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Every year, every Autumn I used to make blackberry jam.  However, after making a lots of jars of it, and it being only me that seemed to eat it, I gave up and made pies and crumbles.  That is until this year.  In June we went to my cousin’s lovely wedding.  At the table every person had a pot of homemade blackberry, or blackberry and apple jam.  My trio affectionately named this “wedding jam” and have asked for nothing else since we finished our two pots.  So, with everyone firmly addicted now to blackberry jam, I enrolled the three of them in helping to pick the blackberries in the country park over the road for us.  It felt good to head out into the countryside and nature to clear my head a bit, especially as this morning I awoke with a bang panicking about how to decrease our little lady’s hoarded possessions, without her threatening me she would be staying in the UK!!

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So, off we pottered, three bags in hand; one for me, one for the little lady, and one for the twins to share in the hope they might contribute!  They were all enthusiastic at first, and very cute.  Twin 2 was carrying the bag, and twin one was picking.  Every time he put a blackberry in, he’d say something along the lines of, “there’s one in there, and now I’ve put 2 in, how many does that make it?”!!!!!  So, poor twin 2 was doing a lot of counting bless him, but it was very lovely.  However, they lasted about 6 minutes, before moving onto eating them, and then only a few more minutes before finding that investigating the undergrowth was much more attractive, and taking photos and movies on their little cameras.  So it was down to us ladies to pick the berries, and keep 4 little 4 year old hands out the bags!

z127I managed to capture the mini men mid maths sum in this photo!  We picked around 1.5kg of berries, so should get a reasonable amount of jam from that when I get round to it.  See from the photos below if you can guess who owned which carrier bag of blackberries!!  The only thing is now, the jam has to live up to the taste of the “wedding jam”……

 

 

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Then it was onto the big job of the day after lunch, and that was decluttering our little lady’s room.  She collects anything and everything, as it might one day have a purpose, or be used to make something.  I have indulged her in this as long as she has kept to the constraints of one rather large huge box, but with a move planned from the most enormous bedroom I have ever seen, to one which would still be the biggest in any house we got, but more of a normal size, we needed to tackle her “stuff”.  She has also clung onto a lot of toys, cuddlies, party favours, home made crafts, and notebooks…how many notebooks does a girl use at one time!!  So, with a few tears (but a lot less than I had anticipated), we spent over three hours ploughing through her room.  The removal man had been so lovely saying storage draws could stay as they were ie I didn’t have to pack it all into boxes, but then he followed it up with, just make sure everything’s actually inside as he saw tiaras and wands spilling out of one!  I think that is one of the toughest and emotional jobs of the whole moving process done though, and a big well done to her for tackling it so well.  I have written about the advantages of simpler lives before, and less toys for children and the benefits, but the one area that this has been the hardest to apply to in our home, is in our daughters bedroom.  She was our first child, and I hold my hands up that we bought her too much stuff, and then learnt about the benefits of less is more later on, but I can’t expect her to buy into all that at the age of 8, when she’s sifting through her prize possessions.  So a pile of stuff for the charity shop later, 6 empty storage unit draws (which was the main aim – she has 12!), and 2 black bin bags of rubbish, I think I can say that was a success, although I am not sure she’d agree 🙂