Author Archives: Doodlemum

In Captivity.

The World is in captivity, closed in, shut down, no go.

We will paint Rainbows in our windows.

We will plant seeds in our gardens.

We will thrive on ten cups of tea a day and that forgotten pack of bourbon biscuits at the bottom of the draw in the kitchen.

We will watch the news on repeat, looping around until the information spills back out the other ear.

We will wonder what day it is, even though it isn’t Christmas.

We will stop buying.

We will stop.

Lets not go for a drive.

Came outside and stood on the doorstep with my coffee this morning.

No cars.

No buses.

No people.

Just the wind and an army of jackdaws claiming chimneys for nests.

The clocks have moved forward for springtime, it feels pointless. I hardly know what day it is, a bit like Christmas holidays when you’re all stuck in the house but with less chocolate, more cabin fever and a nasty virus pandemic sweeping the globe.

The death toll has risen again this morning.

I sip my coffee and wonder where I’ve put my hairbrush.

Form an orderly queue.

So currently we are allowed to only leave the house for essential supplies and as infrequently as possible. One person is allowed to go. If you are over seventy years of age, you are told to stay in the house for the next twelve weeks and also if you are in certain medical at risk groups.

We managed to leave it a week so it was time to go to the supermarket, I picked my local one nearest to the house. List in hand I waited behind newly laid strips of stripey sticky tape laid out a two metre intervals in the car park.

I wore some plastic gloves, the woman in front of me wore a face mask. Another woman shouted at her young daughter to stop running up to people.

Somewhere up the line, a man coughed and everyone took a step back at the same time.,

A security guard waited outside and as one person left the shop, one was let in. It was a mixed queue of people, from women with prams and babies to elderly people. I had no judgement of these people, I am sure they all had their reasons to be here today and we all waited for our turn to go into the shop.

The shop was quiet and calm, I moved around with my basket putting in my shopping. Tins were in short supply as was bread but there was plenty of food for me to cook with and I certainly hope the panic buying has passed now as there are now strict guidelines on how many items we can buy.

The roads were quieter than I have ever seen today.

The sun still shone.

The death toll rose again.

I drove home and washed my hands.

Now clap your hands.

Tonight up and down the whole of the United Kingdom, we all came out of our doors and showed our love and appreciation for the people who are caring for us during this awful time.

Up and down our road and in the silence of Swansea right now I heard claps and shouts of well done. It was the most incredible sound.


We all clapped for the people who put their lives at risk on a daily basis, the doctors, nurses and surgeons and people of the NHS.

For the porters, the health care workers, the carers, the nursing home attendants, the ambulance drivers to the admins, the receptionists and the cleaners.

For the supermarket checkout people, the shelf stackers, the lorry drivers, the people we see every day that take no credit at all as it is their job.

We clap for you all and we know your names tonight.

Thank you.

Art on the streets.

Well I can’t go out but I can still draw.
This post is dedicated to all our friends in work who are on the frontline.
You have our gratitude, admiration and love.

I will see all my lovely friends again after all of this and I will be buying the drinks. 

Wedding cake.

Today was the first day the whole country was locked down with the new measures to control the spread of Covid 19.

Powers have been brought in to prevent us from going out unless for essential supplies of food, medicine and fuel.

I woke early, just before six o clock. The birds were singing loudly before it dawned on me that I couldn’t hear rush hour starting on the road outside.

Just birds.

Alongside the lockdown, weddings are being postponed as to prevent gatherings of people.

My neighbour, who makes wedding cakes, left me a gift outside our house.

After a brief knock, we opened our door to see a large white box inside which contained a large, white wedding cake.

There was much excitement as we carved into the giant cake as the slices were enormous and very delicious.

Also sadness that for now, we all remain separate while we wait for the virus to peak.

Shutting down.

My evening walk tonight was even quieter than last night. Hardly any traffic on our street lined with terrace houses and neatly stacked recycling bags of tins and bottles and grass cuttings from today’s lawn mowing. A broken mower has been dumped outside one house, its electrical cord hanging, severed after a mishap when someone decided looking the other way to the electric mower would be okay.

The electronic billboard wasn’t working tonight and I was glad not see the Covid 19 symptom advert. There has been news saturation for me today. Too many people still flocking in groups to enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine and infecting each other amid images of Italian and Spanish hospitals.

