Sunday Chillin’

So, I am chilling here in front of a comfy open fire, still pinching myself to see whether I wake up from a dream or not…..

I remember begging hubby-to-be (htb) when we improved our London house, please please can we have an open fire, and I was firmly told – every time – absolutely no way, the smoke, the dirt, the chopping logs, no way…… 3 years later and we (all 5 of us), are clearly loving this open fire, yes daddy has now realised we are clean out of logs, and the kindling got soaked this week, and the coal is running very low, but is it all worth it, for the smiles on everyone’s faces, (even when it takes the daddy an hour to get it going), yes, it is so totally worth it.

As I sit here watching the glow of the flames and the heat from the embers I have to cast my mind back over this past week – has it been a good one? Anything to write about? and yes, i guess it has been – kids are unbelievably happy (Lochi, crazy nearly  4 year old, still throws the most incredible tantrums, and Madi sulks like you wouldn’t believe), but, besides all of this, the kids are truly happy, all weather country kids!

To recap the weeks events:

Monday – our sat nav took us to God knows blooming where, but certainly not where the harvest ceremony at the schools local church was….our route took us the wrong way and straight down an ‘unsuitable for motor vehicles route’ and through an overflowing ford. But in the words of a most daring unstoppable father in law ( I had to phone him as we got lost, urgh!) the answer was, “your in a bloody 4wd! those things are built for these roads, get on with it” phone call (all said with a laugh I must add, I guess he was just biding his time for this call…) So,  I slowly edge my way through the overflowing ford, absolutely crapping myself, but…. we make it to the church (woohoo), 40 minutes late albeit and the doors locked….so, one tearful beaten mum, one brave but upset daughter, and one totally unfazed son saying “its ok mum there will be more!”, who is the parent here????

Tuesday, family worship at school – well for those of you that know me – this will probably cause a giggle! but it was lovely (apart from Lochi lying horizontally under our chairs and kicking the feet of one mum under her chair – I as anxious as could be waiting for all hell to break loose, the the other mums and teachers, calmly smile commenting on how settled my son must be, that he can just totally relax in this environment, this really is a watch this space….. at some point a Lego brick may fly and viewpoints may change, but for now, I am reveling in the thought that this may just be the calmness required and that hubby to be and I will not be dragged up to the principals office every week……) – Back to my first memory of this day though – Madi got an award, I was so proud, and she was so chuffed! She won an award for settling so well into her class – and these are the moments that make your heart dance.

Wednesday – car dropped into the local diesel mechanics due to suspension issues – the joys of country living…..after a computer reading I am told I am looking at a fair sum to repair the air compressor that is totally knackered – arghh the list goes on – apart from this the car absolutely drinks the fuel and hubby to be comments on every little scratch on the car – which brings me to…the tractors! Ah, I have never really had to reverse for someone in London, I have just had the filthy looks of people staring you down for being in a ‘Chelsea tractor’, here though, totally different story when head on with a real Dorset tractor. I cant even begin to tell you how many times I have rounded a corner overgrown with hedges only to find myself come to face to face with a metal monster only to look up at a young farmer just willing me to play the ‘chicken game’ of who is going to reverse  first – of course I totally loose this, i mean seriously, I am like a little ant staring up at him.  I then face the next battle of proving myself – yes, I am woman, and yes, i can reverse a qrtr mile back up the road in a Landrover disco and smile at you as you pass me in the lay by.…. i feel so smug when i manage to do this  i do however hope there are no new scratches from the blooming hedges) I hold my head high as I politely nod to the tractor as he passes me (not my thoughts exactly by the time I have reversed a third time, but I now realise, I can’t argue with a tractor they are a lot bigger with a lot more time – how the coin has flipped 😉 )

