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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Edge of the diving board

All year we've been working our way step by step out along the diving board until now - with the last day of school finally here - we're ready to make the leap and plunge into the summer holidays.  It seems quite incredible that a whole school year is over!

On the one hand, I am so ready (and so is small daughter) to take a break from the early mornings, the reminders to take a waterproof now that the rain has returned, the constant "have you got your homework - wait, have you done your homework?" questions and the obligation to wear school uniform every day and I'm very much looking forward to having both my girls around all the time, but on the other hand a small part of me is rather worried about whether I'm going to get anything remotely work-like done over the holidays.  I think the word "Mum" (in our house it's pronounced "Mu-u-um") is used just to break the silence in our house sometimes, but sadly it breaks my concentration as well although often I do get a get a brew out of it (big daughter has just come to talk to me whilst I'm writing this and we're laughing as I'm disturbed yet again, although she is brewing up so I'll forgive her :) )  I think the plan will be to get up early as that's something that neither of the girls tend to do - or to take myself out of the way, but more of that later!

I've been trying to pack in all of those jobs that are best done before school holidays.  Last week I went to Skipton to see Lucy and to pick up the Yarndale Sock Line socks.  



It was a lovely warm day but not as hot as it has been which was much more pleasant for travelling.  There were even a few spots of rain as I drove through Lancashire to Yorkshire, and as I took the road across the moors you could see the rain clouds in the distance ...



I had such a lovely time - I always do when I go to catch up with Lucy anyway, but the knit n natter session in Coopers Cafe Bar where Lucy's studio is was an extra-special one as we were celebrating the forthcoming wedding of one of the regular ladies.  The Coopers Creative sessions are so inclusive; there's always a warm welcome for everyone and I feel very lucky to be part of it, even if it's only once a month!

I'd show you the Yarndale Sock Line socks but sadly, they're still in Lucy's studio.  We were so busy chatting when it was time for us to leave that we both walked past the bag and it was only when I was half way home that I remembered they were there.  Ah well, it's a good excuse to go back!   Thank you to everyone who's sent socks in so far - they are safely in Lucy's studio absorbing colourful crochet vibes!  Thanks also for the suggestions on where to send the socks after Yarndale, and do keep them coming as it's really great to have new places to get in contact with!

Back home again, there are signs of life returning to the garden.  It really doesn't take long for the grass and plants to recover and although I might have lost a couple of plants, I'm going to wait and see what they do before throwing them out.  Sometimes it just takes a bit of patience and everything grows again.

This little poppy appeared almost overnight.  Just one, all on it's own.  I think it's a variety called "Cherry Glow" that I planted a few years ago ...



These Papaver somniferum poppies are annuals but will self-seed quite prolifically - to be honest, this is the first one I've seen for a while but it just shows how long seeds will remain dormant before the right conditions let them grow.  It's not in a particularly convenient place but it's staying where it is because it's too pretty to pull up.

At the bottom of the garden, we've had some baby bird excitement over the last few weeks.  Mrs Wood Pigeon has been sitting on a nest (again, not entirely in a convenient place but we'll let that pass) and two baby pigeons hatched from her eggs.  The photos are a bit fuzzy because I did my best to zoom in with my camera rather than get too close and upset her.

They're funny-looking little things, aren't they?  There was a TV advert a few years ago where someone asked why you never see a baby pigeon which did actually make us think that we had never seen a baby pigeon - and now we have!



This was how they'd grown a couple of weeks later.  Mrs Wood Pigeon was still sitting on them so either they're too daft to move over or it's something that wood pigeons do.  


I noticed the other day that there were no birds at all in the nest so I'm hoping it's because the baby pigeons have been trying out their wings rather than anything unpleasant having happened to them (we live in a semi-rural area; we're used to seeing dead furry and birdy things and only sometimes that's entirely due to our cats), but I'm sure everything's OK. 