Tonight the easterly wind moves up the main road free from cars and carries the scent of fire from the hill over the valley. As the hill looms into view, the huge fire burning looks eerily beautiful and I take time out to watch the flames and smell the air.

My walk brings me to our local play park which has today been sealed up with red stripey tape and a notice.

The parks are closed in the city as of today to prevent the spread of the virus. The council says it is because the virus lives on metal and surfaces and therefore children are likely to spread it when they play outside.

My throat still hurts from last week but I feel well and the children are well which is a relief. We played in the garden today as our world became even smaller around us.

Siopa

First time shopping after being in quarantine for a week and the world’s gone bonkers.

Queued to get in the supermarket this morning before it opened. People stood there coughing, sneezing and talking.

Once the shop opened a tense huddle formed at the opening of the shop as people politely but hurriedly grabbed their trolleys and baskets and rushed with quiet pace around the store.

I bought coffee, fruit and some croissants. I looked at the spaces on shelves where there were tins and couldn’t for the life of me remember what was there before.
I still forgot what I came in for too.

But I’m not going back for a few days.

It is written on the walls.

I’m walking the dog later at night so I can stay away from people.

I noticed a new electronic billboard being installed the other night. The first adverts are ringing out the message.

It is here and it is spreading so very fast.

We are in a new world right now. The new buzzwords are self-isolation, quarantine and death toll.

My children are making rainbows to put in the window today as the sun shines and the death toll mounts.

Mother’s Day

I am mam.
Made by tiny fingers and hearts of love.
Sobs of sleeplessness and sicky shoulders.
Mountains of washing, crayons and food on the floor.
I am mam.
And they made me.

Stop, look and listen.

This is my view when I stand on my doorstep and look out. There are rows of stone terrace houses, there are fast moving clouds in the blue sky today but there are no aeroplanes flying.

The air feels fresh with a hope of spring.

I can hear the bus coming up the steep hill. Plenty of people on it too, I hope they’re keeping their distance (but also I hope they’re talking to each other too).

There are dandelions growing by my feet ready to flower.

I can see a bumblebee flying by, it’s a whopper, (god knows how that manages to fly) and Bonnie (my dog) wants to snap at it.

This is my view of my world. It’s become an awful lot smaller recently due to us self isolating.

What is your view? What do you see? Is is nice? Is it busy? Is it ugly? What do you hear? What do you smell? Tell me, let’s talk. Let’s make the world bigger for a bit. Doesn’t matter how small, if you mopped the floor today I want to hear it.

Tell me.

Inside.

I lost my temper today. The type where your fingers shake. The reason wasn’t anything to do with my family nor anything that had happened in the house.

As we are self isolating, we are all in the house so the telephone call I was making was overheard by everyone and repeated to me word by word afterwards by my kids who thought Mam had handled herself admirably.

I didn’t.


I tried to stay calm but a single sentence during this phone call sparked a fury in me that even surprised myself and I’m ashamed to say I erupted and hit the roof.

There really was no justification for my outburst so I removed myself upstairs and I tried my best to do some yoga. The cat cuddles from Renee helped more today but It was nice to do some flows and calm down.

Keeping active is important to me and has helped enormously over the years to help me and has evolved into me realising I am capable of so much more (but that’s a whole other blog).

We had a meat delivery today from a local butcher so we have food again and we are stretching out what we do have. It saddens me to hear that the panic buying is continuing. We all need to eat but we all need to get a little more inventive right now with what we have.

I’m quite down right now but I’m sure five minutes of dog licking my face will snap me out of it.

The kids are great and very positive, I’m very proud but I think today I’ve let my positive crown slip. Tomorrow will be better.

Do not pass go.

We can’t go out. We can’t go to the shops.

I’ve got food in and we can cook.

But it really involves not going out.

Self isolation is four walls and many faces of boredom, many times a day.

Read a book, draw something, mam’s got a raging headache and a face like a tomato.

No school today.

There’s no school today.

We can’t go out darling because I’m not well.

That means we have to stay in just in case, to make sure we don’t make anyone else ill.

It will be ok, Mam is just a bit sick and I’ll be better soon.

And you will be ok too. We have to make sure no one else gets ill so the shops may be shut for a bit.

It will be ok.

It will.

Self isolation- poetry – or something else?

They see me rollin.

Stockpilin’

But what they don’t know

Is that the virus is not in your

Arsicles.

It’s in your chesticles.

So farscicles.

Self Isolation – Bad poetry

I wanted to

write a

poem about

coronovirus

but the only

thing that

rhymes

with it is

Miley Cyrus.

And that’s a bit shit.

So that’s it.

Under house arrest.

I did wash my hands!

But there we are. I’m sweating one minute, cold the next. Throat is swollen, glands are sore and head feels full of cotton wool.

And I’m so very, very grumpy.

Now wash your hands.

So we’re washing our hands at every opportunity as we’ve been told to.
Shops have been stripped of painkillers, soap and bog roll.



Help the aged.

Just come off the phone to my elderly 90 year old neighbour.
I was asking if she needed anything from the shops as you do.
Imagine if we all did that? All of us picked one elderly neighbour who was on their own and asked if they needed anything. Because it’s going to matter a whole lot more in the next few months when they cant get to the shops because they’re too ill to or because they have no bog roll or paracetamol because someones’ bought it all.
So I’m appealing to you, the person who filled up your trolley with toilet roll and pasta in the supermarket. I want you to redeem yourself and pop round to Bob at no 42 and see if he needs anything. Take a few rolls of your precious bog roll with you and see him alright.
That is what will make a difference rather than this utter selfishness I’ve seen over the last week. Do better, please.

Administration.

“I have something for you mum” are words that every parent knows are laced with a few meanings.

The first is innocent and lovely, probably a little handful of daisies or a hug.

The second, however, is something unwanted, sinister and must be approached with extreme caution and cynicism.

“Oh yes?” comes my reply (raised eyebrow). I am the master after years of being tricked, poker face is on and braced for impact,

And there they are in my hand, a scrunched up pile of months and months of school letters, casually handed over without a single drop of sweat shed.

Months of letters.

Suppose it could have been a slug or a dead spider.

Puberty meet menopause.

Puberty one end, menopuase the other. Both made better by hugs.

I don’t want my children to have the same experience I had, we talk and we laugh about things and how rubbish hormones are. We slam doors and shout and cry. It’s good to.


I can’t protect them from the outside world though and it stinks that my daughter is constantly questioned over her decision to have short hair.
She’s twelve and she’s having to already fend off questions about appearance.
I tell her sometimes people just aren’t ready for fabulous but to carry on anyway and to be just so.

If you have a stroppy teen in your house, remember how much it hurt to be that age, it sucks majorly and you as mum are there to keep them going until they are ready to be a big person.

Until then, hold fast and try not to think about the hormonal plughole that you’ve become.

Kaboom

Had a very loud thunderstorm last night. Ended up with a shivering 30kg wreck on me for the rest of the night…

Gone with the Wind.

Bird is the word.

So to continue from my recent post about the starlings in my road, may I introduce our next individual.
This fearless ball of feathers can normally be heard most of the year round.

But come January the showing off starts. My current robin redbreast has inflated himself to the size a tennis ball and is rampaging from wooden post to branch, telling everyone this is his garden. His bright red chest breaking up any happy gathering of sparrows or blue tits.
He’s not quite worked out the new streetlight we have either and can be heard singing at midnight on a late night sing off with another street robin. I’m not sure that’s any good burning the candle at both ends.

Don’t cramp the robin’s style, that little bird is a born show off.


Today.

Today

What I tell my little ones as they drag themselves into Monday.
Anything else can wait.
Anything else is just that.

The black tempest.

She may be small, but she’s a little noise machine of fury.

Bird is the word.

autumn-starlings

I’m dedicating January to the birds that come to my garden. I have no exotic varieties, just your average Joes of the bird world but to me they are wonderful and they think I’m great right now as I’ve hung three brand new feeders from my studio in an attempt to encourage more into my little urban garden.

My house is part of a Victorian terrace built by the miners and their families 150 years ago. A descendent lives a few doors up and says that they were built to house the families who kept chickens and grew their food here.

Fast forward a century or so and the city has grown around these houses and the mines have gone. But the wildlife is still here, hanging on and adapting to the pace of life and the endless rain.

Today’s post is in salute to the starlings that frequent my garden. Sleek and noisy little birds. Starlings are wonderful mimics of sound. They will copy what they hear and repeat it back with relish. Well you can imagine that Swansea is a feast for these little flocks of sound machines. From car alarms, mopeds to mobile phones it is never ever quiet around here and these little birds congregate on the telephone lines in the winter and belt out their whistle and chirps.

In deepest January they are most welcome to strip my feeders, tease my chickens and entertain me in my studio to a Swansea mega mix of noise. Demolishing fat balls within ten minutes and then entertaining me with their sound effects.

One summer morning you could hear the noise of a single alarm clock coming from an open window, within seconds, the voices of twenty alarm clocks were ringing out over the rooftops and telephone wires.

Wakey wakey.

Running bean.

There’s magic in drawing. Not sure how it works but it’s made me stop in my tracks today.

I painted this about 15 years ago, long before Gruff was born.

We were tidying up his room today, so we dusted it down and cleaned it up.

We were laughing as he asked me did I paint this for him (as it looks exactly like him right now).

It has always been in his room on his shelf.
I said well how could I?

I loved the idea of a gangly, little boy with messy hair,  running so fast like a cheetah. I like to draw animals, I always have.

Here he is in my house, today. My little running bean who loves to run.

Ghosts of Christmas past.

A little mix of my best bits at Christmas.
I wish you all a peaceful time and remember kindness is always better than a plateful of sprouts.

Christmas spirit

Been laid up ill with flu. That was fun. Somehow it’s now Christmas and I’m in headless chicken panic mode.

Food for thought.

One glass wonder.


A poem I made.

I had some wine,
It went to my head,
And off I went,
early to bed.

Cwtch.

Cwtch is a Welsh word. It means cuddle.
And cats all over the world know exactly what it means when it’s cold and there is a warm lap waiting to sleep in.

Kitchen raid.

I’m under attack from a little, black, permanently ravenous cat.
(Not that she’s been put on a diet by the vet or anything for being a bit chunky).

Halloween 2019

I think the girls out did themselves this year. Evie’s wig was spectacular and Renee worked that Halloween cat vibe like the sassy puss she is. Millie ever resplendent as a 1920’s flapper girl.
(Wondering how long that feather will last with two cats in the house though).

Is it feeding time?

This is emotional blackmail!

Soggy moggy.

Soggy, wet night needs soggy cat cuddles.
wet cat gruff

Have you got everything?

Organised? I laugh in the face of organised and bring you morning anarchy!

Still life.

School photos.

Gruff brought home his school photographs today.
gruff school photo

Twelve years an Evie. The Evie drawing collection.

I’ve just been looking through all my drawings on Doodlemum. There’s so many now. (2285 posts so at least that many drawings so far).  It’s really made me quite proud I’ve kept going.

Anyhow, Evie has now turned twelve so here’s an Evie montage of my beautiful, sassy, fiery book monster!

Enjoy this selection of drawings of her over the years. 

Cat versus cake.

Angie bakes six layers of different coloured sponge cake and leaves them to cool on the kitchen counter.

Renee cat comes along and takes a nibble out of EACH layer.

Calculate:

A) The level of swearing from Angie at the discovery of nibbled cake.

B) The exact percentage of remaining cake.

C) The exact amount of extra buttercream needed to cover the nibbled cake.

D) The amount of tea needed to calm Angie down.

Chuck it in the…

Today is over. That is all. Oh and it rained.

Wait till your daughter gets home. `

In comes the herd of arms, legs. noise, bags and school letters. Remove shoes with a lovely hands free manoeuvre only children can do with carefully bought school shoes.

Some days are longer than others. Some days have seen homework disasters and others brilliantly funny things involving a protractor, a frog and a how so and so from the other class thinks something that is so stupid.

And hit the sofa with a biscuit of triumph.

And Mum’s head spins.

Morning is broken.

There are morning people and there are people who shouldn’t see morning at all.

Storage space.

Sofa furries.

A good book.

It’s autumn, it’s lashing down with rain outside. Curl up with a good book and get lost somewhere.

Knit your own Kitty Puff.

Yes I have the knitting pattern right here. Use for your cats, use for yourself, knit millions and take over the planet with little woollen puffs. Knit kitty puffs, knit chickie puffs, knit lion puffs, raid your wool stash and get knitting.

The pattern is very easy and quick so great for beginners.

You don’t need much materials, a small amount of wool, if you have to change colour half-way through, great, your puff will look even better.
Get an old pillow and take out the stuffing, stuff with some cat-nip for very happy pusses.

The pattern

Cast on 18 stitches.

