Sun 6th May 2018

SUNSHINE 😍 In two days it’s gone from windy and cold and barely above 10C to a little under 20C today with the most welcome of light wind to soften the heat.

Glad I made pancake batter and scones yesterday though because while everyone else was eating I was able to get dressed in peace and escape outside with my coffee and breakfast scones.

Very much a “do not disturb me unless someone is dying or you’re bringing me coffee or chocolate” kind of morning though. Still waiting for the hormones to get on and do what they need to do.

Steve joined me but he was forgiven because he didn’t bring the kids.

Eventually the kids did come out to see what we were talking about though. Charley and Erika played with the football, and Erika had fun reenacting a fall. We needed to get ourselves sorted. Steve took Erika off to get her dressed and cleaned up (she was less than thrilled at the idea and tucked herself into a corner to try to evade capture).

Eventually we decided that cutting up the trees he brought down yesterday was the day’s priority, which meant I couldn’t keep my pretty lacey top on. I kept my bikini on though!

I forget at what point the first Tick episode happened but I was outside with Charley and Steve was in with Erika and he messaged to say he though she had a tick on her and to find the tweezers. The blasted thing had got her right above one of her little nipples! She sat perfectly still on the bed waiting for Steve to try to remove it but was twitching nervously (understandably) so I held her in my lap while he removed the thing. One down. Time to start Tick Checks every night before bed.

Was a good day working outside though. Cut up a tree that was hanging waiting on the ironwork remains of the coldframe roof, did a bit more weeding of ground elder here and there, took out some more dock plants, and held the logs steady while Steve cut them into fire-sized pieces.

Found another of the beetles that had given me such a fright yesterday – this one appeared to have been blown out of a tree by the wind, and landed at our feet so we were able to get a really good look at it and a positive ID as well. Still a long horn, but not a tree killer – this variant likes already dead conifers so that’s ok. Plenty of that around.

The kids were in and out again, up on the climbing frame together, mostly friendly except for the odd breakdown in communication, happily practising new stunts and tricks and helping and encouraging each other. Charley came and “helped” with the wood cutting, donning ear defenders and standing with me as I held the logs in place.

Then Erika came down from the climbing frame and needed an up cuddle. Eventually I figured out her feet hurt. The underside of her toes were blistered, but she needed a bath for us to be able to figure out where to start treating them. Bath was traumatic as usual but she calmed down when I asked if she wanted us to put some cream on her feet, and then she complied with the cleaning desperate to get out for her feet to be looked at. Problem was the bath wore her out so she was falling asleep as Steve inspected her toes, and she got fed up and pulled her feet away, tucking them under my leg. Fair enough. Check them later.

While she was falling asleep Steve fixed the piece of sycamore I’d prepped up in the attic, as a hanging rail for our out of season jackets. We’ve never had space for them before, and the “new” hanging rail is absolutely perfect! Got a lot of sorting still to do, and I know this isn’t a permanent fixture, but it’s given us ideas how to build our storage as the ideas for upstairs start to come together more.

And once she was asleep we worked away happily, spent time with the boys, Steve cooked chicken for them, and eventually after two barrows full of cut logs we called it a day. Erika had woken up by this point and managed to get Ben to understand that her foot hurt, and then that she wanted a drink (he came running out to tell us this, he was so excited to have figured out what she wanted!) so we went and inspected. Her toes aren’t inflamed or anything, so we’re wondering what she’s done the damage on. She insists on being barefoot so it could be anything really.

Then when I was in the shower I spotted another tick, on my arm. Yelled for Steve who removed it and found another on my leg while inspecting the rest of me, kicking myself for completely not thinking about checking for ticks first! He went and checked the boys for ticks while I finished my shower, finding one on each of them. Over 17 years of marriage and 9 years of parenting and this was our first Tick Day. Welcome to the countryside indeed! Better get that lawnmower fixed, or talk to the neighbours and see if I can trade them cutting our grass with their tractor in exchange for some kind of baked goods….


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