Well, the nights are getting much lighter and my daffodils are out, so it must be mean that Spring is finally here.
The last few weeks have been busy with after-school activities – Aoife representing her school at tournaments of hockey, rugby and netball, Orla running in the Cross country and singing at Margate Winter Gardens Festival of Song, Seamus’ Nursery presentation for parents, as well as Orla having various friends to tea …. Thank goodness we have a calendar.
However, it looks like the sport will be on hold for a while with regard to Aoife due to her injured foot but Seamus (and I) will have to still keep playing every weekend – rain or shine.
Nevertheless, that wasn’t an excuse for Aoife to do nothing. She still chose to complete her full shift at Tescos packing bags to raise money for the team kit and their tour…. although I did hear that the customer in the final picture was the trickiest, ha ha.
Seamus has been looking after his frog spawn, which he gathered from our neighbours’ pond. Big debate as to where they should live – they are currently in the kitchen on the strict understanding that this is reviewed when they start getting legs. The Tadpole Diary is well underway and he thinks it is fascinating. It reminded me of visiting Sedgefield Country Park as a child with a net and a jam jar – I wonder how much of this Seamus will remember and whether he’ll inherit Ian’s mother’s love of wildlife. He’s taking the job of caring for his tadpoles very, very seriously.
Ian is currently planting. At the time of writing, my living room window sill is filled with brussell sprouts germinating, the laundry room has potatoes chitting and my dining table is covered in newspaper while he transplants his leeks. Can’t wait for them to make the next part of their journey – to the allotment!
The kids are often ‘roped in’ to help too. Aoife has been collecting seaweed and hops, whilst Seamus is known to make the regular trip to the stables for manure with a wheelbarrow. Orla earns her pocket money as sorting the seeds and being a chamber maid, helping me change beds for the students. Ssshhhh, don’t tell them about minimum wage entitlements.
During a rare student free weekend, we made a visit to Bristol to see Eoin – a very long round trip with an overnight stay and a very welcome beer (or two) after the drive. We know we are getting old when we reminisce how his student flat has much more than Ian and I ever had at our respective ‘digs’ – more than one bathroom, a dishwasher, wifi and heating!
Seamus is still getting used to Eoin having a beard and can’t wait to grow one to match, although we have explained that may take sometime.
It would have been nice to stay a bit longer and see more of Bristol, as it is fair to say that it was a rush getting back to pick up our next group of language students. Lots of numb bums on the way home.
Did I mention how far it was …..?
We might no longer be traveling, but as we’ve mentioned, the world is still coming to us in the form of international students. And even when they are from very familiar countries, we try to extend that even further by making food from around the world. A recent evening meal transformed into Mexican night with fajitas, salsa and nachos. The sombreros and moustaches made for some quite interesting selfies for the students and we hope they had a giggle and will remember us fondly. The kids enjoyed the silliness and it’s one of their favourite meals so we might have to make it a regular. Ian, you’ll just have to feign surprise if we give you a Mexican themed birthday meal later this year.
We love keeping up with traditions closer to home too, and it’s time to turn our hand to Easter Bonnet making. Last year’s travels meant getting rid of a lot of our ‘junk’ before we went, so we had to shop for new Easter chicks, hats, feathers and other seasonal tat required for our individual masterpieces. Fingers crossed they hold together long enough for the school parade. Note to self – don’t let the four year old choose a design requiring feathers and glue next year.
What do you reckon? Cool, eh?
As the weather has (sometimes) been kind, we are really enjoying our walk to school, particularly as the magnolia is in bloom. But it’s fair to say, the kids are also looking forward to the end of term. We’ve got the Broadstair’s Easter trail and also a Thanet Coastal Scavenger Hunt to look forward to and hope to be able to fit in a beach trip or two. Til then, we’ll keep plodding on xxx