Driving through Maenclochog, it’s becoming evident that people are back at school. By all the schoolchildren all over the place; and the fact that I can’t get a parking space outside Sarah’s when I roll into town at 3:15 on my way to a mountain/hill. Even though I urgently need snacks with which to bribe my children up the aforementioned mountain/hill.
We (the Russian We) chose to keep Sybil at kindergarten for the first two terms of this year, so we’ve had two whole days more with her before she goes back. Which has been fun. It’s very much the norm having them both around so it’ll be sad for Fury when she’s not there in the mornings again. They’ve formed such a bond over this summer.
V’s parents have been down over the past few days and looked after the two of them most of the time.
This has been great for my productivity: I’ve painted a flagstone; I’ve repotted some fungus-gnat-riddled plants; I’ve (finally) taken the tent down in East Landskeria (leaving a bare and sorry looking octagon of misery behind in the top lawn); I’ve bought a sack barrow to move all the flagstones I mean to paint; I’ve got a draft of the new poetry book ready for final proofreading; I’ve filmed and edited a poetry video (for the first time in five months); and I’ve painted the walls around our new Velux windows. Actually that one last bit I think I might have done last week.
But I still haven’t mown the lawn. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow autumn term begins in earnest for us. (That bit of your life where you’re not beholden to school terms is over before you know it, kids.)
The gardener (who comes once a month and does more work in a day than I manage all year) has trimmed the edges for me, so all I need is a day with sun and/or a light breeze. Come on Landskeria, you can do it.
Negotiations with V concerning the mural (or lack thereof) continue to stagnate, with brief encouraging signs followed by wintry glares across breakfast tables. I’m taking out my artistic urges on our paving stones for now, but all that’s really stopping me letting loose on the side of the house is a big enough ladder and an awesome enough design.
The paints were from Aldi by the way. Trawl the internet (and your local homewares stores) for masonry paint in loud colours and you’ll be lucky to find a bold beige. Rock on down to Aldi looking for some cheap meat and veg and, hey Palermo, there’s your £5-a-tin every-colour-of-the-rainbow paint that apparently adheres to any given surface you might have mastery over.
We’re looking forward to a long weekend with V’s cousin and her family in Gloucestershire, and then Christmas with the Keebles in the Cotswolds, which sounds like it should be a hit ’80s Christmas movie. I’m sure it will be.
Another baby Keeble has been born, finally; this time in London. S & F have their second first-cousin, this time on the maternal/matriarchal side of the family. V has already met her and S is looking forward to it. I can’t imagine I’ll get to until Christmas, but I don’t doubt she’ll have memorized the alphabet backwards by then, because her mother is a teacher at a fancy school and her father is a maths genius. She’ll probably be a chess grandmaster (-mistress?) by her third birthday.
I’m pretty sure Fury will be a wrestler. Sybil’s destiny remains uncertain. I’d kind of like to have a family business for her to take over, because I had no idea what I’d do as an adult when I was a kid. And I think I’d have liked some certainty. Or an option. One of either would still be welcome, but (I don’t care if this sounds sentimental) having the opportunity to be a dad is the best “employment” I’ve yet come across. Even better than being a copywriter! Definitely better than being a poet, although technically I’ve never really made money out of that. Which is probably for the best. My children are much funnier than anyone I’ve ever sat next to at work. Even the good ones. (Shout out Ben.)
I’m rambling, which is what happens when I set out meaning to be concise. And have to write stuff while my super-slow rural broadband is still working out if I’m allowed accompanying images or not.
Let me think whether there’s any other news…
Our dog Frida has been gradually dismembering a pigeon corpse over a period of about a week. We think she found it in a hedge. We still haven’t run out of the month’s supply of Waitrose wine we had delivered almost a month ago(!) Although we have cheated a bit by having beer too in-between.
I’m trying to organize a poetry book launch in London, but thus far my efforts (which have been draining) amount to little more than saying so on Facebook and then emailing a pub that hasn’t emailed me back in the five days since.
Morrisons in Haverfordwest seems to have been cursed; a van was on fire in its car park yesterday and today a lorry full of straw fell over on the roundabout right outside it. This might not sound like news to you, but this is Landskeria’s equivalent of the Ottoman Empire’s defence of the Dardanelles in WW1.
The world (the wider world, beyond the shores and borders of our privileged bubble) continues to show all the signs of heading toward some sort of boiling point. I assume/hope it always looks like that from afar. But a lot of people seem quite afraid of the future right now. I’m not. I’m getting a sack barrow delivered any day now. And a shed after that. Yet another shed. This will be the fourth shed in our garden. I type this from the first.
I will be prepared for the future.
The weather has a lot of explaining to do. The environment is fertile. The economy is good.
A technical aside: if some of these images appear the wrong way around, blame WordPress. I spent precious time editing them and it seems to have overruled me. Also, if anyone knows how to retain the click-through links to the original-size images, do let me know. It’s annoying that they all become static stamp-sized thumbnails.