Friday, 25 May 2018

Beautiful May




The month of May usually brings with it a good few days of decent weather, but this year has proved to be exceptional, with some particularly sunny, dry and warm days. In fact, to use Lily's current favourite phrase it's been 'pretty awesome!' 

It has meant we've been living life outdoors and  enjoyed some lovely walks, with our evenings mostly spent sat out in the garden. For now, at least, the paddling pool appears to be a permanent fixture on the lawn and sun cream has become a part of our daily routine.
The delightful melody of the dawn chorus through the open window makes for a far more gentle start to the day than my alarm clock even if a 4am start is a little too early for me. It can be a chance to get a few chores out of the way before the day properly begins. There is a wonderful, heady, sweet scent in the air you can almost taste, an abundance of butterflies and bees going about their business and the pathways are slowly disappearing underneath the blossoming wild flowers. It's been glorious and I've been soaking it all up. Life feels so much better with a bit of sunshine.

Last week, Lily's class took part in a forest school in some nearby woodland. A letter arrived home explaining this new 'Scandinavian concept of learning' and I had to laugh. We had trips out to the same woods when I was at the school. There was nothing Scandinavian about it then, we were just having a lesson outdoors. The children all had a great time, however, and following a (very) short learning session and picnic lunch they were allowed to do their own thing, as long as they remained within the marked boundaries. Dens were made, trees swung from and children got dirty. It was great to see them enjoy a bit more freedom than is allowed in the school playground and the delight on their faces when they discovered some blackbird eggs in a nest. These particular woods are full of bluebells and although they are beginning to go over now, the colour was still stunning.








School sports day was held this week. I didn't really know what to expect as a lot of schools don't really embrace competition these days, but it was a really lovely event. A mixture of team games and competitive races with the children cheered on by family members. Picnic lunches were enjoyed on the school field and, of course, the weather couldn't have been more perfect. And my girl? She came first in the sprint and the sack race. Hurray! Not that she cared. She was more excited that she was given a sticker. Oh, to be five years old.
Yes, five! Lily celebrated her birthday this month. I have no idea where those five years have gone, but my baby girl is growing up. Following the excitement of the balloon discovery, the following day we went to Inflatanation in Manchester and the evening of the day itself was spent playing in the garden with her friend. She was thrilled with her new bike and has been out on it every day. Of course, Lily requested her favourite chocolate brownie cake with a Smartie topping, just like in previous years.



Yesterday was horrible for me. Mog went missing!
With  the brighter weather she spends more time outside and on Wednesday evening she went out as usual and I expected to hear her return through the cat flap during the night but she didn't. She didn't return the following morning either, nor when I returned from work later that day. I checked her usual sleeping places, her food was still untouched and I began to worry. I know cats can disappear for long periods but Mog is usually to be seen somewhere around and I know she doesn't wander much further than the field behind the house - mice!  After school, I took Lily swimming and hoped I had been worrying for nothing, that she would be home when we returned, but sadly still there was no sign of her. The house felt empty and I became despondent. I went to bed really early but couldn't fall asleep, feeling guilty at how I get angry at her when she wakes me during the night by nudging me and purring in my ear, desperately wishing she would be there to irritate me now.
Suddenly at 10.59 (I checked!) the sound I'd  been longing  for. The click of the cat flap! The relief, thank goodness. I dashed downstairs to make sure she was OK. Had something horrible happened to her? Was she hurt? No! She took one glance at me as if to say 'what's your problem?' then turned to eat her food. 
J. X

47 comments:

  1. OK, that's it! I am moving to your part of the world, with woods filled with bluebells and other wild flowers and acres of green fields!

    Happy 5th birthday to Lily! I hope you enjoyed a piece of cake on my behalf! And congratulations to Lily for coming first in her race!

    I am so glad that Mog returned home, safe and sound! I've had worrisome days like that when cats have gone missing. Several of the cats we've had before Dancer have all done the disappearing act, at times! Dancer is not allowed out of the house.

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    1. Thank you Bless. I enjoyed a few slices of cake on your behalf ;-) It was rather delicious!
      Mog had us so worried as it was really out of character for her. She's only gone walk about once before and that wasn't for quite as long. I think she would literally be climbing the walls if I tried to keep her indoors! X

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  2. We've had cats vanish and for days I listen for the click of the cat flap. Not nice, but what a relief when they eventually pop back through! Love your walk photos - lovely and summery x

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    1. It's such a horrible feeling isn't it? When she eventually returned I did that whole 'I'm angry but so relieved you're back' thing. X

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  3. Gorgeous pictures!

