There’s a nip in the air; I could see my breath freezing white one morning as I went out to release the chickens from their overnight captivity in the henhouse. The days, however remain warm and often sunny. We haven’t lit our first fire yet, but I enjoy the flickering of my candles and the need to draw the curtains as the evenings close in earlier.
I think there’s going to be a bumper harvest of blackberries, the apples are good, but there are very few plums. Maybe they don’t like very hot weather. And yet greengages surely like a Medittaranean climate? (The Greengage Summer, Rumer Godden). All of our legumes have done badly, too; French and runner beans, peas and sweet peas. However, the courgettes and squash are growing like a jungle. As is the salad, which Dancing Toes takes it upon herself to pick and arrange in a bowl.
One of the new chickens keeps escaping. She could wreak havoc in my veg bed. The children take turns in running out to catch and reincarcerate her, and I’ve looked in vain for any opening she is squeezing through. I think she’s climbing the apple tree and then flapping down in a bid for freedom.
The other morning I opened the front door to see a small flock of sheep wandering down the road. I watched as they decided our garden looked good (must be all the hard work I’ve put into it over the summer ), trotted up our drive and made themselves at home. I wasn’t impressed, especially as I’d just sown some grass seed, so managed to hustle them back towards the field I thought they had come from. Fortunately the farmer then appeared on his bike and took his unruly charges home.
I think we’ve all appreciated having some home days. I sometimes feel guilty that the children spend so much time playing without any input from me over the summer holidays. But then I was reminded that Charlotte Mason put a great emphasis on self directed play, with an adult around in the background only to provide food and sort any squabbles which might arise. This also affirms all I learnt about the importance of play during my children’s nursing training. So, I leave them to occupy themselves and continue with the myriad of jobs I’ve left “until I have more time”.
We’ve also had the pleasure of several home school families visiting. I always enjoy their company so much; its fun to spark ideas off each other, and mull over the deeper issues in our lives. They bring with them the gift of encouragement.
We are slowly getting back into doing some work. The boys still have another week and half, but Lanky Dude has been revising physics each day, working on his robot and on his UCAS form. A home ed friend helped him to sort out the electrics. A big achievement.
Both boys have enrolment for college this week. During Lanky Dude’s I took the others for a wander along the beach. I try to do something fun to mark this next season of their lives; for Lanky Dude it consisted of Macdonald’s breakfast burgers which we ate in the Lidl car park before tackling a big team shop. Maybe I can do something more classy with Rhytm Dude!