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: Knit

Row 4 : Purl

Rows 5-20 (repeat rows 1 and 2 8 times)

Row 21 : [K2TOG] across row – 18 stitches

Row 22 : Purl

Row 23 : [K2TOG] across row – 9 stitches

Cut your wool leaving a very long end. Thread the end into a needle and go back through the last 9 stiches left. Pull tight. Face the right sides of your puff together and sew up the seam until you reach the original cast on stitches.

Turn back out so the right sides are facing back out.

Stuff your puff.

Sew up the cast on edge with a running stitch so it creates a flat edge. You can get creative here and try and pull up little ears if you want. Doesn’t matter if your puff looks strange. You cat will still adore it.

Sew on a nose with a different colour wool and a mouth.

Sew on eyes.

Leave somewhere for your cat to stare at it for days until four am in the morning when you will hear the happy yowling of a cat with it’s puff.

March of the kitty puffs.

Just so I’ve kept you in the loop. Renee was adopted by us last year shortly after saying goodbye to her kittens who had also gone off to loving homes.
Renee had just been spayed and was calling for her babies for a few nights before she settled down and enjoyed the life of a pampered, happy puss.

One night, we heard an almighty yowling (similar to an air raid claxon). In she marched with one of Evie’s *kitty puffs in her mouth, gently placed it on the floor and went back to find another one. At this point, we all came to the same conclusion.

We gave her all the puffs we had.


Last nights puff activity was off the chart. Howling galore from Renee. We woke to puffs outside our door, on the stairs, in the sink, in Bonnie’s crate, one even found it’s way inside a wellington boot.

Renee, is now busy sleeping off her antics ready for tonight’s mass movement of puffs.

*Kitty puffs, for your information, are little balls of knitted wool, stuffed with stuffing and have sown on eyes and a nose. They are my idea in response of Evie asking me to knit something fluffy and cute. They come in various colours (whatever is in my stash of wool) and I think I’ve knitted at least over a hundred over the years for various children as they are very cute and totally squidge-able…anyway…I’m digressing….

Little box of happiness.

Evie has a box.

Not just any old box.

It’s a box of happy things.

So when things get bad or sad.

She pulls the box down off the shelf and looks through it.

The box changes throughout the year.

(I think there’s a few conkers in there right now).

Sometimes mum sneaks in some chocolate…

There’s a bar of soap too as it smells lovely.

There’s fluffy and shiny things.

Small things of wonder that when picked up, replace sadness or worry with smiles.

What would be in your box?

You shall not pass.

Good morning.

So Renee and Miya have decided to “allow” Bonnie upstairs.

We didn’t know this was happening as Bonnie would slink off downstairs as we were stirring.

It was a 2am trip to the toilet that they were all rumbled, happily snoozing on the landing.

So my mornings now look like this. I really don’t need an alarm clock and there’s one animal per child to wake up with purrs or licks.

Wet cat…

…coming in from the rain and sitting on my sketchbook! Quite an authentic, collaborative drawing tonight.

Chihuahua!

A soggy, doggy walk in the woods with Winnie the Chihuahua and Sophie the Lab.

Where’s Bonnie?

Climate emergency.


Millie and Evie joined millions of children across the world today to send a message that it is time for a change.
They made their own sign and took an alarm clock to ring out at one o’ clock.
The turnout was wonderful, so many school children came to make their stand for our beautiful planet.
Well done to all the children who protested today.
I hope the world is listening.

Hi.


A drawing a day keeps the cobwebs flowing in my house.
Your inboxes have been a bit empty recently.
Expect it to get very, very busy.

Fridge raider.

Knitted kitties.

I’ve knitted little round cats for my guys to play with but Renee has officially moved in and adopted them as her surrogate “kittens”. I’ve never seen a cat do this before. She’ll call to them, pick them up and distribute them randomly around the house. Some have even found their way in this fine weather, out in the garden.(But they are always brought in for night time). Her favourite is the largest, knitted with a very fluffy wool and with blue eyes.

Changes.

Evie started her transition week for high school today. I remember drawing about her first adventures in school when I first started the blog.

And now there she is off to new ones.

And I’m reaching for the higher strength glasses to draw about it.

Furry little spirit.

Animals find humans who will help them. I’ve had many over the years. From a little sparrow up to a horse and her foal. (I don’t know what I’d do with anything bigger so if there are any elephants reading this, please consider, I live in quite a small house ok?)

Some I’ve saved and some have passed on.

Last night was brief and brutal.

A soggy, trembling wreck slipping away but in a terrible state.

She purred as I picked her up, warmed her up and dried her off.

