Taking stock

Hal, you couldn’t even look after the courgettes says Mandy….ouch that hurt…..

…..nah, it didn’t really, it got me thinking – uh oh.

Anyone who has ever read any self help books, signed themselves up for some talking therapy or just been interested in the way us humans can be our own worst enemies will know the danger of ‘should’ statements. Often they do no more than make you feel shit. Now we’re not talking I should put the washing machine on, check my emails, start cooking dinner. No, I’m referring to the I should be turning the garden here at 23 into an organic farm next spring, I should being learning French and be fluent in errr 6 months tops, I should stop being a consumer, how many planets do I need to contain my Noz addiction? I should run a marathon because I fancy finding out what it would feel like to cross the finish line, I should lose 2 stone cos as a woman I’ve felt the pressure to be slimmer no matter what my size since I was about 10 years old. I should you know. The trouble is these things I should do I just don’t. I don’t even look after the courgettes.

Oh, we had a great summer’s day. I showed a desire to have some veg at my house and Mandy spent the day indulging/ digging (proper digging) a patch with me. She also provided the plants. The sun shone, the kids ran around and at the end of the day we sat with a beer admiring our efforts. And that was that. A few weeks later I’ve got some beautiful class A marrow like courgettes and weeds. I’m not sure how Mandy is keeping a straight face as I wave my grand plans for next year under her nose. I guess she’s known all along I would have this lightbulb moment sooner or later – doh.

marrow les crop
Looks like I’m not the only one!!!

As for the French language it’s all a bit Marmite. Moments of loving it – walking out of the bank feeling very, very pleased with myself having just opened a bank account and I did it all in French…..with the help of lots of arm waving and a unique style of sign language but never the less I did it. Then there are those head banging moments, brain ache….the words just won’t come and it’s painful. Aperitif with our neighbours when we moved in is a moment that springs to mind. My family all very happily sat back and let me do the ‘talking’ and by the end I didn’t know what hurt more.  My brain from all that dodgy sentence building or my arms from all the waving?  The subconscious desire to raise the gods for some assistance??? This week I’ve been helping a group of mums make things to sell at the school fair. It was great to be there, feeling part of it. Understanding considerable chunks of the conversation – I think. Then, someone spoke to me….I was asked if I was ok with the job I had been given. Not rocket science French you would think. Except the sentence was formed in an unfamiliar way….all eyes were on me….I smiled, resorted to waving my hands around a bit, made light of it and another mum rephrased the question and I understood…..but it was all going so well. Until then. Buuurrrrrrr.

My boys have been in school for 18 months now and in the last few days I have witnessed for the first time them speaking French. It was wonderful and well worth the wait.You see, they won’t speak any French with me. As their teacher pointed out, why would they speak French to me when I can’t……oooooooh. Does that arm waving not count for anything??? I really should learn.


I’m actually writing this at 5:30 in the morning. Why? Well, my latest purchase. I know, really should stop consuming. But, we’ve been talking about buying a bread maker for ages and it was in Emmaus so this purchase was helping a charity and I now know what’s in my bread, yer no hidden additives for me……  I stood looking at it, lifting and closing the lid with this mental debate whirling away. When I look up, the guy at the counter is chuckling, when I make it to the counter he gives me a 5 euro discount, perhaps he feels my pain, saw the cogs turning! Last night for our supper we managed to eat the best part of a loaf – cranberry and walnut bread. It was delicious. Before we went to bed I set it up again so we would wake to fresh bread. That I did, at 5:30…..I can sniff out fresh bread in my bleedin sleep. It looks good though, apricot and seed bread for breakfast. I should lose 2 stone you know.


So, what I’m getting around to here is…………

growing courgettes in ones own garden isn’t for everyone.

should 1

We can all too easily lose sight of all we have achieved and all we do. Isn’t that the stuff that actually matters? All the amazing things that have happened in my life….I don’t think any of them started with a should….

Hal xxx




1 thought on “Taking stock

  1. I’ve got a should for you….
    You should cast your mind back to 2014 when you were too scared to open your mouth for fear of saying something stupid when you tried to speak French. Look at your progress, as someone we know and love says. “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

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