How the Garden Grows – 14

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Ah, another semi-regular garden update, hooray! Things are coming up nicely at the moment, we’ve got lots of seeds growing and there’s colour everywhere. I’ve probably planted too many veg seeds, but the snails are little buggers round here and have already destroyed one of my pumpkins and a courgette, so I figure the extras are a little bit of insurance. The cabbage and rainbow chard have very much gone to seed, but I’m keeping them in the bed because they really are very pretty (and I don’t have much to replace them with for the moment, either). Oh, and we have apples growing! I am very excited about this. If the birds don’t eat any of the fruit, we will have enough for a crumble in the autumn!

Anyway, rather than deluge you with the usual million photos I’ve made a little film this time round. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this in a very, very long time and it’s been fun. Let me know if you enjoy it and I’ll make some more. I filmed this on my DSLR and didn’t quite realise just how shakey the footage would be afterwards – rookie mistake! Must try and find my tripod or get a rig.. Also, apologies for half the stuff being out of focus. Also, also, I really must clean my lens sometimes. Music by the way is Quad Time and the Genius of the Crowd by Origamibiro.

How Does Your Garden Grow? Mammasaurus

Project 365 2015 Days 137 – 143

Explorer Boo
137/365 – Exploring Grovelands Park

soft play fun
138/365 – First time we’ve been at soft play for a while and Arthur’s increased mobility has upped the enjoyment levels for him and Betsy. And he’s started going down slides properly (rather than head first) too. Good stuff.

a tree
139/365 I made every effort to take some photos while in town, but only snapped this while standing outside the front door after coming home. Hrm.

exciting times ahead
140/365 Good to see Enfield Town gearing up for it becoming part of TFL this weekend. The orange seats are in and the station is looking smarter than it ever has.

the fourth plinth
141/365 Finally a picture taken in town! This is the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Shaun
142/365 More London! Hooray! Brilliant day exploring and finding Shaun the Sheep.

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143/365 Such an appalling picture! Oh well. Very brilliant night though, we had friends up and watched Eurovision, good times.

Living Arrows #71

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
– Khalil Gibran

Busy week! I am finally getting back into the swing of working again, I even -gasp- enjoyed myself there this week. Betsy hasn’t been so happy with me back at work. She’s in nursery two days a week now and dropping her off is like when she first went to nursery two and a half years ago, lots of clutching at me and tears, poor thing. She’ll get there though, she has some really lovely friends who look after her. We went into London on Friday to have an adventure, reconnect and spot Shaun the Sheep. We had a total blast. We discovered some fountains just of London Wall on Aldermanbury Square, a great little find – lots of running around space and seats. It’s quiet too (although I suspect it gets quite busy at lunch time). We had our lunch on the rooftop of One New Change, which again offers lots of space to run around and fantastic views too, we loved it there (it’s also a nice spot for cocktails if you’re child free too).

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Living Arrows

Shaun in the City

If you live or work in London you would have seen various Shaun the Sheep dotted around town. They’re here to raise money for the Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation, a charity that helps improve the lives of children in hospital and there are 50 unique Shauns in the city designed by artists as diverse as Axel Scheffler to Cath Kidston and Tatty Devine. We’re big fans of Shaun the Sheep, his CBBC show is properly hilarious and beautifully made and we regularly watch it on demand. I can’t wait to sit down with Betsy and watch the movie when we get a chance.

I wasn’t sure if Betsy would be really bothered with spotting Shaun, I thought she might not get it, but I showed her some of the designs, and she immediately wanted to see them. I think it helped that she saw Zandra Rhodes’ neon pink design first – a bright pink Shaun, how can a three year old resist!

There’s a lot of walking involved when searching for Shauns. The official Sheep Spotter app is a great help and really adds to the fun of the search. The maps on there were great and Betsy loved to stop us after a couple of roads and see us get closer to a sheep. The routes took us down quite a few roads I’d not been down before and that’s always a pleasure to do. We got off the train in Moorgate with the aim to see the pink Shaun first in the One New Change shopping centre. I noticed that there was another Shaun en route next to the Guildhall so we stopped by and saw him first.

From that moment, Betsy was hooked and wanted to see as many Shauns as possible! She fell in love with him. I think the size helps – the models are 5ft tall and Betsy would happily sit underneath him or gently touch his face. After the Guildhall, we walked down to One New Change and saw the pink Shaun and another on the level above. We also had a quick lunch on the roof of ONC and Betsy was blown away by the view.

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

After that, we said hello to the pink Shaun again and then made our way to the front of St Paul’s and the Millennium bridge for some more spots and then back up to Paternoster Square and then onto the Barbican. God, we need to go back and explore the Barbican again, it has been over six years since I had last been there and I’d forgotten just how fantastic it is to just wander around there.

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

After Barbican, it was very much time to go home. Betsy had walked all the way and was getting very tired. Luckily there were a couple of more sheep to find en route, including one in Liverpool Street station itself. We spotted 13 in total, not a bad number for one day. It gets really quite addictive ticking all the Shauns off – both Boo and I were always looking for the next spot and if I didn’t have the children with me, I would have spotted a lot more! In fact, I may have to get off the Tube a couple of stops early on my way into work this week to see some more…

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

Following the Shawn the Sheep shawn in the City trail

The Shauns are only in London for one more week, the 31st of May being the last day. Then Bristol will have 70 more sheep with new designs over the summer. If you want to join in I highly recommend the Sheep Spotter app, it costs £1.45 (on Android), but the money goes to the Children’s Foundation. There are also paper maps available too. We picked one up at the tourist information centre in front of St Paul’s cathedral. There will be a chance to see all the sheep together in Covent Garden at the end of September, something we will definitely be going to, before they are all auctioned off. Betsy desperately wants us to buy one, and I can’t help think that a bright pink Zandra Rhodes design would look rather fetching in our garden.

