Saturday, 25 September 2010

Second chances

work- ok, just about finding my feet
childcare- better than I dared to hope but stressier than I'd like
state of the house- terrible
SmallerBean's ceiling- very draughty but patched with a bit of plywood

This post has been waiting in the wings for A While so I thought I'd get it out as the rest of the Beans are exploring Thetford Forest.

A few weeks ago, on this post, I talked about a new little idea involving sea glass. My little stash in the bathroom was doomed for the drill and a new lease of life, hanging around someone's neck. I carefully chose pieces which were a good colour, shape and with just the right weatheredness to them. The drill bits arrived and BigBean and I tottered down to the shed (his domain) where we discussed the best way to drill the loveliness. He had previously persuaded me that this was a job which needed his help. And boy, was he right.

Sea glass is a complete bugger to drill and it took about twenty minutes to get a hole through the trial piece.

Big had had enough by this stage (DIY is second nature to him but faffing around with skinny drill bits and pieces of 'rubbish' from the beach with me sqeaking 'Don't spoil this piece, it's gorgeous' and 'Can we make the hole a bit more...CAREFUL!!!... towards the top' are not home improvements to him.)

Anyway. We (he) drilled a second piece and I skipped back up to the house with it and started getting out the magic beans. Later on (I can't make beany things with Smaller around, she does BAD things with her grabby hands) I put together some beans and the glass and snipped and twisted and arranged to make (are you ready?).............

THIS!!!!Can you even spot the solitary shard of treasure?

I wonder what this little piece of glass was before it sat in the middle of this necklace? A milk bottle? Vodka bottle? Part of a jar with tasty strawberry jam inside? And I also wonder where it came from? The beach I found it on is on the Solway Firth, just near Southerness. We call it the Shell Beach as the whole place is just white white white with cockle shells, but if you look closely there is quite a bit of sea glass to be found too. Maybe it only travelled a short way. But perhaps it came from hundreds of miles away and has been tossed and turned and sand-blasted for many years.

And then I was in the bean zone.

But the drilling Had Stopped so I had to be content with going back to Plan A and making things with the stash which didn't require new holes.

A pink mixed stone garland,
and a grey and mauvey pearly linked necklace with a flat silver disc

and mauvey garland with a lovely faceted aventurine heart.

But I'll have to wait for BigBean to unlock the shed before I give some more sea glass a second chance of happiness.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Things took a sudden turn (or two) here today in a mixy uppie kinda way.

The first thing that happened was that part of Smaller's ceiling fell down. It did have a little bit of help from our lovely builders (not being sarcastic, they are lovely) who are making a Brand New Room for us in the loft. Doing some joist/floor/suchlike work they pressed/hammered/ jumped(?) a bit too hard and a very large piece came smattering down. And with it came rather a lot of soot. And plaster dust. So Smaller's room and most of our house has an autumn coat of fine black greasy dust. It's in her toys, clothes and bed. So tonight she sleeps in Smalls room and they did not get to sleep until L.A.T.E. If I remember, I'll photo the hole for you. Funnily enough it didn't occur to me to do it earlier...

While all these shenanigans were going on a very nice head teacher lady phoned me and asked if I could work in her nursery for a week or two or more as her teacher was off sick for a while.

I said yes, but now the very thought of working full time, even for just three weeks, sorting out my Beansprouts and trying to banish the bad blackness from the house is giving me panic attacks. (Note the time, I'm usually snoring by now.) Forgive me, all you working mummas who do this every day, but I am out of the loop and my head is bursting with the spaghetti tangles of who is going to drop off, pick up, take, collect and remember my precious Sprouts. I haven't done going out to work since I was pregnant with Smaller and then I only had one Bean to sort out. I am worrying so very very much that I won't be in the right place at the right time. Quite a lot of worrying going on in fact.

So. I may be a bit absent for a while. Back soon.

