A halt to the cleaning and a start to living

Well I confess that my spring clean has indeed come to a halt.  I did clean the exterior of the kitchen cupboards but that has been the extent of my cleaning since Tuesday.  The living room is on my list today but given that its glorious weather I am not sure that I want to stay in doors today.  

I have learnt that when the weather is glorious in April you embrace it and make the most of it.  As it might be summer.  I well remember the year when we had a very hot April.  Where was I?  Spring cleaning indoors.  By the time I emerged it was raining and we had the bleakest summer after that.  And I was so annoyed with myself for not taking advantage of the spring.  So now I have a rule to enjoy it and as its  likely we will get rain at some point the chores can keep to then.

I have this week been juggling work and looking after the kids.  It can be exhausting but like many things in life it is so much better when the sun is out and the sky is blue.  I am now almost officially on holiday and can relax 100% but looking back at the week this first week of the holiday has had its highlights too.

Overall highlight of the week has been looking after the chickens and pigs at the start of the week.  The pigs if you have read this blog before we are keeping with a couple of friends.  We all take turns to look after them.  Over the holidays though we are the main family at home so we are looking after them lots which is great.  We are also looking after one friend’s chickens a couple of days this week and a couple next week. 

 Now I haven’t got a great history with birds so although I was looking forward to the fresh eggs I wasn’t sure how I would be round the hens themselves.  My history so far with birds includes three incidents with birds getting into our home.  The first was in our flat in Edinburgh when a bird got into our bathroom.  I phoned my husband and demanded he come home when he refused.  I shut the door and left the bird there till he finally came home and used the local public conveniences avoiding the bathroom at all costs.  The second time was here in the Borders and this time the bird came down the chimney at speed and I ran out of the living room at speed.  This time it was a weekend and husband came home quickly.  The third time the bird a very large one came down with a great spray of black dust down the chimney and was not a happy bunny or a happy bird.  Neither were my very small at the time son and I.  The great bird escaped and covered the hall in black ash and as he did so.  My son and I ran from the house out into the street and I confess I grabbed the first person I saw.  Luckily for me I knew him the manager of the local Dryburgh Abbey hotel.  Poor guy had to calm me down come into the house and get the bird out which he did quickly and efficiently.  Leaving me to clear up the mess which included at a later date paying for the hall to be painted!  You may ask where my husband was this time?  Well he was in Carlise christmas shopping with my daughter and at the time of the bird incident they were enjoying a bacon roll for breakfast and laughing at my hysterical behaviour.

So as I say I have not really got a great history of birds so it was with some apprehension that I went into the hen meadow on Monday morning.  But I have to say I fell in love with them and realised very quickly what great little characters they are.  And I love absolutely love picking up the fresh eggs and then cooking them for breakfast.  It won’t stop me screaming my head off if another bird drops down our chimney but it has made me think I rather like looking after chickens.  The pigs are also doing well and love being in their field and love getting their food.  The kids are really enjoying looking after both animals and its great to see them taking on the responsibility.

The animals have been the main highlight of the week.  A second one has been the launch of the 2011 Borders Book Festival which runs from 16th – 19th of June.  As a family we have attended the event almost since it started and its a highlight of the Drane family year.  As bookies my husband and I have brought up two children who love books as they have been read to from babies and one of the great delights we have had in having kids is bedtime stories.  So each year we buy a family pass for one of the days at the festival and the kids just love meeting authors of books they have read and of  books they haven’t.  They particularly like the new authors as they know that means new books for them.  My husband and I also like to attend other events as well.  This year my husband’s work Davidson Chalmers are sponsoring the storytelling tent.  They are going to organise a cycling trip to Melrose on the thursday night and then attend the Mark Beaumont event.  We were in fast this year to book as tickets are selling fast.  My husband also has tickets for Rory Bremner and John Byrne.  As for me I have four  days of books seeing Sarah Brown, Maureen Lipman and attending a Vivian French writing course which I am really looking forward to.  Plus there is a book club event at Mainstreet Trading with Maggie Farrel which is a highlight for me.  So the programme launch each year causes great excitement in the Drane household with our great love of books, the setting of Harmony Gardens and the fact that this means summer is around the corner.

My final highlight of the week was our afternoon outing yesterday.  We caught up with a friend who lives in Midlem.  They have recently got a cocker spaniel pup and we thought it would be good to introduce her to our cocker spaniel.  It was both hilarious and heartwarming to see the two dogs play.  They hit if off straight away and they rolled and chased for the first hour or so.  It was a sunny spring day so we walked over the fields to the family farm to see the newly born lambs and watch the kids jump off hay.  And as we walked back to Midlem with the Cheviot hills in the distance and two of our boys in great chat wandering behind us.  I thought that one I was in a surreal Enid Blyton novel and was loving it.  But more importantly I realised that this is what childhood is about.  Not TV games, Nintendo’s and the like but days spent out doors having fun with animals, pets and your friends and feeling as if the day has just gone on forever.

So its been a week of juggling and working at funny times.  I am glad to say that in a few hours I will be on my holiday as I go to Melrose and watch the vets tournament in the sun.  We are not going away but staying here and on days like this there is nowhere that I would rather be than here at home in the Scottish Borders. 

Have a great weekend and if you are stuck for ideas of things to do. Its the Melrose 7’s tomorrow, there is mountain biking at Glentress or cycle the quiet roads of the Borders.  Walk along the Tweed and take in the stunning river or meander round Kelso or Peebles.  But what ever you do get outside.  Take my advice from someone who learnt that lesson the hard way.   The good weather might not be here to stay so enjoy it while it’s here. 

PS. Can’t promise I will blog next week trying to have a laptop free week but I wil be back week of the 18th.  With more tales of family life in St Boswells in the beautiful Scottish Borders.  And to one of the readers of this blog a huge blog hug.  She is about to have her first baby.   I’m thinking of you three lots and so excited for you.  A great time of the year to be born.


About fionadranesblog

40 plus mum of two married with a mad cocker spaniel. Along with two colleagues run Bright Light Marketing a rural marketing agency who specialise in getting rural businesss noticed. www.brightlightmarketing.co.uk. Live in St Boswells in the wonderful Scottish Borders. Love books, walking and living life to the full here in the Scottish Borders though its sometimes a juggle!
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