WITH RAIN STILL ON SPEAKING TERMS - KINGSTON MAURWARD GARDENS

Friday, July 3

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We had some seriously dangerous amounts of rain that day dedicated to accompany us everywhere it could possibly enter. Geared with umbrellas and raincoats my feet craved something more summer-y so silly and irresponsibly of me my beloved ballerinas came along. I'm not afraid to be the only odd one for most occasions. This post should really have started as Once upon a half term... because the memory of that time is beginning to shift away by days but this bunch of photos is totally worth talking through. So please do hold the umbrella upright as there are masses of water dribbling from all around because yes, it rained. As it was for most of the spring over here. I still haven't overcome that fact. Or the ballerinas' stench ;).

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 Kingston Maurward Gardens is a place to do the many things one likes - wander for hours in any weather, spot the colours outgrowing the stone, play hide-and-seek and Come back, I can't see you, Nadia all way back to the neatly cut bushes and benches under wisteria trees. There are animals too, lazily chewing the grass and making good impressions on photographs, but wisteria... it's following my tracks like a beloved puppy and looks exactly the same with any kind of background. A whole June my eyes refused to blink at passing the bunch while making mental notes of its meandering arrangement. There's this house on our way to school I've been meaning to possess internally - the way wisteria branches entwine red bricks and the arch of the front door gives me shivers. Or maybe it's just the chill in the air, I'm not tempted to find out. So having it staring straight in my face the entire visit was like a dream so enjoy it with me like the best image with a likes-boosting filter.

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►► New fascinations start early - girls and their apps
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As you walk further into the unknown and probably had a light snack already, the sky is cut out into a dated house with a fish pond decorated with water lilies and reflection of sun in the green hand-finished pool. Rain stopped and took far off for the afternoon so we simply lingered around smelling flowers, crumbling crackers and counting fish untroubled for their lifetime. There was a lake at the bottom of the hill with a swan occupying its silent surface half out of sight behind the tall grass. Back to the pond we made time for the necessary - taking it all in by handfuls, staring dreamily in the luminous clouds and Nadia's deep red jacket playing around with joy. Outside world didn't exist, not a single object drew us away from the privacy of secluded garden and its cold stone. Not a soul was around due to the unpredictability of weather, later there was a family following our footsteps but for the most part it was all ours. To breathe in, to memorize, to daydream.

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P.S. Thank you so much for all your votes! You are better than organic peanut butter! If you could please take a second and do it again today it would be great. Just awesome. xx

LIFE LATELY HONESTLY

Wednesday, July 1

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Hi, hello, how are you? Have you noticed I was busy? Nothing out of ordinary, nothing drastically life changing - just house hunting, job altering, planning more and not settling with anything just yet. Occasionally we feel at peace but we won't go crazy with it being so ready for things to get shaken and make impact. Just over a month ago it was all about life lived the way we're used to, today it's not new to me to wake up and think of five different things to transition our lives into before breakfast. Sometimes I feel it's the impact of literature I immerse myself in or deep conversations with troubled friends that steer me excitedly into things most people don't even tend to overhear. Yes, I've been absent from this space and missed it greatly before I realized leaving it altogether is not a thing I'd be happy with. I like it here just as much as I like it elsewhere and as a loyal pet I'll come back hurriedly after a day in the wild. Because it has been wild indeed, with trips and days indoors, mind stretched out to its borders. But I'll take it, this life full of unpredictable and inconvenient just as I soak up the delightful.

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 These past few weeks the weather was trying hard and today finally I am wearing a skirt and a short sleeve top. No cardigan present, no thick fabric in sight. Just the hope it continues that way so I can get a chance to carry the shopping bag instead of anything more with me. We ventured the coast which is neither nicer in the summer as it is any other time (maybe just on days full of sunshine). Its mysterious beauty excites alike, maybe a little more now as there's less breeze and on recognizing what's behind the horizon one really enjoys the view. School finishes at 3.15 pm and instead of heading home we tend to linger on the beach. I'm guilty of replacing phonics and syllable spotting with sand castles and dirty toes. I'm well aware of following the wrong suit with such ease no teacher should know about yet the sun is not here to stay, unpredictable are the ways of its behaviour so let us settle a camp near the water just for another month. I promise to reach for the first book in our sight the minute open toes are meaningfully covered.