    I am so glad your Mog returned. Maybe she'll have kittens soon? :)

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    1. Thank you Sandi. No kittens for Mog, thank goodness. That was sorted before we brought her home from the rescue centre! X

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  4. It's horrible when a cat goes missing isn't it? I think I've spent more time worrying about some of mine than I ever worried about my son! Fortunately my current three are all house cats so at least I know where they are all the time. I'm glad Mog came back - if only she could tell you where she'd been :)

    We had lessons outside when I was at school many years ago and there was nothing Scandinavian about it then - sometimes I wonder who dreams up these so-called new concepts! :)

    I love the river photo, it looks beautiful there - and Mog just looks adorable :)

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    1. She wasn't gone for long Eunice, but it was so out of character for her, goodness knows where she had been - or maybe it's better that I don't know.
      Yes, that's what made me laugh. There is nothing new about lessons outdoors, but they do like to dress things up these days don't they? X

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  5. Gorgeous photos, Happy Birthday to Lily and I'm so glad your furry friend is safe and well.
    J x

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    1. Thank you Joy. And the furry friend is currently fast asleep on the bed! X

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  6. The weather this month has been glorious until yesterday that is, but I can live with one rainy day as it was needed. Children being children like back in the day, playing out, exploring and getting dirty, such fun. Lily's birthday cake looks scrummy and I'm sure she enjoyed a wonderful day. Moggy, keeping you guessing what adventure she's been up to, I'm glad she's safely home, naughty girl.

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    1. We had a little bit of rain on Friday. Just enough to water the gardens, but that was it.
      It was so good to see children doing what they do best in the woods, although a little sad to see a few who clearly hadn't been used to playing out in that way. You can probably guess mine was in her element! :-D X

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  7. The Bluebells in my garden have flowered, my Laburnum tree is very bright, and the few wild garlic flowers can be seen amongst the Welsh Leek, May is certainly a pretty month. Happy Birthday to your little girl, and her day in the woods sounded wonderful.

    Julie xxxxxxxx

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    1. The garden sounds beautiful. Wild garlic flowers remind me of exploding fireworks. It is a lovely time of year. X

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  8. Meant to say, so happy your cat has returned safe and sound, it must have been very worrying for you all. Strange how they look as if to say, what your problem, the neighbours cat does that to me......

    Julie xxxx

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    1. Thank you Julie. Yes, cats have a delightful way of looking at you sometimes don't they? X

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  9. We really have been spoilt with some beautiful weather just lately, though the ground got a good soaking yesterday, the rain never let up. How lovely that Lily was able to enjoy some time in the woodland during school, it's something I remember at school too and that was many years ago. It seems everything has to have a label these days. Happy birthday to Lily, that chocolate cake looks divine and definitely not just for five year olds! I'm so pleased that Mog returned home safe and sound. We used to have a cat called Jake who looked just like Mog and he went missing a few times. We found him trapped in the eaves of the garage next door but one once after he'd been missing for a few days and another time he was missing for three weeks and a day and came home like skin and bones, we think he'd been trapped in a garage again. He was always getting himself into scrapes.

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    1. It has been soooo beautiful Jo. I've got the holiday feels all the time at the moment and we've had so little rain here which is unusual.
      Lily really enjoyed her time in the woods, but it was a shame to see a few who weren't used to it, especially given the beautiful countryside we have on our doorstep. We were always having lessons outside when I was younger, even if it was just in the school playground sat under the shade of a tree.
      Oh my! I would have been beside myself if Mog had been missing for as long as Jake. X

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  10. I am so glad to read that Mog came home and there was a happy ending. We have some roaming outdoor cats and when they disappear for a day or so ( and a few times a week), I worry. When indoor cats get loose, I am told that if you put their litter box outside your door, they will return.

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    1. I have no idea where she could have been Arleen. She doesn't venture very far. X

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  11. So happy to read that Mog has returned home Jules.
    Love all of your summery photos.
    Ruby's school does the forest school thing....every week I think....and she loves it.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Oh Sheila, it was such a worry as it just wasn't like her at all. She's been given a good talking to! :-D X

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  12. Oh my goodness what a worry over Mog. One of our old cats once went for 6 weeks, strolled back in as if nothing had happened ­čś│. Happy birthday to Lily! Xx

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    1. Six weeks! I wonder where they had been. You must have been fraught. X

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  13. Such a lovely collection of photographs here ...

    Happy birthday to Lily, bet she enjoyed that chocolate cake.
    So pleased that Mog has returned ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan. That's the only cake Lily will eat! X

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  14. Happy birthday Lily. Hope you had a wonderful day. As always your photography is beautiful. I'm allergic to cats but I do understand how close we get to our pets having had a jack Russel for 16 years. It broke my heart when he died.

