Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Lately in my life

 
 
 
  
   
  
 
   
 
  
 
 
It's amazing what a bit of sun and warmth does for your soul. It's worked wonders for mine I must say. I've been outside as much as possible these past few days, soaking up the vitamin D and dreaming about wafting spires of pollinator friendly flowers in the garden. We have already had some visitors; a few ladybirds, big, fat, drowsy bumbles, honey bees and other flying lovelies. Even a small tortoiseshell flew past the front of the house at the weekend. Yesterday I was sat in the conservatory having my mid morning cup of builder's tea, listening to a Mistle Thrush singing his heart out. He was sat in the plum tree and bold as brass. I've always thought of them as timid birds. In fact thy are normally chased away by the territorial Blackbird. But this one was doing his thing with gay abandon. It was wonderful.
 
The frogs have laid their eggs, and the pond is awash with spawn. Olly and me have paid daily visits to check their progress. There are newts in the pond, and we fear that they will devour the tadpoles. They did last year. I get the feeling that Olly would quite like to see this in action, but is sparing my feelings and pretending to be concerned about those poor dots encased in their jelly sacs. As he gets older, my boy is displaying those ancient male characteristics that sent them running down the hills from their forts into battle. He loves a scrap, and these days it's all about death and destruction, I'm afraid.
 
Olly turns six tomorrow. I can hardly believe it. Six is a very grown up number, don't you think? He's getting tall. His legs are growing long and lanky, like both his brothers. He is fab at reading, but crap at spelling. It's boring, apparently. I agree. He is maturing emotionally, and has a tight little circle of school friends. His best friend, Finley is coming for birthday tea. I say tea. I'm taking them to MacDonald's. They've discussed their menu options in great depth. They both want a McFlurry, and are hopeful there will be balloons. He has Lego (more Lego), some Minecraft figures and a new ball. He lost his old one over the cliff edge at Godrevy, on Sunday. The pictures above are from then (you can see the ball in the picture of Olly and  the caterpillar). Honestly there I am berating the world and his wife about the amount of filthy plastic in our seas, and then we go and plop a great sphere of the stuff into it.
 
We did climb down the cliff to see whether we could find it. But to no avail. I'm hoping that it washed in on the tide, and some other child retrieved it and took it home. That would be the best ending all round. Because honestly the amount of plastic that has been washed up onto the beaches lately has been horrific. We've had extremes of tides, and that combined with some rough seas has hurled all this plastic stuff up and out of the sea. Last week I saw toothbrushes, lighters, dummies, shoe inserts and lots of bright pink plastic that is probably those Vanish bottles breaking up in the water. They were washed ashore on the East coast, but have obviously travelled around and are now being dumped on the West.
 
I do my bit to clean and take some of it home, but the other day it was overwhelming awful. I decided to see how much I could collect from a small area in fifteen minutes. It was staggering how much there was. And this was just the stuff I could readily see and pick up. Look closer, and there was hundreds of teeny tiny bits. It doesn't degrade. It just becomes microscopic dust. It gets into the food chain. It causes untold damage. You already know all of this of course. But boy does it make my blood boil to see it. When I took Honey for a walk on the beach this afternoon, it was pristine. The sea has swallowed it all up again, and carried it back out to its' depths. Poor sea. A passer by commented about how at least Porthmeor was looking nice for the Easter visitors. That's not quite the point, I thought. I guess it's all out of sight, out of mind for some.
 
My sweet peas are gambolling away in the greenhouse. I'm hopeful that there were soon be Dahlia seedlings joining them. I've never grown Dahlias from seed before, but thought I'd have a go. The back of the packet blurbed about polythene and constant temperatures. I've flown in the face of convention, and popped a bit of plastic (plastic!!) on top of the seed trays. I'm a lucky gardener, so I reckon it will do the trick. I've been planting out a big border at the bottom of the garden. It was made inadvertently last year, when we cut away some rotten decking. I've transferred some shrubs from elsewhere in the garden, popped in loads of perennials that I have been stockpiling and also most of the Foxgloves seedlings that have sprouted up down the side of the house. I'm hoping to pop in plants to try and attract different types of butterfly. We did quite well last year with our fluttery visitors. I counted eight different types. But I reckon we could do better this year. Any suggestions, CT?
 
