An Impromptu Visitor

With lockdown here in ‘The Shires’ being slightly lifted on Monday of next week, as with the rest of England, our three little ones will be returning to school. Just reception year is going back, along with years one and six. Tara and Amritsar’s year two will be waiting for September to go back and their start into year three.

They will both continue with homeschooling until the end of the term. Now, to be honest, the girls have embraced schoolwork from home, albeit at various levels of engagement! The three little ones however, oh dear, they have resisted! My oh my, how they have resisted. Thor has been the main disturbance at 9am, each and every Monday to Friday!

I was so gratified when I realised that this week was actually half term, so no school work. And they are back to school proper on Monday.

Today’s visitor was Sindy, our nanny. We had spoken earlier about the purchase of new art stuff, hand sanitisers, cagoule, various stuff for the children to bring with them to school. Well, Sindy has gone to the shop and purchased most of what was needed and dropped it over today, just after lunch.

The children all rushed over and gave her a big hug! She is coming back to work from Monday, so socially distancing from the children seemed pointless at this juncture. It looks like some things will look rather normal as from Monday. I believe that two more weeks down the line and non essential shops will also be open and people allowed to try and get on with life, though still having to socially distance as much as possible!

I cannot really fully comprehend, things will start to return to normal! Though still with many restrictions of course.

I last returned home from the outside world on the 6th March. This was 11 days before the school sent the children home with snotty noses and asked us to self isolate. That was 6 days before lockdown was implemented on Monday 23rd March. On Friday 21st May, in 3 days time, I will have been at home, not going out for 12 weeks. Just one 30 minute trip out of the garden to run in the woods that lie beside house around 3 weeks ago!

With Sindy’s return on Monday morning, I am going out! Wow, I can’t wait. I’m truly excited.

Thank you for reading. And good luck with your own tentative steps out into this strange new world.

Early Summer, Wisteria Seed

These last weeks of lockdown have seen very fine weather here in ‘The Shires’. The birdsong at times seems almost deafening. Cloudless skies have shimmered above and the blossoming, the flowering of a myriad of plants have enchanted us. Summer has really come around early. Beneath my feet lies amass of wisteria confetti. I sit underneath the parasol on our terrace, at midday, the sun too hot for even this seasoned sun worshipper and I smile.

Two of the girls, Tara and Aaliyah play on the swing beneath the shade of our large Canadian Oak, spinning away like crazed harpies. The merest of zephyrs brush lightly my face and my arms.

These are the Summers I remember from childhood. A village called Banwell in the shire of Somerset. Back then, as a child, not a care in the world. Lazy summers and the happiest of families. I think back and I smile.

We are the sum of our memories aren’t we? For our children, before life makes its mark, daddy and dadda bequest this basis of happy, summertime memories, for them all to forever behold.

I miss those wisteria blossoms, now underfoot. But I look at these seeds of tomorrow’s endeavours. And I smile.

The Hokey Cokey

Aaliyah is panting loudly, just like a dog in fact, misting up the glass door to the garden. Tara is hiding beneath the large red acer on the terrace. Amritsar is moaning about something Aaliyah said over 10 minutes ago. Thor is hanging around, close to the trampoline. Caleb, bless him has just finished counting to 20. Already he’s saying ‘I can see you Tara, I can see you’. Caleb’s counting is really coming along. He actually counted to 30 earlier on today. ‘I’m not playing’, pipes up Thor. Moving on, now Aaliyah has just popped her head out from the large, flowering rhododendron bush at the bottom of the garden. Amritsar is shouting at everyone!

Yes, this is their post dinner attempt at ‘hide and seek’ in the garden. Not their best attempt at this game I have to add. So, Daddy has just decided to say ‘let’s play big bad bear then’?

Oops, Caleb has just stepped in dog poo. There’s always gonna be one that was missed on the daily doggies poop scoop in the garden.

Now a few baby wipes later, we’re back in action. So, what’s happening now?

Amritsar has just said ‘Daddy, I did a handstand’! Tara and Caleb are loitering under a tree. Daddy has just stopped proceedings to do another sweep of the garden for dog poo. I guess ‘big bad bear’ is off for now. Aaliyah is shouting ‘I don’t want to play any more’ and has just stormed inside to snuggle up with Gracie on the sofa.

Do you remember the movie ‘The Omen’? Thor is now riding around the terrace in circles on the small bicycle with stabilisers grinning to himself! Thankfully we are not indoors on the top landing, me fiddling with a light fitting!

I look up and see that the rest of them are all playing what seems to be the ‘Hokey Cokey’ now. At least Amritsar had stopped screaming at everyone!