Last but not least, yesterday, we take a long walk through the woods to collect fallen autumn leaves to come home and paint to turn into ghosts (Halloween decorations!!), and ‘htb’, clear creative genius in the family, is going to make an owl with all of his leaves, cool idea….half way round however son needs a wee and a poo, which cant wait, houdini the beagle takes off after a bunny and Madi, well she decides she is starving and thirsty – oh it never rains it pours. The first problem that demands immediate solution is won by son that cant wait, confidently advising that all was done now (we had thought by now, that we had won this toilet battle, but clearly not as we find ourselves explaining again,  that for boys it is easy enough to go and hide behind a tree, and that that is the joy of having a willy – for everything else squeeze tight and hold!!! – we are still waiting for this to sink in clearly!) By this point Bella skulkily returns.

So, we  get over that and deal with the chaffing for the climb back up the hill to the car were we can peel off the clothes and provide the drink – shame there is no wine though, this was a clear ‘in need’ situation… who said country life was easy, we all still have our daily battles, but on reflection, it’s all part of life’s joyous tapestry, or perhaps it’s just another Thomas family adventure??!!I hate to say the latter, but it so frequently feels that this kind of thing only happens to us, oh well, c’est la vie….

To finish, the owl is still waiting to be made and the ghosts are still drying in their bag, but for this half term week, that will be another activity we will strive to fulfill.

Right now, I can only look forward to the week ahead. and the adventures we will have, we didn’t get these experiences in London (amenities are never too far 😉  My amazing man, yes he spends a bit of time on a daily commute but to see him now with his feet up, snoring in blissful peace –  that makes it all worth it for me…..

’til next time,

 

all my love

axxxx

Advertisements
Posted in Country Living | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Apple Pressing Day

Here I go again, hoping to enlighten you all with the trials and tribulations of country living…..I can only hope this will either provide a lot of laughs or at least inform you of what is potentially in store for anyone else who decides to jump on the bandwagon of chasing ‘ the good life’

Today is apple pressing day!!! The kids are so excited, yesterday we spent an afternoon collecting all the good apples from tree and ground and of course dumping the not so good on the compost heap – a new concept for us townies ( well, turning over the 1 of 6 compost heaps we seem to have inherited) but one we will hopefully come to grips with soon, god help me….

So the morning ensues, starts well with perfect hubby to be making a lovely breakfast of poached eggs on Vegemite toast (best Aussie export to date and now 1 in every family members cupboard, clearly a winner, and always in front of the marmite 😉  ). With full tummies we start embarking on collecting the rest of the apples to load into the car, all going perfectly well until, not so perfect hubby to be is followed in by sopping wet son who has managed to fall into the pond – just another perfect start to a day of Thomas family adventures! For any of you out there who have seen National Lampoon’s Family Vacations, you will totally understand the Thomas family typical adventures, no, let me rephrase that – days, typical Thomas family days!! (leaves a lot to the imagination doesn’t it?!) So back to the pond situation…the pond water has managed to fill Lochi’s wellies, he is so clearly unperturbed by this but urghhh, what a blooming nightmare! things can only get better right? At this point in time Granny arrives, amidst the chaos, Grandpa on the other hand takes one look at the mess in front of him and hightails it back out the door, leaving his mobile behind which brings me to the next point – Granny, otherwise known as Marianne, or Granny M, married into the  Thomas Clan also, so understands the situation completely….. and collects sopping wet son for a quick change ready to face the day 🙂

So we all pile into the car and set off for Langford Lakes Apple Pressing Day. On arrival we are greeted by one of my oldest best friends, Ash (well auntie lush,as fondly named by enamoured kids 😉 ) to point us back out the driveway to park in the field (unbeknownst to her our suspension has seriously faulted and the back is totally laden down with the apples collected from our orchard – yep you read correctly, we have an orchard!!)

I’m guessing Ashley must have heard Dunc mentioning “she could have let us dump our apples at the gate rather than lump them round – these bags are seriously heavy!!” as she turned up slightly flushed (from the cider or the embarrassment of the absentmindedness – god will only know – love you really ash but sometimes i wonder weather you truly are blonde?!!)

