Monday, 11 February 2013



From time to time, a day comes along that is entirely free and empty. No groups, no visiting, no obligations, no particular jobs, just a long stretch of hours at home with my boy.

Sometimes, these days come around but rarely, and sometimes they flock together in a long string of emptiness. And if the truth be told, these are the days that I dread. Because there are a lot of hours to fill in a day, and a lot of minutes to survive in those hours.

And so on these days, it's important to have a project. Like building a castle out of a cardboard box.
It's important to watch with wonder as your little boy spends a morning painting, ever so seriously, his face set in concentration, his brush scratching carefully against the cardboard. And it's important to realise when you're on to a good thing and to add flags, a moat, trees, and fields, and really anything else that you can think of.

It's important to get out into the bitterly cold sunshine and feel the icy air cut through your skin as you run across the ancient stones of a the castle that's just on your doorstep, and it's important to catch the excitement of a small boy who can't wait to get home to finish piecing together his own castle and adding indispensable features such as a ghostly knight.

And at the end of a day, it's a good idea to bake cheesy pretzels, enjoy them with vegetable soup, and sit back and think what a good mummy you've been, without for a second letting yourself wonder what on earth you will do to fill the hours tomorrow.


  1. Now that's exactly the sought of thing I thought I'd do with my children but didn't. Well done you for succeeding. Fort looks fantastic by the way.

  2. This is fantastic! At the moment I'm undertaking a research project looking at ways to introduce young children to history. This is a brilliant example of a child being involved in recreating the past! It looks like lots of fun. x

  3. Wonderful, Helen! And I love that final paragraph! Boys of all ages are fascinated by castles - as indeed am I...