We take my friend Aga along with us on most days, she's just as crazy over being in the open as we are and want more of. Like minded people are the main ingredient in my daily dish, add the flavoured coffee and it's not only necessary to keep in touch, it's simply delicious too.

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 I'm full of hope this first therefore most important tooth will fall out sooner than later. Nadia has been witnessing the drama and excitement over her friends' experiences with newly emptied gums wishing for it to happen to her. Not for a long time did she reach the stage but once the day arrived, it was more than festive, that's for sure. I think that's the only time in human history one is awaiting losing their teeth, it will not be that fun in years to come. Anyway, all the kids knew about it, probably had a go at checking its wobbliness but because of not much progress in this matter, the moods have been far from pleasing. It sits there on the bottom of the jaw without a care in the arrangements made with the Tooth Fairy and no intention to part, sad and partly involved in the chewing. And for me this is another reason to believe time speeds along while we're not watching, stops for a second to remind of itself and is never seen again in beloved form. Because milk teeth, they have just showed up, no?

Proud mama moment - Nadia's school report says 'her drawings are excellent and she has a talent for this' - well, she lives and breathes holding a crayon. She also said 'I think that I am good at writing because I can write my name!' Definitely, that's where it starts! Isn't being almost six a great age? Being up to so many things in a day alone is crazy -- memorizing songs, mastering the grip of a pencil, being great at dribbling football and understanding more each day. We do not socialize massively which I regret at times but I want to do it more. For us, for Nadia to have the opportunity to learn how adults interact with each other while having fun. And eating lots of empty calories.

Making attempts to trim this hair with the help of You, uncle Tube. When your favourite hairdresser is in the process of messing his life up, you hold on to the last split end like a desperate. But we're easily adaptable to new lengths and styles a parent would not necessarily splurge on even with a blow dry.

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 When it comes to things I admire Damian being great at, there are only few I love more than him showing me how to achieve them. Because his patience levels are low and eye rolling allowance insane so when I asked him to become my driving instructor the hell gates literally opened and I got myself into a big, marriage shaking trouble. Yes, he's great, the best driver I had a chance to speed through narrow roads and fast motorways but is this a healthy arrangement? Is embracing the occasional grumble a way to master the skills? Sometimes a short drive to work is just about I could handle in one day so let's just leave it at this. I've pulled those hell's door open voluntarily after all ;)

 I was reading too. Because there is a great battle in me over reading and writing and when this or that title shows up, I am lost for days. Between Jane Bowles and Orwell's invigorating realms I'm still grateful for subscribing to Blogger's feed for checking my favourite blogs. You see, if one works with words, one ought to inject them accordingly from all sources available. I turn to classic and recent publications. I certainly wouldn't be able to eat and sleep only.

And an act of recognition at work with an exceptional motivational speaker in the presence of Danny Crates, Paralympic Champion whose life is more inspirational than half of the books I read at lunch time.

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Another season and I dreamily think of the chocolate tan I would love to sport without the pain of going through the pink phrase but instinctively know there is this rebel in me showing two thumbs up while I pass the sun lotions aisle at a great speed. Because it's still too early to slap it on and I'm generally covering my skin well, right? The sun will always take the lead and some seriously hot afternoons later sun spots, tan lines and general discoloration will emerge sooner or later. Nailart appears too, studied all winter, happy to be shown off and chipped regularly.

And... one afternoon after school I took Nadia to a supermarket as we were needing nothing really. Just something for an early dinner that ingredient list was of a slight concern but still edible the next day. As we walked past the lottery counter and never being overly lucky in this department I sort of really tried hard not to expect too much letting Nadia choose the numbers. She obliged with ease and proceeded with opening the juice pouch. Low-key fortune seekers we are. Believe me or not but here I am, a week later without an idea if we have won or the universe just teasing us with all the accidental clues and meanings. But before I check it, I'll make sure we have loads to be grateful for. Or am I taking these things too seriously? Have a great day peeps, there's nothing like summer when it's due. xx

DIY WRAPPING PAPER

Wednesday, June 17

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 We’re having some serious activities going on right now. Like always paper is involved and schedules skipped but the result is worth the engagement. Whenever there is a birthday season approaching we brainstorm unusual ideas just so we have enough fun before the party as we allow ourselves right when it's due. The personal touch is always remembered so this time our project made for easy arrangement and only asked for a few supplies to be finished in no time. A simple design goes a long way and painting watermelons couldn't be more appropriate this time of the year but I guess any image would be fun. So we painted using one big potato to be our stamp and a hero. And then we wrapped the gift and waited for the big day. Nadia was pretty chuffed with the design it might be her new after school thing - great for the soul but hard for the carpet nonetheless we managed to keep the splashes to a minimum. Daddy didn't notice so no point searching for evidence. 

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►► Awaiting excited arms to be held into




I THINK THE FOREST AND THE LAKE MIGHT BE OUR FAVOURITE NEW COMBINATION

Thursday, June 11

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The amount of free leaflets to be taken and studied as one pleases around here is unbearable for a local, let alone a sun-burnt tourist. You find them everywhere - at favourite lounge, library shelf, souvenir shop, haven't checked my local greengrocer's yet but I'm nearly there so watch for updates. One is obliged to pick up a few and make an effort to commit on visiting. Every now and again and most reasonably on Nadia's days off school, the shuffling of leaflets begins. Decision is mostly made on our preferences, the weather promises and generally this formula has never failed us. The trick is to go for the factors appealing to the three of us (me, my friend and Nadia) - a space to roam free and unsupervised as a 5 year old would advise, a seated area providing light snacks and reasonably brewed drink and an indoor dated space breathing history and indicating 'do not touch' or 'ask for assistance'. Anything else is a bonus or a great obstacle we don't mind winning over.

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 So towards the end of half term my motorized friend and us girls decided to visit Blue Pool, place of a great wild beauty situated only an hour away from the civilization. A great space for all sorts of explorations and girlie talks. We chose to follow the red, less rugged path with no chance to skip on activities such as looking for squirrels and woodpeckers cleverly hidden in branches for kids to find and exchange for certificate. The lake was the prettiest thing we saw, changing colour according to the light preference making everyone stop and gasp intermittently. The day was warm with occasional wind and if I didn't put the sunscreen on I'm sure I'd end up expanding on my freckles collection. We're used to hiking for miles so it was not a burden to rely on our two feet and nice footwear, me carrying anything essential for making this escapade worthwhile for our lot. I admired the greenery and abundance of flowers taken care of the way I imagine doing with my garden one day. There is always a plan to a wild arrangement, a method of plants existing together but appearing accidental. My way of pleasing the eye.

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 Nadia spotted a little play area which gave me and my friend a chance to sit and submerge in a conversation about hair conditioning and preparing it for summer holiday. You know, regular topics that spark interest in the middle of the forest or in a cafè full of exciting chatter. After we left the park the only understandable direction to take in unison was a place to eat and indulge in a good caffeine intake. We found this historic restaurant with original wooden ceiling beams and a dated fireplace adding this fantastic touch of relaxing and familiar. We ordered a vegetable bruchetta with a side salad and a plate of fries for Nadia to find out they were closing and our anticipation for coffee turned into disappointing grunting. But we're easily pleased so heading home for some dinner leftovers wasn't a bad option. Not for our already satisfied with the escapade minds.
Happy mid-week friends! x 

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