into the valley below, and the chatter of birds in the air. Olly spotted a pair of Red Admirals tumbling over each other in a mid-air flight of fancy. I spotted the shiny black beetle scurrying to and fro.

We met Mr Pascoe and his two collies, Fern and Skye. Mr Pascoe's family has farmed the land around Rosewall for many years, and he told me that he walks the hill at least once a day. He was waiting for the sunset, and listening to the sounds of his animals too. He told me that on a really clear day, and with a good pair of binoculars, you could see the coast of Wales from the top of the hill. He told me of the Painted Ladies that sometimes fly over the hill, bought here on the winds from Africa. He told me about the Cuckoo, that should be making a return soon. He gave Olly his crook to play with, and showed him how to call his dogs with a click of the fingers. Olly mentioned the butterflies and the bumblebees we had seen. I felt a soaring pride as Mr Pascoe congratulated him on his knowledge and observation.

I love moments like this. A chance encounter. An introduction. A chat. A sharing of knowledge. A connection. A mini friendship born from shared values, and an appreciation and love of the place that we both proudly call home.

I wish I'd had the guts to ask Mr Pascoe if I could take his picture. I think you would have liked him too.

Leanne xx

Monday, 13 April 2015




Olly and Sam have returned to their various places of learning today. Alfie has an in service day, which is just as well because he hasn't done a sod of homework all holiday. He did win a bar of mint Aero from his sergeant major on cadet camp though. Apparently he was the best at marching and halting. And he got to fire an air rifle. And eat more bacon and eggs than at home.

Apart from yesterday, which saw me nursing the hangover from bloody hell, I've had a lovely time at home with the boys. It's mainly just me and Olly of course, but I just like the idea of them all being here. I like that they are happy and safe and content. My days always start early. I am normally awake at 6, and I tend to jump out of bed and do. I enjoy that quiet hour of pottering before Olly stirs, and I find that I can get a lot done.

But in those last days of the holiday, I found myself not jumping and doing. I let myself drift in and out of thoughts, as I listened to the chorus of birds outside. For instance, I found myself thinking about the novelist Annie Proulx. She is a wonderful story teller, and her short stories in particular are exquisite, almost eccentric works of art. Thinking of her led me to remember a school short story competition that I won when I was eleven. The story had to have a definite beginning, middle and end and no more than fifty words long.

I still carry some residual guilt about my winning entry. And I chuckled to myself as I noted that the story I submitted was rather revealing about the person I was, and the person I was becoming. My guilt is down to the fact that the story was completely plagarised; I merely re-told an old joke. The truth of the matter was (and still is) that I have a very lazy brain. I was a clever girl. I think I could have been very clever. But it seemed far easier to coast through school, and do okay. I have coasted all my life. It's kept me out of trouble, but I suspect I could do so much more.

I went for the laugh. I have always used humour as a way of making friends, getting out of tricky situations and hiding behind. I am the cynical one, always ready with a pithy one liner. I come from a family of jokers. My brother can spin a yarn like no-one else. My sister and my Mum enjoy a laugh and have quite a dark sense of humour. But I always have to have the last laugh. Always.

I really needed to win that competition. I'm a lazy brain with a very competitive streak. But bugger the marathon, I shall kick your ass in the sprint. I used all the tools available to me to score the winning goal. I borrowed an old joke, and I re-worked it. I made sure that it was funny, because everyone remembers funny.

I am actually an honest and ethical person. It was a rather hollow victory in the end, and I have often felt guilty about it over the years. I guess you can call it a penance. I even contacted my old English teacher through Friends Reunited, and apologised. She was very gracious in her response. She wrote "You were always a trenchant young lady."
Trenchant! Me!

Other drifting thoughts:

I am convinced that Elizabeth Bennett would also be a clumsy cow like me. I wonder whether it's odd that I only write on the right hand pages of my note books, and then turn then upside down and fill up the pages that were left blank. I reckon that Charlie and Lola do not represent the majority of sibling relationships. And have decided that I should never start digging on my allotment with a hangover.

Thanks ever so for all your responses to my last couple of posts. And a very warm welcome to new followers. You are very welcome!

