Well, despite the fact that we keep getting sick. It's currently my turn and I have this cold thing including a sore throat and now pinkeye (in both eyes. Nice, huh?)
Anyway, yesterday (Sunday), I woke up not feeling well, but not feeling like I'd been hit by a Mack Truck (Lorrie to you Brits). I laid around on the couch watching something mindless on the television, Arthur maybe? with the boys. Finally I woke up, ate some breakfast, had a latte (which I now have with No sugar, down from a whopping 3 heaping tablespoons!), a shower, and got dressed. I stepped outside with the 3 bigger kids and wandered around the yard (garden in British) only to discover....Nettles! I found so many of them growing on the hillside. I grabbed a pair of thick rubber gloves from the garage (left by the owners of this house) and a stainless steel bowl and began picking. Eventually the Explorer joined me sporting gloves that were at least 5 sizes too big for him. (Note: British nettles are fierce. You must wear gloves that fit.) He was stung by the nettles as was I through my pants (trousers in British, pants=underwear in British). We meandered down to the creek finding more and more nettles. The Artist and I walked down the creek a bit, explored the ruins of an old (probably as old as the house which was built in the 1600s) mill and talked. The tiny Goddess followed for a bit but then just stood on the banks of the creek (stream in British) and said, "Mama, come back."
Afterwards, I played soccer (football in British) with the boys for a little bit while the Tiny Goddess, the Lord of Sound, and Miss Mousie watched and cheered. Then the boys next door came over and took my place in the game. I went in to process my nettles and beat my house into submission. I spent two hours deep cleaning and tidying up the kitchen while listening to podcasts of The Splendid Table. (Because that is what I do on Sunday afternoon.)
We had Mexican for dinner (many of the people we've met here have never had tacos! Can you imagine?) and after dinner I grabbed my ipod and went for a walk.
On my walk (listening to a podcast of CastOn and the gossiping rooks above me), I passed an 11th century church. I walked slowly respectfully through the graveyard pausing to read tombstones and smell primroses. Then I came to the sea and a rocky beach. I spent a good bit of time just breathing, watching, and wondering how I survived four years of living inland (good friends and loving community perhaps?). It was hard to turn my back on the ocean, but I knew I needed to get home. I saw a particularly inviting forest path roughly in the direction of my house just past the church and so I took it. Holy cow! It was a long and muddy path! It spit me out of the forest in someone's back yard at the end of one of these confusing one lane country roads with tall hedgerows on either side. I walked briskly and decided that it would be fine, I was not Lost per say, I just needed to get my bearings. I passed a bunch of horses who all stared at the crazy American (I get lots of stares like that.) Finally the road ended and I saw the back side of a sign. I had a feeling my home was the other way, but I've been fooled like that before so I walked up to the sign only to discover that I was a 1/2 mile on the other side of my house! So briskly I walked home laughing all the way.
(I do plan on taking that path again, but with a flashlight next time.)
When I came home, the Lord of Sound and I watched Star Trek as the boys played Star Wars on the living room floor and the little girls slept.