About us

We are a hard working, family of eight. Swimming in the sea when we aren't busy on our small holding. Daddy dragon has to work away a lot, so this blog is to let him keep up with our adventures at home.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Carving pumpkins.

An undead pirate.

And a pirate spider sidekick. 

Lots of sword fights and adventures. 

And two tiny princesses. 

Had a very lovely day.

Happy halloween!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Early morning spider production team

If you have children, I am sure you are aware, tomorrow is the big day.

This little boy finished his spider and started on a pumpkin.

I adore how much effort he puts into the things he makes.

This lady supervised the assembly line.

There is a lot of eagerness and excitement.

A lot of hatchling energy, so we are doing our best to put it to good use will the winds outside blow and blow and blow.

The season for cake

If you know me, you know I do actually love veggies and salad.

Nonetheless, I found this funny.

This month has been full of cakes, and I seem to share so few of them.

Right now we are working through a large pumpkin cake.

I thought I should probably post a reminder, good people, eat some pumpkin.

It is especially nice if you make whiskey cream cheese frosting.

We have become gluttons, you see. 

First, I made whiskey cream, then I made cream cheese frosting.

Both tasted nice with pumpkin cake.

Hence, I started mixing and stirring,

And added a package of cream cheese to 100g icing sugar, with a generous splash of double black label whiskey, and a large tsp of vanilla bean paste; then a stick of butter and 4 tbs of double cream, and well it was nice enough to eat with a spoon.

Anyways, here is our pumpkin cake recipe of old. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

What is this preparing our children for?

These schools that use text speak for conveying messages of conformity.

'I'm not tired!'

5 minutes later.

I love this boy and I wish he would not hurry to grow up so quickly.

For he is an absolute joy.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

True story

So, after putting up new window blinds, I made a classic mistake.

I left the ladder out.

It was stormy, 60mph winds, I didn't want to carry the big ladder out to the garage.

Big mistake.

Two little boys, I'm assuming, climbed the ladder.

 I didn't see them.

I was downstairs, baking with girl hatchlings.

I went up stairs to check on them. 

They were awfully quiet.

And my mama senses were screaming.

Somehow, they had opened the giant roof window. 

And two boys were not to be seen.

Train tracks, and match box cars were accross the floor, and I could hear the sound of two excited boys, coming from the roof.

I think I lost one of my nine lives, right there.

I don't have nine lives you say?

Yeah, I know, I lost at least one, possibly three.

The winds were blowing gales.

And I have two little boys on the roof.

So, I did the only logical thing. 

I shouted,

'Ice cream!!! Mama has rainbow ice creams for every one!'

These boys, they love those rainbow fruit lollies.

Love them!

I went downstairs, and outside to check if I could see them.

The roof was empty. 

But the car has had a battering.

It seems they were pitching cars and trains atop the car parked in the drive.

From two stories up.

Surprisingly, successfully, their aim was good. 

8 trains on the car, only 2 on the ground.

In gale winds!

Anyways, I went back into the house, where two eager boys were shouting, 

'Ice cream!!!'

 I took that ladder, and put it away in the garage. Then I dug to the bottom of the chest freezer for rainbow ice lollies.

Life savers they are.

I shall have to buy more, just in case.

And I'm now researching velux window locks...

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Velux windows complete

Earlier, I posted about our windows which needed tlc.

This is the outcome, of hours of sanding, painting and some brand new blinds.

I am incredibly happy with the results.

Now that the windows are looking bright, it makes the whole room look grubby and in need of new paint.

This house maintenance thing is like a hydra! 

Anyways, that is what we've been up too.

Happy windows!

Missing Daddy

This little girl wants you to know, she misses you.

She looked out into the tail end of hurricane Gonzolo and said, "I sure would love to go fishing with Daddy, even in this weather.'

Maybe there might be a calm day in December, just maybe. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

My thought for the day

Where did the weekend go?

It truly does not feel like we have had a weekend.

It whooshed by and has left us all bone tired.

