It is Sunday evening and fair to say that the lottie has been a little neglected this weekend. I went down briefly to pick beans for lunch on Saturday but that's about it. Yesterday passed in a blur of children's swimming lessons, birthday parties, doing the garden at home and chores.
Today has been family time. We decided to go strawberry picking which was just great. Apologies are probably due to the good people of Syston Farm as I suspect we ate our body weight in strawberries and raspberries whilst we were there. The picking was fabulous, particularly the strawbs which were so plentiful you barely needed to move from wherever you started picking. We were simply surrounded by masses and masses of perfectly ripe fruit. It won't last long so I think we timed it just right: a lucky guess.
We ate some for dessert after a rather late lunch, accompanied by hazlenut meringue (or "remangs" as the girls called them when they were little). There will be more for breakfast: what a treat. I will pop a few into my youngest daughter's packed lunch as a surprise on her school trip tomorrow. And I suspect there may be jam-making required with whatever remains.
After lunch the children disappeared out to play, which normally ends up in World War 3 or an injury. This time they wound up "helping" our next door neighbour with his pruning. My ears were pinned back for the sounds of the inevitable squabbling which would indicate that it was time to go and rescue the poor guy, but strangely all was quiet. No fighting, no whining, no squeeling or screaming or tearing around like a pair of banshees. After a while I decided I ought to pop round to check everyone was still actually alive, and found them totally absorbed in the task at hand armed with a pair of secateurs each! As they are only 6 and 7 there is no way on this earth I would ever have trusted them with secateurs but they were working hard, concentrating and being careful. And (note to self) they were really enjoying being trusted.
Observing the success of this approach and resolving to let them do more I announced later on that it was DIY sandwiches for supper and even let them have a go slicing the loaf with the breadknife! I won't be doing that again in a hurry as it nearly ended up turning into an episode of "Casualty", but the rest of the experiment worked well enough.
As for the lottie, it won't have suffered too much from my neglect as it has poured with rain this afternoon, and I have all day tomorrow free to tend it. Tasks for Monday include moving my own strawberry plants which have finished fruiting from the large pots in which they have been growing and which I need for other things. The original plan had been to plant the strawberries either side of my garden path but that had to be abandonned when we discovered that the new dog is more than a little partial to them. So they will be moving down to the plot until I decide what to do with them.