Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Learning Curve.

This week P has finally mastered the art of catching fish with the little wooden fishing rod in the magnetic fishing game his grandparents gave him. This produced rapturous applause from both his doting parents, and he now spends every spare minute picking up the fish (and occasional other metallic objects) one by one with the magnet on the end of the string and then clapping himself.

Unfortunately, however, not all his new skills are quite so entertaining, at least for us.

Last week he learned to climb the stairs. After weeks of only wanting to walk up them like an adult (and hence trying to raise his foot nearly to shoulder height trying to get it onto the next step) he suddenly realised he could crawl up them, and that was that. Unfortunately his approach to getting down again is still to walk blithely off the top and hope for the best, so this new discovery means ever greater vigilance on our parts, to make sure he doesn't get the opportunity.

This week he learned to climb other things. Primarily the changing box in the bathroom (from which he seems to think he can get onto the toilet lid and hence probably out of the window), and our bed. The latter wouldn't be too much of a problem if it wasn't for the fact that, once there, he has learned to stand up and bounce up and down on the mattress - a fine game until he bounces off the end and onto the floor head-first.

And then, to cap it all he has learned how to turn switches on and off. Mostly off. Mostly the switch on the socket where I have the hoover plugged in when I am using it. Apparently nothing is as hilarious as watching me sprint from one end of the room to the other and frantically try to hoover a couple of inches of floor before the thing dies again. Hours of fun!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Hanging about.

After a year of having this lovely swing (given to P by my sister) and lamenting the fact that we didn't have a tree in the back garden to hang it from, we suddenly twigged (if you'll pardon the pun) this week that there is the perfect tree right opposite the front door.

Problem solved!

Orange Squash (FO)

About 200 years ago I accepted a small commission from my sister to knit a pumpkin-shaped hat for the offspring of a friend of hers, expected this summer. I don't usually agree to commissions, but this seemed like such a dinky little project that I thought it would be the work of but a moment.

However, what with one thing and another there hasn't been much time for knitting in the evenings recently (one thing being that, now I'm back at work, as soon as P is in bed C and I have a list of chores as long as your arm to get through in preparation for the next day, and the other being that P's erratic sleeping means that, once we finally get to sit down, I can only keep my eyes open for about 10 minutes). So the hat became my train-knitting project, and given that I only commute into work two days a week now, and the commute is barely 15 minutes long, it managed to take me almost a month to complete.

However, completed it finally is, and only awaiting the addition of some matching booties, which no doubt will take me just as long.

In spite of its slow germination, this squash is doing rather better than any of my others this year. In a fit of optimism I bought a packet of six varieties of edible and ornamental squash with the intention of letting them roam free on the allotment and fill up otherwise empty space (being in Geneva during key sowing time has meant that we are a bit depleted on the veg front this year). I planted one of each sort, confident that they grow quickly and take up a lot of space. Only three of them germinated and two of those were immediately demolished by slugs the minute I put them outside to harden off. The remaining plant (and of course I have no idea which sort it is - no doubt the dullest, ugliest, and most inedible of the selection) is now cowering sadly in the end of a raised bed, looking distinctly as though it is thinking of throwing in the towel and following its compatriots to the great vegetable garden in the sky.

But despite this, and the patchiness of the potatoes (which couldn't be planted until we got back from Geneva and, as a result, were the dregs of the garden centre remaindered bucket), and despite the fact that the current warm weather requires us to carry something between a quarter and half a metric tonne of water almost every night, the allotment is redeeming itself for us at the moment by supplying us with about half a punnet of fresh strawberries every day or two, and the promise of broad beans in a week or so. And there's something very pleasing about wandering back from the allotment in the evening sun with P toddling alongside munching on homegrown strawberries and happily turning his clothes a soggy shade of pink.