Grief and the Gardener

My father passed away on on the 7th and it’s been a bit of an up and down journey.  Firstly, despite it being 2 weeks, I’ve not been over to see his wife or see my sister.  I’ve basically grieved by myself.

I’ve had nothing to do with any funeral arrangements either.  Despite asking to come along, I was fobbed off with dates in the future, only to find out a few days after that that she’d been to see to the vicar and it was all arranged.  I’ve not even been allowed to have any say in the flowers.

So my private, athiest dad is having a religious service in a church, with a viewing….and he’s being buried.  Even thought everyone in our family are cremated.

The one shining light was after asking if I could say a few words about him as a dad, I found out via a call with the vicar that apart from his sermon (!) I’m the only speaker.  Which puts a bit of weight on me but also makes me a bit happy.  I’m responsible for talking about the man.  That’s amazing.  I think they call it a tribute.

So with that news I took myself out to the garden this afternoon (after a brief 2 hours googling Theo James – oh my goodness, my new Matt Damon) and actually did a bit of back breaking digging.  It’s the first time I’ve felt like doing anything constructive. 

I managed to clear a section of garden to plant a memorial Rose a friend sent to me last week (incredibly kind even if I’m not that fond of roses).  Hoping it will bloom brilliantly for me.

I think it was just what I needed despite my arthritic hands and I’m feeling a little bit lighter, a little bit less sad and that can only be a good thing.


Snogging the pub landlord

It had to happen at some point.  Early Friday night drinks in the pub with other parents, the village fete, volunteering to look after the PTA Facebook page…… was inevitable I’d end up in the village play.  Especially with my background.

So here I am.  Six weeks into rehearsals and wondering what the heck possessed me.mask

As if I had any spare time anyway I have added this to my to-do list.  As well as having an actor husband flitting off left right and centre I have had to deal with my issues around getting a babysitter and employ a local 15-year-old so I can go to the majority of rehearsals.

Of course, the new blog has been neglected as well.

It’s not just the rehearsal time that has been tricky to manage, it’s also been the line learning.  It’s been 18 years since I had to learn lines, still, when I find the time, I do seem to still be ok with it.  And have I mentioned the snogging?  Oh yes.


Not just any snog either.  A wildly passionate BIG snog with an older gentleman who happens to be the pub landlord!

Needless to say, it hasn’t been (ahem) rehearsed yet.  I told him we had to wait until all the lines were learnt.  I have since found out he seems to be learning his lines much faster than he has done on previous occasions.  Eeek.

Having said all of this, I am having a pretty lovely time of it with all the rehearsing.  Going back to my old roots and being someone else — a great tonic after a rotten day at work.  There is a lot of giggling, some not so brilliant acting (which is fine by me….it’s an amateur production) and the boys don’t come out of this play with their dignity intact, which is a great bonus (and laugh).

So this play will probably be my introduction to the rest of the village that I haven’t met yet.  Should be interesting.  Will I be the acclaimed ex-professional actress that finally brough credibility to the village or will they all declare me a hussy (or the village vamp as one poor previous actress was labelled).

Can’t wait to find out.  Curtain up in January.  Snogs and all.


XX Bea



The Summer Harvest

This year was our first year of harvesting from our own vegetable and fruit plots.  

Overall it’s been a brilliant year for growing things and we will be planning our beds for next year with a few tweaks.  Here was the summary of half the crop. I’ll post the rest another day.

Carrots – in our raised beds and grown close together we had a lovely yield of little carrots and are still using them. Taken us from July to probably November by sowing them in 2/3 weekly batches.  Carrot Mokum.

Tomatoes – we grew a type called Gardeners Delight, but they weren’t as delightful as I’d hoped. They grew too big before ripening, but we did get a good crop and made pasta sauce and chutney from the remaining green ones. I grew these in our greenhouses and leftover plants in an outside bed that became free when the leeks failed to grow (Mr G was in charge of those).  The outside ones were a bit of a disaster, growing too late and not ripening.  The greenhouse tomatoes were watered and therefore tended fairly regularly but the outside ones were neglected and became very bush like. 

This is me digging over the courgette beds and the tomatoes are in the background.

I’ll pick another kind of tomato next year.

Whilst on the subject of courgettes, they did very well, but often rotted whilst still growing.  I need to google this a bit and find a solution but we harvested about 10 good courgettes in the end so very happy with that.  I haven’t decided whether to grown them again next year. They take up a lot of space for what they produce but I do like courgettes.

I spent the weekend just gone, digging up the courgettes and tomatoes and preparing the bed for next year.  Need to head to the horse field next door to get some manure too.

I also tried to collect as many apples as I could from the tree that fell done.  We hope to right her again, but need to work out how to do it.

I’ll leave you with a pic of the 7year old and 4year old saving a worm from the chickens.  Although I requested it.  They would have happily dangled it over their beaks.  


Being Kind to your Husband

I recently saw some one quote this:

“The only thing you should compete for in a marriage is who can be the kindest”.

