Saturday 24th Nov
R&J were coming over. Tom headed off to town to meet with R to check on whether any purchases were needed….(especially in light of ‘buy nothing day’).I sat home and chilled out (well finished sorting the aftermath of the NCT NNS), I happened to glance out of the window and saw something I’d never seen before. A beautiful barn owl landed on one of the fence posts, initially I thought it must be a tawny owl (I don’t really know owls…)
in the (real) distance
but then I looked it up in Muffin’s bird book and discovered it was a Barn Owl. Muffin was out, Boo was in bed and Noise was reading in her room so I had no one to share it with. I managed to take a picture and as I did so Noise arrived downstairs and saw it too, then Boo woke up and so she saw it. I couldn’t get close enough to take a decent picture as I didn’t want to scare it off but I hope this shows it a little bit. He/she sat on the fence post scoping out the land for at least half an hour before flying off. I was so excited I did eventually phone Tom to let him know. I was a little sad that neither Muffin nor Tom had been able to share this with us but at least Boo was running round saying ‘Owl darden, owl in my darden’ and I had pictures so I wouldn’t ever forget. I have of course seen an owl before, but only in an owl sanctuary and that was in 1995!!
On to the wood project. R dutifully arrived with a carload of offcuts and tools. A few hours later Tom had ‘project managed’ this
Now all I need to do is filler, sand and paint…. Other than a couple of hinges and some screws nothing was purchased on buy nothing day and these were purchased from a local, independent hardware store.
R also went down into the cellar to asses the floors of the dining room to see whether they’d need extra support in order to take the birthing pool we’re planning on for Yogi’s birth, I think the general consensus is it’ll be ok. So, yay, I’m a happy bunny!
Sunday 25th Nov
First thing Sunday R asked if there was anything else Tom needed help with so I piped up with ‘shelves in the kitchen’ less than an hour later…..
R&J headed off, the girls went out with their dad and we prepared for our next visitors. Rach from the big sofa & ‘him indoors’ from the same. I was hoping ‘him indoors’ would be bringing one of his fabulous cakes but alas no, they did bring with them lots of energy and after a a roast lunch a la Tom and some chilling out they got to digging over the old pathways in the allotment area that we’ve decided to turn into more growing areas!!
I excitedly told Rach about our owl and we avidly discussed wedding plans. Luckily renewing my excitement for ours! Although there was discussion about digging trench toilets….. maybe a portaloo would be a better option…
Time to get all the things together to make the girls advent calendar. I’ve been getting more and more fed up about the commercialism of Christmas over the years and although I won’t be returning to the Christian traditions I want to make it less about consumerism and more about a family celebration and a return to less commercial times…. In the latest edition of The Green Parent I found instructions to make an advent calendar tree. Now, being me I couldn’t just take this as it was and so had to adapt it slightly. I also had to make enough envelopes for the girls to have 1 each each day. So, off I went, I bought some lovely hand crafted paper and ribbons, and paper for the numbers. I was starting to worry about time and about the cost of all of this but then thought about the look on the girls faces, how happy I am whenever I make things for them and also the fact that I would be choosing all the items to go in and if I did them well enough they would at least last another year. After all the running round thought there was no time to start them!
And of course we had a Homebirth Night to attend led by the wonderful Anja of Sunrise Birthing. The evening was a success Tom came back inspired and definite that a waterbirth in our home was what we would be doing, and more confident in his future dealings with perhaps reluctant midwives. Tom had tried out the birthing pool within minutes of arriving (waterless luckily for everyone there otherwise I’m sure he’d still have jumped in!), Anja asked all about our own births and it was interesting to share and to find out how many 70’s babies had been born in a totally controlled and managed environment, so different to how childbirth should be and how people are now trying to make it. I enjoyed hearing about others plans and meeting them, it meant we weren’t the only freaks in town opting for a non-hospital birth! There’s a home birth group that meets monthly in Lewes but things always conspire against us and so we have yet to make in spite of now being 27 weeks pregnant!
This was supposed to be my day to filler, sand and then make envelopes…. Unfortunately Grandma couldn’t come down as Tom’s biggest sister is ill, too ill to be left alone and too ill to be left in charge of her daughter. Luckily all was well, she didn’t stay overnight in hospital but definitely still needed Grandma around (also Grandma hadn’t sounded too well herself when she’d phoned). Instead of fillering, sanding and paper cutting & folding I spent the morning at Toddler Group. Now, I enjoy a coffee and a chat as much as the next person but for some reason I’ve never been able to get quite in the swing of toddler group. Boo loves it though and I’m happy to take her as often as I can, but fortunately have been able to allow Grandma this pleasure a few times (and had hoped to make it a regular thing for them). The afternoon was spent at a fellow Slingmeeter’s house drinking more coffee, having more chat and letting the little ones play. Unfortunately Boo was feeling pretty rough by this stage and wasn’t at her best. By the evening she’d almost lost her voice completely and then managed to cough all through the night. This seems to happen every time we head out somewhere. Why? I have no idea.
Tom came home from work early in order to spend the afternoon working from home. Mainly due to me being so busy trying to get NCT Newsletters out to all members along with a plea for volunteers. While working from the desk in our bedroom he took time out to look out the window, and to phone me with the news ‘your owl is back’ this time at the bottom of the garden. He didn’t get any pictures but it is so lovely to know that ‘my’ owl returned. I’m hoping he’ll become a regular visitor but I do wonder why he’s here, is there a shortage of food for him at night? I know (from looking it up) that Barn Owl do come out in the day time and I remember from ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’ that the eek not twoo but I haven’t heard him eek and I’m worried about him being out in the daytime but I’m sure it’s fine and I generally have more than enough to worry about without adding the owl to my worries. I’ll keep an eye, if he starts to look like he’s not well or something then I’ll phone someone to come and have a look. In the meantime I’ll trust him to be able to look after himself!
The evening was spent making miniature bath bombs for the advent envelopes, which I managed to make Wednesday evening! Well, I made most of them Wednesday and finished them off today. Just need to get Velcro to close them tomorrow and finish getting all the gifts. For the bath bombs I used old commercial advent calendar insets which I’d saved from a previous year in order to be able to do just this! I followed a recipe Noise had and so used:
2 parts bicarb of soda
1 part citric acid (from the local pharmacy)
a few drops of natural food flavouring or a couple of drops of essential oils
a few drops of natural food colouring
drops of water until it formed a dough but added very slowly so as not to trigger the bomb!
I then pressed them into the moulds and left them overnight to dry. Fantastic, they worked brilliantly except I found the ones with essential oils were more crumbly before they dried and so I was worried they wouldn’t set.
I also tried to make some soaps using some soap kit Noise had been given but I don’t know how old the soap block was or what was in it and decided they should go in the bin.
Velcro purchased, craft items for some of the envelopes and Green & Blacks after dinner chocolates also purchased and 3 hours spent trawling round a rather hilly Lewes meant I hoped that the advent envelopes were finished. Of course, I realised they weren’t later that evening. I could either just stick in more chocolates, or leave 4 envelopes for each girl unfilled… I’ve decided I’ll only put out the full ones and then add the others, there are so many it’s not obvious. Then of course I ran out of Velcro before I’d finished meaning I could only do up to 3 X day 17. Then we hadn’t bought the pegs to peg one set to the ribbon to go over the mantelpiece (or the ribbon for them to go on…) and the girls hadn’t gone out and got the twigs to make the ‘tree’!!
I resigned myself to doing the best I could in time for the 1st and having it ready for the 2nd.
I forgot to take a picture of the interim display, sorry.