August update

Pretty poor showing from me on the blogging front recently.  This is partly due to a trip to Canada, which was AWESOME, as they say over there, although the flights were pretty bad.  We learnt a few days into the trip that London was being smashed up by rioters, and feared that we might get home to find out car had been torched.  Luckily Tooting appears to have got away largely unscathed.

The boy had a great time, and is now walking properly.  We’re just about over the jet lag, and now preparing for ‘the exciting project’ I teased you all with so mercilessly in the last update.  It’s just that we’re converting the loft, so abandon any thoughts you had of a 12ft diameter ecodome (whatever that is.)  Should be fun though, although we’re not sure when it’s going to happen yet.

The garden has gone crazy, and I don’t quite have the strength to get out there yet.  It’s sort of a jungle, but the resident foxes seem to like it.


June update

My lovely sister Hannah reminded me that it has been rather a while since I updated the blog.  The weeks have been flying by, and suddenly it’s June already. The small boy keeps us busy.  He is verging on walking but is majoring in shouting, at which he is already highly accomplished.

We made biscuits with him the other day. The wonderful thing about making biscuits with a one year old is that it’s all about the icing.  Every biscuit must be laced and sprinkled. As if we needed any excuse.

In other news I now have ‘ledge veg.’  Three tomato plants in a window box.  They flutter precariously in the wind, I hope they will make it.  We have a veritable orchard in the garden, two apple trees and a plum tree are fruiting.  We have also rescued a couple of potted patio cherry trees from my sisters’ house move.  They seem somewhat traumatised by the trip across Tooting and are clinging on to life itself rather than wasting energy on producing progeny.  I hope all your gardens are flourishing and enjoying some of the recent showers.


It is funny how much difference a good blast of proper baking sunlight can make.  Yesterday, Tooting was gleaming.  I popped over to Number 8 Neighbour across the road to marvel at her south facing garden.  It was bathed in warm light and lovely.  She says it gets too hot during the afternoons.

We had a long conversation about letter writing.  It’s an under appreciated art form, supposedly superceded by email, facebook, twitter (@rpudd, if you’re interested), but still one of the nicest ways to keep in touch.  Number 8 Neighbour says she will often write a letter over a week, updating day by day.  The letters she writes to her best friends are longer than ones to people she doesn’t get on with so well.

Back over our side of the street the long grass in the garden is taunting me.  It has grown some more overnight, just to exacerbate my guilt at not having mown it for months.  The plant pots are still sitting next to the sink, barren.

Perhaps I will get out there today.  For now though, a nice cup of tea is my next step.  I intend to give it the time and attention it deserves for once.  Loose leaf tea, teapot, fresh milk.  China cup.  Magazine.  Luxury.


Life has significantly improved since I returned to work.  I am whisked away at 4.20 or so every morning, and work until around 1.30pm.  The sleep deprivation is at its worst by mid afternoon, but if I can get through this dip without losing consciousness on the nearest horizontal surface, I generally feel better by 5pm or so.  Then it is time to pick the small boy up and have a few hours with him before he goes to bed.  I hugely look forward to this time, and it is great to see him gradually learning to walk and talk.

It is great to be back in a routine, and to have something to get my brain around every day.  A bit of variety is good for the soul, and I think the boy benefits from my being distracted from worrying about various things in his life.  He is well, and has got over the various illnesses that come from starting nursery, to my relief.

My lovely sisters have just moved house, and are now living a stone’s throw from the nursery.  It will be nice to pop in and see them with the boy at the end of the day.  Him Indoors and I are gradually clearing a load of clutter out of the house, and generally trying to keep on top of all the various admin that seems never ending at the moment.  We have to book in time to spend with each other, but managed to get to the cinema this week for a date!

I have a stack of plant pots next to my sink in the kitchen.  They are destined for tomato seedlings, but I have yet to plant them up.  Other things keep getting in the way, and the garden still lies neglected.  Hopefully soon I will be able to pay it the attention it deserves.

And you?  Do leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to.


Light at the end of the tunnel

The last few months have been rather tedious.  Him Indoors and the Small Boy have been struck down with some kind of virus type thing.  I spent a week in hospital in January with appendicitis.  I’m now pottering around the house, attempting to raise the energy to do housework and invariably preferring to sit in front of another Sky+’d Grand Designs.  I know, I know.

Still, we are nearly back to normal, and the sun has popped out in recent days which reminds me that Spring is just around the corner.

I’m going back to work the week after next, and the Small Boy will be going to nursery.  The days will be long for him and he will no doubt be sent home with temperatures or sickness a fair amount over the first few months.  I may not be spending as much time at work as I thought.

This year promises to be busy and hopefully full of interesting developments.  The Small Boy’s first birthday is a month away, and then we have a big project on the horizon, of which more later.


Monday afternoon update

The Boy and I have had a quiet day today as the rest of the week is looking a bit mad.  He has a new door bouncer which he loves.  This is great for me as it means I can get on with something (usually making bread or fairy cakes at the moment – if not doing washing or washing up, joy) for half an hour or so before he starts shrieking.  This is his favourite game.  I am hoping he will get bored of it before too long…before my ear drums are perforated.

He is just starting on purees at the moment.  This is quite fun so far, I’m keen to get on with it and get him onto proper food having done months and months of breast feeding every 3 hours.  I read a brilliant book on baby led weaning, and we’re going to try to do as much of that as we can.  This doesn’t amount to very much, but we will have him sitting at the table with us for meals with a load of finger food to play with.  I like the idea of babies getting an idea of what food actually looks like, rather than just knocking back mush all day.

We have a cute high chair from Phil & Ted which clips onto the table.  He’s a bit little for it at the moment, he has to be propped up with a cuddly rabbit on one side and a cuddly lamb on the other (and still he shrieks after about 10 minutes) but once he’s a bit bigger I think this will work quite well.

My lettuce seedlings continue to soldier bravely on, in the face of daily attacks by slugs, cats, and very possibly foxes.  They’re doing quite well considering I planted them horribly late in the first place.  The raspberry canes are happily fruiting away, and it’s just as well, they’re our only hope this year.  I foolishly neglected the potatoes in the hottest fortnight of the summer, and failed to plant anything else up.  Next year I will hopefully get more done earlier and we should have a few other bits.

The compost heaps and the water butt are awesome though.  I do enjoy sifting through compost.  Strange I know.

Finally, here are some rather beautiful cameras made out of cardboard

DIY Baby

There are a legion of things to spend money on for babies,  just thought I’d post a couple of things I’ve made for The Boy over the last few months which are free, easy and don’t even require a trip to the shops.

Firstly, a baby bouncer with interchangeable pictures.  Babies love black and white images, so I used to draw pictures of things for him to look at.

Lately I read that he’s learning to see primary colours, so the current pictures are in blue, green and red.  Well, the green one has been kicked off, but the other two have just about made it (apologies for the dodgy artwork, never could draw.)

The baby bouncer itself was a Freecycle grab.  Not having to give £30 to a warehouse baby store always makes me happy.  The clips were borrowed from a clothes airer.

Next up are some rattles made from baby bottles, rice and pasta.  I haven’t tried anything else in them yet, but I guess you could put all kinds of things in there, to make different noises.

The Boy is still a little bit small for them.  He is just starting to grab things, but is at a fairly early stage. Give it another few weeks and he’ll be able to shake them himself.  At the moment he likes listening to them and watching the stuff inside fly around.

The sustainability freak in me likes these things.  They haven’t had to be manufactured so that I can buy them, and they can be dismantled again and used for other things when he’s too old for them.  The baby bouncer will probably go back to Freecycle eventually.