My trials and tribulations with technology continue. I now have a new phone, but it doesn't recognise my Microsoft account, and so I cannot install any apps. This means that I am without Instagram, and people, I am bereft. I love my little world of IG, and all those lovely squares. And I am missing the lovely people that I have connected with there. I've likened it to popping my head over the garden wall to say hello. I'm missing doing that. I'm missing people saying hello back. I'm wondering how they all are, and I'm missing those gorgeous mantel displays. You all know how I envy those with a mantel.
 
This morning my iron pressed it's last shirt. It started smoking ominously in my hand, and so I did what every government information advert from the seventies told you NOT to do; I threw it out of the back door. It was only last week that my hair dryer literally blew up in my hand, so I was taking no chances. My bedroom carpet bears the blackened scars of that incident. Alfie was appalled. He was waiting his turn, so that he could do that quiffy thing to his hair that teenage boys aspire to these days. I wish he would aspire to something a little more worthy. But what do I know? I'm happy if I leave the house in the morning with my bra on frankly. Most days I can't be arsed.
 
Finally I'd like to thank you all for your wonderful responses regarding my fear of invisibility. You do flatter me with your conviction that I most definitely am not. I certainly wasn't yesterday when I did the mother of all falls up the flight of steps leading to Olly's classroom. My friend Caroline laughed the loudest. Mrs Pulley the longest.
 
Right I'm off to blow up balloons. I bloody hate balloons.
 
Have a lovely rest of your week.
 
Leanne xx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



42 comments:

  1. That is a lovely pic of the three of you, and of the beach too. I'm appalled about the plastic. Flutter flowers that do well here are daphne, buddleia, red campion, cornflowers, cosmos, ox eye daisy, marjoram, thyme, nicotiana and if you want orange tips get some cuckoo flower/ lady's smock. This will make you grin- I misread your last para and thought you'd done the mother of all farts at school :-) xx

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    1. Oh CT, I'd never recover from the shame. I still carry the memory of an inadvertent squeak that eeked out about three weeks after I had started my new secondary school. It echoed around the hall, stopping Miss Parkin our noble headmistress mid flow. Hideous, hideous, hideous......

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    2. Marvellous, marvellous, marvellous :-) xx

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  2. Never mind about being without Instagram. Being without an iron.. now that's seriously cool.

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    1. It's already been replaced sadly. I cannot countenance a drawer full of un-pressed tea towels ;))

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  3. I've had my fair share of small appliances blow up on me too. I'm just waiting for the toaster to go. I used it three different times today, between making breakfast and lunch, and I held my breath every time I pushed down the lever. Still good, which is disappointing actually because I'd really like a smaller toaster. My phone is working fine but I haven't been on IG in about three weeks. I come and go with it; sometimes I think it's really fun, other times I kind of chicken out and stay away. I think CT has some nice suggestions for flowers. I have nicotiana and it's so pretty, but I didn't know what it was until YOU told me the name, last summer I think. :)

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    1. Yes CT is my go to guru for all things nature. I know I could look it up, but I like the passing on of knowledge from one friend to another. It's a bit like gardening; I've learnt more from neighbours, relatives and friends than I ever would from a book. xxxx

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  4. Wonderful post. How awful about all the plastic; poor sea indeed. Love the photo of you and your boys. I think our kettle is about to go the same way as your iron and hairdryer - the wretched thing won't turn off anymore and you can't leave it unattended or you come back to a kitchen like a sauna. xx

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    1. My advice is to buy a new one before you are forced to throw it out of the back door. I remember my Mum doing just that with a chip pan that caught fire. It was all very thrilling as I recall. xxx

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  5. Happy new iron. We've just replaced ours as the last one's party piece was turning off all the downstairs lights when it was switched on. Hope it was only your pride that was dented on those school steps but it's good that you do your own stunts. As for that ball in the sea.... WILSON!

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  6. What an idyllic part of the country you live in but what a shame thoughtless people seem intent on spoiling it by depositing their rubbish along our shorelines. You would think the message woyld have got across to these people by now but obviously not. Hopefully your son's ball was retrieved by another youngster so that you don't need to carry that guilt of adding to the sea's plastic mountain. Happy 6th Birthday to Olly. xx

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    1. It's on an industrial scale, this plastic nonsense. And yes I hope that the ball was washed up, picked up and taken home. xx

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  7. My dishwasher stopped working before Christmas & went to the big appliance heaven in the sky. Then the big TV broke in the sitting room, the speed in the TV being replaced was breathtaking - two hours I seem to recall. Alas I am still with out a dishwasher although the husband is making a suitable replacement. It's a crying shame about the level of plastic in the sea, I'm making an effort to cut down on plastic wrapped items. I find it highly frustrating with the amount found under the hedges xx

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    1. Hmmm I see a pattern emerging...my dishwasher was out of action for nearly 18 months, before I got a new one. The TV was similarly quick to be replaced. xxx

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  8. Happy birthday to Olly, my youngest is exactly 10 years older than him.

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    1. Happy birthday to your youngest Sue. Are you off to MacDonald's for tea too?

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    2. A sophisticated buffet comprising charcuterie, olives, French bread, runny cheese is on the menu. Plus birthday cake obvs.

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    3. Well I for one thoroughly enjoyed my McFlurry ;)

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  9. The amount of plastic is truly horrific isn't it. It should all be banned immediately, it's the only way to stop it. I'm in a fury about it all as well. Have you thought about buddleia for butterflies? They absolutely love it, I saw literally dozens of peacock butterflies on a bush at Slimbridge a couple of years ago. And you can get some smaller ones these days that aren't quite so thuggish. Also a choice of colours including white or pink. I often look on Ebay for small plants. Just a thought. I fell over in spectacular fashion into the car park at football the other day. Ripped a hole in my only decent jeans. And there's water coming out from under the washing machine. I'm trying to ignore it, but every day it's a bit more. I'm wishing Olly the very best of birthdays. All of mine are quite fighty these days. It will come in handy if the Welsh invade. I hope he has a lovely day and that there are balloons at McDonalds. Balloons are absolutely guaranteed to start a scrap in this house. Oh boys, never a dull moment. CJ xx

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    1. Ohh, just went to check the pond, I have frogspawn too, hurray. CJ xx

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    2. I too have one of those pesky leaks. I am also ignoring it in the hope that it will go away. I shall be looking into Buddleia, although I do have one in the front garden that seems to be a pariah in butterfly land. No idea why. xxx

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  10. Those are lovely photos of all of you. I agree about the awful plastic waste - we need a complete rethink of how we are living. But then having said that I look round my house and see so much plastic. Though at least I don't tip it into the sea. We have just spent a happy half hour planting herb seeds. My youngest is now singing them a lullaby. I am sure that will help them grow. Growing flowers is a step beyond me at the moment. I do love dahlias though. We used to have an allotment where an elderly man grew beautiful dahlias. Oh you are tempting me in to dahlia growing land now. And I cannot blow up balloons. Just can't do it. It is quite a useful failing as it gets me out of having to do them. I fell over at the local petrol station and it hurt! They employ an old lady who polishes the tiles around the pumps every morning, rendering them slippery. Typically english, no one reacted to my stumble.

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  11. Yes. Tons of plastic here. But I do recycle, and I do pass on unwanted toys to charity shops and friends etc. I don't tip it into the sea. I adore the thought of your little one singing to the herbs. They will grow heartily and healthily with that kind of magic bestowed upon them. Dahlias are easy peasy to grow from shop bough tubers, and places likes Wilkinsons sell them very cheaply. Have a go! The fancy ones don't attract the pollinators so have a mix of them. Bees love the open flowered ones. xxx

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    1. And I meant to say that I would have reacted with a stifled giggle. Hope that helps ;))

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  12. We did a beach clean a few weeks ago too and found toothbrushes too! Since we first started doing them over 20 years ago plastic has been the top items, although there seems to be less items with foreign labels. Congratulations to Olly on his birthday his party sounds fun too much better than hordes of children! I found growing dahlia's from seed easier than I expected. Sarah x

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    1. You give me hope re the Dahlias Sarah. Although judging from your wonderful garden, you are an expert gardener. And yes, having one child to play was much easier on the nerves. Boys rampage, and I fear I'm getting too old for manic sword play. xxx

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  13. I hope Olly has a great birthday! Make sure that you enjoy it and get some cake too!! I am with you on the plastic thing, apparently people flushing cotton buds - the cotton wool on the end of a stick things - cause untold problems. Use the bin people!!! Anyway, I will not rant on your blog, but I am with you! Hope you have a good weekend, good luck with the seeds. xx

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    1. Yes you often see the remains of a cotton bud. Nonsensical. Rant all you want my dear girl. I for one am all for it. Have a lovely weekend too. xx

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  14. I do hope the birthday partying went well xxx

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  15. Ah, Leanne! Love your words! Trust Olly had a great birthday tea - am partial to Mcflurries myself - and is revelling in such a wonderful age! Missing you very much on Instagram - come back soon! Xx

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    1. Hey Lou. I'll be back asap. I'm missing you all too xx

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  16. I love your blog posts so much, my darlin. I really flipping do. I don't chat enough on IG. It's time, or a lack of it. But wasn't the weather glorious during the week? I had such a spring in my step, and it seems like you did too. Oh,and happy birthday to Olly. Xxx

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    1. You are very busy. I have time. Les than before, but still more than you. I'm amazed that you can fit it all in to be honest. Your blog is one of my favourite and best, but at the moment I have trouble commenting. I have tried several times to tell you that your living rom is a triumph, and how jealous I am of your gorgeous rug. But it keeps throwing me out, which is most inconvenient. And then I start fretting that you might think I'm ignoring your posts. Which I most definitely am not. Last week was wonderful in St Ives, and this week promises more of the same. And yes I'm springing madly ;)
      L xx

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    2. Don't worry, I can still stalk you on Facebook, my friend! 😘😘

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  17. Just catching up with you, Leanne. Love that picture of you and your boys. Not many butterflies up north yet. Just one brave Red Admiral when the sun came out last week.

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    1. Thank you Doris. It's not that often I'm in front of the camera. There were others, but to be frank I looked liked a space hopper with legs.
      L xx

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  18. Six is indeed very big, but still not big enough to not need Mom. I am frankly happy to leave my house dressed in the morning, sometimes I think that is a huge achievement.
    Meredith

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    1. Hey Meredith,
      Boys always need their Mums. Their needs just change! I'm always impressed that I make it out of the front door in some semblance of order on any day of the week. You are not alone with that one.
      Leanne xx

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  19. Catching up with you, Leanne. I can't work out how to follow you so I get an email when you publish. Don't want to use bloglovin... Anyway, your bit about leaving the house made me laugh out loud. I ended up buying my 14-yr-old his own hairdryer because I was fed up of him using mine (not that I use it v often). Now he can quiff to his heart's content. Hope the birthday tea went well. Sam x

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    1. Hey Sam,
      I'm not able to access my bloglovin account, for some reason. I should buy Alfie a hairdryer; it would save a lot of hassle in the morning.
      L xx

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