Friday, 13 March 2015

Five on Friday

Joining in with Amy and Five on Friday.









1.  Playing with plants, inside and out.  I've been tidying, repotting, sweeping and staking.  I can tell that the weather is milder now, because a short walk down to the end of the garden turns into a happy hour of pottering with sticks and string and, well, pots.

The buds on the peach tree are fattening up nicely, frogs are visible round the edges of the little pond and footballs and tennis balls are once more flying round the patio and (quite often) over the fence.

2.  In the reading pile at the moment.  Nice simple food from Monty Don.  He reminds me how good seasonal English food is.  Bear Grylls has some other suggestions that are not for the squeamish.  This is reading for the middle boy, who you will remember is all about the fire and the knives and living off of bits of animals that I won't even go into here.  And elephant dung.  Nope, not going into that here.  The compost book isn't much better.  I'm thinking about getting some worms for the two wormeries I have.  My favourite are the European night crawlers.  The top book is the one I'm reading aloud at the moment.  One I read and enjoyed when I was little.  The biggest boy is exactly like the Ship's Naturalist in the book, always clutching a pair of binoculars and looking out for birds.  Books with no references to modern technology or aliens or boys who must save the world with the latest gadget are very refreshing.

3.  The middle boy has left a couple of things until the last minute this week.  He had a recorder recital in the church, and hadn't practised at all, and had a homework project that wasn't done until the eleventh hour.  (We dyed some wool in the manner of an Anglo Saxon, using gorse flowers that we found round the back of Ye Olde Leisure Centre.)  It's so frustrating, because he's bright, but he doesn't always propel himself forwards enough.  Mostly it's frustrating because I'm exactly the same.  I see where I have failed, repeatedly, to make an effort, and I am having to stand by and watch him walk the same path.  And yet I am still the same.  How do I change?  Where do I find the energy and the motivation?

4.  I took the biggest boy to a football match after school this week.  The littlest boy came along as well to have some fun.  He found some secondary school boys to play with.  The match was a bit of a crushing defeat, and the biggest boy wasn't at his happiest.  I made sure he had everything (last time he left his school shoes behind) and off we trudged.  Halfway up the street I stopped to cross the road and suddenly saw the littlest boy running towards me.  I had completely forgotten him!!!  And he is not an easy child to forget.  I have no idea how it happened, usually I have one eye glued to him at all times.  Fortunately he saw me leave.  He was quite cheery about it and said it didn't matter, he knew his way home from there.  Aargh.  He has now been drilled in the correct procedure on being left behind by a parent.  You know, just in case I do it again.

5.   The biggest boy had a wobbly tooth for ages.  It fell out at school, and he sneaked it under the pillow without telling anyone.  The tooth fairy did not come.  I feel he may have been conducting a scientific experiment into how the whole tooth fairy operation works.  He was quite miffed at the non-attendance and said he would be suing.  I pointed out he didn't have a written contract.  He said he would be suing anyway.  Fortunately the next night the tooth fairy did come and left some money and a very nice letter.  Lawyers have been stood down.

45 comments:

  1. very nice letter. any lawyer would have had a hard time arguing with that xxx

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  2. Love this post CJ. Messing around with plants is so absorbing, and it's always so easy to get sidetracked into a pottering session!
    I always panic when Joe disappears from view, even though it only ever happens for a split second at playgroup or in the toddler park. But he has no sense of danger yet. No doubt there'll be lots of moments like yours when he's older - I can be very absent -minded.
    Talking of unappetising food: Nigel Slater posted a pic on Twitter yesterday from Japan of his bowl of baby eels. Slimy, translucent and they appeared to be looking at the camera. Ugh.
    On that note, have a great weekend!
    S x

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  3. Don't change CJ, you are just right. I am impressed you even did the wool dying homework with your middle boy. Faced with such tasks, I usually end up writing a note in the homework diary, saying something like life is too short and dog walks to long. Not quite these words but you get the gist. English tooth fairies are a lot more articulate than our Scottish variety. And they don't run out of printing ink at crucial times either. Your middle boy will be just fine. Some of us thrive on the thrill of leaving things to the last minute or even wing it.... even if the thrill feels more like full blown panic at the time. The sense of achievement is so much more satisfying like that. Have a great weekend. Cxx

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  4. What a lovely letter from the Tooth Fairy - she's far more eloquent than the one we had on duty round here! I still have (or my daughters do) a complete set of Arthur Ransome books that my Dad bought for me when I was small - I absolutely adored them and, as you say, they do make a very refreshing change these days. Dyeing wool with gorse flowers? Sounds like a fantastic homework to me - savour it while you can before it all becomes too serious and 'examy'! Have a fantastic weekend. x

