I’m in full-on nesting behaviour. Not least for cleaning out the chicken house and putting down new flax, but mainly for getting out my sewing machine and arranging my sewing table. It took a while, but I’m getting round to unpacking. Looks like I might be staying a while. I’ve got the fabric for the draught excluders, and I hope to make them tomorrow. At least then, I won’t have a cold French breeze billowing around my ankles.
The main only user of the sewing machine so far has been Jake. He loves a bit of sewing, mainly because it is a machine. He was talking to Steve about the ‘piston’ – which I take to be the mechanism that makes the needle go up and down. He is well able to thread the machine and wind the bobbin on, and he has used more of the embroidery stitches than I probably ever will. He sewed his name and has spent the evening trying out all the different stitches. I love this side of Jake. He’s a gun-toting, cap-blasting fire-starting smoke-monger, and yet he likes my sewing machine. A man in the making who is perfectly at home with his creative side. As I write, he is sitting illustrating a poem (for his homework!) and Steve is sitting in ‘Steve Corner’ drawing too. A creative little household, tonight. I like the addition of the table to the living room – since Jake has already adopted it as his place in the room. It’s nice to have the three of us (and the Mollster, lying in front of the fire) engaged in creative pursuits, albeit with 24 as a backdrop in the warmth locked away from the cold. It’s the kind of winter-time pursuits I dreamed of.
What’s weird is this change on Jake – he used to leave homework until Sunday night – way after his bath and tea – usually in tears of frustration and sulks. Now he’s showing us his schoolbooks and getting excited about doing homework. I have to say a lot of it is to do with the school. After half term, they are starting ‘la lutte’ in P.E. Wrestling. Indeed. How to make a 10 year old boy very happy indeed. He will also be doing ‘endurance’ – whatever that involves – in preparation for cross country running in February. I love that he’s already excited about going back to school. I love that he hasn’t sulked once about going to school. I love that he wanted to bake cakes for his classmates and have a party for them. I love that he comes home and talks about what he’s done. I don’t know if it’s just because we’re in the thick of it together, the only English speaking people, or if it’s because we’ve become surrogate friends, or if he’s growing up in a lovely non-English way where it means he hasn’t sunk further into Kevin-The-Teenager behaviour. He has occasional moments, but he seems a million times more content. And the little boy lying in front of me saying
“Give us a kiss, Moll!”
and the man behind me asking
“Jake, have you got a pen? I’ve got a puzzle for you…”
are two people who aren’t caught up in the stresses and pressures of English city life. By the way, the puzzle is the ‘As I was going to St Ives’ puzzle. Jake’s gone back to his table and is now writing out the sums to go with it. The answer is one. But I’m not going to tell him.
Ah, and here comes the almost-sulk. But gone like a quick cloud. After all, it’s half-eleven and these two have been in each other’s company for several hours. A peace longer than an hour is to be celebrated as much as one between Israel and Palestine!