Wednesday 2 May 2018


Summer's supposed to be just around the corner.  Note my judicious use of the word 'supposed'.  We live on the top of a hill in the west of England at the moment, and I swear that the plants in our garden are at least 2 weeks if not 3 behind those in my friends' much more bloomsome plots down in the valley below.  (Like the word bloomsome?  You heard it here first).

As a result of this go-slow on the part the plants, it appears that I have a bad case of garden envy.  Not to the extent that I'm actually going out into the garden to do real work in it, of course.  No, it's mostly manifesting itself in a change of behaviour regarding Gardener's Question Time, insofar as nowadays, I actually listen to it.  Well, I listen to it when I'm in the car, anyway.   This could be the Beginning of the End.  Or middle age.  Which, honestly, is more likely.


Boy #1, now 14, is taking his bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.  (For non-UK educated readers, this is an award children aged 14 -18 can participate in, which encourages them to try new things, improve their skill set, and increase their physical abilities).

He took part in his practice Expedition a few days ago.  This entails a two-day walk (15K each day), as one of a team of 5, carrying all the equipment and food that they need to survive their trek and a night's camping in the wild.  On the way out he got lucky, and only had to carry the trangia (no, I didn't know what it was either; essentially a fancy name for a camping stove).  On the way back, however, he carried the three man tent he and two friends had slept in the previous night.

The next day I asked him what was to happen to the tent lurking ominously by the shoes.  "I have to hold onto it until the actual expedition in a few weeks time, Mum."

"OK.  Is it wet?"


"Shall we check?"


"Well, it might need drying out if it's wet."

"I told you, it's not wet."

Visions of Boy #1 and his team-mates stopping for the night on the real Expedition, and pulling out  their tent only to have it fall to pieces. covered with mildew, came to mind.  "You know, I think that maybe we should just take a look..."

"God!  Mum!  I told you!"

"I know.  Humour me, OK?"

And so it came to pass that the tent was checked and lo, was discovered to be Absolutely Bloody Sopping Wet.  It's now draped attractively across our living room.  Given my older son's less than stellar track record of tidying up after himself, it could be adorning our furniture for a while. (I present Exhibit 1, m'lud; last week's sports kit still sitting unwashed in his kitbag in the hall.  He doesn't know it, but I'm playing a game of chicken to see how long he leaves it there.  Of course, since I'm the only one in on the rules of this game, or who even knows that there IS a game, it could be there for some time.)

I'm tempted to set up a den underneath the tent, if Boy #1 doesn't get around to tidying it away soon.  Might be quite nice, to have a little retreat where I can sit and think deep thoughts and eat chocolate away from grasping hands who might want to share it.  Although of course it could also be counterproductive, and give him a reason to leave it there - so maybe not.


Puppy news:  he's growing apace.  And boy, is it nice to have someone in the house who - FINALLY - thinks I'm God.