Blustery walks, not much gardening and a birthday

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I’ve not posted an awful lot recently (apart from joining in with In a Vase on Monday) – a mild case of blogger’s block, if you like. Life has been trundling along pleasantly: the mock exams are over (results so far are encouraging), my mum is making steady progress following her op and we’re in the groove of a routine. Well, we were, before my middle child broke a foot playing rugby on Sunday (during his second match for a local team), so I temporarily have an hour’s round trip to drive him to school to add to my day. Negotiating all the steps at the train station in a scrum of school children wouldn’t be ideal and I’m a softie. Hey ho.

Today the sun is (was) shining and Storm Barney – the rather inappropriately cuddly name given to the latest storm to batter the UK – has calmed down a little. It’s still very breezy indeed but it is possible to walk along the clifftops without worrying about a gale force wind pushing you flat on your face.

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It is tricky to hold the phone steady to get a horizontal horizon in the wind.
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Can you see Cassie staring into the hedge (mid-bottom-left of photo)? Our wouldn’t-say-boo-to-a-goose dog caught a rabbit here last week. Ever since, when we walk down this lane, she’s made a bee-line to the same spot and stared intently to check for more rabbits. Thankfully there haven’t been any.

I’ve been rather slack on the gardening front recently. We did manage to clear the strawberry bed of rooted runners and weeds last weekend, though. There are now over 30 baby strawberry plants tucked in here and there to settle in over the winter. A few of the parent plants were actually flowering and one was even sporting a large white strawberry. Weird. There’s still quite a bit of clearing and cutting back to do outside before winter properly sets in. Amazingly (to me), I’m STILL picking raspberries, freezing some, making small batches of jam and scoffing the rest. At this rate, they could be fruiting into December. Is that normal?

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Me and my boy, winter 1999.

My first-born is now a broad-shouldered, 6ft man-child – opinionated, argumentative, handsome, kind, infuriatingly contrary, loving, hilariously funny and very, very nearly 16. It’s his birthday tomorrow. We’ll be having a fairly low-key, family celebration as he doesn’t want a big fuss. When I say low-key, I mean no big house-party. He knows not to even ask. I can quite clearly remember 16th birthday parties from my youth and he’s been to friends’ parties and seen what happens and doesn’t want the responsibility of anything like that happening here! There will still be plenty of cake (chocolate, of course), candles and presents. We will be making a fuss of him, that’s for sure. I can see his eyes rolling now…

My youngest is also very excited because, once this birthday is over she can start talking about Christmas!

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24 thoughts on “Blustery walks, not much gardening and a birthday

  1. Lovely photo of you and your boy from long ago. I know about the disorientation that comes from having offspring over 6′ tall (and 3-5″ taller than me). I can also remember driving my youngest to his high school when he was temporarily on crutches. Enjoy the birthday!

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  2. Gorgeous photos. I’m wishing your middle boy a speedy recovery and your biggest boy a happy birthday. Flowering and fruiting strawberries here too, isn’t it strange. I took off a whole truss of green fruit the other day. CJ xx

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  3. A lovely set of photos Sam, the cliffs look very beautiful in the first one. Loved the shot of Cassie checking for Bunnies :o) Happy Birthday to your lad (know the feeling- our youngest is now 14 and growing taller and more deeper-voiced by the minute). Hope you all have a lovely celebration. x

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  4. Happy birthday to your eldest…such a shock when they grow up.! I loved the photos of your walk along the coast. How very stoic you are planting strawberries, regardless of gale force winds…I feel such a wimp for not going out today because it is too hot!

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    1. The wind wasn’t that strong when we tackled the strawberries – gale force keeps us indoors unless absolutely necessary to venture out! Mind you, very hot weather can be tough. Hope it cools for you soon.

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    1. I should have rephrased it to say she can talk about Christmas and I’ll listen to her! She has been twittering on about it for a while but it’s the rule in our house that no proper discussions happen until after 19th.

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  5. Really lovely photo Sam. Happy Birthday to you both. We didn’t do big parties either although my daughter used to have “gatherings’ here for girls only while we absented ourselves at the theatre. Actuallly the 18th birthday parties are the scary ones, but you’ve got a couple of years yet so I’ll say no more ….Do hope the poorly foot gets better soon. I was such a softie that broken bones, dislocated joints and 10 stitches in a knee were always mended at home for the first week. The weather is starting to bother me. I was in Hamburg earlier this week and it was as warm as here which is unheard of. I don’t know if we’ll have raspberries in December but I’ve never had strawberries and runner beans in mid-November before.

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    1. Thank you Sarah. Broken foot boy did get a day at home but was itching to get back to school. He hates to miss anything. The weather has been so unseasonal recently but I’ve just seen the forecast for this weekend… Cold! And maybe even snow! That’ll be a shock to the system.

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  6. Happy belated Birthday to your oldest. My oldest is 15 next week. The description of your 16 year old would fit my 15 year old perfectly. Isn’t it amazing, they were once so teeny tiny and cute. We have a December Birthday to celebrate before mine are allowed to talk about Christmas. Officially that is. Have a nice weekend.

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  7. Lovely photo, Sam – they grow up so quickly don’t they! My boy is now 20, so tall (aren’t teenagers huge these days! I’m sure my generation wasn’t so tall) and still has the same patience and tolerance that he showed when younger. (He also has more contrary moments but, thankfully, they’re rare.) We had five minutes of sleeting snow here in London this morning but it quickly turned to rain. Gardening got abandoned in favour of crochet this afternoon as it was blustery and so cold but I might wrap up and tackle things outdoors tomorrow as it’s supposed to be sunny (and cold!). I’ve had raspberries – and one or two strawberries – up to this week but they’re very sparse now. It seems winter is just around the corner – just in time for Christmas! Caro x

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