Two small children sit on a huge gnarly tree stump, pretending their fingers are binoculars

5/3/22 Saturday St Piran’s Day
Morning: frost on the greenery as far as the eye can see.
Mr gets wrapped up ready for his hedge laying course, I get coffee-ed up ready to take Grandchildren 6 & 7 to the Eden Project for the World Pasty Championships: smug as I have pre-bought our pasties to avoid queueing.
Afternoon: it is sheltered in the Eden valley, cold in the shadows, warm in the sun. Me, G6, and G7 sit on a bench and eat our pasties.
(We are early because Granma’s fluid intake has reached capacity. In the rush to the loos, Granma also forgot to note in which car park the car was hastily abandoned, or even in which area- is it Lime? Plum? Banana? Ah well, at least my trousers are dry, and none of us are hungry or stuck in a queue.)
The little ones are fun, in spite of being entirely uninterested in the entertainments of pasty challenges or live music.
We whizz around the Mediterranean Dome, and the Tropics (wow that leaf is freaking massive, says G6; maffiv! echoes G7) we queue for ice cream, we go back to the Mediterranean to eat them with a robin bobbing at our feet, the air thick with herby perfume.
There’s a play area outside where they can clamber ropes and I can sit in the sun and hear the music: this is mutual bliss. When they get hungry again we make the trek to find the car... up the hill the little legs go, the little hungry tired legs... and a bit further, and a bit further... it's not in Banana, it's not in Lime... come on, little ones- and there is the car, in Plum 1, and in the car are sausage rolls and bananas. The little ones are quiet while they chew.
'I can sing the alphabet song, Granma,' G6 informs, and demonstrates:
Alexa taught her this, she says.
'Ah,' says Granma, biting her lip.
Both little ones fell asleep mid-journey, both were woken up too soon by the arrival home.
Fed the grumpy children ham and crisps and blueberries; happy chatter rolled back.
Grandad arrived fresh from his nap after a day’s hedge laying course, and Grandchild 2 also joined us. We watched Yes Day, squashed into sofas, then packed the little ones off to bed.
G2 showed us Glow Up, a makeup artist show, which inspired us to trial some looks. I pulled off a passable smoky eye.
G7 fell out of bed in the small hours - out of his cabin bed, with a thud. He struggled to settle after this so most of my night was then spent wedged in next to him.
6/3/22 Sunday
Ugh, tired. Kids, tired. Coffee for the big people, eggy bread for all. Decide fresh air will help. Pack car boot full of labrador, car full of kids; Mr takes Dog in the van, we head for Paddock Garden.
We arrive first: G7 has pooped, and the cold air quick-change puts him off the idea of everything. He cries because his hands are cold, he cries because gloves exist. G6 scoffs but then cries because her hands are cold too. Drag them up to the stable to be out of the wind’s teeth, and then we notice that the LoveMe Labrador is missing.
She is found, eventually, running in the road- luckily the traffic is light and the truck sees her. She is wet so presumably has been for a fun swim in the river.
G7 is still crying so we go back to the stable, I plonk the little ones in the garden trolley. G2 wraps her coat around her suddenly cheered-up brother, G6 has my scarf for a blanket.
I pull them over the bumpy grass, pulling faces like they are sooo heavy, they love it.
Mr arrives as we are reaching the storm-trashed-ash. We put some sticks in with the kids- one fire’s worth of kindling- and trundle the trolley back down. 
Mr stays to do a bit of chainsawing (but only after checking I am ok).
Back at Trengune, Middle Daughter and her spouse have returned and are lying in the front room, curtains drawn. I heat up homemade soup, butter bread. I get the dishwasher and the washing machine going. I make more coffee.
Then I drive myself home while my eyes are open. Mr comes home, he brings Indian food, a bottle of wine, he puts the boiler on for a hot bath.  7/3/22 Monday
Back to work, and to a long lunchtime walk.
Clouds flourish in the blue sky, this would make a fine oil painting. Rays of sun thick like ancient tree trunks, a forest of light, a ghost-forest.
Back at work, my colleague, who never watches the news, is watching war reports. There are some good people out there, she says, people who have given up their jobs and gone to help. She cites some examples. I am not watching the news, only glancing here and there, keeping myself focused elsewhere, but not unconnected.
It pushes me to make Paddock Garden a place of calm and renewal.