This weekend has mostly bee spent, decluttering, reorgansing, and changing up rooms.

You know that kind of, we are going to re do the whole room type project.

We did a couple of rooms this weekend, and those rooms look great.

Though it still begs the question, why do we have so much junk?

Two years of me being determined to de - clutter, and we still seem to have oodles of everything.

Anyways, it has been a good and productive, all be it exhausting weekend.

The girls all have new beds, new chests of drawers, and the boys room new storage. 

The pantry is cleaned out and organised, the hallway closet cleaned out, and the utility room sorted.

On top of cleaning ou the terrapin tank, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, rabbits... 

I could go on, but it would bore you to tears and leve you as tired as I am.

I did find time to put a final coat of paint on the windows too, hence I hope to post pictures this week once I have installed out snazzy new velux blinds.

I hope your weekend has been a good one.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Best ever swookies (sweets + cookies) 
So, you take 200g butter, 2 eggs, and blend with 200g brown sugar, and a 1tbs vanilla bean paste. Then mix in 200g plain flour. 
Then chop minimum of four chocolate bars, tonight we added 1 kitkat, 1 share bag of rolos, 2 tubes of smarties, a lindt hazelnut bar. All chopped. Mix in chocolate chunks, then mix in another 75g plain four. Bake at 190. Happiness.

4am work day starts

This is what the baby does while mama works.

At 4am.

I'm just being honest.

Because mothers put on a pretty exterior and pretend every thing is done by the book.

I write books,

and this is what she does while I am busy writing,

at 4am. 

It will all work out in the end.

If you have an early riser, my best advice is to stop fighting it, and just roll with what life throws at you.

Besides, if you are not awake, you miss things, like this.

Good morning. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Kirkwall harbour

(photo taken by Beth Davies)

And my quote for the day:

The size of your problems are nothing compared with your ability to solve them. Don't overestimate your problems, and underestimate yourself.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Missed it

I caught the sun coming up the other day, but despite being wide awake, I missed last night's merry dancers.

For future reference, and for anyone who is interested, here is a great resource:

Sunday, 12 October 2014

3am conversations

Some funny conversations happen at 3am.

Last night the two year old hatchling, he woke over and over and over.

Delirious with exhaustion, but certain he would be eaten by monsters.

So tired was he, that he would shout, 'Help ma - moo - meeee! Mine oysters are gonna get meee!'

His slurred speech is very unusual, as this hatchling has particularly clear diction.

Hence, it was my mistake when I tried to talk to him.

Distract his him from his worries.

The conversation flitted from trains, to dinosaurs, and back.

Before resting on Halloween, which as it turns out, was part of his growing concerns about monsters.

I told him he didn't have to dress up.

His sisters are going as 70's disco dancers.

By choice. (Just saying.)

I digress.

This little hatchling became very firm in his tone of voice.

'I have halloween costume too.'

'Okay, who do you want to be for halloween?' I asked, fully expecting Thomas, Percy, or James.

' I be Jack Nicholson and I gonna fight batman and win!'


Right then.

A moment later, after having been lost in thought, Hatchling no5 turned to me grinning, rubbing his hands together, and whispers, 'Jack Nicholson be scary. He even scare Batman!'

Well, it would seem he actually has some idea who he is talking about too!

Oh dear, I'm am quite uncertain how I am going to explain this one to the neighbours.

Good morning Autumn Sun

You majestic beast you.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Puddle Hunt

We are going on a puddle hunt.

Going to catch a big one.

Such a beautiful day.

First some mud,

then a trail,

a winding trail,

and then up and down a slope.

At last we found one.

A nice, squelchy, deep one.

And it really was

a beautiful day.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

What is your purpose?

Post storm

Last night was an interesting lesson in which windows leak

and what it sounds like when the sea showers you walls with water, seaweed and the occasional potted plant, stolen from someone's garden.

Around the back of the house the bunnies collected up their fair share of seaweed. 

Our bunnies are normally free range, but we though it best to keep them in their hutch through the storm.

