Of Punchkins and Nursery Rinds

A new week is upon me.  So much for my sister-in-law’s Facebook status:

‎”This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good.” Anon

Today saw the draining of the newly-filled, newly-replaced water-bed mattress because the heater does not work and we can’t get the thing out without releasing some of the water.  The Waterbed Specialist lady tells me what I need, she is beginning to know me when I phone in.

Nick then disappears next door to be a good neighbour.  He returns with a prize of some decent lengths of hard wood……… and a large quantity of spent gas cannisters and fire extinguishers and the longest defunct fluorescent lighting equipment I have seen, which we have volunteered to take to the tip in Blandford, apparently.

Cue lunch at the Crown Hotel in West Street which is absolutely up our alley.  Civilised, calm with lots of wooden interior features in its Georgian style.  We order the main course special and each have our own copy of the Independent to deface in our respective manners – he the Sudoku, me the Cryptic.

Also on the plus side I deliver two items of china to the Weldmar charity shop with a thick pile of tissue paper from our unwrappings which they can make use of.  And buy some solar-powered lights for the garden from Argos.

Then a bit of a clear-up after our young visitors.  We managed to pack in a variety of activities.  We tried to make each day count, Aunty Maddy and Uncle Andrew.  We came to visit you at Maiden Newton and loved feeding the hens, trying out some of the many musical instruments you have (how many actually?) and borrowed some of your vintage VHS videos.

With Halloween upon us we all went to Katie’s house on Saturday afternoon for a party.  The children bobbed for apples, made egg carton and pipe cleaner spiders and ate lots.  At half past 6 we convoyed our way out to Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens for a special event.  Called ABBOTSBURY’S ENCHANTED FLOODLIT GARDEN, the Gardens open as normal at 10am but stay open until 8.30pm. The floodlighting is turned on at dusk each evening and the natural autumn colours of the vegetation are magically lit with theatrical floodlighting, creating beautiful colourful avenues for visitors to walk along.

The route through the garden is dominated by the architectural shapes and shadows of the exotic shrubs and tree canopy, and is lined with candles in lanterns and traditional ‘punchkins’, (Billie’s word).  The children go in spooky dress and witches give out small prizes.  There’s a laser rave arena in a clearing at the edge of which is a small marquee housing a display of creepy crawlies put on by Bugfest, which is a bit of a hit.  Especially the 30cm millipede from Africa.

When we get back to Winterborne K, Amelie and Charlie are asleep and tipped into bed.  The older boys help finish up the sandwiches with some hot chocolate.  The following day I fold up the costumes and tuck them away for another child, another year.  The fat book of Nursery Rinds which Amelie and Charlie share with me each morning is put back in its basket.  Until the next time.

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