Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A day in the life of a Pipany!

Oh dear, I have been putting this off as I can't think how to go about it - which day do I choose? A day full of fun and larks? Or a day where I work my little fingers to the bone on some sewing project perhaps? Then again there are the Bone Idle Days where I do as little as is humanly possible, though I tend to think that this is still a fair amount as it's impossible to be too lazy with a family this size. The problem is increased by the fact that I am going through one of my Can't Settle To Anything phases which generally results in a dissatisfied me who moans and groans - albeit to herself - and searches fruitlessly for some nugget to inspire her. Hmm, how's this day in the life grabbing you so far?

Well, let's take a fairly typical day with which to introduce you to my life - a Saturday for example should serve the purpose.....

M'lady Isabella awakens at the appalling hour of 4am and emits her usual high pitched shriek guaranteed to satisfy the souls of those with a taste for the Gothic. Her sweet mama (yes, I can be sweet though rarely at this hour truth to tell) staggers beguilingly from the warmth of her bed to lie the dear angel down and murmer night-night to the babe who responds with her usual elegant yell, most affronted at the very notion of further slumber. Mama returns to bed in a staggering manner reminiscent of the drunk and eventually isabella caves in and silence ensues once more (apart form snoring cats, Dave, etc).

The day proper begins with a pot of coffee brought to bed by either of us on a tray while isabella romps around the room looking adorable with her crazy hair a mass of wild curls. She is always full of life and always full of chat, as is Lucy who soon joins in the fun (almost 10 and gorgeous). The pair chatter away as Dave and I plan our day. Often Tom (25) will arrive and sit on the bed to share the coffee pot and eventually most of the vast brood squash onto the patchwork quilt as they have done most mornings when school is not on the agenda for the past goodness knows how many years. I love this, the laughing and chatting and planning as Dave and I sit in state - friends on holiday even seem to adopt the same pattern and perch at the foot of the bed too as though it is what everyone does in their own homes.

Here I shall break for a picture of eggs as this also is a part of my daily life - egg hunting as some of the hens will insist on doing a Colditz and breaking free of their pen which means I have to find the flipping eggs. This is a favourite spot, a little hollow under the hedge which has become the perfect nest shape.

I also use the egg collecting as a chance to have a loook around the garden to see what is new - the winter flowering cherry has blossomed for a while now and the fresh green leaves are just beginning to appear signalling the flowering is almost over for another year

The day generally follows a pattern something like this....(can't upload pics as batteries have just gone flat!)

I will perhaps work for the morning in my sewing room while Dave and the children go off shopping at the supermarket ( I defy anyone to comment here! Try feeding this bunch without resorting to a supermarket for some things!). Various activities take up the rest of the day as we are very much a 'doing' family. For example, this half term saw the following projects undertaken:

two dresses made for Isabella by me and a jacket trimmed for Lucy with some very pretty Liberty lawn given by the lovely Elizabethd.

Glycerine soaps, creams and lotions made by Dave and the children, including a brilliant one made of beeswax, almond oil and something else which I have forgotten - this cleared the persistent eczema on my eyes within an hour!!!

Lucy painted a glass bottle with glass paints to resemble a stained glass window and Elias made a model of the Bismark from a kit he bought himself;

Sam slept (!) and surfaced intermittently to play killer hands of blackjack and also taught himself to play poker. Regular rounds of Tarot were also played and mostly won by the devious card shark, Lucy (though Dave hasn't quite accepted this defeat yet).

Meals made and consumed in ever-increasing quantities included Thai fish curry (yum), carbonara, homemade scones with homemade jam and good Cornish clotted cream of course, pancakes (known to us as Yank panks - the thick ones not crepes) with smoked bacon and maple syrup, nut roast and all the trimmings, spag bol, cakes - marmalade cake, chocolate cake and I think I did make brownies too, roast chicken rubbed all over with our own tarragon harvested from the garden last year and dried in the kitchen (double yum) with all the trimmings (which means an enormous tray of crispy roast pots and vats of gravy plus veggies such as baked squash, garlic and pepper with olive oil and rosemary/ parsnips tossed in flour and parmesan and roasted till golden/ cabbage and caraway/ caramelised onions/ glazed carrots...oh you get the gist. There were more meals than this I am sure but I can't remember them now.