It’s a lovely sentiment and it initially made me feel very guilty because I don’t think I’m very kind to my husband.  I am on his case a fair bit (and bite my tongue a bit too…… I could be a lot worse) about things around the house.

With the quote in my head yesterday and with both of us at home, I found quite a few occasions where I had a moment to think about whether I should be kind or not and you know what…….I wasn’t.  I’ll tell you why.

If being kind means I have to put all the recycling out for the millionth time from the counter where it was discarded by him, I’m not doing it.  I will place it in the middle of the floor to make a point.  It’s just another job I end up doing that should be shared.

If being kind means I then put away EVERYONE’S clothes that he has taken off the airer and left in a big ole pile on our bed, then I’m not doing it.  It’s not just mine.  I washed it all and hung it up.  It took over a week to be taken down – the job is half done. I’m not doing it.

If being kind means I have to move his ipad to a rather bizarre location :) because he’s just dumped it on a counter that gets used all the time, then I’m going to do it.

I’m not the cleaner, I’m not the sorter, I’m not the finder, I’m not the housekeeper and I’m not going to accept it.

However — if being kind means I compliment a good job painting the living room, I’m in!  If it means making a cup of tea when he’s been stuck in his office for over an hour, I’m in!  If it means helping out with the children on a morning he’s in charge to give him an extra 10 minutes sitting down when it’s the third day in a row in charge, I’m in!

I can be kind.

I just won’t be a pushover.


The Memory Box bias

One of the unwritten rules to being a parent is the one where you become a vessel for your children’s memories.  As they get older they start retaining some of their own, but they will forget a lot of them, and anything under 5 it’s unlikely to be remembered.

Of course they will always claim they remember, when in actual fact it’s been a “story” in the family and repeated to them so many times they mistake the retelling as their own memory. Inevitable really.

The other thing I do (and I know many parents do) is I keep a memory box for my children.  Every few years I go through it again and whittle it down because with the passing of years and the accumulation of more things, you can be more flippant with what you keep and don’t keep.

Up until now these boxes have been cobbled together from all sorts of delivery boxes and I recently bought two big plastic tubs so I can keep everything together.

So here are the two boxes.  The one on the left is my 7 year old daughters and the one on the right is my 4 year old son.

memory boxes

You will have noticed that one is substantially fuller than the other one, in fact, more full than what befits a 3 year age gap.

I feel so bad.

Daughter’s box is completely full.

So, now I’m going to reel off a few excuses as to why.

Firstly, I think I may have another little box somewhere with the 4 year olds birth cards.  I must. Surely. Secondly, he’s only just started drawing stuff by himself.  The 7 year old was doing that from the age of 2 and was producing at least 10 pieces of artwork a day from the age of 4 until she was 6.

Thirdly, I think I’m a rubbish mum.

I’m sharing this because unfortunately my son is suffering from 2nd child syndrome.  Apart from swimming he has no other clubs or after school activities, he never goes to theatre shows with us, let’s face it, he’s neglected.

I’ll need to make a concerted effort to try and fix this wrong and start adding to the poor boy’s memory box quick smart.  Otherwise there may be no doubt in his eyes when the question gets asked “who’s your favourite, mummy?”


Shades of Grey

It’s taken a year but we are finally ready to consider painting our living room.

It’s currently painted in an antique ivory (I know this because I have bought a sample pot in this colour and it has disappeared on the wall) and with a feature wall and an old chimney breast in a very deep red.

However I have this cream sofa in the room

and these two armchairs at the other end of the room.

homebase armchair 1homebase armchair 2

and whilst Antique Ivory would go perfectly fine with the 2 armchairs, our cream/beige carpet and the cream sofa may just melt away if I paint the other end ivory.

So I’m thinking grey.  MrG is slightly distressed at the idea of grey so I’m going as light as I possibly can to keep him on side.

I love this grey

Grey wall 2

but I fear he’ll think it’s too dark.

This one might work.

grey wall 1

but I think this one goes too light.

grey wall 3

You may think I’m being very pedantic about this.  However, we have always gone white/ivory with our wall colours so this is really pushing it out.

I’m hoping to have a sort of oatmeal coloured curtains too and they sit alongside the two armchairs.

Of course, the biggest hurdle we have here is that I’m colourblind, so there is a distinct possibility I’m mashing up too many colours.

What do you think?  Do you like grey?


The New Blog

Welcome to my new blog!

I had to move from my last one as my anonymity was compromised and it changed the way I wrote.   As a result of this and due to the link of my blog to my twitter profile, I’ve had to wave goodbye to my 1200+ followers and start a fresh there as well.

I’m still working on my layout and design here, but I’ve been mulling it over for nearly 2 months and just had to launch something in the end.

On this blog I’ll be focussing more on what I’m doing with school age children, how I’m keeping myself happy outside of being a mum, my new found life in the country and hopefully still the occasional rant (feminist or otherwise) as it takes my fancy.

I hope you’ll join me in my journey into being grown up.


XX Bea