Weds 27th June 2018

…….aaaand there’s the comedown. It’s been like wading through treacle today, the desire to Do Something has been there but finding that oh-so-specific Something was hard! The bread needed working and putting into its tin, Erika was begging for a banana, Ben was already asking when could they play Catan again, Charley was exhausted and had only just got out of bed, and before I knew it breakfast was over and although the kids were sorted I’d not eaten. I gave up and had a biscuit for breakfast, and decided I’d actually have lunch instead, figuring out what I’d have so that thinking would be minimised later on. Good call.

Got on with the day. Got Erika dressed, cloth nappying again after a week off. Twenty minutes later after consistently not getting chance to get her into her water clothes (that she kept pulling off the airer and bringing to me) she appeared soaking wet having given up waiting for me to get her changed. Will I learn from this? I doubt it somehow..!

Made friends with Smudge. Went out to cut a couple of pieces of sycamore for the day’s Project, and called on her usual hideouts to see if she was there. She’s in heat again so her usual inhibitions are lowered, which means she will talk to me and not bolt away. We wandered down to the house together and I thought it’d be a good opportunity to see if I could win her over with a treat. She really likes the stick treats which Tiger turns her nose up at. One full treat stick later, each piece taken from my fingers, and we are new bffs. It’s like she really has been so desperate for human company again but so so so wary, but now she knows I give a good scritch behind the ears and am gentle she has lost all her fear of me – it’s wonderful! I imagine it’ll take another few days of treat time at least, but it’s so nice to have her at last.

Then I sorted out a den for Tiger up in the attic. She’s not allowed beyond the double doors up there because I really don’t need her having her kittens in between the floor joists, but I put a box under my sewing table with a blanket, and when she asked for food I took her food and a bowl of water up to where the box was. She has seemed very grateful for her upstairs bolt hole today, and has been so relaxed as a result that she even fell asleep on the windowsil in the living room after dinner. Big bellied pussycat. Wonder whether she will decide to have her kittens upstairs.

Tried to plug the hosepipe together to water the vegetable garden but couldn’t manage to fit the water spray gun on the end, until I tried turning the water off again so the pressure was less. Hurrah, success! I conquered the hosepipe! I’ve been putting it off and putting it off but I asked Steve to leave it uncoiled so I’d be motivated to have a go today, and I did it! Watering the vegetable garden suddenly got easier for me! Needed in this weather. I’ve finally got everything sown that I wanted to attempt. There’s three rows of hopeful carrots, a row of rucola (with space for another three rows, sown fortnightly maybe), the pumpkin hill (who knows what that will produce if anything!) and the beans and peas that are slowly starting to perk up a bit now they’ve been out of their pots for a while. The strawberry patch smells AMAZING. Really hope I can pick enough to make some bottles of strawberry syrup this weekend.

The kids pretty much had to entertain themselves this afternoon. Once I’d made sure there was water and snacks available and all minecraft problem solving was done and Erika was asleep it was time to hide in the workshop and not have to talk for a while. So pleasurable, choosing a nicely shaped piece of birch firewood, using one of the bandsaws to carefully slice a piece off, and sitting in the sunshine carving the bark off and shaping the edges with my knife. Sanding it and oiling it and feeling amazed that it was working how I’d envisaged.

Drilling a hole through the centre and fitting it onto the sycamore rod I’d stripped and smoothed earlier, finding the hooks, drilling pilot holes and finishing: a top-whorl drop spindle. All by myself. This is how I learn and work the best. With nobody watching, so I can figure it out, make mistakes, and have the space and quiet and chance to think and problem solve and try again.

I made a thing. It’s simple and beautiful. And I made it! Just need some fluff now so I can try and learn to spin – it’s a necessity if I want to be keeping fibre goats in the future!

After dinner Steve and the boys played Catan again. It was harder tonight, Charley was more exhausted and just wanted to have fun, but Ben has really got into playing this game and is playing strategically already. It’s good having Steve play with them because he reads and applies the game rules consistently so the boys are learning how to actually play it!

I’ve not done as much today as I did yesterday, menstrual pain has been sudden and fierce, but it’s pretty cool to look back and acknowledge how much you did actually do.

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