outdoor living

Five years ago today, around 2pm, we sat on our patio eating sandwiches, waiting for the removal men to turn up with all our things. At 36 weeks pregnant I was the size of a small warship. Big M was just M and only 2. Mr TOPP was just the same, with slightly more hair.

Our old house had no outside space to speak of, and with almost two Ms a garden had been high on our wish list when house hunting. As we sat in the sunshine, eating our picnic lunch, we agreed that we should get some garden furniture. We wanted the garden to be like an extra room, somewhere we all played and relaxed.

We wanted our children to grow up playing in the fresh air, whatever the weather. We wanted them to experience outdoor living, even though we live slap bang in the middle of a city. Over the past five years we have provided the Ms with outdoor games – a see-saw, a trampoline, skittles, paddling pools, to name but a few. But once the sun has gone in, or they have bounced themselves out, they’ve headed back inside.

Each year we have found a reason not to buy any garden furniture: we won’t use it, it hasn’t stopped bloody raining since May, you know how it goes.

Yesterday I finally decided the time had come. Mr TOPP will be enjoying the Italian sunshine, and I’m buggered if I am going to waste another summer indoors.

We got the table built in time for lunch. We also ate our dinner outside.

The only time we left the garden, pretty much all day was to go to the post office to send off for the Ms passports.

Once the Ms were in bed, I even went and sat outside, listening to the birds sing while I had a glass of wine instead of heading to the sofa and the tv.


Cheers big ears


Finally, five years – pretty much to the day – after we first thought it, we are using the garden as part of our home. Long may it continue.



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