This last week has seen some gentle structure return to my days, and I have felt some relief from the sense of purpose it has given me. I have been waking earlier, the sound of the dawn chorus along with sunlight streaming in through the window a far more pleasant start to the morning than the piercing call of my alarm clock. At this time of day the house is quiet and still, so I sit and enjoy my coffee, sometimes taking it with me into the garden while I check on the raised bed and uncover the seedlings.
Then, in what feels like no time at all the house begins to come to life, breakfasts are made, Mog is reminding me to fill her empty bowl and more often than not the washing machine gets turned on. A quick glance at the home learning plan on the table and I realise I need more coffee before the daily routine begins. I am quietly grateful for my large dining table just now, as along with the school learning pack it is currently home to a pile of ironing, a peace lily, paper, colouring pens, a toad habitat in a box and a rough draft of facts about minnows. For some reason it is also home to a stick and a fir cone.
The time soon passes as we navigate our way through learning in the home environment. It's not always easy as home is usually a place of sanctuary, somewhere to unwind and without the formality of a school day. A balance has to be struck and I've also learned to take a more relaxed approach and understand we don't have to do it all.
The one thing I do insist on, however, is that our afternoons are free to do as we please. Of course during lockdown it isn't a case of going out where and when we choose but we are incredibly fortunate to have some beautiful places within walking distance, so each afternoon we set off on an 'adventure' to see what we can find. The sunny weather has been such a blessing to us and we've been out almost every day. There are lambs in the fields, toads and ducklings down by the river and if we walk just a little bit further through the fields we can reach the woods. It would be very easy to continue to walk along the main path here but if we turn uphill and head up the (very) steep track a beautiful sight awaits.
Every year the bluebells put on a stunning display for us and this year was no exception. Blowing gently in the breeze and filling the woodland with their soft sweet scent they are always such a pleasure to see and we are sit quietly for a while on a fallen tree trunk before making our way home.
Our return journey takes us along the river bank then through the fields. This is Lily's favourite part of the walk, and you can see why.
Lily likes cows and I think they like her too.
I am enjoying our sunny afternoon walks and find we are meeting new, now familiar faces. There's Bob, who we pass down the lane, he lives alone as his wife sadly died last year, and a lady we see in the fields with her huge dog, Mack. We always stop for a (socially distanced) chat, so it will feel strange when the lockdown is relaxed and we will no longer see them.
As we head home up the lane and across the stream there is always time for a quick game of Poohsticks. I promise I'm not keeping count but I'm sure I've won the most times up to now : )