We had 3 huuuuge bags of apples ready for pressing, on some seriously ancient apple pressers – nothing like a bit of old country tradition – we lost Dunc to the cider making master class and granny to the middle of a very low stream – no problem there we all had wellies on, Lochi with plastic bags in his to try save his feat from getting wet from the inside of his boots, attractive, really 😉 next was apple olympics for the kids, prizes won by all, then the torrential downpour – again, part of Thomas family luck!! It absolutely poured it down, the heavens had opened and we felt like drenched rats and probably looked like it too – nevermind, nothing a bowl of celeriac and apple soup and some home made scones with clotted cream wouldn’t fix. But suffice to say, the rain didn’t ease at all, so we all piled back into the disco to head back home for a hot bath and a hot chocolate in front of our open fire.

Last but not least, just as we feel we are home safe and sound, with our bought apple juice from our very own apples – D loved this one, worked his butt off to collect them all lug them all in and then pay for the end product on the way out – genius! (all for a great charity though and one we will continue to support (and mock) – wiltshire wildlife trust), they worked damn hard on pressing those apples so definitely worth it – or so we thought until said daughter Madi steps into our back door and promptly drops the apple juice to splat all over our entrance carpet – for any of you that have smelt rotting cider – you have the picture of what we are dreading! Again, what can you do?! Thomas family adventures…. Moral of the story – we all had a great day out as a family, and no matter what the weather, or the cost, this is what memories are made of, and that my friends, you truly can’t beat….

With all my love,

Axxxx

 

Useful Bits & Bobs:

http://www.millhousecider.com/cider.html

http://www.vegemite.com.au/Pages/default.aspx

(for any new aussies just landed in the uk, or those of you who just want to try vegemite (very much like marmite), you can buy it at most UK supermarkets, but here is the tesco link…

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Search/Default.aspx?searchBox=vegemite&newSort=true&search.x=0&search.y=0

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

We Made It…I think

Hi!!!

Well, this is my first post of my very first blog about moving to the country…..for anyone else out there who has done this, you will certainly understand that my head is still spinning!!!

So, I’m going to reverse a bit to tell you how we got here – hubby to be and I have been discussing this move for the past, well God knows how long (3 years?!)- it was a toss up between Aus and here but as we are still very much alive and kicking the business along here it so seemed the best option for now, to move to South West England – a most beautiful part of the English Country I must say.

Now with 2 young kids and a most stubborn, bolshy beagle this has not been one of the easiest things I have done in my life….to start with;

Moving Day, 4th October; the 18 tonne truck arrives to move us, thankfully I have enlisted the help of a gorgeous London Mum to help out with my youngest – Lochi (nearly 4), so as not to unsettle him with his toys and bed being lumbered out the front door and onto the back of a truck, 1 point for me! Eldest daughter, Madison (6yo) in school all day, so safe there! Bella (9 month old beagle), absolute blooming nightmare, she would beat Houdini without a doubt! Apart from trying to pack up the last of my personals, make sure dishwasher was empty and ironing in its own box I spent half my time chasing our dog back in from the well barricaded off back lane! (clearly not so well barricaded)…not for the faint hearted or anxiety ridden london mum. If only I could find that wine – which brings on problem number 2 – the packers are packing faster than I can organise and before i know it not only can I not find a glass let alone that bottle of vino, it is school pick up time!

Arriving back home from school pick up I must say the kids took it amazingly well, even posing for photos in the back of the truck –  aah, what memories are made of! So, off to best friends house with an overnight bag (or 3),  our last night in London before heading south to sunny Dorset!

And this my friends, is the end of the first post, tiredness has finally kicked in (only taken a couple of weeks of running on adrenalin and a few 5am starts to get handsome hubby to be to local country station for the daily commute (grind?!) into London) and I am all frazzled out  – and this, they say is the good life…..

Axxxx

Posted in Moving to the Country | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment