Reading materials

Now that my son is halfway through the Planet Exis series (basically a set of Sci Fi books for young children), I’ve been looking out for some other things he might enjoy.  I ended up getting a couple of recommendations on Mumsnet – Beast Quest and Dirty Bertie.

Beast Quest

They don’t look very “worthy” but perhaps that doesn’t matter just yet.

Although, there was a thing in the Sunday Times about how the head of Kings College Wimbledon has banned books that he thinks are crappy from the school library and has put 300 books in each year 7 classroom.  I had a google and they actually have a list of books that they recommend to the boys (aged between 11 and 13).  Having a look through it, I am rather wreathed in shame – I thought I was well read but perhaps not as well read as these boys who have only just entered their teens.  Perhaps I’ll start reading from that list.  Just as soon as I finish Fatherland.

Children’s wardrobe staples

Now that it is Spring and I’ve had a clear out of the children’s wardrobes, I thought it was probably time to stock up on some of the things that they wear most often.

My son, in fact, had lots to wear (mostly from Landsend) so I haven’t bought anything new for him.  This T shirt doesn’t count as it was back ordered as part of a shop last month.  He had an anglerfish T shirt last year which is now miles too small – however, he still asks for it so here is its replacement.

Anglerfish T shirt

I bought a few things for my daughter.  She is still wearing age 2 leggings and some of them are starting to look a bit washed out.  So I got her a bunch of age 3 ones.

Leggings from Next

There are a lot of things that Next do that I don’t like – basically anything with writing on the front.  However, from time to time, they do some nice, basic stuff.  So that is what I bought.

Denim dress and white cotton top from Next

My daughter also really likes the short sleeved pointelle T shirts from Boden. I bought three of those in the sale.  I also bought a “skort”, which seems to be a skirt with shorts underneath.  She will either LOVE it or find it annoying.

Boden haul

Lastly, she appears to have lost a really thin fleece, which was a super useful bit of kit and which used to belong to my son.  I have looked and looked for it (and got quite ratty while doing so) and it was nowhere to be seen – it’s probably under a hedge.  So I ordered these.

Didriksons monte fleece

The dark lilac was available in height 100cm but they’d run out of the 110cm ones so I bought the pink billow in that size.  The 110 one is being returned – although it is quite pretty, my daughter will cover anything that pale in spaghetti sauce and it will spend its life in the wash.  When she needs it, I’ll get her a 110 cm one in a plain, dark colour.

Time to get to work on the garden

We’re nearly in April so it is time to sort out my garden.  I didn’t have stacks of time last weekend (the clocks went forward and it was Mother’s Day) so we only sorted out the herb garden.  I had a few things that have died (a thyme and a basil from last year), a couple of things that just needed the dead wood cut back (the mace and, surprisingly, the tarragon) and a few things that needed to be planted.


I put in a fennel, a coriander and a lemon thyme (the last of these doesn’t do all that well in my garden – possibly it is too damp – but my husband often asks for it when he is cooking so I live in hope).  The coriander won’t outlive the summer but that is okay.

I am surprised that the parsley and the tarragon have survived.  I had thought that the tarragon had died but new shoots seem to be coming up from the ground (not weeds I think – I squished a couple of leaves and they did seem quite herb-y).  The parsley seems happy enough.

The rosemary is a bit pale – I hope that it will get darker over the summer.  Perhaps it is in slightly too shady a spot.

The chives that I moved over from the front have come up and are looking okay.  The oregano is big – my husband asked whether it needs cutting back (yes, probably).

When it becomes available, I could probably do with some chervil and angelica for the really shady bit.  The garden centre didn’t have any.

In another spot, I planted some more lemon thyme and some Greek oregano.  The lemon thyme may not survive but the oregano will grow to be a delicious giant.

The news

I’m sure that you will all have seen the news about the terror attack in Westminster a couple of days ago.

I’m not going to write about this – the news keeps changing and anything I write will be out of date or just plain won’t do it justice.  I’m sure that lots of far better, more articulate, people will produce newspaper articles and columns on it and I will read them.

London is looking really beautiful at the moment.  Spring has sprung and the City of London is full of blossom.  I’m sure that Westminster is too.

I took this photo from the upper deck of the 56 bus


The other weekend, there was a stabbing on Upper Street.  A seventeen year old survived but a 28 year old died.  We were away at the time (we were in the IoW) but the police have come round to see everyone on our street.  There’s a memorial to the man who died on Milner Square.

Milner Square

A few days ago, I heard that the mum of a school friend has just died.  I hadn’t seen her for years but I am still sad about it.  I’ll write to her husband this weekend.

Piano tuning

This week I got my piano tuned.  Quite fun this, you get to see the inside of the piano.  Plus, it wasn’t anything like as noisy as I’d expected it to be.

Here are the piano’s innards

Thankfully, the man who came to tune it confirmed that yes, it definitely had needed tuning (my husband had thought I’d got him in a bit too early).

Now that he’s been, I can hear the difference.  I’ve done an hour of practise – my piano teacher has given me stacks of homework.

Packable PrimaLoft Jacket from Landsend

The other day, I noticed that my son’s (non school) jacket was looking a bit short.  So I ordered another one in the next size up.

This one

It was £40, which does seem really expensive – I often think that somewhere other than Landsend must do something very similar for far less.  Maybe Uniqlo?  However, the thing is, this jacket is exactly right.  In the past, it has been listed on the website as suitable down to 5C, provided that it is worn with a typical winter wardrobe.  It is reasonably loose so my son can wear a fleece or jumper underneath.  Plus, he likes the colour.

Meh.  It’s the item of clothing that gets the most wear (apart from shoes and school uniform) so it’s worth getting the version that the boy likes.

I had a discount code so that I got a tenner off an orders over £40.  I ended up getting this henley top at the same time (so it was free, more or less).

My daughter also wears a girl’s version of this jacket – thankfully her jacket still fits her fine.