Yeah, I know it’s only 10 April, so hardly summer. But today was such a lovely long, warm, gorgeous day, that it made me feel all summery. Maxi Minx turns 5 in a few days; the day she was born was a suddenly sunny and hot day, and every birthday since has been sunny and surprisingly warm. I hope her actual birthday continues the trend, but if not, today will do.
Midi was ill again (some kind of virus – fever, green snot, aches and pains yesterday) but perked up today. I think every minute she spends in my bed cuddled up to me it’s like we trade sleep – I don’t, and in return, she gets my share of sleep. Anyway, despite it being a bit hazy, we decided to walk along the coast.
The other thing about this time of year is the gorse. Oh my God, I love the gorse! It’s spiky, nasty stuff (Friday’s walk with The Boss has left big holes in my thighs and feet from the stuff) but its scent is just a piece of heaven. Last year it was mostly honey; this year it’s definitely coconut. On the walk down to the beach I kept shoving my face into clusters of the stuff and sniffing it. On the walk back, it had released its smell into a heady cloud of perfume all around us. Even sniffle-infested Maxi Minx could smell it.
We had a nice long walk past the Cummingston crag, me and The Boss gazing wistfully at the climbers (soon…when the minxes are old enough to belay…), then on to the beach beside the caves and natural arches. While I wittered on about ‘Oh my, this time last year Baby R was just 3 weeks old and we sat right here, and you built a sandcastle right there, and …’, the girls looked for shells and sea glass.
As of last night at midnight, my 16 years of working for an organisation came to an end. So it was strange to bump into a woman I knew from work 2 years ago on the beach (she was lovely – it was so nice to catch up), and downright freaky to nearly be run over by a man on a bicycle who was a much-distrusted instructor 14 years ago. He didn’t recognise me. He was also very grey, whereas I’m only a bit shabby at the edges. I inwardly chalked one up to me. I’m very, very shallow.
Getting home (past the bags of wrapped and abandoned dog poo – I ranted about that in my last post) I decided to Do Something about the weeds. The grass poking through the stones does my head in, so I patiently scraped the stones away and pulled out all the tufts. Took hours, but it was pretty satisfying because I got to flatten the badly-piled up stones into something vaguely garden-looking. On a roll, I decided to dig out one of the raised beds. Maxi and Midi Minx had fitfully helped me weed, then abandoned that for the more entertaining sport of sister-baiting.
Usual stuff: “That’s my tent!”
“I had that leaf first!”
“I’m playing with baby R – you go away!”
“That’s my lemonade!”
(photo deleted)Bravely, I armed them with a trowel and midi spade each, covered their hands with thick gloves (I’ve seen too many cats poo in that patch over winter) and let them loose. They dug up all the old over-wintered, slug-ridden swedes, then attacked the grass. I let them leave the chard because it’s big and with its scarlet stems it looks really pretty. We all got in a right filthy mess, but they enjoyed it. So did I, to be honest. They even co-operated (one held the little pop-up bin while the other cleared up the kiddie gardening tools), hich brought a hormonal tear to my eye. Then we sowed some orange carrots (Early Nantes), some purple carrots and some parsnips. All bar the purple carrots were on tapes. Yep, lazy gardening. But when you have to keep leaving what you’re doing to pick up a Mini Minx and yank out clods of mud / stones / leaves / toys / grass / flowers from her mouth, it’s money well spent and time spared. Hopefully this year the bloomin’ parsnips will actually germinate!
I’ve stuck huge big sticks (old sunflower stems – 2 inches diameter and 5-6ft long) all over the bed to keep the cats off. Never mind cats, they’d scare off an albatross, and look very sculptural. And scary.
Before I go: some Mini Minxisms…
Yesterday she climbed her first stair. Today she managed to get almost all the way to the top, chasing after her eldest sister. Occasionally she’d stop, try to stand unaided, wobble, and me or her Daddy’s spotting stopped her tumbling to the bottom. She can stand on her own for 5 – 6 seconds, but only when she forgets that she can’t stand on her own. Then she laughs maniacally and bares her top gum with a scary nose-wrinkle. It’s a face that only a parent could love, and my God, I adore it!
Finally, proof that I do baby-wear wearing different clothes. And proof that Mini gets so comfy that she’s taken to having her morning nap on me. Now to suss out the BWCC just myself, with no helper. Ulp…