Friday, 10 September 2010


It's now about three weeks since we returned from our holiday up on the shores of Loch Fyne. We have been to this cottage three times now and it never fails to amaze us. It is simply stunning. Secluded, quiet, RIGHT ON THE LOCH and beautiful beautiful fantastic scenery.

The very first thing BigBean did was to inflate the canoe and go off for a paddle with Small. This is his paradise.

This year, Small had his first attempt at fishing. He now has his own little rod and tried very hard to catch something for our supper. The fish didn't bite all week and we had to rely on the seafood place in nearby(ish) Tarbert, 20 miles down the road. However, we did eat THE most delicious scallop I've EVER tasted. It was hand dived by BigBean!!!
One day we went to Crinan for lunch and a mooch about. It is the most pretty little place you could imagine. Teeny tiny white cottages, a lighthouse and this stone house which overlooked the bay. I fell for this house big time. We ate a delicious lunch at the Oh-So-Smart Crinan Hotel. Time runs at a different rate up there and boy were we ready for our food when it arrived. We did have to wait but it was so worth it. Fish and seafood which had most probably been swimming and blowing bubbles that very morning.

The locks and canal are pretty amazing too and we spent quite a while watching some flashy boats starting the run along to Lochgilphead.
A bit of beachery. And we found this very Darth Vadery piece of nature. Much debate went on about what it was. No concrete conclusions were made but The Beans would be very happy to hear what you think it might be.
Wierd, isn't it?

Of course, we did a bit of sculpture. The cottage has a concrete pier beside it and this is where we always do our stone art. Much searching is done to find appropriate noses, lips and hair. The glamourous lady above has a ready prepared barnacle nose which SmallBean found most entertaining.

Here is the full line-up. Smallers creations were mutant to say the least, quite on par with albino Darth above.
Oh, the excitement of going Loch Dipping...

And thanks to Steve Backshall, here, Small has become a hardened naturalist, overcoming all his fears and phobias about beasties. Except wasps. And midgies.

This fella was alive and kicking (can crabs kick?) when Small brought him up to the cottage. Doesn't he look pleased with himself? Small, not the crab.

I'm not so sure that this poor little toad had such tender handling from Smaller. She has no inhibitions or worries about catching beasts at all and her grabby little hands were never going to let him get away. When we did let him go, he crawled off (in a bit of a panic I do believe) so I think that the trauma was all mental, not physical...

Well, if you're going to blog about Scotland there's got to be a Highland cow somewhere, hasn't there?

Mr Pine Marten came visiting to eat scraps and crumbs. Just a couple of metres away form the sitting room door!!! You don't see this very often in Cambridge.

Or this. The view from the garden. I think BigBean is pining just a little bit. And if I'm honest, so am I.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The world according to SmallerBean...

SmallerBean has been missing her Big Bro' like mad this week. However, she's been keeping herself busy, rearranging the planet... you do when you're 2 1/2.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Mrs Pebble, over on this blog, did a lovely post on the shadows in her home. She invited everyone to have a look at the chiaroscuro/light-dark in their own homes. I was very keen to join in and play, especially as the sun has been shining this week...
While I was looking for shadows I found lovely patterns made by the glass in our front door.

Our sitting room is south facing and gets A Lot of sun. Did you know that cream (curtains) can fade?

The light has really changed in our house today as we have had scaffolding put up for our loft conversion. People have said how they dislike having the scaffolding as it makes the houses so dark but I am really enjoying the difference it makes. Maybe when the days start to get shorter and the sun stops shining I will be desperate for it all to be dismantled but for now I am liking the new light and patterns.

Look at the shadows the poles make on the ceiling

and on the bathroom wall.
Although the photos are not really very good at all, Mrs P's post has made me look at our sunny house in quite a new way today. Thanks Silverpebble.
If the sun keeps shining I may have another go at snapping away. Or I might just lie on the floor with SmallerBean and watch the shadows move and change.