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Archive for July, 2007

The view from the car whilst out and about on Saturday afternoon:

It had cheered up sufficiently on Sunday for us to spend the day at the seaside, and Little’un got to have a ride on Smokey the Donkey, who is her new bestest friend:

The effect of all the rain on the local countryside is nothing short of devastating.  Admittedly, we have not been affected by flooding as much as other parts of the UK but the damage is bad enough.   A large proportion of the country’s veg is grown here in Lincolnshire and the wet weather has left fields under water with rotting produce everywhere.  Even fields that are not visibly waterlogged are too wet for the veg to be harvested or for any planting to take place.  The heavy equipment simply sinks into the quagmire and has to be pulled back out again.

I think there were small, young cabbages in this field at one point:

And spring greens in this one:

There is going to be a severe shortage of fresh veg in the UK over the coming months – an awful lot of produce that was ready to harvest can’t be reached and is now rotting and it’s impossible to plant fields until they have dried out somewhat more than they are able to at the moment.

The only reason we are not under three feet of water is that we live on land that is criss-crossed with man-made waterways, know locally as drains.  Some of these drains are 30 or 40 feet wide and hold a lot of water.   The drains are all pretty much full at the moment but have not as yet burst their banks.

Under normal circumstances the water level in the drains is generally a good 10-15 feet below ground level.  As you can see here, we are looking at inches to go before the banks burst.

It has to stop raining soon, doesn’t it?  Please?

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Hahahahaha (weep)

On Saturday we are off on our hols.  We are having a traditional English seaside holiday this year, perfect if the weather is good.  We are staying at a resort that has both beaches and interesting rock pools for toddler entertainment and pubs and restaurants for Mummy and Daddy entertainment.  I have been obsessively checking www.metcheck.com for the past week for the long range weather forecast, which seems to be fluctuating between wet and wetter with added cold for extra value.

Happily we are going as an extended family this year, The Yorkshireman’s parents are coming too so we have willing babysitters on tap for evenings out and perhaps a child free day.  A perfect holiday 🙂

I am just making offerings to the weather gods in the hope that the forecast improves and we actually get some sunshine in which to enjoy our holiday.

I rather suspect the weather gods are not taking calls at the moment.

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I have recently cut my hours slightly at work. I finish an hour earlier, borrowing half an hour from my lunch break so I only lose half an hour’s pay a day.

It’s bliss. Instead of finishing at 5.15 and sitting in rush hour queues, panicking, because there is no way I am going to get to Little’un before the nursery shuts at 6 o’clock*, I arrive unflustered and unhindered by traffic before 5pm. If I need to stop somewhere on the way home and pick up some shopping, I can do so without worrying. We get home in time for Little’un to indulge in her new found pastime of playing out with her friends for an hour before bath and bed. We have time to cook most evenings and we often (gasp) eat a healthy home cooked meal before (double gasp) 9pm.

Little’un goes to bed a bit earlier now that we have cast off the mid afternoon nap so that fits in with our new routine too. Wonderful. If she is asleep before 7.30pm she is a far nicer child the following morning.

It seems that I am finally getting somewhere with the work/life balance that has been missing for so long now. It’s only an hour a day but that hour is so precious. It means that we can live a slightly more normal (whatever that is) life. It’s not ideal, I would prefer more time at home, but it is infinitely better than what was happening before.

Eating before 9pm? Wow. Funny how the little things are such a big deal.

*Ever wondered who all the nutters are at rush hour? You would expect them to be arrogant Beamer drivers, the sort of person who thinks that everyone should get out of their way. I have realised over the past couple of years that many of the people who drive badly at rush hour – doing dodgy overtaking manoevures or zooming past you in the wrong lane just to cut you up at the roundabout – are probably stressed parents trying to collect their offspring before their little precious is the last child left at nursery and/or avoid the late collection fees.

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Here is Little’un in her new school uniform 🙂 

The pic is out of focus and grainy, but she is both looking at the camera and smiling – so rare these days that I had to post it for you.

Now she is three she has transferred to the Kindergarten class at nursery and so gets to wear a cheap gingham dress and shapeless cardigan.  She looks gorgeous in it though doesn’t she?  She has been really excited about this move, most of her nursery friends are a month or two older than her and have already made this change so she has been looking forward to joining them and, as is the nature of many little girls, to wearing the same colour dress as her friends every day.

The changeover is gradual so for the last couple of weeks she has still been spending time in the toddler room.  Friday will be her last day before completing the move.  Another milestone reached, and  no doubt more tears to be shed.

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Little’un’s best attempt at persuading us to buy her a guinea pig from the pet shop we went to on Saturday…

Please can I have one?  I promise I won’t put him in the bin!

We still said no.

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Blue Witch asked a very interesting question about blogging in general last Friday – “Why do fewer people comment on serious issues any more?”.

This got me thinking. When I first started blogging, way back when Little’un wasn’t much more than a meaningful glance on a Friday night, my intention was to blog about all kinds of issues… parenting, my life in general, sport and current affairs or anything else that tickled my author bone. Is that happening? Erm, nope… lots of pictures of Little’un looking cute and that’s pretty much it. What amazes me is that an average of 30 people a day still bother to drop by, although I’m sure the majority of those are accidental visitors.

So what happened?

I often see/hear/read of an issue and think, “Ooooh I could write something really interesting and insightful about that!”. Then I don’t. I’m too tired at the end of the day/out and about enjoying family (real) life/too busy at work/entertaining Little’un (very much a preferred pastime)/doing dull houseworky stuff. No time for thinking about issues that mean something to me, never mind actually writing about them.

Commenting on other peoples’ blogs is something else I generally don’t do any more. I have my work cut out just keeping up with reading the blogs I’m interested in. You should feel honoured if I comment on your blog, it is a favour rarely bestowed (funnily enough I found the time to tell Pewari that I hate her recently for putting a link on her blog to an highly addictive little online game, the last thing I need 😉   )

So there you have it. A post that I have had to put some thought into. I’ll be back in six months or so with another one… in the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the gratuitous “haven’t I got a beautiful daughter” posts.

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Tigerfeet:  Come on Little’un, you need to eat your breakfast all up so you grow big and strong.

Little’un: Mummy, I a big girl now, I three, I don’t need to eat my breakfast any more ’cause I growed up already

I told her that she isn’t a grown up yet.  She still thinks she is though.

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