July 2008


When we are off school we deliberately fill our time with day trips and adventures, but we try and make sure they don’t involve early starts.  So the mornings are leisurely and relaxed.  There is time to savour breakfast and coffee and time for the lovely sharon to experiment.  This morning the lovely sharon was creating ‘something in the kitchen, “don’t look, it’s a surprise”.  I waited and it was!

I stayed away from the kitchen while the excitable sharon cooked.  After 20 minutes she called me in.  I noticed that her enthusiasm had deflated like a burst balloon.  She had attempted to make croissants.  While they were cooking she did some more research n the internerd and discovered that her initial recipe was a little too simple (it said to just use pastry).  It turns out that the pastry has to be a certain type and is very very difficult to make.  The enthusiastic sharon had sausage role pastry to hand.  They smelled like sausage rolls, they tasted like sausage rolls and they looked like croissant shaped sausage roles.  Nice.

We have way too much time on our hands.

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I do wonder what the neighbors think.  It was a wet morning with clouds that had no edge, the greyness simply melted into the sky.  The lovely Sharon and I were readying ourselves to depart; on the bikes.  I have to say that I think I am used to cycling in some bad weather but the lovely Sharon had not cycled in a year and was used to fair weather cycling.  It was her idea.

So off we headed dressed head to ankle in waterproofs, inevitably the feet would be soaked.  I thought that the lovely Sharon would begin to regret her grand idea by the time we neared Belfast.  Occasionally I glanced behind me to find her just behind me grinning.  She was loving it.  Sometimes a Disney scripted bunny would hop in front of her to heighten her delight.

Once we arrived in the heart of the city we secured the bikes outside st George’s market and peeled off the waterproofs.  I even went as far as to remove my trainers and ring out my socks in the corner, how uncouth.

We are regulars at st George’s market on Fridays before work.  The lovely Sharon gets the fruit and veg as i hover with a coffee.  I would help out if I could, but she is too particular and I am too flippant with my choices. However, on this wet sock day it was Saturday, an entirely different type of market.  Instead of huge amounts of local food cheaper than tescos (Friday market) it is now very small amounts of organic food at three times the price of tescos (Saturday market).  Instead of two coffee stalls (Friday market) it is now twenty (Saturday market).  Instead of stalls selling hoover bags and lightbulbs (Friday market) it is now stalls selling arty sculptures and birdboxes (Saturday market).  Instead of the indecipherable but hypnotic calls of fishmongers (Friday market) it is now a funky jazz band (Saturday market).  This is the middle class version of St George’s market.  Suddenly I feel more conscious and guilty at ringing out my socks in corner.

The rain had cleared by lunchtime and the cycle home was made even more pleasant.   And again the bunnies made an appearance.

Today I have done mostly nothing.  Well it has felt like nothing.  I think it is called pottering.

I have sorted out the green house, re-potted things that needed re-potting and that sort of thing.  Hung garlic, planted new lettuce.  I also started a new book.  I had started it before but did not get far and now I can’t put it down.  How strange.  But, not as strange as this………ant head!….

I found this guy, or his head at least, attached to my pull over cosy hillwalking jacket.  At first it looked like and felt like a little piece of melted plastic.  It was stuck to the jacket!  It turns out that this little member of hymenoptera must have died with his jaws biting into my jacket.  Then the rest of his body just fell off.  To say he was little is unfair as he head was quiet large (the image is not to scale) and so his body must have been also.  And to say “his” is also probably inaccurate as most of them are female.  I’ll stop now.