Wednesday, 17 July 2013

In the night garden

A couple of weeks ago, before it got too hot and humid, we spent most of the weekend in the garden. I hadn't been letting the boys play out there unattended much because we spotted not one, but 7 (seven!) suzume-bachi on the big tree. They are a kind of giant hornet, about the size of my thumb, which not only have a powerful sting but also bite. They gnaw at trees to access the sap but, if disturbed, they'll gnaw at you too... Anyway, H made some traps (he recommends a base of grapefruit juice), and we seem to have solved the problem (touch wood...).

On the plus side of the suzume-bachi infestation (assuming you consider a increase in insects to be a good thing), the readily available tree sap has attracted a variety of other bugs, including stag beetles. Hunting for stag beetles is a popular summer activity for little boys here, and some little boys never really grow out of it... H was very excited to find stag beetles in our garden; he's often caught them in the mountains but has never found them around here before, even as a child. Insect-keeping supplies can be found at any home centre in the pet section, so we now have a box full of stag beetles in our living room.

On the Saturday afternoon I pitched our little tent. The boys loved playing in it, although H did have a moment of panic when he thought he had lost T. Nowhere in the garden, nowhere in the house... he turned out to be hiding under the built-in groundsheet of the tent!

For once I was able to just sit on the patio and relax, watching the boys play, without having to referee or join in the games myself. Of course it only lasted for about 10 minutes, but it was an encouraging glimpse into my (hopefully) near future. It was also a good chance to play about with the focus on the new camera...

Later, little frogs made way for dinner. I had suggested a barbecue, in keeping with the camping theme, but H had a much smarter idea: we took the little electric fish grill out onto the patio and cooked sausages for hot dogs there. The boys were still excited about 'cooking' outside, and I was happy with the minimal clear-up. Along with some caramelised onions, corn-on-the-cob and mini-tomatoes, it was the perfect lazy summer dinner. Especially with that glass of wine...

After dinner there was a bit more playing in the garden...

...and then it was time to get ready for bed. T and H slept upstairs as usual, but K and I slept in the tent. It was very lazy camping, using an ordinary futon instead of sleeping bags. I wondered if K would be at all scared or want to go back to the house, but he was quite happy to spend the night there. I also thought that it might be too hot and stuffy once the sun came up, but we both slept comfortably until 7, when it was still cool and pleasant in the tent.

We came back into the house through the patio doors and then, as I headed to the bathroom, I found this, which gave me quite a start:

Yes, that's T asleep on the doormat. No-one knows when he moved there (he was asleep in his cot upstairs when H went to bed), but he seemed quite happy about it, telling me 'T sleep genkan [entranceway]!Mat!' repeatedly. I suspect he woke up in the room he shares with K and, finding himself alone, set off to look for his brother. I wouldn't have been so surprised to find him, say, on the sofa, where one might naturally sit down and gradually fall asleep, but finding him by the front door suggested to me that he made a conscious decision to lie down there. Maybe he thought K would return that way and decided to wait for him, like a loyal dog waiting for his master?

There was a lot more tent fun on Sunday and, perhaps not surprisingly, K wanted to sleep there again that night. So we did. And on Monday morning, we found T asleep on the sofa...

1 comment:

  1. Nice but supposedly I'm looking for the post page of childrens magic shows, any way it's really cool.