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    1. Thank you Tania. Lily had a lovely day, although it turned out to be more of a four day celebration in the end.
      I've always thought of myself as a dog person. My last one had to be put to sleep three years ago now, aged 19, and although it was very tempting to get another, I knew deep down I didn't have the time or commitment for one. I didn't want to be without a pet, however, and after weighing up different options, decided on a cat. After seeing Mog at a rescue centre my fate was sealed.
      Our pets do break our hearts but bring so much love in to our lives too. X

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  15. Im glad Mog was OK :) And Lily had a lovely 5th birthday :)

    The forest school sounds fun :)

    Evies sport day is in June, there are no individual winners just the houses, there were lots of relays so no clear winner anyway...

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    1. Thank you. It's the second time the class have been out to the woods, but they also have an area in which to have some outdoor lessons within the school grounds too.
      It is the first year the school has held sports day this early (it's usually during the final term) but with the good weather it has worked out brilliantly. X

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  16. So glad Mog is safe and sound. Wow, to be 5 years old, so much waiting to be discovered, your photos are 'pretty awesome' too xx

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    1. It was a huge relief to have Mog back Cheryl. I have no idea where she could have got to.
      Yes, the innocence of being five years old again and the excitement of receiving some stickers. If only we could bottle that feeling. X

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  17. Oh my! I'm so glad Mog came back safely. We don't let our Timothy outside because of coyotes and foxes (and FAT raccoons) but he would LOVE to run around outdoors.

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    1. No coyotes here, thank goodness. I don't blame you for keeping Timothy indoors. X

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    2. Goodness, I'm glad we don't have to contend with coyotes and fat raccoons!

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  18. My youngest is now 32 and I don't know where THOSE years have gone! Treasure every moment of little Lily because all too soon she will be all grown up. May has been mostly good for us too. Although we had huge thunderstorms on Saturday night, we attended a wedding on Sunday in beautiful sunshine.
    Outdoor classes are great - they tend to call them 'Forest School' days locally. I think that although my school days included nature walks or outside lessons, it fell away during the 80s and 90s a bit so it's really good that schools are recognising the value of the outdoors.
    A belated happy birthday to Lily - the cake looks deliciously sticky!
    So glad that Mog returned. My cat (sadly no longer with us) once disappeared for three days and I was so upset. Turns out she got shut in a neighbour's garage. Any fussing and delight on her return was shrugged off in a similarly disdainful manner!
    Fab bluebell picture.

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    1. I know only too well how fast those years go and I'm really appreciating all the time I spend with Lily. Although I've decided, I'm not allowing her to grow up any more. ;-)
      We haven't had rain here in so long and there doesn't look to be much forecast at the moment. I am enjoying this lovely warm, dry spell but the garden is beginning to look a bit parched.
      Yes, lessons in the outdoors are a great way to learn. Thankfully Lily attends a rural village school (the same one I attended) which generally embraces this style of learning.
      I did wonder if Mog had accidentally got herself locked in somewhere, but she is very wary of people and spends more time in the fields than anywhere else. She's back to her usual routine now, thank goodness. X

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  19. Oh, you've absolutely captured the beauty of May in this post! I didn't realise what a beautiful month it is until I was in my forties because for so many years I was distracted by revision and exams, first mine, then my husband's and then my children's, but now I just love it. Happy Birthday to Lily, what a grown-up girl she must feel now! As for Mog - phew! My cats often stay away from home during the warm, long days and it's such a relief when they come home. x

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    1. You sound a lot like me. It's lovely to take time to really appreciate it without too much else going on. May can be a busy month for many people. The better weather certainly helps too.
      I'm relieved Mog is back in her usual routine now. X

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  20. My goodness...beautiful beautiful beautiful...so glad puss returned unharmed x

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    1. Thank you Jackie. It was a relief to us all. X

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  21. Glad to hear the cat made her way back, my mum's puss is the same, comes back after some great adventure with that look on her face, totally unimpressed with all the attention!

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    1. I called her some unprintable things! But then she got some cuddles. X

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  22. A very Happy 5th Birthday to Lily. The photos are lovely and the images you portray of paddling pools, children building dens and summer evenings in the garden are idyllic. May has been lovely hasn't it and the warmer weather has been very welcome after such a long cold winter.

    Mog certainly looks like she doesn't know what all the fuss was about lol. So glad she returned home eventually. Nothing worse than not knowing what has happened and being left wondering and worrying.

    Hope you are enjoying the half term holiday. xx

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. May has been wonderful this year. It's been quite hard to put into words just what a great time we've been having during this warm spell of weather. I just hope this isn't our Summer.
      I hope you're half term is going well and you've been making the most of that caravan. X

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  23. I know that 'where's that cat' feeling, so pleased Mog came home safely. I wonder where she had been?
    May has been such a lovely month this year, lifting the spirits of so many, lots of us have enjoyed time in the outdoors feeling the warmth of mother nature

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    1. Oh, it's horrible Julie. Although, I guess I'm now fully initiated as a 'cat person!' I've never know a month of May to be as lovely as this one has been. I just hope the good weather continues into Summer. X

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