Friday, February 2, 2018

third day photo

It took us three days to get the first day of school photo this year.

On the first day, Wednesday, the early wake up and rush out the door was such a shock to the system after the long summer holidays that everyone was way too grumpy for me to even suggest it.

Instead we all five of us bundled into the car, drove all the way to the big girls' school, sat through their morning meeting, and then the other three of us spent the rest of the day wandering through The Garden of St Erth in the rain and the wind. 

We had such a lovely time. Miss Pepper grabbed the map and took us on the tour stopping at each significant tree and pointing out all of the plants she knows the names of. As mixed family farmers who barely get a chance to look up from the spot we're weeding, it's such a gift to look through another garden. To notice how cleverly they've interplanted vegetables in amongst their shrubs and flowers. To observe that the forest they're surrounded by, is the same as ours and how the garden nestled into a corner feels like a lush oasis. To see how seamlessly they've incorporated structures like arches and benches into the gardens without making it look old and formal. To recognise some plants and to be completely unfamiliar with others. To discuss our garden and how we can incorporate perennial borders, under-tree plantings and paths through the bush.

On the way out we bought some flowers, of course, and I satisfied my need to have more echinacea plants in my world. 

The big girls had good days too which was a bonus.

I didn't have any luck getting that 'first day photo' on the second day either.

Miss Pepper was straight out the door early to pick flowers for her new teacher and her new principal, but someone else had terrible period pain and then it just got too complicated. Instead my mum took the big girls off to school and we went to Pepper's first day assembly. And then coffee, and then home to the quiet we had been imagining for days.

Only it wasn't quite calm, or relaxing. The fierce wind that had blown in with the cool change a few days before had knocked over so many of the plants and everything needed tying up and staking or composting.

After that we went through and picked the cucumbers and tidied up the (still unripe) tomatoes.

All day I felt restless and agitated and couldn't work out if it was my way of adapting to the demands of the new school year, if it was the super moon and its accompanying winds, if it was the irritating insects that we're having problems identifying who are eating our precious dahlias, or if it's just because - no reason, no conclusion.

But all girls came home from their second days happy. Indi drove half way home from school, we picked a box full of plums, we went for a walk through the forest and to my great surprise, everyone was in bed by ten o'clock.

And then guess what?!

On the third day I got my photo. A few actually.

This year Indi is in year 12, Jazzy year 9 and Pepper year 5.

This morning they took me by complete surprise and came into the kitchen chirpy and happy. All three at once. So of course I grabbed my chance, shoved my new flowers at them and snapped photos as they made silly faces and posed. YES!!!

After that I drove them out to school. On the way home I listened to a podcast without any interruptions (!!) and then sat with my farmer boy in the sun-room reading in silence.

And so it begins: the timetables, the alarms, the driving, the homework, the organising, the watching the clock, the after school activities, the meetings, the emails, the juggling, the 'what's for dinner?', the checking the family diary, the bed times...I hope I can keep up, I hope I can stay on top of things, I hope I can be everywhere I need to be, I hope I can find some time for me in there somewhere...

I hope that they learn a lot, I hope that they love a lot of what they learn, I hope the world opens up to them a little bit more, I hope they have lots of adventures, I hope they find ways to cope with difficult situations, I hope they are patient and kind and are met with the same, I hope they find opportunities to lead and be led and above all, I hope this year is a really, really good one.

And just quickly before I go;
I'm reading - my mum's copy of The Break by Marian Keyes
I'm watching - (well actually watched and loved) - American Folk - The Movie
I'm listening to - the Modern Love podcast
I'm eating - new season's Jersey Mac apples, so close now
I'm hoping - that the wind dies down so I can plant all of my new flowers in the garden this afternoon
I'm cooking - plum leather in the dehydrator from the foxslane archives
I'm knitting - the front of my Mirehouse

Just before they left for school this morning Pepper asked me to consider changing my blog day to a Monday so I'm not still writing when the weekend arrives, Indi suggested I write this blog about the ever elusive first day of school photo, and Jazzy put on a funny voice and recited some of the questions I would probably end with.

So here they are - to be read in your silliest, posh voice.
Do you have a first day photo tradition in your family?
Do you think it still counts as a first if it's on the third?
(It just occurred to me that this is the last year that there'll be three in the first day of school photo. Woah! Now I'm especially glad I persevered.)
Do you have any other start of school rituals?
Do you miss them when they're gone?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Bye now!

Love, Kate x

ps I have the words 'unapologetically herself' written on my hand in pen. I read them this morning in a chapter of my mum's latest manuscript and cannot let them go. How good!


  1. Thanks for the movie suggestion. It looks right up my alley.

    Your flowers are looking beautiful. Thanks for sharing your photos.


    1. I hope you love it as much as we did. And the spotify playlist is pretty wonderful too. I'm such a fan. xx


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  2. your girls are beautiful, and so are your flowers

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and for your lovely comment. I hope you have a wonderful weekend Marcie. xx

  3. Thank you. Gorgeous words and pictures as always.
    Unapologetically herself, love it 💖
    Cheers Kate

    1. Thanks Kate! I really love it so much too.

  4. It was such a massive week here & I think I made it worse by being unprepared. now that’s it all over I want to take the weekend to get organised so I can step into week 2 & own it!
    And that line!!! Only last week I decided I would stop apolgising for being me after something Pup said on her Pipcast. I felt like I always had to say sorry for talking too much or too loudly or for being too scattered or anxious or putting my kids first or for not wanting what everyone else wants. I’m trying not to do that anymore. It’s hard but I will be unapologetically myself!

    1. I've been thinking about all that apologising that goes on inside my head since I wrote that on my hand. The truth is I am disorganised and messy and chaotic, I lose things all the time and I haven't slept properly in months so my head feels like it's filled with soggy cotton wool BUT those things contribute to all the awesome things I am and share with those who live with me. I am what I am, I just need to get to a place where I can be proud and live unapologetically.

  5. I’m trying to be brave but I’m failing miserably about Romi starting school on Monday. I’m saying goodbye to my baby and my heart is breaking. She is so excited and I’m excited for her but for me, I’m saying goodbye to this preschool version of Romi and I feel like she is taking a step away from me. I’m sounded so melodramatic but I can’t help it! Xxx

    1. I've been thinking of you all weekend. Hope she loves it as much as her big sister does and the school girl version of Romi is extra fabulous. xxx

  6. Once again your blog has felt like stopping in for a visit with a dear friend. I thank you. I too have three kiddos and find myself watching the clock, checking off the lists, cooking the meals, being all the things for all the people. We are in winter now in the U.S. and live on a farm. Your bright, colorful pictures have planted such hope in my heart today! In the midst of keeping all the things spinning in my world I am enjoying watching La La Land and This is Us, listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack, reading cookbooks, and drinking tea latte's at night.

    Much love to your family!

    1. Much love to your family Sara! Have you watched This Is US yet? I'm too scared to. I always sob but this one might just kill me. x

  7. As always, I enjoyed your post, your photos and your true heart.
    xx oo

    1. Thanks so much Carla, that means a lot to me. x

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you Barb, I hope you're having a lovely start to the new week in your world. x

  9. Thans for the movie recommendation - will definitely watch this. Especially enjoyed todays post, i can relate to much of what you have said!

    1. I hope you love the film. I've been playing the soundtrack in the car, it's great too. x

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  11. I think your photos always look amazing on your blog! But something you can check if you aren't happy with how blogger is presenting them is to click on the html tab that is just above the post body, and make sure in the code for each photo it says, "s1600" and not anything less. This will display the highest quality photo while still resizing it for your post. Hope that helps!


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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