Saturday, 5 April 2014

Spring Fever

My goodness, all this sunshine and rain has brought the garden and countryside to life in a big way!  Everywhere we look there is something growing, something new bursting from the earth.  Greens are greener and more vibrant than ever, the blackthorn hedges are alive with tiny white star-like flowers, the first bluebells are basking in the warm sun and lawns, banks and verges glow with the rich buttery yellow of celandine.  Spring is well under way and I am loving every second.

We have lived in this house for six months now (where did that time go?) and so far have only experienced the Autumn and Winter, so we have had little idea of the hidden gems that lie beneath the earth.  Now of course they are making themselves known and plants are popping up all over the place.  I discovered these lilac wood anemones this week, peeping out from behind a wooden barrel at the front of the house.  So delicate and pretty.  A friend of mine told me yesterday that he has a bank that slopes down to a stream that runs through his garden and it is covered in these flowers.  He said all this in Welsh at class yesterday, so of course there's a chance I could have got that wrong!

Love this Magnolia!  Pea is really pleased as it is right outside her bedroom.  In between the sun we have had plenty of rain, but it has been soft, gentle rain;  English rain.  The sort that comes down straight from the sky rather than blowing sideways and making your eyes sting, like Welsh rain does.  It makes a soft pitter-patter on the ground and Blackbirds perch on tree tops and sing heartily.  The ground soaks up this gentle rain and the plants, trees and hedges put on huge growth spurts seemingly over night.  I went into the poly tunnel the other evening to cover my seedlings with fleece for the night.  The light in there was soft and diffused, the air smelled of warm earth and the rain began to fall gently, making a comforting sound on the plastic that brought back memories of playing in a make-shift tent in the garden when I was little.  A soft wave of contentment swept over me and I knew that this is all I want; my home, children, countryside and garden.  I am a very fortunate woman.

It was H1's parents' evening earlier this week, so off we went to stand in queues with lots of other parents waiting to be told the same things by all the teachers.  I must say that I never worry about what I am going to be told as I know it will be good.  Even if they don't always get the best results, at least I know they behave themselves and give it as much as they can.  Pea will always go the extra mile (or ten) but H1 needs a bit of encouragement in that department.  He gave me a bit of a heads up regarding his maths exam results; however he didn't mention that he had failed dismally.  Whoops.  His teacher seemed a bit on edge when we sat down in front of her and she shuffled her bits of paper about and didn't look me in the eye.  I thought it a tad odd but waited for her to speak.  She began by saying how disappointed she was in H1's results.  I kept quiet as I realised there was more to come.  She moved her papers about a bit more and then said she thought it would be better for H1 to move to a different maths group.  She then sat very still for a second, apparently waiting for the fall-out.  I took a deep breath and said 'Yes I totally agree,'  She looked stunned but quickly regained her composure before letting out a sigh of relief and whispered 'Oh, I'm so glad!'  I knew H1 was a bit upset about having to go down a set, but as we and another teacher close by who joined in the conversation agreed, it is much better to be doing well in a lower set than struggling like crazy in the top set.  Very stressful and a situation that can only get worse.

The following day he had double maths and would be starting in the lower set.  I kept thinking about him all day, hoping he was OK.  That afternoon he came home looking much more relaxed than of late.  He said maths went well, he understood the work because he'd already done it in set one and he wasn't panicking about it anymore.  He still doesn't like maths, but at least now he stands a better chance of being able to do it.

All parents know that there is always something going on with children.  H2 seems to go from one cold to another and is bored out of his brains at school.  He is getting ready for senior school now but as he still has over three months to go before he leaves primary school behind forever, I want him to enjoy it as much as possible.  These last few months will be the easiest of his young life.  Once he starts senior school things will be much different;  homework every night and exams by the ton.  At least now he has time to play on the floor with Lego, wonder around the garden aimlessly dragging a stick about, dig holes on the beach and day dream about DC superheroes.

Pea is under some strain in her school life too.  A levels are very hard work to say the least.  She has homework and revision to do every night and all weekend.  Two days a week the sixth form pupils stay after school until five to have extra maths lessons and then she comes home to spend more time working.  I don't like to see her worn out with tension and worry, she's too young.  She deserves to relax now and then and do something nice or have a treat.  Nothing major, just a mooch round the shops or a new magazine, just something to look forward to.  The Easter holls are coming up soon and we are planning a few trips out here and there.  I will take her to see her boyfriend too so they can spend more time with each other.  There is nothing like a cuddle from the one you love when you're feeling a bit low!

I don't have that yet, so I content myself with pottering round the garden, looking at my seedlings, browsing seed catalogues and watching the birds in the garden.  It's almost as good!

Enjoy a hug with someone special and thank you for reading. xxx

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