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….. Making pretty things
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Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


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Slice of Life


A title for my Friday roundup post is sometimes challenging. I really couldn’t figure one out at first, this week. My photos were no help. My list of events was varied. Seemed a mixed bag. Then it struck me that it had been a momentous week, where our little world had expanded a little bit more. No longer were we quite so isolated. The very reason the list didn’t hang together was because they included other people, with no common theme. Up to now, just voices on the phone.

Saturday, we visited my parents. We’ve not seen them since mid February. It felt odd and uncomfortable not being able to hug them or help carry trays and chairs out into the garden. Will that ever get easier? I look forward to the day when I can make them a cup of tea. Other than that it felt so normal, sitting out in the garden with them. The garden I spent my teen years mooching about in. Watching my three having fun, with Hero the hound tagging along.

It was so good to see my parents and catch up.

I took the youngest two teens into school for a tutor meeting, this week. As we navigated our way between the buildings and down corridors to the assigned room, I became aware of three aspects that I’d never connected with schools before.

First of all, it was pretty empty. Not even the echoes of the children who should have just left for the day. None of the debris left, proving they had been there. They hadn’t. Not for some time.

Secondly, the people we saw and heard were all adults. It had the feeling of the offices of a company at the end of the day. No young voices.

Thirdly, the smell. Completely wrong. Usually, now how can I put this, a mix of aftershave and body sprays failing to cover up the other smells left by humans who have existed closely together for the day. With equal good doses of the chemistry lab odours and school canteen too. This time it was fresh air and almost overwhelming cleaning liquids. Hand sanitizer at every single door, and every door and window wedged open.

I can only imagine how it must feel for the teachers who were in.

Anyway, we had our meeting with their tutor. We sat with a long table between us and them, with papers shoved across the surface, like a weird game of “you’re It now” being played out. Outlining work to be completed for the summer. Targets set for the start of the new school year.

So ended the school term and academic year. A year like no other.

I made another macrame plant pot holder. This time for the bathroom. This will probably be the last one for a while. I’ve run out of plants to hang up. Although I did buy a few more plants on Sunday and I’m busy propagating others, so plant pots will multiple at some point.

Right, this is the face of a dog who would like me to stop typing and take him for a walk. I’m usually in charge of the evening walks, but I’m joining in the morning ones at the moment too. Anything to get fitter.

Oh, I should also point out the ruby sunflowers in my photos. These are from seeds that I bought, in February, from the St Margaret’s Hospice charity shop in Wells, as part of the fundraising effort. It’s their 40th anniversary, which means ruby. Seems such a small way to support others at the moment. Hope to visit their shop again soon.

Joining in with Anne’s word of the week.

Word of the Week linky


Looks at feet.

Have we done anything this week?


Not an awful lot.

It’s true. I really cannot think of much. Apart from balancing my work with checking on school work being completed, life has been pretty straightforward. Garden is growing and enjoying the rain we’ve had this week. Various homegrown veg are making it into the kitchen. Front door has been stripped ready for re-painting. It is fairly routine. A definite upside to all this is, that it’s left time for a touch of creativity. Something that has been more of a struggle the last few months.

Both daughters have been experimenting when it’s their turn to make the evening meal. I wish I’d taken photos. Middle teen made a chicken noodle, while Eldest teen made sweet and sour chicken the next night. Both dishes looked and tasted amazing. I think they both genuinely enjoy taking over the kitchen. Youngest teen (still getting used to writing that) has his turn this weekend.

I’ve had time in the kitchen too. Finally got around to using a new baking tray I picked up a couple of weeks ago. It’s a silicon mini flan case from Lakeland Plastics. Very impressed. It baked my pastry and the custard in record time. I made mini custard pies, with either blueberries or rhubarb. I love the crinkled sides. Gives the tarts a more polished feel. They popped out of the tray no problem. Popular with everyone. I’ll be making more.

Also been busy creating plant pot hangers. Blast from the 70s, with a contemporary twist. I’ve got another post for this one, with a how to, this weekend.

