Good Things Number 4: a nest!

GD found this in one of our 5 year old acer trees, so only about 10 feet tall. She’s been looking at it nestled in between a couple of branches all winter and the other day she asked if she could take it down to look at it.  It is exquisite – tiny and perfectly formed.  It’s only 6cm across and I’m pretty sure that it belonged to a chaffinch.

Just beautiful!
Just beautiful!

They make their nests from grass, moss and feathers bound with spiders webs and lined with feathers and wool, decorated with lichen and bark.  The one we found even has horse hair in it. It really is quite beautiful and most definitely a Good Thing.

Monday Madness – a snapshot of a parent’s life

2:30pm Call from school saying ‘Gerald Durrell’ (‘GD’) is not well and needs to be picked up.
2:45pm Pick up ‘GD’
3:30pm Pick up the Littlest from school
4:20pm Call from the Boy to say they were let out of PE late and he’ll be on the later train
4:30pm Pick up the Eldest and friend from station and take them to tennis
4:55pm Back home to make a very speedy supper for the Littlest
5:15pm Call from the Boy asking why he hasn’t been picked up yet
5:30pm Pick up the Boy from station and go straight to surgery. The Littlest one reads one of her books to me, ‘GD’ looks miserable, the Boy is starving.
6:15pm The Eldest arrives from tennis at the surgery.
6:25pm We’re finally called by the doctor – we all go into his consulting room. Prognosis – not sure, but keep an eye on her.
6:30pm We go home via Tesco Metro as I have no ibuprofen or paracetamol at home.image
6:50pm Back home and I get dinner for the older two; ‘GD’ lies on the sofa feeling horrid.
7:15pm I get the Littlest ready for bed and ready for a story. This is delayed as she gets back out of bed to check out how she looks with her princess crown and cat mask on. I find myself clenching my teeth in an effort not to scream “WILL YOU PLEASE GET INTO BED!!!” I am quiet and she gets back into bed and we read Puzzle Dinosaur – one of those books that the Tribe have always loved as the book involves a bit of a treasure hunt as you have to find various things within all the pictures. These books are a NIGHTMARE when you are trying to get things done quickly. ‘GD’ crawls in next to me to listen and spot. She really is feeling rubbish.
7:50pm Read to GD for 5 minutes before she goes to bed. We’re disturbed firstly by the Eldest who’s somewhat frustrated by the MacBook she’s using – too slow. This is not my department, you need to speak to your father. Oh, he’s not back. The Boy needs the iPad to find images of guillotines and Marie Antoinette.
8.15pm Finally get ‘GD’ to bed.
8:30pm The Boy is still looking for images and then starts discussing the fact that Marie Antoinette never did say “Let them eat cake”. I am interested but I really want him to speed up.
8:50pm The Eldest comes into the kitchen (that I’m still trying to clear up), saying that she needs to get her food tech ingredients ready – can I help? This happens every week, at about the same time.  I want to scream (again), but I just can’t muster the energy it would entail.  15 minutes later the whirlwind leaves the room with her bag of ingredients packed and ready for the morning. I am left with the detritus that she leaves behind. Hmmmm
9:15pm Kitchen is almost clear and I put on some supper.
9:30pm Father of the Tribe arrives home and pours a couple of glasses of wine. Things are looking up.image
9:40pm The Boy appears in the kitchen – “Where’s my Physics book?”. Bizarrely, I want to scream. But I don’t. Instead, I pick up my glass and take a sip.
9:55pm I manage to have an uninterrupted conversation with Father of the Tribe.
10:30pm As they said on The Magic Roundabout, “Time for bed”.  And I think that I may have succeeded in not screaming.  I think.