Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Toad Haul

Toads chirp when they're scared. I know, because this evening at dusk I helped to carry about 100 of them across a road in buckets.

No, I'm not an Eco-Warrier. I just got talked into doing it by my mum, who has both Eco and Warrier tendencies at times (when she's not sat watching a BBC drama with her feet up on the poof).

Apparently, at this time of year, the green warty ones wake up en-masse from their forest hibernation and feel the watery call of the pond on the other side of a very busy road, where they must go and reproduce. There is a huge risk of them getting squished by cars mid-hop. So some keen toad-protectors put up a plastic barrier along the edge of the road and then recruit an army of toad well-wishers in wellies, brandishing torches and buckets, who are willing to scoop them up and carry them safely across to the other side.

As I stood there in the dark, amongst cowpats, shining my clever iphone 'flashlight' app over my nephew as he enthusiastically unloaded the chirping 'mating pairs' bucket near the pond, I must confess I felt a small pang of longing to be in a warm pub, without wellies on, drinking a large glass of red.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Sick Day Squeeze

It is 6.45am and I should be getting up and getting things ready for school and work. Little Boy B creeps into my dark bedroom, lifts the duvet and curls up on Daddy's pillow, sniffing and groaning. My heart sinks - another sick day?

I lean up on my elbow and peer at him through my contact lens-less fuzz, as he closes his eyes and hides his face. We talk quietly about what hurts and where, and the fact that he seemed perfectly okay last night so is he really ill or just tired? Is he worried about something? Does he just not want to go to school?

Sick days are the down side of parenting, especially at this time of year when so many people are coughing and sniffing and puking. Some parents physically can't stay home when a child is sick - they have to open a shop, or make a presentation, or defend somebody in court - and some parents have no family nearby, no partner to share the load with, no money to pay for help.

I am relatively lucky. My work is part-time and I usually have some flexibility in the days I work ... but I still can't help feeling irritated that my carefully planned week has been all messed up again by some dastardly winter virus. Bleurgh.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Quietly Does It

Dear Reader,

I went for a walk to try and get clear on what I want to do with this blog, and to try and make sense of all the things I have been thinking about for the last few weeks. I traipsed around a muddy field. A dog sniffed me, it was cloudy and the birds sang a little bit.

I did make some decisions on what I am going to write about here, and for whom. I have also decided not to tell anybody I know about this blog; it will be our little secret! From past experience, I know that as soon as I know that my friends and family are reading my blog, I water it down and self-edit, which throws honesty and my journalistic integrity right out of the window. So, shhhhhhhhh ...