Monthly Archives: April 2014

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The Sea…

The Hoogally household had a long awaited trip to the seaside to visit Grandparents over Easter.

We usually hold off telling the Monkey about trips away until as close as possible to the event itself. In fact, the ideal point to tell him that we are going away is around about the moment that we put his shoes on by the door.

But this time the Monkey has known for a while about this trip.

We’ve not been able to visit his Grandparents for over a year and so this trip has been both long anticipated and the source of great excitement. It’s been beautiful to see.

But the Monkey was not only excited about seeing his Grandparents but also about visiting the sea.

And truth be told, so was I because…


There’s something about the sea that calls to my spirit. When I’m there I feel alive. It’s as if something primal stirs in me.

Perhaps it’s the untameable wildness, the vastness that stretches out further than my eyes can see.

Perhaps it’s the power lying in those waves, barely restrained and answerable to no one.

But I think that mostly it is the breeze, a wind that comes off the sea teasing around your hair, whispering tales of far-flung shores and adventures that it has borne witness to.

But we live in interesting times and so this day is a family day and this day the sea is as much a partner to its sandy companion as it is an attraction of its own.

And so we found ourselves on the first day of our holiday, with the sun out and fluffy white clouds dancing across bright blue skies, throwing on our sandals and making our way to the beach.
The beach where as a child I carried buckets, inflatable rings and towels down to the waters edge before running into the lapping waves with a disregard to the cold that only small people can muster.

And now it’s the Monkey, my Monkey, storming ahead in excitement.
And this year he is, slowly but enthusiastically, now followed by Little Pumpkin. Her hands are still in ours but her sights are most determinedly set on following her brother under her own steam.

So, for now, the untamed waves and whispering wind must wait.

For today is the day of beach huts and sandcastles
shells and stones
ice cream and chips.
Today is the day of sand dunes turned into pirate islands in the eyes of a five year old boy,
his sandals long since discarded,
jeans rolled up
and hair tousled in all directions…

perhaps by the wind that whispers to him too….?

Roll up, roll up ladies and gentlemen!

In honour of the Easter season, the Monkey’s school ran an egg decorating competition on the slightly unusual theme of the circus.

Now I’ll admit that I wasn’t quite sure how he would take to this theme but it ended up really capturing his imagination.

And so we ended up with the (drum roll please ladies and gentlemen….) Egg Man Cannonball!
Look at his shiny green costume glistening in the bright circus lights.
And his bright red cape flowing behind him as he stands preparing for his next daredevil feat.
It’s no surprise that there are ripples of excitement in the crowds as they wait for their ovoid shaped hero.

Beth Made It!

I love creativity.

I love the carefully made item, patiently worked on evening after evening, love poured into each stitch, cut or brushstroke.

But I also love impulsive creativity, most often found at the hands of those too young to be misinformed that the creative must be hard work…

streaks of paint across a page…
unconstrained handfuls of glitter scattered generously…
yogurt pots, bottle lids and cereal boxes turned into the international space station.

I love the exploring-as-it-goes-and-see-what-we-discover creative process.

And so I’m planning a regular celebration of fledgling crafters and creators in the form of an “I Made It!” post each month.

And so we are starting off with a bang with this fabulous egg cosy made by Beth.
I love the bright cheerful colours that sing out to you. Absolutely perfect for a springtime breakfast and guaranteed to make you smile.
Beth said, “I liked choosing and sewing on the buttons”, and I’m sure you’ll agree that the buttons really are the crowning glory.

We have very much enjoyed having it sit in our dining room while waiting to be returned.
So thank you Beth for sharing this with us.

Birthday Bunting

This is a higgledy piggledy post insofar as it is a post about an item that’s already had its debut on this blog.

But birthdays don’t wait. And this is bunting with a story…

You see we bought this house many moons ago when I still had the Big Career and the Big Wage.

Since then we’ve had job changes, redundancies, and two new (and wonderful) people join our family. Most recently there’s been our decision for me to step out of the workplace for a while in order to focus on our family.

And so we’re no longer able to buy the lamp, chair or curtains that my heart might leap at in a shop window. But it’s my home, that we all return to, and I love it because of that.

So, a while ago, we were taking down the christmas decorations and in the midst of trying to squeeze everything back into the boxes they hibernate in, I looked down to discover the Monkey crying.

Now I can’t blame the Monkey, I love christmas and am sad to see it go, but this wasn’t like him and so we sat down to try to hear what was tugging at his soul so much.

It turns out it wasn’t the end of presents, or chocolates on tap, but putting away the decorations.

The house didn’t sparkle any more.

So we made a deal, the Monkey and I. We even shook on it, so this was a Serious Issue.

We’d not cry about the christmas decorations going away, but in return we’d work slowly but surely at putting the sparkle back in the house, at making it look the way it did in our hearts.

And we weren’t going to do it with the shop bought rugs, or internet-store cushions.

We were going to do it with love,
and fabric,
and thread,
and wool,
and paper
and our imaginations
and most of all our hearts.

It won’t be an overnight thing as it takes time to really stuff these things with love and memories but little by little we will make our house sparkle so we don’t have tears in January.

And so, I’ve started with plain old bunting. But it will become our birthday bunting, there whenever we come together to celebrate another year with a treasured family member. There in the backgrounds of photos of cakes being blown out or presents being opened.

And each time we unpack it, it will be that little more precious because we will be unpacking family memories.

So here it is monkeys, ninja racoons and owls all present and correct.
And a smiley Monkey all of our own.

Happy Birthday Little One

Thank you for joining our particular circus troupe. We are all the richer for it.


Here’s to the next year and adventures in waiting.


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