Evenings consisted of films watched accompanied by popcorn and wine (no, not the kids)

Walks in the afetrnoon - Argal Reservoir: a three mile walk where I was once heard to say that the tide was low (DURR - it's a reaservoir!). Time for a pic of Isabella trying out her new walking reins which she seems very proud of. She actually walked three quarters of the way round, bless her.

I realise I am nutshelling this as much as is possible, but this is a fairly typical picture of our holidays and weekends. In the summer there is much going to the beach and late summer includes endless blackberrying, sloe collecting, gin and wine production, crumble baking, etc. Schhol terms only alter the scene a little and evenings are when we play games or chat around the fire. When Isabella sleeps I work and sometimes while she plays, I sew where I can - hand embroidery is perfect for this. And obviously there are the less appealling things, the housework is ongoing but no more so than when I only had a couple of children. It's all a matter of how you view it I think - if you think 'oh no, i've got this to do and I hate it, then it will be a burden so don't think like it. Lecture over.

The seasons change but the feel is the same. All year there are camp fires and huge family meals, games and work, but it is all pretty lovely, well to me anyway.

Pipany xx


  1. Just beautiful, Pipany, from your lively little morning alarm, to the egg hunt, the collective craftiness of your family, those delicious meals, the access to very great outdoors. You have written a day that really sings!

  2. Enchanting Pipany, such a picture of cosy family life.

    Don't envy you you 4am start though, thank goodness those days are long gone, but the rest sounds wonderful.
    Like the pictures , what fun to go out collecting eggs and cooking them for breakfast.
    You do fit alot in but it is onterspersed with fun things too. Impressed with Isabella's ability to walk so far!

    Real pleasure reading about your day.

  3. What a lovely family and what a lovely day! Except for the 4am start. That is taking it a little too far.
    (I know all about children and what they do at 4am. I have 4 children under 6 years old, just moved in next door, and they can be lively at that hour...Little dears!)

  4. Sounds lovely Pipany and what gorgeous meals. You sound both very busy and very contented with your life. I am so glad, you have clearly made a great family and home.

  5. I should like to come and live in your house - it sounds so warm and friendly, full of love and laughter.

  6. Please may I come and live in your house? It just all sounds so fab. Especially the food.

  7. Pipany you make me reminice about when my four were little. It's strange how you quickly forget the four o clock starts though.
    It's so lovely to hear a contented mum who obviously appreciates every moment with her lovely family.
    I now have to try and write about my day, wish me luck.

  8. EWnid Blython eat your heart out! Your days sound like the makings of an idyllic childhood! Bliss!

  9. A lovely day, full of happy family life. It sounds like your children are taking after their creative Mum!

  10. It's a good thing I'd had dinner when I read your 'day'!! What a wonderful list of delicious food! I really enjoyed this, and your blog on your meeting with Elizabethd - you lucky duck! The pics of the fabric are lovely - what fun you'll have using them all up.

  11. It's all been dsaid, I am a little late. This I have said before but I will again. Your children are blessed to have you as their Mum.
    Can I come and live with you too?

  12. Wow Pipany if someone wanted me to describe the perfect family life your blog is it - less the 4am call of course.

    To me your life style is how it should be . . . your children will look back and treasure their childhood - although probably not when they are teenagers and it is all your fault . . .

    Hmmmmm think I had better go and work on my menus a bit - a la smoke alarm of course.

  13. Everything so beautiful Pipany, you have a wonderful family, and children are so lucky to have you as their darling Mother.

    I want to come and stay with you too, all sounds utterly fab.

    Thank you for sharing a day in your life with us Pipany.