I'm quite glad that they might have left the nest as it's not far from where we've been doing a bit of work recently.  Whilst I was doing some tidying up, I found myself looking at our old Wendy Shed which the girls used to play in when they were little but which is now not much more than a spider haven and old toy store.  It's neatly hidden away behind some large shrubs so that it was enough of a secret den when it was being used (and had actually been quite forgotten about once it stopped being in regular use), but not so far away that you can't carry a drink and a biscuit down there.  You might even get WiFi on a good day.  However, it is just far enough away from the house that shouting "Mu-u-um!" from the doorway won't quite do it and so there's got to be a good reason to put your shoes on to come down the garden.  I'm surprised you couldn't see the lightbulb going on in my head from where you are!


I spoke to the girls about repurposing the Wendy Shed into a Studio which sounds infinitely more grown up and Definitely Not a spider haven (although I must confess that the thought had crossed my mind that they are more bothered by the spiders than I am so maybe one or two of them could stay, especially if the distance down the garden didn't seem to be doing the trick ...) and they declared it was a great idea.  There's already a table and chairs down there, and an old IKEA shelving unit which could be put to better use than it's current occupation as a cushion holder.  I think it will be good for all of us to be able to use it when we need somewhere to work without distractions, even for just a short while.  There isn't any electricity in there so we'll only have as long as a laptop battery lasts for and it'll be no good in the dark, but that's not a bad thing as it means that anything we choose to do in there will have to make the best use of the time that we have.  

The problem was that it was quite damp - the felt on the roof had split and it had been raining in for quite some time, so fixing the roof was going to be the first job.  It was not in good shape.


Luckily, our neighbour used to be a builder and he very kindly upcycled some old timber into a new roof for our Studio-to-be.  I bought some new roofing felt and on a sunny Sunday afternoon big daughter, her very tall boyfriend (always handy at a time like this), our neighbour's son and I finally got the new roof onto the shed.  I think we have the best shed Studio roof in Winwick now! :) 


There's still a way to go before we can move ourselves in; I've got to treat the damp patches and I've a feeling that some of the wood may need replacing so that will have to be done before we start doing anything else.  The good thing about the weather being so dry is that it's all had chance to dry out, and the fact that the roof isn't leaking any more has meant that inside is drying out nicely too.  It's definitely a project that we can all work on over the summer holidays, with the added benefit for me that I might just be able to disappear down there for a couple of hours out of range of the "Mu-u-um" siren.

The only downside is that I'll have to take my own brew with me.


10 comments:

  1. How about some solar powered lights? Even in daylight you might want a bit more light.

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    1. I've been looking into those, and also whether we could get some solar-powered electricity down there too but it all looks a bit complicated! I'll need to take another look when I know what space we've got and how often we use it and when, too xx

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  2. What a brilliant idea. We all need somewhere to go and 'think'!!We had our first rain last week, the first since the end of May and my lose some plants. I feel sorry for the farmers feeding stock.

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  3. I have Mum Hut envy!! I hope you all have a lovely summer!

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  4. Loving the ‘mum hut’ blog, although time flies and there soon won’t be a ‘m um’ to be heard. We only have one of four really living at home ( one fledged and two at uni) and he only really grunts nowadays!!!! I miss that being needed but also am enjoying a little more me time too. Have a great summer holidays.

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  5. what a lovely little shed to turn into the most glorious studio! Envy!
    love that 'the mum hut' i was thinking of a 'sockudio' but it will be a shared hut so thinking of names that will include the girls would be nice & give them more encouragement to work on it & in it.
    looking great so far!
    keep us updated on the shed/studio please
    thanx for sharing

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  6. Lucky you to have a haven of peace to escape to. There was a Wendy house here when we moved in, but it was definitely only for very tinies (I'm only 4'9 and I had to stoop to get in). I now have a shed but it's a gardening shed. Oh! to have a studio/workroom/cubby-hole to disappear into. One day...

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  7. Haha the tent in the shed mad me laugh, just moved mine in garage, eldest is 33 yrs but all 6 grand children play in it x

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