I’m enjoying having more time to be creative, this week. It feels good for the soul and even better not to be stuck in a rut.

Joining in with Anne’s Word of the Week linky. Thank you for your birthday wishes to my new teen, last week!

Word of the Week linky


This week is the end of an era. Like most fizzling out eras do, it heralds the start of a brand new, unchartered era to hurl ourselves head first into. Mr TTC and I are officially outnumbered by teenagers. Yep. Youngest has turned 13, with eldest still hanging on hard to the teenage title for a couple more years. That makes three teens. Not that we are expecting an enormous change. I still hold the car keys, which I’m kidding myself is pivotable.

Back when we were new parents, I remember being aware of the neighbour’s teenagers (who were all lovely, I should say) and looking back at my babe in arms. Holding her tight, I was glad I didn’t have to deal with teenagers. I wasn’t ready and wasn’t sure I ever would be. Now looking at my posse of teenagers, I can’t help looking at our more recent neighbours and thanking my lucky stars we’re passed the toddler stage. (No reflection on him. He is lovely, but still a toddler.)

That’s the thing with your average parenthood journey. It is a gradual movement from one state to the next, where you grow as a parent at the same rate, more or less, as your offspring. Your skills are upgraded gradually, without you realising. It doesn’t happen overnight. Thank goodness.

So. Here we are now with a thirteen year old. Hopefully our first and last lockdown birthday. I offered a few birthday ideas. We talked virtual escape room and/or outdoor movies with friends, but even after three months cooped up with us, he still wanted to spend it with us. I cooked his favourite meal and we watched an epic movie, as a family. He seemed to enjoy it. We may try for something with his friends in a couple of months time.

As part of the build up for the celebrations, I popped out to a garden centre for the first time in ages. The queuing and one way system wasn’t bad. I found another plant to add to his carnivorous plant collection and birthday cards. I can’t believe we’ve kept his Venus flytrap going since last year. At his age, I could only keep them alive for a few weeks. Anyway, three plants now and we’ve not figured out how this new one traps flies yet.

(We did pop into another garden centre and the set up was awful, so we left empty handed.)

Also added to his cacti collection. I love the living stone plant. It is so weird. The other, I liked as it has the most wonderful spiral of leaves when you look from the top, but it still has to prove, to me, that it’s not the top of a Playmobil tree. When you touch it, the ridges feel like plastic. I’m convinced that a toddler off loaded a plastic toy into a plant pot, while being wheeled around the garden centre, and I have bought it. Fingers crossed that I’m wrong.

He had a good birthday. Not just plants, before you wonder. Presents to keep my brand new 13 year old happy. He also loved his homemade cake. My piping is improving, although I did have a Great British Bake Off moment, when the icing started to melt (in the tent) and the strawberries took it in turns to slide off.

I bought myself a couple of houseplants too. A fittonia and a string of hearts plant. After reading Laurie’s post, a few weeks ago, about her mother’s lucky shamrock, I resisted the temptation to buy a purple shamrock plant. Next time. Eldest teen has expressed a desire for a cutting from my string of hearts. Reading up about it, it sounds fairly easy. I seem to have raised a family of plant lovers. I suspect she’ll be after one of the macrame plant holders I’m making this weekend.

My week was peppered with organising and nagging the teens to do the things they need to do. Turning my hair more silver by the day, due to their stubbornness or inertia. I’ve been going gracefully grey for years and thoroughly embracing it. It doesn’t mean I want to turn white overnight as Leland Palmer did in Twin Peaks. Also deciphering emails from school. Mainly trying to figure out which child their latest directive refers to. Whilst all the time acting as the in house cheer leader.

On the upside, the teens are still keeping their bedrooms clean and tidy, and cooking one meal a week, which is a big win for me. I make that three weeks in a row. They bring me up to date with trends and frantically keep me on the right side of politically correct. They make me smile and laugh, and they do make good company.

On the whole, when everything is taken into account, I think three teens may be a good thing. I’ll see how it goes. One thing is for sure, I’m still glad we’re passed the toddler stage.

Linking up to Anne’s word of the week linky.

Word of the Week linky


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