Project 365 2015 Days 130-136

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130/365 – Our tiny patch of grass never looked so lush and green! And then Dave cut it and it’s back to being a bit patchy again. Sigh.

drawing dinosaurs
131/365 – Betsy drawing dinosaurs on the patio (and in the background is Arthur digging up my courgette plant and eating soil. I’m a good parent!)

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132/365 – Dave is on late shifts this week which means I’m left to do bedtimes on my own, which means everyone piling into the big bed to sleep (including the cat too, sometimes).

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133/365 – Yeah, so I really haven’t got into the swing of taking photos on the days that I work. Yesterday is typical, only remembering to take a snap in the evening, and this day is a photo I took on the commute into work on the Tube by accident. I didn’t even mean to take this photo and yet it manages to be the only photo of the day. Hmmm. I think I will make a special effort to get out in my lunch breaks this week and take some photos of London!

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134/365 – A very long drive into Devon in horrible weather conditions. Still, it was nice seeing the brown signs for Wookey Hole and that Clarks outlet in Street where we used to get our school shoes from on the way though.

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135/365 – So today was my aunt’s funeral. Lovely service, but utterly heartbreaking as these things are. This is the view from the church. It’s a beautiful spot just north of Exeter, an idyllic village where everyone is friendly and the church looks out over miles and miles of rolling Devonshire countryside.

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136/365 On to happier times and today was Imogen’s 1st birthday party, hooray! Happy birthday, Imo!

Living Arrows #70

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Living Arrows #70

I swear this sibling relationship just gets better and better (and rougher with the wrestling not seeming to stop any time soon, hrm), especially as Arthur is so much more mobile now. Just look at them! *heart explodes*

Bonus Arthur:

Living Arrows #70 Arthur

Almost a year old and only just having a go on a bouncy castle now. He bloody LOVED it. That’s Betsy’s hat he’s wearing by the way, weirdly quite happy to wear that for hours on end, but a sun hat lasts mere seconds…

Living Arrows

Project 365 2015 Days 123-128

Hello birthday week! Hello being quite busy and getting back into the swing of working again! Interestingly, I’ve not taken any photos while I’ve been out at work, I guess that says quite a bit about my feelings about being back. Anyway, here’s last week:

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Day 123 – A day out in town with my lovely friend Vinnie (who blogs here, she does good food) without children and quite a bit of gin. It was utter bliss. I may write about it at some point.

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Day 124 – A trip to a farm! Definitely writing about this soon!

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Day 125 – Bathtime fun

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Day 126 – This is my view when I’m feeding Arthur to sleep. It’s not bad, is it? Just love looking out of this window at dusk.

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127 – General election day. We all went into the polling station as a family, Dave took Betsy into the booth with him and talked to her about voting. She was so interested in the whole process she let me watch the news (a rarity) and we played pretend elections – Betsy had us all make ballot papers, with candidates dictated by her. Unfortunately there was no clear winner in our household and there is going to have to be a Coalition between Dave, Running, Icky, Locky and Duck (from Sarah and Duck). As two of those are imaginary though, one is a cartoon character and one is a physical activity, Dave thinks he might be able to sneak in as having the controlling interest.

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128 – It’s my birthday! Lovely, quiet day spent with the family eating too much food. Good stuff.

Living Arrows #69

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Living Arrows - BakingBetsy.com

This girl’s love for creepy crawlies just grows and grows, I think she likes the fact that they are easily pick-upable. She spent hours with this snail, proclaiming that he likes her and she’d give it showers with the hose. She liked it so much I spared it and didn’t put it up on the neighbours garage for the birds to eat like I do with all the other snails.

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First shoes! Arthur’s is a bit weirded out by them and want to pull them off all the time, but he is slowly getting used to them, which is good because he wants to be on the ground all the time these days. Also, he took his first proper steps yesterday! About four of them walking to me, showing me the fruit pouch he had in his hand. And then he did a few steps over to Betsy and then to Dave. OF COURSE both cameras and phone were downstairs and unavailable. Oh well! I’m pretty sure there will be shots of him toddling about for next week’s Living Arrows!

Living Arrows

Cheery Things

Cheery Things is an occasional feature I started to help me get out of my weird post-natal funk I had last year – I am a terrible pessimistic and sometimes I find it hard to see the good times, but a little post here and there with some nice and pretty things always helps a bit because it makes my little materialistic heart flutter. So, with the results of yesterday’s general election still fresh in our minds, lets look at things that don’t really matter, but are nice all the same, before I fall into a pit of despair.

Cheery Things - BakingBetsy.com

1. Emily and Fin cowboy dress.
2. Sending some blog love to Wild Olive which is full of sweet, stitchy crafts. This is such a lovely, rainy day (ha!) project to do and what a great little game to play afterwards.
3. I’m back at work so I’m always on the lookout for cute things to take my lunch in and this cat bento box from the Japan Centre ticks all the boxes (meanwhile, if any of you can find a nice bag for my breast pump to take into work, that would be aces).
4. Songbird and leaves jug from Howkapow.
5. Speaking of things from Howkapow, I want this lampshade for Betsy’s and Arthur’s bedroom (once it’s decorated and we have bunk beds, not for a while though)! Or the duck one, I don’t mind.
6. I am late to the party on this, having only discovered her earlier this year, but Jessica Pratt’s album On Your Own Love Again is beautiful and her voice will take you to a place where it is quiet and still. It reminds me a little of Nick Drake without it sounding like Nick Drake and feels old but still fresh. Ugh, I am no music reviewer – Pitchfork sums this album up much better than I.
7. Picky Duck. This makes me laugh lots.

Other things:

Have a lovely weekend people! Same again in five years?