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  5. I love the tooth fairy letter - and I'm sure he will have a clearer memory of this than the other teeth when the fairy arrived on time! Have a great weekend. x

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  6. Oh how I love the letter!! I no idea that the tooth fairy department ran things so efficiently. Their letters are very polite and precise though! I am glad that the lawyers have been stood down! It sounds as though you are all very busy with other things, the planting and gardening and the reading that you are all doing! Thank you so much for joining in. I hope that you have a great weekend!! xx

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  7. Hey CJ,
    I didn't realise that the tooth fairy was beset with litigious threats! I've been told this week that to procrastinate is actually a good thing. People who do tend to focus more intently on the job in hand when they actually get round to doing it. They often produce their best work that way. I am one, and so is my middle child. Like you I have been watching him with dismay (and rather a lot of cross words) this week.
    Have a great weekend.
    Leanne xx

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  8. The tooth fairy threat really made me smile, took me back some years to when my 3 daughters were growing up.

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  9. Oh CJ, your post made me laugh out loud (again)! I am reliably informed that homework should only ever be completed at the last minute and only 'losers' do it with time to spare. I miss the days when I could help with homework. My son asked me for my views on how the Chinese Revolution affected the Cold War … gulp! … and hasn't requested my input since!

    Incidentally missus, you most certainly have not 'failed' - a little reticence is no bad thing.

    Heather xx

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  10. Ye olde leisure centre has made me laugh! There is a lot to be said for being a more relaxed, laid back person, stressed out people often say they wished they were more that way;). Oh I miss the tooth fairy, what a lovely letter! Have a great weekend x

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  11. I am so making a copy of that brilliant letter! I am going to need it! Loved the shots of all the greens up their pal! And you have me intrigued with some of your books up their....the Compost title looks like one I would want to get my hands on!! Happy day you! Wishing you great times in the garden this weekend! Nicole xoxo

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  12. Oh, but the letter from the tooth fairy is so wonderful, I'm glad lawyers are no longer required. Love the 'Saxon' wool! We have frogs in our pond too:)

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  13. My teenager did the same thing when he was little, his tooth fell out during the middle of the night. He was informed that the Tooth Fairy had already been by that evening and he would have to wait until the next night. He seemed just fine with that answer and was visited the next evening.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  14. love your reading list. Monty Don is my comfort reading.
    Having been through the teenage years with a boy I sympathise with number 3 on your list. There's only so much you can do to help them - the rest has to come from them.

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  15. There was many a time when the tooth fairy was too busy to call at our house and had to come the following night, I'm glad we've got some clarification here why it happens as I thought it was all down to a bad memory. Monty's cookbook sounds good, I'm going to check that out.

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  16. I love the Tooth Fairy letter - good save! It made me giggle that you forgot one of your children too. My MIL left one of hers outside a shop in a pram as a baby (in the days where you could do that sort of thing!) and went home without him...then did the same thing again at a friend's house who rung her when she got home asking if she had forgotten something...brilliant! Haven't come across Monty, will have a look x

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  17. That's a great letter, it's lovely that the gardens are waking up again, I'm really enjoying all the Spring flowers and we have frogspawn in the pond here.
    Clare x

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  18. A most enjoyable post, and the tooth fairy letter had me laughing out loud. Terrific pictures as well, especially the ones of the stained glass window. Enjoy the weekend. Flighty xx

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  19. Smart move the Late Collection Payment. So much cheaper than lawyers. :)

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  20. I had a good giggle, love your post and glad there won't be any legal fees accruing! xx

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  21. Lovely post :) I'm glad that the Tooth Fairy service is so concerned with customer satisfaction. Customer service is everything these days.

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  22. Ah, Ye Olde Leisure Centre. I think my ancestors are buried there. Suing the tooth fairy! We've become so litigious as a society. That tooth fairy needs to work on her mind-reading powers, ASAP. :)

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  23. What an excellent letter from your tooth fairy....very generous compensation.....xx

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  24. That is a great fairy letter ........she is very creative and quite generous!

