Sat 28th April 2018

The last thing I did last night before I climbed into bed was make up another ball of bread dough and left it on the side, in the hope that maybe I’d be able to get up in the morning to deal with it. No such luck, Erika is still very clingy and was not at all interested in getting up this morning nor was she interested in letting me go either. So the dough rose. I did wonder if it would stop it rising much once I’d eventually got it into its tin, but it rose beautifully and cooked beautifully and was (for me anyway) the best of this week’s loaves!

I also made pancake batter this morning and while the others enjoyed pancakes I enjoyed the last of my scones warmed up and with butter and strawberry and rhubarb jam – I HAVE to make some this summer!!

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with my head at the moment. I’m getting overwhelmed more quickly, but also noticing a lot more periods of coping. Lots of ups and downs, lots of avoidance, lots of employment of coping mechanisms, and not sure why.

Still. Once the kids were happily entertaining themselves after lunch Steve and I took a wander outside to assess what needed doing to various structures and areas and to get some fresh air and a chance to breathe and be together.

If owning animals is definitely the route we want to go down (and it is), sorting out the animal sheds, coldframe/veggie garden, woodstore, and hacking back the area behind them is more of a priority than working our way through the woodland. Yes we still need to be going in and pulling out the detritus from up in the trees, but once we’ve got somewhere to store the wood.

Right now it’s a case of figuring out what we want to do, what order are buildings / structures on the priority list, what we can both work on now or over the summer that don’t require any additional purchases, how we can reorganise the attic space so it’s safe and accessible, and how we can better use the spaces we have.

As the plan included shifting our storage area over to the “east” wing of the attic (which is very unfinished, but what’s there doesn’t actually need ripping out and re-doing unlike the main room which we’ve realised the floor just isn’t strong enough) I went up and started vacuuming away the cobwebs and sweeping up the dust. So. Many. Cobwebs. But it’s done and ready for Steve to organise the building materials that remain up there, before we can shift all our storage over into it.

And then the day went downhill. One major issue when I go through a depressive period is the inability to deal with the post. It builds up until I can’t face it at all, at which point it gets moved out of the way so it doesn’t end up on the fire accidentally. I think this evening we went through, together, about three months’ worth of post. Post piles seem to indicate how badly or how well I’ve been mentally… and as difficult at going through it all was, the fact that we managed at all shows that I am on the up. Steve thinks this place really is helping our mental health. I believe it. I still hate admin though, and the kids without fail managing to have almighty fallings out every time I attempt to deal with paperwork just reinforces that hatred!

Somehow everyone managed to work through the fights and the “I wish he’d never been born” and “I wish you were dead” though. Every time one of them says that, I read this again. And again, and again, reminding myself it’s not about me. The boys remembered there was a new series on cbeebies about feelings, and chose together to watch the ones on anger and frustration, snuggling with me on the sofa, and when Erika woke after a late nap and struggled massively and begged to wake up slowly in the bedroom she decided it would be fun to give us some practise for owning goats by climbing on me and jumping off repeatedly. When that was no longer enough of a challenge she climbed onto Steve to bomb-jump off him, and then up on to the drawers by the bed. Girl’s gonna give me a heart attack one of these days.

Another late night – I think Erika must have signed up for shift work – and another ball of bread dough before climbing into bed, and although I’m in bed because I feel I “ought” to be, I’d rather be sitting reading, or drawing, or (as I am doing) writing. Hey ho. Shift work here also. Good night!

Notes for remembering. Possibly young hazel saplings / bushes near the front of the property which need to be encouraged; and the trees outside the kitchen window turned out to be a horse chestnut grove and we need to read up on whether horse chestnut is suitable for coppicing, and if not, how far away sycamore needs to be from the house to safely grow it for coppicing because there’s a LOT of saplings out there!


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