Monday, 17 May 2010

Wow! It's like Barn Buddy in real life!

That's what Second Born exclaimed when I told him I planned to break the habit of a lifetime and actually try to grow some vegetables this year. (If you don't know what Barn Buddy is, then good for you! I strongly recommend you keep it that way. And Jess? I chased away some raccoons and squirted some bugs for you. You're welcome.)

Anyway, I decided to take a gamble that we had seen the last of the frost in Edinburgh and I planted some lettuce seeds and some courgette seeds. I was slightly concerned that the cats might just follow me round the garden and dig them right back up again - you know how cats can't resist freshly dug soil. However, some of the seeds appear to be actually, you know, growing! Look!

Those miniscule little spots of green are going to be lettuce when they grow up. Provided Zyra doesn't roll on them. Again. I also planted garlic a while back and it seems to be holding up reasonably well too,......

........given it is kind of in the cats' regular route from the area where they lie around in the sun outdoors to the area where they lie around out of the sun indoors. It is a hard life being a cat. So much territory to cover, defend and sleep on. (PS Do you think I need to cut the grass out there?)

When I was out taking these photos, Bellus came out onto the back doorstep to supervise operations and assumed his most regal position, sitting upright on the step with his tail tucked neatly around his paws, nose in the air and eyes half-closed, the embodiment of inscrutable wisdom. I took a photo of that too. See?

Cats. Motto: Never cooperate when you can scarper and ruin a good photo instead.

In other news, First Born has decided, entirely off his own bat, that he will attend the Primary 7 end of year dance. This is the social event that had me choking on my tea when I read the letter about it from school. The letter that asked us very nicely not to send our children to the dance in stretch limos, as they cause traffic jams.



Seriously??????!!! FB is 12. He has to be marched at gunpoint to the bathroom to take a shower and his idea of fun is four hours of building Lego empires followed by chasing his brother round the garden with a water pistol. I had been thinking of maybe buying him new trousers for the occasion. I was no more thinking of hiring a stretch limo than I was of sending FB to the ball in a pink tutu. I clearly need a bit of a reality adjustment. But oh how I wish I didn't.

In any event, he is going, and of his own free will which is good. FB, with all of his issues, finds social situations a bit tricky and I would not have wanted to force him to go. That he wants to go is a relief. Mind you, I think the main reason he wants to go is that he gets a new bow tie. FB is a sucker for bow ties. If I would let him, he'd wear the new tie (black silk with geometric-y purple and white pattern, since you ask) AND carry the very realistic fake pipe he bought with his pocket money. He took some persuading that this might be a wee bit over the top. As would braces and a tweed jacket. He basically wants to go to his dance dressed as Doctor Who. This is not going to get him a date.

Did I mention they all ask girls to be their partners to the dance? My insides turned over when I heard this. Husband and I have spent 12 years protecting FB from aspects of the big wide world he finds difficult. We are trying very hard to teach him now how to deal with the tricksy, slippery field of human social interaction by himself. This development however is a biggie. Ideally what Husband and I would like is to be made invisible so we can stand behind the girl in question and, as FB asks the question, whisper menacingly into her ear "Be NICE to our little boy!!" So if any of you have managed to invent invisibility over the weekend and haven't announced it yet, please let me know. There could be macaroon bars in it for you.

What else? Saturday was scorching hot and we had a barbeque in the garden which was lovely. Sunday started out grey, cloudy, misty and rainy as I headed off in the early(ish) morning to Musselburgh to volunteer at the Edinburgh Marathon. I had to take refuge from one of those sudden cloudbursts which are so heavy you are convinced the rain is going to leave little dents in your skull. And then it cleared up again and was scorching all over again. I realised that whilst I had remembered sunscreen, I had forgotten a hat so ended up with a sunburned scalp where the parting of my hair is. That really hurts, in case you have never done it.

Volunteering was as much fun and just as exhausting as ever. I was on my feet and on the go from 8am until after 4pm. The latter part of the day was spent manning the part of the finish line where the last member of the 4 person relay teams came through. The runner of the last leg had to collect 4 medals, one for each team member, and 4 goodie bags. With t-shirts in them for each team member. Ever tried to ask an exhausted, sweaty, dehydrated, disorientated bloke what size of shirts he thinks his three female team mates take? The look of desparate panic was heart-rending. I think he would rather I had poked him in the eye than try to answer that question. I took pity: "Take 3 mediums. You can't go wrong with mediums". He just about fainted in gratitude. Or it might have been heat exhaustion. Hard to tell.

It was great fun and I will almost certainly do it again next year. I'll just remember the hat next time.


  1. I would love to see FB dressed as Dr. Who for the dance.

    As the mother of a same-aged daughter, I promise that I will teach her (and her younger sister) to be nice to boys.

  2. I had the same problem with Daughter 1 - she was a bit eccentric and I was desperate for people to be nice to her. And then she acquired an admirer for the sixth year dance and then a boyfriend in first year of uni, now her husband. Hope all goes well with FB - and I'm sure he'd like a stretch limo!

    You're doing the Race for Life? Well done! I shall sponsor you as soon as my technical advisor gets back to do it for me.

    Why am I not marking scripts? On, on.

  3. Hee! Dang raccoons!

    Make sure you take pictures! Hopefully your boy will stand still better than the cats!

    Oh, I would have LOVED a stretch limo when I was in junior high. (Ahem.) That doesn't mean R or C is going to get one, though!

    Seriously, a STRETCH LIMO?

  4. Further to Isabelle's comment, I would point out that if my husband is anything to go by, a desire to dress like Doctor Who does not stop you getting girls once you get to university. Come to think of it, his hair was distinctly like the current incumbent's too.

    Today I saw a book called "Chicks Dig Time Lords" - should I buy it for FB so he can wave it at prospective dance partners? (It's actually about female Doctor Who fandom and possibly not really suitable for twelve-year-olds.)