She’d come to die and we knew it.

Later on the that evening, I went to bed and turned off the lights. One of my cats brushed softly against my legs at the foot of my bed. She had sneaked in (as she does most nights) so I gently laughed and asked her how she’d got in.

I switched on my light to see where she was only to find an empty room.

I think I was being thanked.

A Story.

Once upon a time, there was a magic laundry basket.
Whatever you put in it, would multiply ten fold overnight.
Until a wicked witch stuffed it with Semtex and detonated it.
And then everyone celebrated with gin.
The end.

Musing.

Football with the fur-ball.

Escape.

Renee figured out the cat flap today.

It’s taken her ten months.

I think she’s enjoying the garden and the sun very much.

We all get there in the end.

How was your day?

Spent most of it trying to remove a pair of knickers that got rammed down the vacuum cleaner.

Upside down.

That is the preferred carrying method for this particular madam.

Happy Easter.

Chocolate chickens on the menu for breakfast this morning.

Creativity.

All pva and newspapers here today.

Revision time.

It’s time for GCSE revision. Time to revise for the exams that are looming fast after the Easter holidays. Time to focus on being something in the world that holds weight through a grade.

If you have a young person about to sit exams, remember to cut them some slack over the coming months. They have a lot going on in their heads to deal with and the best thing you can do as a parent is to be that wall for them to bounce off.

And don’t forget to tell them that this isn’t the end of the world, it’s just the beginning. Even if the sun is shining outside and they’re stuck in a stuffy exam hall, it will be over very soon.

Still life.

International Woman’s Day. 2019


I’ve decided that being the looney, grinning, woman I am is quite enough for planet earth to deal with. Be your own person and like yourself for all it’s weirdness and goofiness as that’s what keeps the world interesting and colourful. So massive bollocks to ordinary and hurray to extraordinary. Now go get your shine on (or tea on). Never be afraid to be different, I tell my daughters every day how fabtastic they are for just being themselves and to never apologise for that

A right pair.

Renee and Miya

Our two cats are very different personalities. Miya is the younger, newer addition to our tribe and is very much the extrovert and mischief maker. Renee, however, is not one to be bottom cat in the pecking order and will make sure our new little cheeky puss has the occasional back of her paw.

Doodlemum.

Doodlemum book is six years old now!

Six years ago, a wonderful, extraordinary thing happened. Doodlemum got published in a book. Here you can see my grinning face as I signed my very first book for a friend. It felt wonderful.

So why was it extraordinary? Good question and if you have ever had the time to trawl your way back through the 2250 posts that I had placed drawings onto, you can see my journey from a shell shocked mum who just wanted to tell someone about how boring mopping the floor was.

I started Doodlemum as a way to cope with lots of things, and I still do use it as a means to talk about my funny, ordinary world in my way.

You see, when you write about things in your way, it becomes special. It grows arms and legs, pictures appear and stories happen. You stop caring about what others think and you run with your imagination and your pen.

Not only did my progress as an artist develop but my abilities and confidence did too. At the time I started the blog, I was quite depressed and very sleep deprived, there wasn’t much confidence there.

Today is a very different picture I am drawing, I have confidence in my own abilities but that doesn’t mean I go around shouting about it, I sit down and draw and write (and sometimes I do other extraordinary stuff but that will be a whole other blog that will be coming soon).

So happy book anniversary and please, whatever you do, always grab onto your dreams and if you can, run with them with all that you have because you never know where they will take you and it is always worth the risk.

Departed for adventures.

Gumball decided she was off to bigger pastures this morning. Never nice when they go.

Sunlight.

Bonnie and Renee.

When the sun returns and warms the earth, there is nothing better to do than to feel the new air move through your fur and whiskers. Both black dog and black cat know there is nothing better than sun on warm fur. The other little one is busy half way up a tree, chasing flies.

Who ate all the Jaffa Cakes?

I left some jaffa cakes in my gym bag. Guess who discovered my jaffa cakes?

Music playing in the background is on Spotify (to which I subscribe). It’s called Howl by Jake Houlsby.

Miya’s first outing.

Miya was allowed out for the first time today She took approximately twenty seconds to decipher the cat flap and flew out all guns blazing.
She then flew back in again, and out again, and in again. I have been listening to the sound of my spinning cat flap all afternoon.
Big giant clucky birds are amazing, just, amazing.

Enjoy these videos, my hens were clucking so much I went out and filmed afterwards as I thought you might enjoy meeting Miya.

