Sunday, 23 April 2017

this and that on a Sunday evening







Unbelievably, it is already Sunday evening and I feel like I need to turn the clocks back by maybe six hours to add a little time to the day. How was your weekend? Ours was pleasant enough, teenage bickering notwithstanding. We kept pleasantly busy, keeping chores to a minimum. I ended the working week on a high after an excellent, constructive meeting during which I received plenty of praise. I felt like skipping all the way home. Instead, I took Jack for a long walk as the youngest were at after school club*. Most of the photos were taken on this walk. I also spotted some orange tip butterflies, both male and female but they were busy fluttering from flower to flower and didn't give me any opportunity for a photo. I found a nest that I had 'lost' for a couple of weeks, it was so well hidden. Turns out it belongs to a pigeon. There is so much to see and look for if you are so inclined, even in our urban environment.

I dedicated the weekend to pastry. I made puff pastry and short crust pastry, just because. Of course I also made something with each but that's a story for another day. Ok, there was more than just pastry to our weekend. I also did some sewing and reading and I played James' and Alistair's favourite new games (Dragonwood and There is a Moose in the House, both by Gamewright). I won because I didn't try to obstruct my opponents but focused on winning. James and Alistair spent a lot of time at the local park, kicking a ball. It is so nice that they can now be trusted to play there independently. Meanwhile, I spent some time modifying the Sorbetto pattern further to suit me better. Along the way I realised just how little attention I had given to the instructions when I made my first one. I also spent a good while sorting through desk drawers, always satisfying. I still have the drawer of doom to clear out but that requires more energy so won't get done anytime soon. The one chore that really had to be done was wash all of Jack's toys and blankets. There was an pervasive dog pong in the living room, where he has his box of toys. He was quite upset seeing all this toys on the washing line and not being able to reach them.

After six weeks of feeling under the weather I have now had four (!) days of feeling good. I finally got back to my couch to 5k jogging plan. I optimistically carried on where I had left it, in week three. I did find it difficult but impossible. I am really looking forward to be able to run longer distances again. I like a long run on a Sunday but haven't been able to run for more than a few minutes.

Jack got plenty of exercise this weekend, both Richard and I took him for long walks. Jack is turning into a confident swimmer. Richard showed me a short film of him swimming right across the Kelvin and back to retrieve a stick. It was such a good stick that he carried it all the way to the car and dropped it at the boot, to take home. I love this dog.

The first week with our new chores regime fully implemented has come to an end. When I reduced my working hours to school hours, Sam and Annie lost their childminding jobs and with it their regular income. I have encouraged them to turn to other essential jobs that help the family. Annie has been proactive and has chosen jobs that suit her and she is being paid accordingly. If she doesn't feel like doing it, that's fine. Sam has been moaning a lot about the lack of cash but has made little effort to help out. James and Alistair are now also old enough to earn some pocket money. On a whim, I decided to extend the arrangements we have with Annie to the rest of the crew. I drew up a list of chores I think the children can do and added a price tag to each. I gave each a jotter. It is now up to them to pick chores, do them and note down what they have done in their jotters. Predictably, Sam was complaining, he didn't like the chores on the list, to small to count. James and Alistair have earned themselves £1.80 and £1.30 respectively by washing their lunch boxes, setting the table and help tidying their room. They spent £1 each on sweets. Alistair was miffed that he had earned less. Lets see how it goes, often the initial enthusiasm wanes quickly.... whilst it is lasting, I am putting my feet up and read a book.

Ah well, on to another week of work. I am quite looking forward to it. Lets hope the weather stays friendly. Wishing you all a good week. xx

* I cannot give this one day of after school care up, we waited two years for it!


19 comments:

  1. Weekends were never long enough when I worked, Saturday chores and Sunday getting ready to go back to work again. Ah, the thrill of earning money when you're very young a nd how you always think it should be more when you're older. Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We did the same with chores with our boys. When our cleaner retired the boys took over, cleaning their rooms changing beds and hoovering. I did keep the cleaning of bathrooms;) My husband took on the washing and ironing. It worked well. Glad you are feeling better and I'm sure you will be running further soon. If I can do it so can you. Love your photos, so much wildlife in your corner. Have a great week. B x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your photos especially the fox. I'm guessing you had some sort of a zoom or powerful SLR lens. Good luck with the children helping with jobs. My 2 boys have always had to help, usually 2 jobs a day each, plus clean shoes, put 3 snack items in lunch box (choc bar, crisps that sort of thing), also empty their bedroom bin and homework each day.
    I agree weekends go far too quickly. Have a good week. Cathy x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful.pictures,congratulations.and.greetings

