Finding lost toys

My son went through a phase of being utterly obsessed with dinosaurs.  It actually helped a bit with his speech – once you’ve managed to pronounce pteranodon, ankylosaurus, brachiosaurus etc, you’re well on the way to being able to talk like a normal person.

For ages, my son’s favourite dinosaur was Tyrannosaurus Rex.  He took him everywhere and sometimes slept with him.  This creates a problem – toys that get left in random places are often toys that you can’t find.  Although, my son is less attached to this one, particular, bit of molded plastic, it really bugged me that we couldn’t find it.  It wasn’t in the cupboards.  It wasn’t in the dinosaurs-and-other-creatures box.  It wasn’t in the drawers in his bedroom and it wasn’t next to the bath.

I ended up finding it in a random bag of stuff somewhere in the living room.  I was extremely pleased about this but I don’t think he was all that bothered.

Tyrannosaurus Rex died out 65 million years ago
Tyrannosaurus Rex died out 65 million years ago
Tyrannosaurus Rex with a load of his dinosaur mates
Tyrannosaurus Rex with a load of his dinosaur mates – although neither pteranodon nor elasmosaurus were, technically, dinosaurs

The Tyranny of Mr Maker

The other day, my children were watching Mr Maker.  If you’ve never seen it, it’s basically a dude who goes to various places and makes different crafty things within a one minute time limit (I think it is one minute).  I am sure that he is delightful, and his job is my idea of hell, but it does mean that my son now wants to actually make the stuff featured.

We usually don’t have any of the stuff Mr Maker uses to make the things (brown paint? stick-on circles? ha, ha, ha) but some of the things can be made with a cardboard box, kitchen foil and pritt stick.

My son was pleased with this
My son was pleased with this

My husband ended up making this boat with my son and I think they were both really pleased with it.

Daisies

Daisies are a plant that gets ignored.  Unless you have children or are “into making daisy chains” (why would you be?) then they tend to be a thing you don’t notice.

However, a lot of daisies clumped together look terrific.

It's really difficult to take an impressive photo of daisies but these were beautiful
It’s really difficult to take an impressive photo of daisies but these were beautiful

I know that scarifying the lawn improves the grass but it also takes out the daisies (and buttercups and clover).  Which is a pity.

Kipferl

The other day, I went to Kipferl for brunch with my husband.  He ended up having sausages, pickles and sauerkraut while I had spinach dumplings.  I’ve only been to Austria to ski (and to get to Bratislava from Vienna airport) but I think I would like Vienna a lot.

Kipferl
Kipferl – they want to Remain in Europe
I didn't have any cakes this time
I didn’t have any cakes this time – but these look delicious

I think this is the first time I’ve noticed any posters about Europe in the shops.  Perhaps it makes sense that the owners of Kipferl want Britain to remain in the EU.

Cow parsley

I’ve noticed that all the cow parsley is out.  I absolutely love this stuff – I was once in a garden centre, contemplating buying a pot and the husband of another woman there was horrified.  “It’s a weed!” he said.  “It grows on the sides of roads!”.  She told me that he was a farmer and that explained it.

As with a lot of things, I think Kew Gardens did it best.  This looks exquisite.

Cow parsley
Cow parsley

Rereading books

So I’ve finished the Chrysalids and Day of the Triffids.  Although I remember reading the Chrysalids and loving it, I think there must have been a lot that I didn’t pick up on at the time – perhaps I was too young.  I won’t go into detail because it is such a good book – if you like that sort of thing, you should definitely read it.

The Day of the Triffids was good but perhaps a bit more patchy than the Chrysalids.  The beginning was fantastic but I found the ending far less interesting.

Kew Gardens

Yesterday, we went to Kew Gardens.  I love it here, despite it being as far from my house as you can get while still being in London.  It’s tidy, there’s no dogshit, there are no weeds.  It’s brilliant.

One thing I love about it is it shows what a plant will look like when it’s really mature.  Very few gardens are old enough that they show this.

These are actually holly - you can't tell until you're up close
These are actually holly – you can’t tell until you’re up close
Tree avenue
Tree avenue

Every now and then I think that it would be amazing to have a load of rhododendrons.  However, they take a while to get really big.

Mature rhododendrons
Mature rhododendrons
Immature rhododendrons
Immature rhododendrons
Pond
Pond
Pond
Pond

One plant I noticed in particular was this cotoneaster.  I tend to think of this as a supermarket plant (although I do have a couple) but this really was spectacular.  It’s surprising how lovely an “ordinary” plant can be.

Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster

My daughter particularly liked hiding behind trees and going off path.  It’s a good place to take kids, as long as the weather is nice.

There are some good spots to hide in
There are some good spots to hide in