View over the top of Goethe’s book

Our house is currently running on adrenaline, long teenage sighs, and occasional bouts of panic. My daughter is in the middle of her exams, the results of which will decide whether she can take up her conditional university offer or not. And there’s no chance of resits, what with her being a 6th year, and no collages around here that offer those types of academic courses, so there’s a lot riding on this.

So, I thought I’d get her out into the daylight and fresh air, to straighten her back and move blood around her system. I’m currently reading Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days from the library (picked for cover alone), about young Peggy, whose dad, a weird survivalist type, takes her out into the woods in the middle of nowhere (after a practice run of nettle-eating survivalism in Highgate Cemetery), without telling her mother. However, it’s not a tense, worrying book, as the book opens with Peggy already reunited with mother, giving me the security I need to keep reading, and not worry a sticky end awaits Peggy. Also, I’d love to do the whole survivalist thing, even though I’d be rubbish at it as a vegetarian that is fond of toilet roll and hot water bottles, I imagine it to really makes a person feel alive.


So, the book put me in the mood to take my daughter out into the woods to really get away from it all, but sans nettle-root boiling (we took sandwiches, crisps and fruitcake). Not far from us is the remains of Louden Wood ancient stone circle. It shows up on satellite images. People have written blog posts about going there, but even with my ordnance survey map, we could not find it. We narrowed it down to the right patch of woodland, and wandered among the extremely dark, damp, dense trees for ages, but never found the clearing. The ground was often boggy, and covered in strange fungus and we saw some unusual spiders and beetles, but alas, it was so dark no photos from inside came out. The picture below of the circle is from the council’s website, and I suspect many times we were right next to it, however, we just kept coming back out on the Forestry Commission tracks that surround the wood.

I had taken my Playmobil Goethe with me as he lives on my desk, so also doesn’t get much fresh air.  He too was disappointed not the find the circle, so instead wrote underneath a baby pine tree, indulged in some serious gorse-sniffing (the best fragrance in the world, EVER) and then when back home in the garden, made some pointed comments about the length of my lawn, and then he fell asleep under his work.

And finally, I now have two pairs of glasses. This greatly increases the risk of losing them as I switch between pairs for different tasks, and so I knitted myself a little case, lined with floral fabric, that I could attach to my work ID lanyard, so when I take off my walking about glasses to put my reading ones on, I’ll be able to alternate them in the case and not lose them. It’s basically the same logic and mittens on string, except there is a substantial price difference between specs and mittens.