After a somewhat stormy start to the new school term, life has calmed down a little. That’s not to say that the days aren’t without their explosive moments, but generally everyone is a little less fraught (apart from my relationship with Sybil and her relationship with the garden, that is) and we have established a rhythm to the week.┬áMartha has moved up to the juniors, and I feel we have passed a major milestone now that we no longer have a child in the infants.

On Sunday we celebrated Bea’s tenth birthday and another milestone was reached – two children whose ages are in double figures*. As ever there was a cake, the last birthday cake of the year for my immediate family. It was the usual buttermilk number from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess, but with 25g of cocoa powder replacing the same weight in flour. The middle is Nutella mixed with whipping cream, which blends more easily than the extra thick double cream. Bea and Matilda decorated it, Sybil caught the crumbs.

It didn’t last very long.

* I had an odd moment when I typed that phrase, and wondered whether it should be double digits instead. Naturally enough I googled “double figures vs double digits” and came across a lovely book on British English, which I can’t seem to link to, though I will try later – must go now, as I am already late for the school run. Ooops.

the best laid plans and all that…

It’s Friday, and this is supposed to be the weekly post in which I sing the praises of a wonderful Bristol-based someone or something, but I’m afraid that will have to wait as things have gone a little awry here.

First, the decision regarding what colour we should paint the back of the house remains unmade – the back wall is dotted and splodged with various shades of pink and orange as though it has a nasty skin complaint. More samples are required, more opinions will be sought. Second, I am finding it extremely hard to get my head down for my next set of exams. There are a number of reasons for this, and I won’t bore on with them now, though no doubt they’ll crop up in another post. Third, Matilda’s twelfth birthday party is tomorrow and I have no idea how many children are coming – she’s at secondary school now, so I don’t know who any of the children are, I don’t have their home phone numbers so no means of contacting them. Grrr. But whether two or twelve turn up, there’s still a cake to be made (this one will be put on a high shelf, beyond Sybil’s reach), and a lot of stuff to be shifted, tidied, sifted and perhaps even chucked out.

Oh, and we have mice. The cupboard under the sink is filled with their droppings and the cats keep catching them and bringing them in. Otto ate one for his breakfast this morning – in just two or three crunches apparently. So things aren’t going well for the mice either.

So, no write-up today, but I have something lined up – a favourite place on Colston Street. I’ll try to post it after the weekend. Meanwhile out in the garden things are fattening up and filling out, which is nice. My experimental pea shoots are poking out of the soil, so I will shove more seeds in around them to keep the crop going.

Have a lovely weekend.

PS the door panel in the photograph is on Stokes Croft. Initially I was struck by how lovely the layers of paint looked, and then of course it reminded me of my inability to make up my mind about the colour for the back of the house. Today it suggests to me that perhaps there is beauty in indecision – ah! the art of the positive spin.