Finding energy lately has been pretty hard, a lot of it was spent on worry, looking after children and hoping and dreaming on a new home outside of London. I’ve managed to catch up on some reading, zilch writing but dreaming even if it’s all so fuzzy, I still manage to do it albeit tinted with much frustration and anxiety. It does seem to take me a long time to do anything, it took me over a month to answer a list of questions a fellow writer sent me on motherhood and creativity but I eventually managed it. It will be published hopefully in a zine over the summer in Edinburgh which i’m looking forward to seeing. I’ve put together a list of things, going ons and yearnings. I do hope to write more here and this can become a monthly feature.
Adventures with the kids with the National trust, well we adore them! where would we parents be without them! Igtham Mote near Seven Oaks is one of our favourites. Our eldest likes finding things on the worksheet around the house then playing in the brook and that brook is so much fun! Honestly, nothing makes her happier than getting her feet wet. Our one year old loved the adventure play ground and I loved all, including the gift shop which I bought a beautiful ceramic vase from. The amount I spend on flowers there is ludicrous. Actually an elderly gentlemen went “cor blimey” as he stood behind me at Darwin House then proceeded to apologise and wish me much happiness in my garden.
Optimistic over the voting turn out, not so much over the person that told me today they didn’t vote because they thought there was no point!
Eating recipes out of Claire Thomson’s National Trust Family Cookbook .I fell into such a rut with what to cook for the family and kids that wasn’t just spaghetti bolognaise so my lovely friend Eloise recommended this one. I had cooked a few recipes out of Thomson’s 5’o’clock Apron but I think this one may be my favourite. It has that National Trust feeling that I love. Cake anyone?
What I’d like to do is eat cleaner, I’m not saying cut out gluten but I’d definitely like to cut out sugar from my life. I have a dangerous sweet tooth, I don’t gorge on cakes or and such, but I add it to my hot drinks and at the tender age of 32 I’ve quit gelatin sweets, thanks to a pact I made with the cosmic universe when the baby was going in for his op, that’s another story…
Listening to Joni Mitchell. I turned to her after the terror attacks here in London following soon after Manchester. After crying over the radio, I had to turn it off at breakfast time. I’m very aware that my four year old picks up a lot and it’s not what I want her to hear. I fell in love with Ladies of the Canyon and I can’t explain how it soothed my soul. I was transported to the warmth of California and the dream of peace as I stirred porridge , fed the kids, then stood in the porridge.
Reading The Secret History by Donna Tart
Worrying over big school in September, how has four years slipped away, before I know it, it will be the second one’s turn! Maybe I should have another… don’t worry husband don’t take any drastic measures!
Embracing the changing season with my entire soul. I have plunged into the earth ; feet, hands and body. The eldest and I are growing all sorts from fennel, a mint garden, pumpkins, tomatoes and flowers, flowers, flowers! We live in a top floor flat and although we have a back garden we have no water access so it’s hard to look after them easily (we do most of our gardening at my parent’s house) so after much thought and courage I asked my lovely downstairs neighbour if she minded lending her wall space which had hanging basket hooks with no hanging baskets to let us grow strawberries there and she said yes! There is no harm in asking and my daughter loves watering them and watching them grow, please slugs stay away. She is learning so much from growing these plants, that if they dry they die, if we over water, they die, if slugs come, they die, if we look after them just right, they live. It’s a simple life lesson that allows her to connect to the earth on so many levels. I also find that she relaxes so very much when digging and watering her feet, I mean the plants!
We just about managed to pick elderflowers in time after putting it off each week. We dashed out and foraged as many as possible to make a descent sized batch. Ayla loved picking them and sharing it with our neighbour and her friend’s mother at school. I feel it’s important to show that we can be kind by sharing what we have especially when there is an abundance of it.
We’ve been taking part in The Wildlife Trust’s 30 days Wild which is fun although it made me realise we are already quite aware of nature all around us and tend to acknowledge it in many beautiful ways each day. Do give it a go if you feel like you need that extra push to be more involved with nature. It’s not too late to receive your free goodie pack with free wild flower seeds!
Watching The Handmaids Tale, I love Atwood and her very scary mind. I didn’t study this book but I remember finding Atwood when I was about 14 when hiding in the school library and this was her first book I read.
Looking forward to our holiday at the end of July , a converted stable, a fire place and near the sea… that’s all I ask.
Wishing I could spend a whole blissful weekend at the Mother Nurture Mother Wild retreat for mamas set up by my lovely friend Lisa but the baby, can he still be called a baby? Nevertheless, my one year old still depends on me on a nightly basis so maybe next year.
I’m trying to consciously live slower and take better care of myself, particularly after a very sickly winter for all of us. For me that it is making sure my family and myself are more present in the natural world, whether that’s running around in the woods, growing our own food and splashing about in water. I’m not a calm person, no matter how hard I wish I was and I really wish I was but I have a short fuse, I’m physically alert and become hyped up easily. How can I change? And I really want to for the sake of my children whom I gentle parent to the best of my abilities. I like to say I am rather passionate about things and I really am but I wish I wasn’t so tightly wound. I’m hoping Melanie’s The Slow Living Retreat has some lovely pointers for this passionate mama.