Oh and by the way, I’ve spoiled us and paid to remove the advertising. Enjoy.

Monday, Monday.

Just absolute chaos.

Headgear.

No mountain too tall for this plucky one…

New year, new kitty.

miya

There was room for one more and boy have we got a little spitfire for you to meet. This is beautiful Miya. She is only just one year old and has been reared from a very young age due to her leaving her mother too young.
Despite that she is a curious, beautiful cuddle monster and given time, will be bumping along with Renee and Bonnie just fine.
Until then, there’s masses of catnip around!

The Moonbeam club.

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We go way back the moon and me. I’ve walked many times in the dark over the years when the moon has been high and bright in the sky.

One night, I walked up the garden in my pyjamas, clutching a howling newborn. The moonlight was a welcome distraction whilst I soothed my little bundle of noise.

Some nights, the sky has been filled with the noise of drunks singing, some nights have been filled with barking dogs and other nights, there was simply the whisper of trees and wind.
One full moon, I heard the shrieks of a tawny owl over a floodlit valley.

I’ve huddled under a bridge while the moon shone, hoping my problems would melt away but it just shone as close as it could to my crouching figure in the shadows.

And one time, I walked in despair, neither caring nor looking and the moon continued to shine.

Last night I walked in the cold, solstice, moonshine and it shone right through me and dog for our whole walk.

I was taking a walk with an old friend you see.

I’m sure there are many people taking a walk tonight to escape this time of year and I hope they find their answers under the moon or at least know they are not alone.
Wishing you all a peaceful time at mid winter. To moonlit nights.

The face.

I can’t eat my food with this little face looking at me.

The tree is up.

New cat, how will this one fare with a nice, sparkly tree?

Answers on a postcard…

Cat bottle.

Here’s to all struggling with winter spew virus. Those who’s washing load just tripled over night because sheets and clothes need incineration. I share your pain and frequent need to scrub your hands in bleach.

May the soothing kitty of purriness ease your woes and may the spew cloud of misery pass soon.

Quick on the draw.

Thought it would be fun to film my blog post today. Enjoy.

Onesie not amused.

Winter is here and we will now commence after school onesie club.

My how you’ve grown.

I wake up in the morning and he’s visibly taller.

Installing Gruff, version 9.0 complete with sword upgrade.

Happy birthday bigger dude, you make me ridiculously proud to be your mum.

Mums break the internet.

This one’s for the mums. We are all bonkers and amazing. Love to all mums doing their best to just get through the day in the hope that tomorrow they will find the floor free of toys and lego. Hold fast.

Turn the up the volume.

Because it’s quite hard to hear the television over all this purring.

Sleeping dogs.

Sneaky blinder.

Elevensess

How on earth did Evie get to be eleven? Time has galloped at breakneck speed and I now have a beautiful, passionate, blue eyed artist with a love of books, drawing and cake.

Happy birthday Evie. Stay fluffy, always.

Bonnie breaks the internet.

I’ve been looking at all my drawings of Bonnie and thought you might enjoy this little selection of her best moments.
Bonnie, the hurricane, the bottomless pit, the legend, my girl. Still ever the wiggle machine and all round stinkpot of love.

Influence.

Evie is writing a list of things she might like for her birthday.

Gruff is making helpful suggestions.

Wondering if shell get a nice, shiny sword is something Gruff might wait a long time to see…

Explosion.

Explosive start to Monday with a vacuum rammed washing basket. You can imagine my sheer joy at working through that. Isn’t this fun? Bet Snow White held those animals at gunpoint to get them to tidy up her bloody cottage.

Evening sun.

It’s just glorious. Low, warm sun to warm the bones and the heart.

Walking up the garden is a bit of a dance to avoid the dewy spider webs that have been ambitiously spun overnight. I’ll leave the lying down to you Bonnie as I’ve had my fair share of garden spiders in my hair today

Barefoot.

I love walking barefoot, it’s a simple pleasure but there’s something about letting your feet feel the earth that soothes me. (Maybe I was a tree in a past life or something).

The ivy in our garden is now flowering profusely and it’s perfume leaves a heady scent in the air.The droning from the hundreds of bees on it is wonderful. I’m glad I didn’t cut it back, it’s an autumnal feast for insects.

Go find some and enjoy the show.

I smell therefore I eat it.

No, please don’t, look before we eat Bonnie.

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