“It can go. It’s too broken.”
“Are you sure?”
We have a lot of conversations like this one. Mr TTC and me. After being together 23 years, we have amassed stuff, and the thing about stuff is that eventually it wears-out/breaks/is-no-longer-fit-for-purpose. It stops being stuff. It starts being a disposal issue.
This week, it was the turn of our last deckchair.
In all fairness, this chair has done well.
It first became our stuff on our wedding day. 18 years ago.
When we married, we decided that the wreck of a house we were doing up, needed a new roof more than we needed a fancy day. Mostly on the principle that, it might be better to have a water tight house to spend the rest of our lives together, than the memories of one spectacular day.
So we bought a roof, and went on to thoroughly enjoy a simple wedding reception in the back garden, on the big day. It was a wise decision.
(Look at that roof line! There were saucepans and buckets in the roof overflowing with rain water, positioned under the many holes)
Problem was we had more wedding guests than chairs, so the call went out for guests to bring a chair. What can I say? Roofs are not cheap.
My sister arrived bearing three deck chairs. They weren’t new and, as she took in the state of the property, she told us to hang on to the chairs.
So we did. At least now we had somewhere to sit in the garden and ponder the wisdom of buying such a full on renovation job of a house.
Gradually, over the intermediate years, the deckchairs slowly aged. Two fell to pieces and the frames went into the fire wood pile.
This week, it was the last chair’s turn. Except this time, my husband chose to see it as a challenge. Maybe it represented something different to him this time. Maybe he saw my expression as I contemplated that this year I wouldn’t be sitting in the orchard sipping Pimms, reading a book and
ignoring the children enjoying five minutes peace and quiet. Who knows, but he decided to save it.
He fixed up the frame and treated the wood. He is clever at mending things. I was tasked with sourcing fabric. Fixing the fabric to the frame took a few minutes. Only task left to do, was to test it out. There were more than enough willing volunteers, as you can probably imagine.
So the last deckchair remains in our stuff. I’m happy. I can continue to re-enact the front cover of a Country Living magazine. Just need the sun to come out again and I’ll disappear off to the orchard. Anyone going to join me? Please bring the Pimms, if you would. Look in the fridge. Second shelf down. Already made up in a jug. Perfect.
See. Told you it wasn’t about the deckchair.
(garden twine crochet granny square)
I seem to be posting more up on Instagram recently and less in this space. It’s faster and easier to post a photo up there than to sit down and write a blog post. I take a photo using my phone and within a few minutes, its up on my Instagram feed.
I like the interaction that goes hand in hand with Instagram. People like and comment more readily. Take the granny square I crocheted (above). I was inspired by another Instagrammer’s photo and have been on the look out for coloured garden twine ever since. Advice given on hook size. It’s faster.
Which brings me to this space. I’ve been ruminating about it. It’s the school holidays, which means balancing work with children. They are older. They want more adventures. Something has to give and I think it will have to be this space.
In the back of my mind, this blog may have run its natural course. I’ll see how it goes. I may pop back every so often over the holidays. Maybe one photo. A postcard. Maybe a recap of photos from Instagram. Just like this post. Recapping my week.
The sunflowers are out. These two insist on propping each other up.
The poppy I bought from a trip to the National Trust’s Montacute House finally opened its petals. Most of the flowers were badly effected by a heavy down pour. This one was sheltering under a nearby rosemary and survived. I love the petit four iced centre.
This is the first year I’ve managed flowering agapanthus. I am very pleased. I think the milder winter helped rather than me doing anything different.
The sweetcorn are doing well. The pumpkins are winding their way between the sweetcorn stalks. The peas and beans are to one side. A nod in the direction of the North American three sister tradition.
The bats are still with us. I suspect tree felling in the woods behind us, has meant that they have chosen to return to us for safety. We counted 150 flying out of our roof one night.
The usual invasion of tiny toads was less grand this year. Maybe interrupted by the nearby forestry activity. We still have lots of big toads. At night, I need a torch to avoid treading on them in the garden.
(Saturday morning pancake and fruit breakfast)
We are starting to bring food in from the garden. I’ve made lots of blackcurrant coulis. The peas are being eaten before they can make it through the kitchen door. Broad beans have been harvested. Some eaten, some in the freezer.
(rhubarb and orange cake)
We’ve started ordering a weekly fruit and veg box again. It is stretching my culinary talent, as all sorts of vegetables are included that I’d probably avoid. Yes, I’m looking at you, kale and aubergine. The ones that bring out the fussy eaters in the household. I’ve branched out and tried a few new recipes from the Allotment Kitchen book. So far, I’ve made Courgette and
Feta Cheddar cheese fritters (which were popular even with the people who don’t like courgettes), rhubarb and orange cake (yum) and cooked kale and spinach in a slightly different way (everyone ate it).
I have a few more recipes from the book earmarked.
(peach rose chochet square)
We went to Priddy Folk festival and were inspired by the green man faces for sale. Using air drying clay, we made our own versions. This one is mine. I was struck by how mine had greek/roman influences while my daughter’s was undoubtedly a Somerset version. You’ll see what I mean, once I finally post it up.
That’s it for this time. Hope you are all enjoying your summer or winter.
Have you noticed, in the last few years, parenting advice seems to be punctuated with lists? Lists telling you that children need to climb a tree by eleven or sew on a button before seven. Lists and lists of things that should be done by a certain age.
Glancing through, you can either feel inadequate or quietly virtuous as you shine your halo. Most of it’s common sense. Others are quite fun and remind you of your own childhood.
Firsts can be fun.
Last weekend, we went on a train. The children have been on steam engines and underground trains, but never a train. This was a first for them.
We headed down to Castle Cary. It’s a picturesque, country station. Usually seen on News coverage with hoards of Glastonbury festival goers waiting for trains to turn up. As we were a week later, we pretty much had the station to ourselves.
We took the train to Weymouth. The children loved the journey, which included a few tunnels.
We chose the right day to go to Weymouth. The weather could not have been better. Lots of people had the same idea, but it didn’t spoil the trip. All the classic attractions were there: the donkeys, Punch and Judy, beach volley ball, classic beach rides, pedalos and more.
There was plenty to see too.
Next time, I would be tempted to book a cruise.
We found remote control model speed boats being raced. It’s quite brutal. Boats would take out other boats, if they could. A rescue boat picked up the model boats that are immobilized.
We did have some time sitting on the sand, making sand caves and watching dogs swimming out to retrieve their toys. The water was so clear, we could spot fish and crabs.
We’ll be back. Next time with swimming costumes and towels. More than likely by train, as it was a fun way to get there.