When the going gets tough in the house moving business, and today (as the last day before I depart) has been a bit stressy – there is only one place to turn to – the biscuit tin!
On the catwalk now we have the very latest in fashion wear for earth moving. Designer shades sit atop a plain white blouse and contemporary, yet retro, denim ‘hot pant’ style shorts. Faux Ugg boots are surely what should be seen on every building site in the country. Our model has accessorised her outfit with the obligatory iPod, today connected to blue headphones and a small necklace – ideal for those short runs up and down the lawn. A very practical wheelbarrow completes the look and has proved essential in the task of moving OVER 6 TONNES OF EARTH from our hard standing at the front of the house to our, now full, ex-fishpond at the rear of the garden. We now have a model with aches in places she didn’t know she had muscles!!
At dusk this evening we went up to St Catherine’s Hill to look and listen out for visiting Nightjars. These birds arrive in UK from sub-Saharan Africa in April/May time and stay until late summer. In this time they mate and breed; laying their eggs directly on the ground in thick heathland. Dusk is the best time to try and ‘see’ them as they are superbly camouflaged during the day. At dusk they become very vocal, with a distinctive voice, and hunt for the larger flying insects. After about 45 minutes of wandering around on the hill top and listening to their song, we were lucky enough to see one swoop down out of a tree above our heads and fly off into the night. The photo above was taken on the hilltop, in very faint light, with a 13 second exposure – the humans doing a slightly better job of keeping still than the dog!
The packing of the boxes was completed today and somehow or another we ended up with 80 of them – I don’t know where on earth all their contents are going to go when we unpack them in Hong Kong. They depart tomorrow and we’ll hopefully see them again in 6 weeks or so – and have a home to put them in.
A tough day physically – we filled the loft space that I blogged about back in the middle of May with furniture, boxes and belongings for long-term storage.
A tough day psychologically – we sat, watched and endured the spectacle of England being knocked out on penalties at the quarter final stage of Euro 2012.
Above all, a tough day emotionally – after 12 years of living just 3 miles and 10 minutes away from my parents, of seeing each other regularly and having them help in the upbringing of my children, we said goodbye. The immediate future is 6000 miles apart and e-communication.
OK, I admit it, here’s a weird one. However, I wonder how many other parents have done this too?
Clearing out a jewellery box, I came across these all wrapped in tissue paper. The kids went ‘eek’, ‘yuk’, ‘lol’ and ‘so it WAS you after all’ in equal measure. I offered to make them into a necklace, but that got a big thumbs down, so I guess I have no further use for…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
MY CHILDREN’S MILK TEETH
A couple of years ago I built a soft fruit cage in the back garden out of old lengths of wood and chicken wire. The earth was dug and fertilised and the Raspberry plants selected and planted with care. Weed barriers and climbing trellises were installed and we were rewarded with a very small, but tasty first crop. Canes were then cut back and tidied up and the earth re-fertilised and weeded. This year we have many more canes and it looks as though the crop is going to be a good one. The berries in today’s photo are among the first to ripen and are almost ready to pick….I may get a small taste of the fruit of my labours before I make the long-term move to Hong Kong in 8 days’ time, but I shall certainly be missing the ‘berry explosion’ that is promised for later.
11 girls and 2 boys all dressed up and ready for their Prom – a hotly anticipated event in this household. For a few hours the house became a dressing room, make-up parlour, fashion runway, photographic studio, taxi stand, crash pad and breakfast tea room. I have to say everybody was incredibly well behaved; polite, helpful, respectful, thankful and fun to have around. A thoroughly nice bunch of teenagers who are learning to make their way in the world – and doing it in some style!