I realise there should always be iron in one's blood, but it transpired the reason I was struggling to cope with even the basics of our lives was that I had too little. I don't yet feel like The Iron Woman, but the house is less of a midden, some paperwork has been achieved, my current commission is progressing (more of that later) and I am here, reporting my emergence to all you kind souls who were so lovely after my last post. There is still some way to go, as this morning there was a moment of Mama-fail when there were no clean 'Wednesday' socks. Pickle has such high standards!
The school wheel is turning again and this year Pickle is balancing beautifully in its centrifugal spin, skipping up a reading scheme (a relief for me too) and generally benefitting from the calmer, more focussed atmosphere. She was particular about having 'proper shirts' (no comfy airtek for this girl) 'with wrist buttons'. See what I mean about standards? I'm tempted to buy her cufflinks for Christmas - they will blow her mind!
You can't tell from that picture, but Pickle's beautiful ponytail...
has become a beautiful squirel tail.
She is very happy about this and brushing her hair is a much happier time for us both.
Having felt so grim all during the holiday and only taken Pickle on daytrips (which were brilliant) and a few days at my parents' (which were also good), I was sad we hadn't managed a real holiday while it's just the two of us. That's the only reason I can come up with for why I agreed to go camping whilst pregnant in September. I'm very glad I did. We went as part of a gang of families from Pickle's class and my lovely friends put up and took down our big bell tent (which I currently can't even lift) and we totally lucked out on the weather, so a delightful weekend was had by all.
My sand angel found innovative new ways to become filthy
while I admired the view of blue sky and other people in really cold water.
The children were very proud of the crab they found
and at the end of each day Pickle and I snuggled up and did lots of this:
Chagford has been temporarily renamed Chaiford for the Bangra finale to Chagford's famous film festival. An Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant has serendipitously just opened and their stall scented the Square and made me miss India. Pickle and her best friend (and fiancee) had had a sleepover at ours the night before and been mostly awake since 4:00am, so we didn't drag them round stalls for too long. We took them to the park and then to the pub for chips where our young friend smashed his apple juice bottle so spectacularly that the waitress smashed a tray of hot chocolates. We haven't been back. Bellies finally full of chips and children placated with hot chocolates and relay wees (why can't they all go at once?), we staggered blindly into the sun for the Bhangra flashmob and amazing elephant, which lead the procession.
And during all of that, in half hour bursts while I was confident I wouldn't vomit and Pickle was alseep and I had enough concentration, I have been slowly Reaching Towards The Light again. Someone saw one of my greeting cards and wanted the original, but it has long sold. So she commissioned me to do the same (I gave her the speech about how it will never come out exactly the same), but bigger. It's still not finished, but the Light is in sight. I had planned to take a smooth series of photos, but you will see I have forgotten for patches of time.
More greenery needs to shoot up and those flowers are no good to the bees without nectared centres, but it will be done soon and brightening a new family home, which pleases me very much.
Meanwhile, my new family member is growing apace (as am I). Lots of reassuring kicks and an anomaly scan in only a couple of weeks. Pickle and I can't possibly wait to find out if she will have a brother or sister. The citizens of Chagford are making their guesses. Add yours here if you have a hunch. I do, but I'm not telling...