Friday 25 June 2010

Time For A Wobble?

What is it about jelly? The shape of it? The taste of it? Its texture or just simply the way it wobbles? Whatever it is it never fails to bring on a case of the giggles whenever it is served at this house. Not that it is served that often and maybe that's something I should remedy because a serious fit of the giggles is never to be sneezed at!
I heard the other day somebody mention that they were going to make a special supper for their eldest child after an exam and that there would be jelly. Big Sister who was at that time, just embarking on the long and intense timetable of GCSEs that lay before her, needed cheering up. What a brilliant idea, nothing better, she's loved jelly since she was tiny.

What could be easier than making a jelly. I've made and eaten dozens of them, I could say I could make them blindfolded but that's the point, I almost did... Never, ever make your jelly without your glasses on. The oh so simple task of adding hot water to the contents of a packet is deceptively tricky if you can't read the measurements on your measuring jug. There was I gaily adding water and stirring and pouring contents into mould after mould, wondering why a) my jelly seemed to be resembling the everlasting porridge pot and b) questioning the thermostat on the fridge as the jelly just remained as liquid as the day it was born... Several hours and watery jelly moulds later I found my glasses, emptied the bin to retrieve the jelly instructions and realised my mistake. Poor old Big Sister came home in such a mood that I daren't even tell her the story of the jelly that might have been...

Last weekend I not only remembered to buy some more jelly but set to make them with glasses and magnifying glass at hand. Do you know what? This time the jelly only filled one mould! How simple was that? Not that simple, because basking in my reflective glory and smugness I forgot to get the jelly out of the fridge and give it to anyone. It was only the next day that it was found wobbling in all its glory.

Sunday night we had our jelly. Shimmering, jewel like, resplendent in its wobbliness it sat on our table. And then the laughter began... the first little wobble, the first squelch, the sight of the little domes... need I say more?

The exams are now over here, thank goodness. I don't think I have ever seen my daughter work so hard and feel so tired. She asked me the other day if I was proud of her - I couldn't begin to say just how much. It's not the marks that matter, it's the fact that she got through it with more smiles and maturity than we ever imagined, the fact that for hours she sat revising subjects that she neither really understood nor liked and, sorry huge proud mummy moment here, that whenever I look at her I am filled with the deepest pride and love. I only wish there had been a jelly and some of her little sister's mischievous giggles to greet her after every exam.

(We have a selection of jelly moulds in our Scullery

So now the exams are all over, the summer lies ahead and I for one am stockpiling the jelly and waiting for the jelly jokes... you don't need to have an exam to have a wobble!

Monday 21 June 2010

Why not?

There shouldn't really be any need to find an excuse to add some magic to your day, but just in case:

Because it's Monday
Because, for us, there's just one more exam to go...
Because when your garden is full of little sweet floral treasures, you need to make the most of them
Because our days could do with a bit of sparkle
Because 21st June just wouldn't be 21st June without a bit of this
Because Big Sister couldn't bear the thought of not
Because it's what Cassandra does...
Because what would be the point of having the longest day without celebrating it?
Hope you find some magic and mischief today, maybe we don't really need to find an excuse after all...

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Pink & White & Blue All Over...

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments on my last post. We are on the home run on the exams front, my father's operation has had to be postponed for a while, I have finally managed to catch up on some of the sleep that has been eluding me for the past couple of months and, this weekend, instead of taking my father into hospital, I had the unexpected and very welcome prospect of some time at home.

We had a lazy weekend, each doing something we wanted and, most of all, just being kind to ourselves. Indulging in little things that make big differences. For me this meant time with my family, in my garden, reading, watching the match, and, on Sunday going for one of our long walks in search of blue skies.

Sometimes you feel there's just not enough of you to go round yet when you're out there on the hills, underneath those big blue skies you cannot fail to believe, even if for the few moments that you are out walking, that things will work out well in the end.

Well it worked for me anyway...

I love Sussex. I love its velvety hills, its Downland,

its meandering rivers

and its hedgerows.

I even love the way it makes my legs feel after walking through it.

So, yes, in many ways it was a good weekend, in many ways it was a "just what the doctor ordered" kind of weekend. Some sleep, sunshine, peace of mind and my first bunch of roses from the garden. I picked some to put with my raspberry rippled peonies and they fill the room with their gorgeous scent that conjures up so many memories, and there they sit, pink, no longer rambling, but very rosy.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Playing Catch Up

It's a bit of a fraught time here at the Roses house. Big Sister is in the middle of her exams, toughest week so far, my father is
poorly and I have been feeling the stress with a capital "S".

Lots of things I'd like to write about but I don't seem to have the energy, so please enjoy the poppies - they've been a long time coming this year and I'm hoping they'll last the week with all this rain about.

Even when things aren't that good they still bring a smile to my face. Just like my daughter, who in the midst of her history revision is making me giggle with her 100 ways to wear a headscarf routine. I'll be back soon I hope. x

PS, there's a new blog post over at Milly and Dottie's , no poppies I'm afraid, but a lot more words! Have a good week.

Thursday 3 June 2010

A Walk On The Wild Side

On Bank Holiday Monday we decided to make a picnic, go out for a walk and get some air. Particularly needed for Big Sister who has spent most of the past month or so in her room, turret-like, poring (or not) over her books and computer in the name of revision. So the plan was lunch on the Downs, a brisk walk up and down the hill and back in time for an hour or two in the garden. What's that saying about the "best laid plans..."
It felt so good to be back on top of the Downs again, to look out towards the horizon, to see big skies,

fields of rape,
green fields, knowing the sea was just a twinkle away (as were the bank holiday crowds)
We literally scrambled down the chalk paths, it was good to be walking arm in arm with my eldest daughter (I've missed her recently, having lost her to exams).
We sat amongst the hills and ate our lunch and laughed and were silly in a way that only a family can be, those silly family jokes that are too embarrassing to share with anyone else...

Fortified by lunch we decided to venture further and walk into the village.

We've done this walk a million times and could do it blindfold but that would be pointless as we would miss all the wonderful delights that nature had in store for us.
Past hedgerows of billowing cow parsley and corn cockles,

fields of horses and rabbits

A chance encounter with this fearsome creature that conjured up all sorts of Withnail and I quotes

Past pretty cottages dressed in their very best

An unexpected greeting (very unexpected) from a canine friend

And then a look at our watches reminded us that time was slipping through our fingers

On our way back, our feet not being quite so light of step, Big Sister spotted a path we hadn't used before...

And then it all went downhill (well only in a figurative sense, because it seemed very much uphill from that point).

All seemed well for a while, we crossed fields of buttercups and daisies
And more fields and more...

As the temperature rose and the blisters increased, Little Sister decided to gather dock leaves and stuff them in her pockets as our stings grew and the nettles were everywhere. The laughter began to wane and I heard whimpers ahead of me "This is the worst day of my life... why did we listen to C?... it's all her fault... I hope we've got enough dock leaves, I know we're going to need them...I've got a tummy ache, my feet hurt".

At this point we would have used semaphore to get the attention of this man, but our arms were to weary to be waved.

We literally stumbled into this gothic pile, and felt like we had walked onto the set of "Atonement". But alas no sign of Mr McAvoy.
No cars could we hear, no roads could we see, nothing except those darned stinging nettles...
Finally, finally we found a stile that led us to a path we recognised.
I mustered enough energy to stride on ahead of everyone as I seemed unable to speak AND walk and Little Sister had developed the nasty habit of calling my name incessantly for the last fifteen minutes which she found very very amusing.

Five hours later, can I say that never, ever has our own front door looked so sweet...