8/3/22 Tuesday
Seed potatoes have chitted while they waited to be remembered. Cucumbers have sprouted up and been moved out of the propagator into pots. Mr returns from shopping, he brings hot scotch eggs from the butchers for our brunch. Sky is grey- the clouds have been blown flat. It’s cold out so the house gets cleaned and the potatoes sit in their cardboard box, still waiting. There will be much queuing up for all the jobs, I tell them, as I have begun an online forest gardening course: my timetable and my head are quite full. We need to get the Paddock Garden infrastructure planned. For the home garden, we pick ‘Plan Four’ from the Veg In One Bed book: ‘Low Effort.’ 
Priorities, adjustments.  9/3/22 Wednesday
Happy Birthday, Mr! We celebrate with coffee in bed, as we do pretty much every day because every day is worth the attention. Then we wrap up warm and get outside. Mr uses his new auger drill bit to make holes for the chitted spuds while I press rows of onion sets into earth that’s as cold and rich as the finest chilled chocolate pudding.
While Dog is ferried to her grooming appointment I prep tea: on the birthday menu this annum are Huge Steaks (rump, locally sourced) with fat chips (pre-steamed, to be cooked under the steaks as they grill), fried veg, steamed broccoli, homemade peppercorn sauce, and a fancy banana and custard pudding with nuts and cream and dried cranberries, all ready for action when we return from teaching at Plymouth later tonight.
Happy man in woolly hat is planting potatoes in a raised bed

10/3/22 Thursday
To the land! Where Mr puts his hedge laying knowledge into action, steeping a section below the stable, which opens the view up considerably, and I chop a circumnavigatory path through the small wooded corner, which is larger than I remembered, and more open. The agroforestry potential is awesome, I am practically glowing with it. Dog has half-heartedly followed me into a few thickets- I’m in the middle of one, using axe kicks and secateurs to open a path, when a car pulls up, I hear talking- turns out Dog has decided to take a shortcut out onto the road and a lovely young chap is asking her if she’s lost. Hearing another vehicle approaching at speed I launch myself through the brambles, over barbed wire, to rescue her and thank the young chap profusely. Lift the reprobate over the fence- simultaneously cross and relieved. I take her to admire Mr’s steeping, then, with us keeping a stern eye on the spaniel, we all traverse the little woods. Mr forages a bong fashioned from a plastic bottle and a rolled-up square of Red Bull tin. I find a metal bin with its bottom rusted out. We are in agreement on the food forest potential, talking and walking, more chatter than our grandchildren!
Up at the top field, I climb the fallen ash and lose my footing, and now I have a knee-shiner and am proud of it. It’s good to be 52 and still falling out of trees.
11/3/22 Friday
Horribly smug are we, hugging our coffee mugs, sitting in bed, watching the rain flail, since we picked yesterday to be a land day and allocated today for house jobs. I am writing a list of shade tolerant trees, veg, fruit, herbs, and flowers. My head is so full of leaves and blooms it would be plausible if vines grew out of my ears, and a useful thing too if I could propagate by thought.

A path cut through brambles leads to more brambles, in some very scrubby untidy woods


Steve Cromwell said…
That first photo looks just like a painting, and can't believe the size of that tree. Don't know how you get the energy for all these adventures, but you're giving the grandkids and dogs great experiences (and snacks). They'll treasure these stories when they're older.

Happy Birthday to Mr., and I love the Alphabet song!
Lisa Southard said…
Thank you :-)
I didn't get time to read about this tree stump, but there are some olive trees of a similar girth, around a thousand years old- not native, they've come from Greece to retire in Cornwall.
Energy powered by naps and fun!

Popular posts from this blog

Contact Pants Conundrum

A Candle Lit

E, That Was Funny