I think it’s time for bed.

Village of the Damned (1995)

Watching this classic movie on the television tonight, I was reminded of a small video that I made a year ago or so! I loved the original 1960’s version also! Though my short video made me smile. I hope that it brings a smile to you also. I thought it was a funny 40 seconds! Welcome to my Midwich!!!

Playing in the Garden

A late update today! What a wonderful day was had here in ‘the Shires’. The sun has beamed down upon on us all day long. At present our not so famous five are playing chase in the garden with daddy, who is presently counting to 10! I guess he’s on it then! Lol

Nothing has really happened, just a really lazy day.

A barbecue was enjoyed earlier, consisting of burgers, sausages, corn, fries and coleslaw. And bedtime awaits once ‘big bad bear’ completely tires them out.

Thank you for stopping by.

My Audiobook is Complete

This evening marks the completion of my novel Eighteen Moons, with the recording and its conversion into audiobook format! The talented voice of actor ‘Angus Scott’ takes the tale of my journey into parenthood and brings it to the exciting realm of audio. The story is now available to a whole new audience, this does sound strange, an audience of people who don’t really want to read. That can’t be right can it?

I have to add however, that listening to an audiobook makes it easy to just switch off completely, close your eyes and be totally and utterly transported to a different time and place! There is no easier way to walk with me on the ill fated (yet so rewarding) journey that I took into the realm of parenthood.

I will update this post in a couple of days and supply a direct link to the various platforms where the audiobook of Eighteen Moons will be available.

I have to say that I am quite excited. And I would like to thank Angus Scott for making this possible.

One Day at a Time

Wise words from a lovely reader. You know who you are! Hahahahaha.

With a partially restored Mojo, I hope all is well out there today? It is a Sunday and although I do not participate in religious goings on, there is the sound of hymns being sung on an unwatched television. Caleb and Thor are tinkering away on their screens and the girls are running ferrell in the garden. Hide and seek was being enjoyed! That is, until we couldn’t find Tara. Now found, she has just lead her sisters on a big bug hunt!

There were upsets yesterday regarding the netted bug house (a bit like a mini bird cage). Tara had taken Amritsar’s bug house from her bed without asking to borrow it! Some major screamies ensued. Anyhow, moving on. They are now playing with it together (nicely).

Today’s picture is of Amritsar playing a very early-years game of peek-a-boo. That’s kind of like hide and seek, isn’t it?

The dogs are a bit more settled now, due to the fact that they have both just eaten. Their mealtime has moved ever forward in the day to 11am. It’s an ongoing thing. You see, they’re on a 23.5 hour daily cycle, basically meaning their dinner gets earlier and earlier in the day, due to their constant whining to be fed. By the end of the summer they will no doubt be eating before they even wake up!

Oh! My notifications on my new Instagram account has just told me that I have my very first follower! Hoorah – I am in business! I have a following on Instagram of one! Woohoo!!!

http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

I did actually participate on the insta-app a year or two back. I even had a few followers. But I gave it all up when I realised just how much time I spent on there. And with nothing to really show for it, I finally deleted my account. But this morning, I thought a new beginning! And rather than revive the old account, I chose to start afresh. And I now have one follower. Whoop-de-doo!!!

Right, there is luncheon to prepare, so I will get back to this later today! But for now, I thank you, as ever, for reading. And thank you kind people, for your uplifting comments yesterday. You know who you are!

Good Moods Bad Moods

Impartial!

Yesterday I chose to silence any attempt at words. Without going into detail, my mood took a bit of a nose dive in the mid afternoon.

Thinking about moods, emotions and all, I realise that the majority of time at home, I remain impartial! I do wonder if that is a coping mechanism. It’s not just with the children, but the dogs drive me both up and then back down the walls! However, I think that the dogs constant and needy demur keeps me from being an emotional rollercoaster! I have to always remain impartial as to what goes on around me.

It’s hard to act like I’m in a good mood when I have to be the voice of reason around so many minor tantrums, rants and raves. Sometimes it seems that the children only ever ‘want’ Dadda, when one wants another to be told off. Well that and anything to do with their next meal!

A bad mood on the other hand is just the drawn out ricochet of being upset isn’t it? Thankfully there never seems to be the time to dwell on things for too long in this house. The good or indeed the bad.

Moments of appreciation make me feel happy. Moments like when Thor storms over and grabs a leg and holds on tightly saying loudly ‘I love you Dadda’! But the happy mood does not have time to linger as someone is sure to start yet another rant or begin screaming about something or other within minutes.