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  25. What a great save on the tooth fairy failure! I'm glad you found littlest boy! I enjoyed seeing your plants, in and out. Have a super duper weekend! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  26. I love this post. So honest and simple and pleasurable. Your writing is entertaining. Your life sounds busy , full and chaotic yet full if contentment. Just wonderful. Loved it

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  27. Now I could very happily sit and browse through all of those books - it makes me realise I really should use my local library more. And as for the letter - just lovely - I'd love to have seen his face when he found it! I remember doing a similar thing in teeny tiny fairy writing many moons ago and found it recently in my daughters bedroom - it made me all teary that she'd kept hold of it all these years (thirteen!) Have a lovely weekend x Jane

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  28. The tooth fairy's letter is utter genius! You rule as a mum. Great post xx

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  29. The tooth fairy's letter is utter genius! You rule as a mum. Great post xx

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  30. No frogs have arrived at our pond yet - they are late. I hope Martyn doesn't.t read about teeth -is's a sore point at the moment,

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  31. I doubt you're the first parent to leave a child behind - some do it on purpose! (I was just having this chat with a friend. All in the name of training them well of course.) ;)

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  32. Looks like the Legal Department at Tooth Collection Central know their stuff. How reassuring. When we were in Ireland last year Mr C lost a tooth and wrote to the tooth fairy requesting more than the local rate of one euro as he'd worked out it was less than one pound and didn't want to be diddled!
    I say don't change CJ, you are lovely as you are. There's nothing like the benefit of hindsight is there, but our children have to do a certain amount of learning this by themselves. You're definitely not the only one to have left the premises sans enfant and (not sure I should admit this) I frequently forget to strap youngest into car booster seat before driving off. She always remembers and shouts "MUM!!!!!" very loudly luckily xx

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  33. Have your boys discovered the Willard Price Hal and Roger Hunt books? M read them as a lad and then L got into them some 30 years later- if you have one who loves fires and penknives and climbing trees they are perfect reading material. L devoured them. Great stuff.
    I'm impressed with the wool dying- it's a lovely colour - and I empathise 100% about the leaving things till the last minute. It is de rigueur here as far as L is concerned. I have given up worrying and just support him where I can.

    And finally, I love the tooth fairy letter. She once had to write something similar to L because she'd been incredibly busy on that night too. Apparently, tooth fairies especially love diving into a glass of water to retrieve teeth and leave extra money then, for the sheer joy of it.... :o) xx

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  34. Reading your posts is like stopping by for a cuppa with the most amusing and genuine of chums.

    Have you read 'My side of the mountain' by Jean Craighead George with your boys ... that's another book without aliens and modern technology and was my boys all time favourite.

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  35. Lovely photos! Lovely tooth fairy note. Funny story about your youngest son - we've all been there :)

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  36. That tooth fairy letter is just perfect - I shall be storing that one away for the next time! And you have just reminded me that my middle lost a tooth midweek and has yet to remember to put it under his pillow!

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  37. I love the tooth fairy letter! I came across your blog recently and so have been reading back--hence my problem - I would like to try the sultana and real chocolate from chocolate bars cookies - but can't re-find where the recipe was? Can you help?
    I like reading about your sons, your allotment and books. I live in Canada although I grew up in England and remember pretending to be studying in the school library (for some reason you were supposed to be studying to use it at lunchtime) of course I was really reading of the adventures of Swallows and Amazons.

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    1. Here it is, hope you enjoy.

      http://cjabovetheriver.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/chocolate-chunk-cookies.html

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  38. I shall have to look out for Monty Don's cookery book, I enjoyed some of the recipes that he included in one of his previous gardening books. Oh dear leaving your son behind, it sounds as if he enjoyed chasing after you! Our tooth fairy was never very efficient and would frequently forget or drop the money on the floor! My daughter was working in a school last week and was very impressed that the school had special envelopes for teeth. When she was at school they used to be wrapped in a part of a blue hand towel! Sarah x

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  39. Love that tooth fairy letter - they can be very resourceful, can't they? When my children were small the tooth fairy had to adapt to several tricky tooth-collecting episodes (lost teeth, tooth too far under the pillow to reach etc) but managed very well :) I'm very envious of your peach tree - does it yield any fruit? The blossom alone must be worth it :)
    Cathy x

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  40. The tooth fairy forgot to visit here once - she wrote a letter saying she was sorry to be late but she was at a fairy party (partly true) and very busy. That and an extra quid smoothed things over nicely. My friend once forgot her second child when he was about 3 days old and left him in the car in his car seat - only for about five minutes, but enough to make her feel terrible! x

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  41. I seriously love the personalities of your children from your posts. The middle is like me and like you and my own. I flinch sometimes when I see him "settle" and not push a little more when he's perfectly capable. As for the youngest, I always imagine him cheery. I can still see the photo set you did of him in his superman outfit that cold day at the beach when it was just the 3 of you having a special day. My goal is to capture as many days like that during fleeting childhood as I can with my kid. It's a good visual you have me holding. I like biggest boys' methodologies, mine did something similar... the tooth fairy response was really impressive.

    Favorite photo today: The bubbling water and rocks. I just want to run outside and poke something with a stick now and chuck rocks in a river :)

    sorry for the long comment, sorry it's been a while.

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