Have a great week. Be good. Or not.

Leanne xx

A Purple Short Story

Once, in Purple Land lived a dragon. The kingdom lived in fear.
 The King promised his daughter's hand to whoever could slay the beast. A purple knight accepted.
 He dug a deep purple pit, covering it with purple sticks. The dragon charged, falling to his doom.
 "Indigo," said the prince.

(I know, I know. It ain't no Annie Proulx)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The year in books 2015 - April

I have become 'quite friendly' with one of my  new neighbours over the road. We have been out for walks, and in each others houses for tea and biscuits. I have been wary of making new friends for many years. In a way connecting with people through blogging has helped me a great deal with that. Anyway, I'm glad that she and I have connected. She is an outgoing, intelligent, funny and kind person. I have found myself looking forward to seeing her very much. I've even told her that I write a blog, something I tend to keep to myself.

A couple of weeks ago we were having a chat, and the subject of reading came up.We both like to read on our tummies in bed.We both share a love of female novelists. We both tend to walk around the house reading, and shushing anyone who gets in our way.

She doesn't trust Kindles. I'm learning to love mine. She likes a whodunnit. I told her about my love for a really good fictional pyschopath. If it wasn't for the fact that I am about six inches taller than her, rather less glamorous and don't look anything like Jackie O, we could be peas in a pod.....

My read for this month is one that she has lent me. I have lent her an Annie Proulx. I hope she likes it. My book group read is 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.' I know! I never saw that one coming either.

Linking up with Laura.

Leanne xx

(She also gave me the pot).

Monday, 6 April 2015

That's Entertainment

Waking up with an open window, and the sunlight streaming in. All is quiet inside, as I drink a cup of tea in bed. I listen to the birdsong outside; robin, wren, dove, goldfinch, rook, gull and blackbird. My own morning symphony.

Olly finally wakes up, and jumps into bed for cuddles. "Tickle my feet!" he demands. I oblige, and we end up tickling each other until one of us yells "mercy!"

I open up the house, unload the dishwasher, load the washing machine, make more tea, grab a book and settle down in the conservatory. It has already been warmed by the sun.

I watch our visiting blackbird pull a huge worm out of the garden. He meticulously breaks in into smaller pieces, and flies off to the hedge at the bottom of the garden. Not long after a female blackbird appears, and does the same. I wonder whether we have a nesting pair. That would be wonderful.

The sky is bright blue. There isn't a cloud. I watch a plane travel across the azure expanse. I watch the birds fly to and fro. I notice that the blossom on the pear tree is out.

I worry a little about Sam, who is travelling to Liverpool from Bristol this morning, to meet up with friends. He is as green as the grass, and I imagine all sorts of disasters. I wonder how I will cope when he moves up there in September. Badly, I suppose.

Olly and me go outside. I hang washing on the line, and then start weeding in my pyjamas. Olly calls me over to see a butterfly. He tells me that it is a Peacock. She's a bit battered on one of her wings, but is busy flitting about the Anemones. It is our first one of the year, and we duly log it on the app on my phone.

A little while later, a Small Tortoiseshell is spotted. Followed by a small blue. There are bumblebees and pollinators a-plenty. I am in heaven.

I notice the shoots of new growth all around me. The garden is still mostly shades of green, but I can see that it will be a riot quite soon. I'm hoping for an unruly bed head of a garden this summer. All higgledy piggledy and fabulous.

I open up the greenhouse. Marc has fixed the shattered glass, and my seedlings are romping away. The sweet peas are probably ready to plant out. A job for next week.

Marc goes and gets Betty, and we pack her up for a day of adventuring. Olly wears Crocs. I wear flip flops. Alfie takes off his hoody.

We drive to The Lizard, and stop at Cadgwith and Kynance Cove. We eat ice cream, and enjoy the sunshine. I enjoy photographing the wild flowers, and admire the thatched cottages.

I try to explain to Alfie the beauty of a wooden hut whose yellow paint is peeling, and has faded curtains in its' windows. He is unmoved.