So I remain impartial mostly, in these time of family lockdown.

Outright Revolt and Outright Outrageous

10.10am and we are still having trouble getting our not so famous five to do their school work. We managed to get Amritsar to read 5 pages of her ‘Swallows and Amazon’s’ novel! Yes, she is now reading novels at 7 years old! Tara on the other hand has chosen a David Walliams book ‘First Hippo on the Moon’! But she has now retreated to her tablet in the dining hall, looking like she thinks I can’t see her!

Thor and Caleb are refusing to wear anything bar their underpants, simply refusing to get dressed. Aaliyah is also sucking away on her fingers merrily. We have asked her to wear a woollen glove these last months! But any chance she gets, she slips it off for a sneaky suck. It’s an ongoing thing!

The lessons still sit on the kitchen table awaiting some enthusiasm. I will have to come back to writing today’s post in an hour or so and let you know how things go. Wish me luck!

(An hour later…)

OMG, that was a real struggle! Namely Thor screaming because he could not draw unicorns. But Aaliyah’s unicorns were perfect. An oval, a small circular head, four stick legs and a little horn! Caleb persevered, so a jelly baby for him also. I bit my lip! Was today going to be the day of Thor’s expulsion!

Amritsar and Tara applied themselves to their maths questions, though I helped Tara so much, I may just as well have filled in the answers myself and claimed the credit (and the jelly baby)! But I know, that’s not supposed to happen, is it?

Thor finally settled down a bit and scribbles for unicorns had to be accepted as effort. He got his jelly baby.

We have normally (though nothing is normal at the moment) managed to keep their attention for something just shy of an hour. Today we might have clocked up 25 minutes.

On a slightly unrelated matter, John’s parsley plants arrived this morning. Consider that the supermarket sells fully grown parsley plants at £1.25, John tells me his 2 x parsley plants cost £3.50 each! I am now sounding like one of the girls mathematics questions (oh dear)! Okay, eBay has done it again! Negative feedback is on its way. Some people are unscrupulous, outright outrageous in fact!

Happy Birthday Mum

Jean Eve Paradise was my Mum. She had three boys (Paul, Brandon and me) and a daughter Shae. Today is the 14th May, her birthday. My mum passed five years ago this coming September. She is missed very much, but we always remember ‘Grandma Jean’ with colour and theatrics. She was in the movie ‘Charlottes Webb’, an extra in a number of scenes, but a few closeups in a few scenes too. She also acted in a number of commercials in Australia. The main one being shot in Melbourne for a national jeans brand ‘Just Jeans’. Odd that her name was also Jean. Well today would have been her birthday and today’s photograph is of a pink orchid. Something I would send her every year on her birthday. She loved the colour pink and she adored orchids as they are beautiful and have a good shelf life. One year I broke the model and sent her yellow tulips. She was horrified. She called me and inquired ‘why would you do that’? I had to apologise and swear that it would never happen again…

I miss you Mum. You are fondly remembered.

Late in The Day – What Can I Say

The children’s dinner just done! Daddy tapping away at his laptop. Gracie snuggled on the sofa besides me. Remus nowhere to be seen. Thor and Aaliyah sat opposite on the other sofa looking at daddy’s iPad. Thor shouting very loudly. Good shouting, he is happy and talking about ‘Jelly Beans’! Aaliyah looks to be in a good mood. She turns to Thor and smiles. ‘I’ve still got 11%’ she says. Must be the battery charge on the iPad. All I hear from outside in the dining hall is the theme tune to ‘My Little Pony’. However it is Tara looking on and enjoying the episode on her tablet. Aaliyah certainly has lead the crew to embrace that show. For me however – giving me a bit of a headache. Amritsar and Caleb are sat close to Tara, watching on contentedly. Now Amritsar is coming in here to plug in her tablet and watch something different. The television has thus remained silent all day long!

Remus is in fact inhabiting the spare room. I think he is thinking of it as ‘Remus’s Room’ nowadays. Ever since his exile from Daddy and Dadda’s room, he has been hanging out up there, like a moody teenager. I think that he finds the relative organised chaos of the children a little too much sometimes. Gracie on the other hand still loves Aaliyah’s occasional hugs, at least one every hour! So she generally stays close to the family hub.

I am just thinking, I have completely forgotten what day it is! That’s bad isn’t it?

Weather not great. Still grey, though a few moments of sunshine today.

Oh! Look whose just swooned into the living room! Remus! Now what does he want I ask myself!

Thor has just asked me to video him! Just why, I really don’t know. He is a funny boy!

Thanks for looking in.