Ten on Tuesday – Gratitude Edition

Oh my, I didn’t realise it had been so long since I updated this little corner of the interwebs! I have decided to get back into the swing of things with a themed ten. This week, I bring you ten things for which I am thankful on this chilly Tuesday morning.

1.  Freshly mopped floors. Somehow, if my floors are clean, it makes all of life seem better.

2.  “Little Tyke”, the daughter of my friend whom we have the privilege of looking after once a week. She is extremely cute and often very polite, which never ceases to amaze and amuse me. It is lovely having her with us. It is also a good reminder of how much more difficult life is with very small people around, which is useful to banish any broodiness which might come along!

3.  One of my children (we’ll keep it anonymous to protect the other grumpy children) who decided to be exceedingly helpful today and almost single-handedly tidied our very messy conservatory/toy room.

4.  The old, broken washing machine has finally been removed from our house. For five and a half weeks it sat in the kitchen blocking the back door and making our pantry cupboard difficult to access. Mr Mallon insisted it was providing useful extra worktop space, but fortunately it started to stink and he took it to the tip on Sunday. Thank goodness!

5.  In five weeks my dad and aunt will be coming to visit us. I can’t wait!

6.  After many delays and a fair bit of hassle, we reserved a cat at the RSPCA on Saturday. It is technically Pippi’s much belated birthday gift. We are all very excited. (Well, perhaps not Mr Mallon who took an instant dislike to her. But he does that frequently and the rest of us liked her.) She is a three year old (ish) tortoiseshell. The staff at the rescue centre named her Cookie and after hours of family brainstorming and name deliberations, Pippi has decided that we should keep that name. We don’t have her at home yet. We’re still waiting on a home visit from the RSPCA to ensure we are going to be responsible cat owners. (One might be tempted to think they don’t really want to find homes for their animals – they make it VERY hard to adopt one!) We’ve been hearing since we reserved her that tortoiseshells tend to have very strong personalities and can be a bit of a handful. I think she’ll fit right in with our crazy family!

7.  Diana Wynne Jones March. Have I mentioned DWJ on this blog before? If not, I am shocked. Her books are my latest obsession. I read Howl’s Moving Castle in September, which I’ve been meaning to read ever since I randomly saw the anime film at The Big Scream at Fact when Betsy was 6 weeks old with friends from our NCT antenatal classes. I absolutely loved it. Then, a bit of research informed me that DWJ is the godmother of children’s fantasy. She wrote about 40 books over about 40 years. They are all very different from each other, but each are written in her own imitable style. I’ve been working my way through her collected works since September. Then, I stumbled upon a group of book bloggers who celebrate Diana Wynne Jones month each March (she died in March 2011). I have had so much fun reading everyone’s thoughts on how her books have impacted their lives, reviews and discussions of her books, and even a “watch-along” of the film of Howl’s Moving Castle where we watched the film together and live-tweeted it. It has been great.

8.  Reading Eggs. This is an internet-based phonics programme. I’m pretty sure it basically taught Betsy to read. Pippi and The Boy have been spending a great deal of time on there lately. They’ve been totally enjoying themselves and they are learning loads from it. Hooray.

9.  My friend Anna. She was on holiday last week, and I realised that I really rely on our weekly forest walks to keep myself sane. She is lovely, and I am very glad she is back home again!

10.  Central heating. This has been such a long cold winter! Even though I’m sure we’ve spent a small fortune on heating our house over the past few months, I am extremely grateful that we live in a warm house and we have the money that we need to pay our bills. God looks after us, and for this I am ever so thankful.

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