Tuesday, 29 September 2009
It has been a long summer. Notice the ommission of the word 'hot'. Now it is autumn. Leaves are changing, fires at night and the heaters on!
But to the past summer...after June we had a gorgeous few weeks of proper warmth here in the UK, which is really more like a spring day in Texas or Mexico. July and August were wet and chilly. But there were a few days of sun, as you can see from the pics of the allotment. Speaking of the allotment, it never ceases to amaze me that a few hard hours of labor can basically feed a family!!
In late July, we headed up to the Highlands of Scotland for Paul's best friend's 40th birthday celebration. Maya and I drove on our own to Scotland and Paul rode up with the birthday boy on motorcycles. Maya and I stuck to the main motorways of the country and had a rather epic journey together....I totally have no fear now of travelling alone with her. As long as I am armed with dark chocolate and a portable DVD player. She did very well considering she was a newly potty trained 2 year old strapped into her seat for 9 hours. We did get stuck in some major traffic jams and, to those of you who have driven in the UK may understand, a pile up between Birmingham and Manchester is not the place you want to be with a child in your car, let alone by yourself. We were completely stuck. And all I can say is thank you lord jesus, baby jesus, mary, mohammad, buddha, ganesha and all the others for the film Madagascar and the technology to let it play over and over again.
The Highlands of Scotland are a place to behold. Intensly ancient and filled with the heaviness of history, the geography is like nothing else and the people are a breed apart. Maya and I stopped after the first day's drive in Stirling - the sight of the notorious Battle of Stirling and Falkirk. After the two of us had a pub experience together at 9:30 on a Friday night in Scotland, we awoke to sunshine and beauty. I still had five more hours with her in the car...so, in my infinite wisdom, decided to climb to the top of William Wallace's memorial.
(See here for details http://www.nationalwallacemonument.com/)
It is a bit of a climb and, on the way up, I regaled Maya with the story of William Wallace, aka, Braveheart. She was fascinated and kept repeating 'the bad king' and the 'hero of scotchland'. As I mentioned, it is a bit of a climb, and we had to stop for her to rest, every 15 minutes or so. So at the stops, I would point up to the memorial and tell her of the gigantic sword that was inside...she kept on moving. We got to the top and, lo and behold, there was a battle re-enactment occuring. Wow, imagine that! Maya was well impressed and watched with huge eyes that took it all in. At the end, one of the footsoldiers came over and chatted with her, asking her if she knew who William Wallace was? 'The hero of Scotchland!' she said with absolute resolution. He was impressed and wanted to keep her. I almost agreed.
After her morning on the memorial, she was conked and slept in the car til after lunch. I crept thru the intense traffic up the roads to the Highlands of Scotland. The week in the house with Peter and his friends was a good fun. It will have to be repeated. We saw real Highland Games, rode an old steam-engine train and took some amazing walks.
August was cold and rainy, with a few sunny days, but nothing to write home about. Maya had some good times in friends' back gardens and down at the allotment. She is becoming quite the nudist who likes digging for worms. There were a few times when I turned around to check on her at the allotment and she was as naked as the day she was born covered in mud.
We did get beautiful weather for the International Bristol Balloon Festival. There were firsts for many of us. Maya's first lift off, with 66 hot air balloons taking off and floating over the surrounding hills. A first ride on a merry-go-round, a first lollipop, and the first fireworks. She loved every single minute. And so did we. Lucy was over from London with Sam, her 2 year old. The 2 of them became fast friends and hopefully will be for life. Such a wonderful experience for all of us to share. If any of you ever get a chance, the Balloon Festival is something to behold, and if you get good weather, an amazing experience.
September was all about sunshine and friends, berry picking, cider festivals, festivals in general and pub walking. First we had Carla, then Sandra, then Carla again, then Margarita, then Debbie. We saw some beautiful sights and had some yummy picnics. We ate lots of berries, made tons of jam and sampled a few nice real ales. Being a tour guide is not the easiest thing in the world with a 2 year old, but like everything in life - it is all about timing.
Sadly, it was Debbie's last visit to the Mill House, where she has been our permanent guest for the past 3 years, sort of like a yoga teacher in-residence. She has traveled all over the world and it seems she needed to come to rest. She will be missed and I am sure will be a part of our next adventure. Thank you to Carla, Sandra and Margarita for coming to see us and spend some time in England. I hope you enjoyed your trips....
This summer also was good for Maya truly letting go of her babyhood and entering the realm of the 'TODDLER'. She is potty-trained, sleeping in a big girl bed and without the pacifier, all in about a 2 month period. And then we got the full brunt of what is called 'the terrible 2's'. Lord in heaven, hear my prayers. Our perfect little girl has turned into a bona-fide psychotic egomaniac. Sometimes I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and then, other times, it is completely black. I take each hour as it comes; there is no method to the madness. I only hope we will make it thru without Child Protective Services getting involved. Most of you have been in this place, so any advice you have to offer, please send our way!
As for myself, I seem to have passed thru the crossroads taking the right direction. Two Mercury retrogrades in the past 2.5 months have not been easy. For those of you who are not astrologically aware or suspicious, then let's just say I have been in a bit of a funk. But, all is well, it has passed, and I look to the future with bright anticipation.
Paul's company looks like it will survive the 'current crisis' and steer clear of bankruptcy. Amazing how things can change with just one little phone call. The next six months will be all about laying down tracks for the new horizons.
Sorry for the very long delay in writing, will try not to be so stuck in the future...
Love and light, kat, paul and maya