Fri 30th Mar 2018

Up and at ‘em. Sort of. Tired and achey but oh wow what a beautiful day today!

The boys slept in this morning. This is most unusual! Charley woke early, went to the living room, decided it was too lonely, and went back to bed with a hmph and didn’t re-surface until almost midday. Ben sat up and said good morning then thought the better of it and went back to sleep until half past ten. Erika decided it was time to be awake and that was that for me!

I was so achey and stiff that I thought I’d make the most of the boys being asleep and attempted some yoga to try to stretch out my limbs. By the time I was five minutes in to my seven minute warmup it had already taken eight minutes and had ground to a halt – Erika was seriously unimpressed because no matter how hard she tried or how much she pulled at my hair or my top she could not get to a boob and it was just Not Fair for me to exist in the same room without at least being available….!

So Steve and I enjoyed syrup waffles (most of them; Erika likes to share…) and coffee in the sunshine and debated whether to move the whole room around just so we could have our comfy chairs over by the big window to enjoy the sunshine and the garden views…. still thinking about that one. Not whether or not to do it, but how much of the furniture to rearrange and where to move it to!

In a moment of mild-hypo-induced productivity before bed last night I’d decided to make up a batch of sourdough to let it sit in the fridge overnight. I’m glad I did because I was able to take it out this morning and let it wake up slowly too, and by midafternoon it was ready to be used! I’d had plans on attempting a sourdough bread pizza scroll, with a smaller chocolate scroll for the one who doesn’t like pizza. I was fully prepared for it to be a total flop and for us to just be having beans and scrambled eggs for tea, but it worked better than I could have hoped for! I used pizza sauce and mozzarella on the big one, and chocolate spread mixed with butter on the small one. A few things that could be improved on – adding pepperoni to the pizza scroll, and maybe using a bit of cheddar as well as the mozzarella; and not rolling the smaller one quite so thinly although that wasn’t really deliberate. (Recipe inspiration here!)

After lunch Steve and Charley headed outside to hunt for firewood. Ben was busy, and Erika wanted to do some drawing. I was trying to finish up some blog posts and I (mistakenly) thought that some collaborative art might keep her distracted long enough to finish them but no, my full attention was requested – no, demanded – and we enjoyed creating together!

Finally I suggested going outside too and Erika could not move fast enough!! Boots, coat, hat, gloves, trike, and off she went.

The boys rode their bikes, Erika followed them around on her scuttlebug absolutely delighted to be with her boys and on her trike and just oh the sheer joy of LIVING emanating from her was incredible! Ben was so lovely with her, he’d slow down his bike so that they could career down the last bit of path together so she wasn’t always trailing behind them. Really including her, really lovely to watch. There was the usual tree foraging needed doing, and when the boys went up to explore the woodland, eventually Erika followed and she spent a happy twenty minutes on an expedition with her boys, scrambling over fallen trees and tripping over vines and very much loving it. She wanted to go back to the yard to her trike though so I called the boys down too and they played on their bikes and with lightsabres with Erika while I carried on trying to clear up the vegetable garden. Eventually Steve got tired of tree foraging by himself and came down to be with us for a bit. He took out some of his frustrations on the ivy at the corner of the cold frame frame, hacking away with the machete while I raked up leaves and discovered all sorts of random things growing including potatoes!! Suddenly its dig site status got upgraded 😂 but I’ll have to go digging for them another day.

Erika decided it was time for a break. I took her in and she took off her gloves and tried to take off her coat and started to climb up onto the bench to take off her boots – which is when I discovered she had managed to step into the (shallow) pond after all at some point. One soggy boot, one soggy foot, and she was ready for milk and a snuggle. Pantless, and covered in dirt and felt tip pen.

Steve came in for a coffee break and to make sure the boys were ok, and once Erika was asleep I got the pizza scroll and chocolate scroll done to prove. Then it was back at it to bring the logs Steve had prepared back to the yard, take the ivy over to the bonfire pile, and to see how much rubble we could clear from the back of the coldframe. There were a couple of rotten doors, a rotten table, a seat pad, and once we’d cleared away the pile of broken coldframe glass panes (the coldframe had never even been finished!) we could lift and dismantle the wooden wall panel that was also mostly rotten. Proper sad state, that area. Really hope we can build it up into a serviceable coldframe again one day, but for now it’s at a state where I can keep an eye on it over the year and see what’s growing where, and what might need more serious digging out before I figure out my own small crop rotations.

Then indoors for Steve to process the wood, and for me to get the pizza and chocolate scrolls into the oven, and to give Erika some trousers as she’d decided it was too cold to be pantless after all.

The sourdough scrolls were a success much to my relief, even Ben and Charley ate some although Charley is really struggling partly from his sore tooth (which is going to be taken out soon) and partly with his first wobbly tooth which has been bothering him for a little over a week now! At least he’s decided he can eat olives…

Showers and baths for everybody tonight as we’ve a birthday party to go to tomorrow. Ben and Charley take a lot of convincing to get in but love it once they’re showering, but Erika is still going through the I hate baths phase and screams like she’s melting when the water touches her. Her skin never goes red so I don’t think it actually hurts, more that it’s just Not Right. Her bath did not last long but at least this time she didn’t spend the whole time trying to climb out.

And bed. A mummy-bedtime for the boys tonight. Ben said his legs did not want to do any more walking and please could he just go to bed now. Charley could not stop yawning, but neither could he stop talking but he was asleep quickly too. Erika stuffed her face with TUC crackers and watched TV with daddy.

I’m having a cheeky beer before bed!

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