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  It’s an under appreciated art form, supposedly superceded by email, facebook, twitter (@rpudd, if you’re interested), but still one of the nicest ways to keep in touch.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.


Wild garden

The garden lies largely neglected during the winter. There is some kind of psychological barrier to going down a flight of stairs to get to it. Then there is the cold and the damp.

I love watching the fox who still manages to live on top of the wall at the back of the garden though. The neighbours chopped the hedge right back to try to get rid of him, but now the leaves are the same colour as his fur, so he has an even better hiding place. I am a little wary of him now the small boy is on the scene, so I may have to do the same later in the year.

Like this blog, the garden gets horribly neglected for large chunks of the year, but I know that when the first signs of spring start appearing, I will be all excited about it again.

I hope your gardens are all hibernating well, getting ready for new things in the months to come.

How to clean the glass of a wood burning stove

I was looking for a way to clean soot off our stove last year but couldn’t find much advice apart from to use scrunched up newspaper.  Now, thanks to the chap who came to service the stove last week, I have a much better answer.  Metal polish, applied with a toothbrush works like a dream.

Now that the summer is more or less over, I can’t wait for the first fire of the winter.  It’s also a pretty sustainable option in terms of heating the house as well, and cheaper than gas or electricity.