It takes a lot to keep our youngest out of the garden. This morning she could not understand why the rest of us were not keen to play out in the biggest storm to hit Britain so far this year: Storm Dennis is arriving today.
Our garden is quite sheltered and I find the gales are much worse on our driveway as I battle my way over to the garage to fetch some left over bubble mix. Before I get back to the door, a tea towel is suddenly blown from inside the house and out into the street and I go charging after it.
I admit that bubble mix is perhaps more associated with balmy sunny days and not the obvious choice for today, however it is brilliant in winter storms. Suddenly the invisible air currents can be seen in all of their glory as the delicate spheres helix around each other and twirl upwards at lightning speeds.
My eldest, unable to say “no” to his little sister whenever she calls his name, is soon outside with us, holding the pot for her.
The very best thing about a blustery day is that the bubbles do not need any help. Little ones can just run about with the bubble wand and the wind will do all of the work for them.
When you are tiny it can still take a little bit of practise and persistence. Patience is a must if the wind suddenly calms and nothing happens.
And then suddenly – magic.
It is not long before my third son is watching us, with his face pressed against the cool glass of the window. Within moments, he is grabbing his own coat and enthusiastically joining in. Our youngest son follows soon after, the breeze almost lifting him off his feet as he runs around the paths pretending to be a kite.
My second son is helping out, running warm baths for the younger ones, as they come in from the cold. Then the storm really picks up and the torrential rain pours down. It is time to get inside.
The little ones are now bathed, nestled into blankets, and wearing clothes that have warmed on radiators. I make two frothy hot chocolates for my eldest sons, and a tea for myself in my favourite winter mug.
The gale is suddenly so strong that it rattles through our roof space and pops the attic hatch out of place. It is quickly fixed by my husband and myself – but it is only midday and the full storm has not hit us yet.
I make a batch of gingerbread with my youngest son and to my delight he learns the word “cookie.” I make bubble shaped biscuits to commemorate the morning’s fun, he makes dinosaur prints. With the scent of baking throughout the house and writing to do, I’m quite happy to be cosied up indoors now, occasionally pausing to watch the raindrops on the window, until it all blows over.