Archive | January, 2012

The Horse Is Out Of The Bag

25 Jan

I’ve finally got over the fact that WDH was not ready for christmas. In a way, it’s probably worked out for the best. We had a brilliant christmas, the son loved his presents and played with everything. If he had a horse, there is a good chance that some of his other gifts may have been overlooked. He might not have opened his camera and taken photo’s of everything. He might not have unwrapped his guitar and immediately started strumming while singing nursery rhymes. Yes, I have that little gem on video.

One problem I had been worrying about was the temperature of the rooms. WDH was being hidden in the kitchen. Even with the heating on, the kitchen is cold. When he’s ready, WDH will live in the living room. There was a good chance that taking him from the cold, into the warm, would make the wood split. If that was going to happen, I would much rather it be before he was all painted and finished. I could really do with bringing him into the living room now, but then he would be impossible to hide and I wanted to surprise my son with a beautiful rocking horse, not a vaguely horse-shaped lump of wood.

I still had to convince myself that it would be ok to let my son see it now. I had always had it in my head that he would just get the finished horse, I had never even considered anything other than that. However, the threat of splitting wood has made me think hard about this and now I actually like the idea of handing it over unfinished.

We have a lot of toys at home and we have been shopping to choose a gift for the son’s friends quite a few times now. He understands that the toys come from the shops but has no real concept of how they came to be toys in the first place. Hopefully, he will get to see that his horse didn’t just appear from the magical land of Ee-Ell-See, but it was carefully carved just for him. It wasn’t just plucked off the shelf, many months of hard work went into it. Perhaps it will help him think about how his other toys might have been made.

Then, there is the practical side of things. He can actually help me finish making the horse. He can help me sand it and he can help me paint it. Hopefully it will help him remember how it was made; that we didn’t buy it, we made it ourselves. At the very least it should be something fun for us to do together.

So, the decision was made to bring the horse in. I am so glad I did because the wood did start to split. I have a chance to fix it now while it’s still just a lump of wood. I would have been devastated if all the paintwork was ruined and it would have been so much harder to patch it up. I wasn’t sure what my son would make of it as it is still quite rough and nothing like any of his toys but, well, see for yourself…

2011 – Turned Out Brilliant In The End

11 Jan

Here we are again, the start of another year. Around this time last year, I wrote this post about ‘my decision to make 2011 blooming brilliant’. I followed it up with a post about why I no longer make new year’s resolutions, and a list of goals to complete in the next 1001 days.

Looking back over the year, my head and my heart don’t seem to be able to agree on how the year turned out. My heart feels like I could simply copy and paste that first post here, just giving the years a +1. My heart feels like nothing has changed, I have failed, last year was not brilliant. My heart feels sad.

My head, however, can see things quite differently. I don’t mean the part of my head that worries, that tries to find solutions to the impossible or goes over what might have happened if I’d done things differently. I mean the logical part of my head, the part that can step back and look from another point of view. The part that tells me to forget all the crap for a minute and look at all the things that I did do. The places we visited, the things I achieved, the fun that we had.

I have completed eight goals off my Day Zero list and made progress on at least twenty eight others. I have learnt to swim. I have carved most of a rocking horse. I have gained a little confidence in my photography and got myself a nice digital SLR. I took my son on his first trip to the theatre and to his first festival. We ate home grown tomatoes in the sunshine. We went puddle jumping in the rain. We raised £130 for Tommy’s doing our swimming lesson in pyjamas. I met up with old friends.

If I looked through all my photo’s I could list a whole page of things we did that were fun, so why is it that the year feels as if it didn’t go well? If someone asks me, ‘How was your week?’, why is it that all the bad things spring to mind first? Why not the good things that we’ve done? So that’s what I’m going to concentrate on this year. Remembering the good and trying not to dwell on the bad.

Regular readers will recognise these pictures, but here’s a gallery of some of the things we did in 2011.



9 Jan