Olly jumps the waves, and plays on the sand. He collects a bucketful of pebbles, and some flotsam from the beach. He strips down to his pants and runs about with gay abandon. Alfie takes off his socks and wriggles his toes in the sunshine.

Marc and I squabble about a lost bread knife, and a rusty can opener. Then we hold hands as we climb down to the beach.

We reluctantly return home. Alfie wants to stay on his rock in the sun. Olly would like another ice cream. Marc is not looking forward to a return to work. I think about all sorts.

The long weekend has been blissful. Full of stuff. Good stuff. And far too much chocolate. Deliciously Ella anyone?

Leanne xx

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Into April

It's days like these that I feel sorry for the St Ives tourist. The weather doesn't know what to do with itself. We've had it all in the past forty eight hours. The greenhouse has been the victim of a howling gale, and I now have smashed glass all over my seed trays. It's no joke picking out tiny splinters of glass from your borlottis, I can tell you.

I am hoping that April sorts it's indecision out, and brings forth sunshine.

Leanne xx

Friday, 27 March 2015

Post birthday world



The sun shone yesterday. Bright and high in the sky. On one side of town the wind blew frothed topped waves onto the shore. On the other calm waters gently lapped the beach. I got to enjoy them both. I sat and faced the sun. I people watched. I talked to two little boys - hello Arthur and Stan - who came to pet Honey. I found a pretty shell. I marvelled at the clear sharp quality of the light. The light of St Ives.

Lately I've regained some confidence in myself, and I've dared to raise my head above the parapet. I am trying new things, and making new friendships. I am taking small risks once more, and starting to walk with a spring in my step again. I don't need the kick ass strut of Beyonce. I don't want the abs of Gwen Stefanie. I'm more a Clare Grogan kind of girl. That'll do for me.

Thank you for all of my birthday messages, gifts and love. I am surrounded by the most gorgeous people. Near and far. I think my forty fifth year is going to be most excellent.

Leanne xx

Monday, 23 March 2015

A spot of cleaning


You know it's just as well I gave up Facebook and not chocolate for Lent, because I've just had three massive spoonfuls of Nutella. I know it's not chocolate per se, but it's brown, gooey and sweet. I've sat here while the above photos have been loading, diving into that jar of yumminess. I can justify it, because I went swimming this morning and then spent the rest of the day Spring cleaning the kitchen. There was a lot of elbow grease involved, especially when I pulled the cooker out from it's recess. It was pretty horrific back there I can tell you. I did find my favourite wooden spoon, three magnets, a hook and a pair of scissors though. I proudly showed off my efforts to Sam when he came back from college. As you can imagine, he was as thrilled as me by the fruits of my labours.

Obviously Spring has arrived. The weekend saw Betty back on the drive. She was given an air and a spruce up too. Olly played in her, while I pottered with seeds in the greenhouse. I had a slight disaster when one of my staging racks decided to collapse, sending sweet pea seedlings all over the shop. Olly came running as the air turned blue, and helped me save as many as we could. He then suggested that I should plant some more, and "be careful next time, Mummy." So wise for one so young.

My bedroom has been given a thorough clean too. I even cleaned the velux windows and light (I haven't cleaned them in over ten years. Don't tell anyone). I ordered Sam and Alfie to clean their rooms too. Alfie did a great job. Sam emptied his bin. Olly's room is on the to do list for tomorrow, and then I tackle the big one; the attic. There is eighteen years worth of crap up there, and I am in ruthless mode.

We gave Betty a run out along the coast road to Cape Cornwall. Alfie was tired from all the cleaning, so stayed behind. Sam did come, and was very lovely to Olly. They made towers of the stones that make up the beach, and threw pebbles into the incoming tide. I sat in a sheltered spot feeling my freckles pop out to say hello, and Marc fell asleep on the slipway.

Another hectic week ensues. Thank you for all your best wishes regarding my lurgy. I can cope with morning sickness, a burst gall bladder and severing the top of my finger. I cannot cope with the common cold. At all. My family are all grateful that it is on the wane. And Olly says thank you for all your happy birthdays. I wonder if turning forty five will feel as good as turning five?

Leanne xx