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. How nice to spend it with your dear family. I hope you have a great week, Pat xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was good to spend time this afternoon catching up with your blog posts....since January, Christina. I had read some of them but kept getting interrupted and finally gave up for some weeks. In catching up this afternoon I am fairly certain I laughed or sympathized when you hoped I would. As you might suspect, I especially admired your sailor top...but not just for its name. I love the color and how it looks on happy you. I also especially love Sam's quilt. Yay for your fitness goals and efforts, too. Your new creative space for sewing is beautiful. Congratulations on your new job and schedule. I hope you and your family thrive in it. I admire so many of your photos. Your political views, choice of reading books, and your view of yourself as not religious are thought-provoking as I sort through my own views in those areas. May you and yours know much joy! xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is always a joy to visit and be reminded of life when my girls were younger where I too paid them for jobs they did. It was lovely to see your little discoveries on your walk, I really must get into the habit of taking a camera with me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well done on your work triumph, I am pleased for you, it's a good feeling to be valued. It's gorgeous out there at the moment isn't it. We went to the wetlands place yesterday and my eldest spotted a pigeon's nest right in the entranceway. Most people were just walking past oblivious, but if you stopped and looked you were eyeball-to-eyeball with two baby pigeons. Well done on the tidying, and good luck with the drawer of doom, I have one or two of those! CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. I always love how normal your weekends are, they remind me what families are all about and often sound a bit like ours but with less people! I have been walking in fast half hour bursts for fitness. I know I may look slim but I still have a Christmas cake unused and weight is a gain, you don't wake up two dress sizes bigger one morning so I am watching how much chocolate I am eating (which was getting to be quite a lot) So keep going with the running. I am glad you are felling better as you said you had been ill for some time.Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  10. A weekend of pastries sounds lovely.
    Sorry to hear you have been under the weather.. glad you have started to feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love the intensity of your photos - great clarity Christina! Pastry. You've planted a seed now....
    Hope the road back to good health is a short one - a lot of friends in Ulster are nursing long-held coughs, colds, flu-ish type things which thankfully, we've escaped. A good heatwave would help don't you think ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow Christina - how did you get such an up-close photo of that fox? How bizarre that is was just sitting in the open like that! Seeing one is a very rare event around here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Katie. Foxes are more common than house sparrows here in Glasgow. They are urban foxes, bold and feisty, unlike their more rural cousins. We used to have a fox den in our garden, the cubs playing on our lawn, just outside the back window!

      Delete
  13. Oh my goodness.. you got some award winning photos, there! I love the close up of the duck and was thrilled by the fox photo! I enjoyed hearing about your children and the chores and the list.. that is very good parenting! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. When I see such stunning photos it makes me want to rethink my approach to my photography with my Iphone. These are glorious and fully justify maintaining your day of after school care, me thinks! It hard to have a favourite whether it is the fabulous close-up of the first, the bottoms-up duck, or the fox. Isn't nature great? You can almost feel your grin through these photos and the skipping home after the great meeting! Well done you on all accounts :)
    Wren x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love those pictures! How great to end your working week on such a positive note and well done for resuming the jogging. Wish someone would pay me to do the chores here. Though, thinking about it, they probably couldn't afford me. Enjoy the run up to another long weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It sounds like you're all doing well. I'm glad you're feeling successful at your job, that must be wonderful. Good job getting back to running too. I think your approach to chores/pay is great. Mine both get a set amount (very small) for doing a set series of chores each week. I don't see it as bribery, which I know some people do. The amount is so small that I can't see how anyone would feel bribed by it. And actually, the workload is fairly heavy for kids their age, so they're definitely earning their pittances. I don't see anything wrong with rewards. I wish somebody would think to give me one, actually. I work hard and I do it unbelievably cheap! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well done on your good review. You seem to pack so much in to your weekend and I love your system of getting the children to earn their pocket money. Sam sounds like a typical teenager!

    ReplyDelete
  18. A great post, and well done on starting the running again! I hope the chores system continues to have increasing success! x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx