My mum and her garden

This afternoon the boys and I walked the the forty houses or so down the road to my Mum and Dad’s house (Nana and Grandad as they are more commonly called nowadays). I live on the same road I grew up on, it’s seems very odd to think it now with all my dreams growing up of where I would go and where I would end up but home is home!

When my parents bought the house on our road in 1992 I was nine. I remember coming to look at it and although I recall it was a bungalow I remember nothing about the house other than the garden. A huge space going back as far as the eye could see with beautiful miniature apple trees and huge horse chestnut trees around the edges. Growing up the garden was often used for adventures, camping, barbecues, quad biking and the occasional sunbathing session with baileys on ice (only after I turned 18 of course!). 

My parents had for many years talked of a dream to build their dream home in the large garden of the bungalow. I always loved listening to them talk about it but being honest never thought it would happen, the bungalow was big, lovely and well… Home.

Fast forward to 2010, I was long since married and living in another town in Kent with my husband and then newborn Nate when mum and dad got their planning permission and building works began. I couldn’t help but be sad, the gorgeous garden, the house I grew up in wouldn’t be there anymore and instead someone else would be living in the bungalow and my parents in the garden in a new house that had never been my home. I think I may have behaved a bit like a spoilt brat but I didn’t go and see any of the progress of the new house until summer 2011 when I was heavily pregnant with Leo who came a week before mum and dad moved into their new home in August.

Fast forward again to today, I walk or drive past the house I grew up in almost everyday and down the little private lane that leads to my parents house, The Orchard Farmhouse as they called it. A lovely couple now live in the bungalow who have looked after it and are cheerful and always nice to the boys (even when they are being noisy). When I get to the end of the lane and see my parents house I still feel like I’m coming home because you realise of course as you get older and become a parent that home is really where your mum is.

I’m not discounting Dad’s please don’t get me wrong but as a mum myself I have never felt closer to my mum. Sure we drive eachother mad at times and my decisions have left her fretting (let’s not talk about tattoos) but wherever my mum is she makes home, not just for me but for my boys too. I love the feeling of knocking on the giant metal door knocker on the wooden front door and walking in and smelling whatever is cooking that day (they feed us a lot, shift work again!) but what I love most is the garden.

When I was growing up I recall mum doing a lot of gardening and the garden always looking pretty but that was as far as my interests went however today I would go as far to say as I am fascinated by flowers and I can spend hours looking at the beautiful plants and flowers mum painstakingly grows in her garden. There are different areas that remind me of different times and things, like the rockery with Passion flowers and overflowing pink clematis climbing down it or the zen like pebble garden with old pots and fountains with different plants growing out of them, there is the vegetable patch and the country garden part which is literally anything you can imagine used to grow flowers from (old fire buckets, enamel jugs, clogs, you name it!).

I spend so much time taking pictures of mums garden and enjoy the moments we spend talking about what she is growing and me learning all the names (I’m getting there!).

I did just that this evening and would love to share some of the pictures with you. 

I love the saying ‘home is where the heart is’ but I think really home is where the family is. I’m just lucky that I have two homes, the one you have already seen a bit of where I live with Karl and our boys and the one in the garden of my childhood home that for a year I refused to look at! 

Lucy xx

Can we really have it all or am I just another cliche? 

Hey lovely people. I have just got home, I have been at work today for ten hours, I left my children in bed watching Deadly 60 with my husband who didn’t have to go to work until this afternoon.

It’s half term, what mother doesn’t want to be at home enjoying some rare ‘free’ time with her children but due to a holiday later on in the year no time off for me or hubby this school half term.

Our cleaner came yesterday, yes we have one, she is amazing and literally allows me to have a small amount of time back to get other jobs done mostly. When I left this morning everything wasn’t perfect but it was calm and mostly in order.

My husband dropped the boys off to my parents on his way to work this afternoon, my parents took them to their weekly swimming lessons, fed them and took them back to their house where I arrived at half past six, they fed me (shepherds pie, love you mum) and then we sat over a cuppa and the boys watched one episode of Operation Ouch (hot identical twin doctors, I don’t argue too much!). Then came the ‘I don’t want to go home’, ‘I want to stay at Nana’s’ and the half an hour long struggle while I am yawning my head off and trying to collect up the copious amounts of belongings the boys travel with.

When we finally get in the car and drive home all the while with the boys arguing I turn the ignition off and look at my watch, it’s twenty past eight in the evening. I’m bloody knackered.

I turn the key in the front door, in my hands are one handbag, one swimming bag, one carrier bag full of today’s dirty clothes, one plate of shepherds pie for hubby when he gets home, two small minion raincoats, a shopping bag with some birthday bits for hubby’s birthday tomorrow and a set of car keys. I open the front door and look around the hallway. There are living room cushions on the floor. There are toys all over the floor. The breakfast bowls are still on the breakfast bar, the bed isn’t made, the living room is covered with sofa cushions from the conservatory (a makeshift boat the boys tell me) and I want to scream. 

I have now read the boys a story, put on their Roald Dahl audio book (bfg) and come and sat on my bed. I’m looking at the piles of washing that need putting away, the birthday presents that need wrapping and the clock, telling me just how fast time is going and how rubbish I am at time keeping.

How oh how do we do it? I don’t even work full time (thirty hours a week), how many women tonight are in my position, we want to earn money to have nice things, nice homes and to set examples for our children of strong women with successful careers and yet all I want to do some days is be here, share their time with them while they still want to spend it with me, to keep the house as nice as I possibly can, to be able to relax and enjoy the world around me instead of feeling stressed and tired all the time!

What’s the solution? The lottery? A dynamic career change with a huge pay cut but more time at home? 

Answers on a postcard please! Considering on changing my name to tired and useless from Whitstable! 
Lucy X

The weather at work today somewhat reflecting this evenings mood!