Poo

The other day Kal mentioned that I refer to poo rather a lot.  This is, to be fair, true.  I just seem to encounter dog poo wherever I go – plus my daughter’s nursery is right next to one of the few parks in Islington where people are allowed to let their dogs off the lead.  The streets around it are covered in dogshit.

I think this is a good time to mention this book.  It’s basically a science book for kids and tells you things like why poo is brown and why dogs eat other animals’ poo.  My old A Level Biology teacher told me that they didn’t eat poo and that I must know some very strange dogs – but actually, there is a proper, scientific reason for dogs eating poo.

You need this book
You need this book

It’s more detailed than the book about Microbes so we’re reading a few pages every night.

 

Compost bin at the end of November

The pumpkins have rotted down nicely and I ended up putting a load of leaves that I picked out the herb patch into the compost bin.  They’ll need a few green things on top but that should be okay.

Compost bin.
Compost bin

It’s unlikely that much will happen to the compost over the next few days / weeks.  I am told (by my Mum) that it is going to be cold this week.  I’ve had a look at the BBC weather app and today it is meant to be 0C (32F) at 9am in London and tomorrow it is meant to be -3C (27F) at 9am.  Woohoo!  The new down parka was not a total waste of money!

It is also going to be cold in the IoW but it isn’t going to get below freezing (because it almost never does here).

Nature walks

When I was younger, I used to read quite a lot of Enid Blyton, particularly the Malory Towers and St Clare’s books.  Something they used to refer to occasionally was “nature walks” – as in, “make her go on a long, muddy nature walk!”.  I think the aim of this exercise was to turn whichever hapless victim of appalling bullying wet lettuce into an overall Good Egg.  I have no idea what they actually saw on these nature walks but Malory Towers was in Cornwall so it is possible that they did see a few things.  I don’t think that was the point of the books.

Anyway, we went on a nature walk on Saturday – well, my husband and I walked and the children went on their bikes – my son can ride a pedal bike and my daughter rode her balance bike (handed down from my son).

Nature walk!
Nature walk!

It wasn’t hopelessly muddy (although there were a few puddles) and we had nice, stout walking shoes.

Riverbank.  The children were very interested in the reeds.  My son walked through a swampy bit and got swan poo all over his shoes
Riverbank. The children were very interested in the reeds. My son walked through a swampy bit and got swan poo all over his shoes

Christmas cards

On Thursday evening, I wrote out my Christmas cards.  I know it’s really early but we’re now past Thanksgiving so it isn’t obscene.

Cards and address book
Cards and address book

This year I rather did a cull of my card list.  This is something I’ve always resisted but I realised that I was sending out nearly 120 cards (insane and unsustainable level of wifework).  So people I haven’t seen or heard from in over 5 years aren’t getting a card – this is against the spirit of Christmas, I know.

As it is, I’m sending 62 cards within the UK and 7 overseas.

Stamped and ready to go
Stamped and ready to go

The thing is, I really want to just put them in the post now but don’t want them to arrive before 1 December (even that is a bit early).  Perhaps I’ll post them on Tuesday.  Or perhaps today.  I use second class stamps (why does second class exist?  I can’t work it out) so they should take a bit longer to arrive.

Yes, I read this.  I am middle aged.
Yes, I read this. I am middle aged.

Microbes!

There’s a thing in the Spike about norovirus.  I am generally quite interested in microbes (there are more microbes in a handful of soil than there are people on Earth) and absolutely love this book.

You need this book.  Everyone needs this book
You need this book. Everyone needs this book

Basically, it is a child-appropriate book about microbes and my son, in particular, thinks it is wonderful.  In fact, he is due to give a presentation to his class in a week’s time and he is going to talk about microbes.

This is a paramecium.
This is a paramecium

It’s a bit of a fine line, children’s projects.  You do need to help a five year old a bit but it still have to be their own work.  In doing the picture above, my son had quite a lot of direction but did 70% of the cutting out, glueing and colouring himself.  I have no idea whether that is about right for this sort of thing.

Planting for next year

I don’t have a whole lot to report.  It’s been an uneventful few days.  I’ve taken my kids to school and preschool and picked them up from school and preschool.  I’ve reported a LOT of dogshit to the council.  And I’ve admired the piles of fallen leaves on the streets.

Another thing that I particularly admired was this bit of planting.

Cabbages and primroses
Cabbages and primroses

It doesn’t come across all that well in the photo but this is actually a rather precise bit of planting.  I absolutely love ornamental cabbages but can’t grow them myself (because SLUGS).

Christmas markets

Yesterday we took our daughter to the Christmas market in Leicester Square. In the past, we’ve always gone to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park but that is a bit problematic.  The rides pretty much all require that the people on them are at least 1.3m tall, which my son isn’t.  Plus it’s big, expensive and reeeeeaaaallllly far away.

They’re a funny thing, Christmas markets in London.  I have never been to one where it hasn’t been raining.  I’m sure that, in Germany, Christmas markets are magical.  Here, they’re sort of soggy.

The Christmas market in Leicester Square
The Christmas market in Leicester Square
They have some lovely stalls.
They have some lovely stalls.
And Christmas trees
And Christmas trees
Plus we went for dim sum beforehand
Plus we went for dim sum beforehand