Now, the worst has past, and everything feels bright and clean.

And we are thankful for the warm home that kept us safe and dry.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The wind has returned

As though it has been in hiding,

the wind has returned.

It roars and howls and screeches.

The sea out front of our house is so full of motion.

Huge deep waves turn over and over again.

It will be a while before we are down on the Scapa beach again, I would imagine.

Though winter does not last for long.

We have put our starlights up in the kitchen.

Hot chocolate is back beside the kettle.

The winter winds have returned for their season.

And we are enjoying listening to the show.

Stay warm and safe.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Spiced Plum and Port Jam

Lidls has been selling plum at roughly £1 a kilo!

And after our failed rosehip jelly this year, the hatchlings and I needed an easy success to sooth the loss of a dozen hours spent deseeding rosehips.

Today was spent making this:

  • 1kg plums, stones removed, quartered
  • 60ml orange juice
  • 250ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • Approx. 1.1kg granulated sugar
  • 125ml port

  • Combine plums, juice and water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until plums are pulpy. Meanwhile, tie the cinnamon, cloves and star anise in muslin.
  • Using a cup, measure fruit mixture into a large pan – allow a cup of sugar for each cup of fruit mixture. Add the port and muslin bag. Stir over high heat without boiling, until sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to the boil; boil (uncovered) without stirring for 35 minutes, then test for a set. Test every few minutes until setting point is reached.
  • Discard muslin bag. Pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately.

  • Saturday, 4 October 2014

    Country children

    We saw this rabbit out and about yesterday.

    Sure would have made daddy dragon proud.

    Hatchling no1 says, 'Yum, just look at the legs on that rabbit.'

    Well, right up until hatchling no4 says, 'Needs ketchup, lotta ketchup.'

    Sigh, that kid. 

    We should have taken out shares in Heinz. 

    Friday, 3 October 2014

    Stoptober - Day 3

    The sun rise this morning.

    It is a gift to be able to wake up early and write.

    For this blessing, I am thankful.

    And working in the early hours, affords me the opportunity to take a cup of coffee outside and watch the sun come up.

    We are three days in to our annual Stoptober, and have not yet needed to spend anything above expected bills.

    We are getting geared up to list on ebay, though I'm holding out for Sunday evening, apparently that is the best day to list items to end on.

    We have sold various items over our local for sale board and will continue to work towards our £200 goal.

    It is a funny thing, this not spending, allowing ourselves an artificial reason to say no to buying things we don't need, actually brings a lot of peace into our home.

    There is a certain sense of easy living, and we turn ourselves toward the things that matter more to us, from which we are frequently distracted.

    I can only assume this was what lent was meant to feel like and achieve.

    Anyways, I hope your October is starting off well.

    Whether you are stoptober'ing, crock'tobering (which we seem to be doing with out intentions - dinner went into the slowcooker today for the fourth day in a row.) Or just working your way through another month.

    May this month bring you peace, joy and prosperity.

    Happy Friday! 

    Thursday, 2 October 2014

    Hatchling no2 knitting her way to Christmas

    I am so proud of this little wool addict.

    She doesn't do patterns, like her mama.

    She likes to make things up as she goes,

    and right now she is busy turning all her dolls into father christmas and his elves.

    I am very blessed to have such a cute knitting partner. 

    Wednesday, 1 October 2014

    Autumn days

    The three eldest hatchling woke up this morning plotting.

    They asked me to 'stay out of the kitchen'.

    I had been quietly hoping they were not baking anything too complicated.

    I was wrong.

    They were washing dishes, and sweeping the floor.

    They cleaned and scrubbed,

    and then came to find me.

    We cleaned the kitchen they exclaimed, and now we want wool.

    You have time to sit and teach me to crochet double crochet, said one hatchling.

    Another told me that now I could help her practice doing turns left handed.

    So we sat this morning and chatted and crocheted.

    They have plans, which involve making a serious dent in my wool stash.

    And that make me very happy.

    Today, I am very blessed.