Thanks for Tara from Sticky Fingers for helping me reclaim this term. For too long in our house it has been tainted by association with four of the most nauseous characters in The Backyardigans - if you don't know it, don't find out; one of the toughest burdens a parent has to endure is toddler taste. It may be the sudden humming of the Nightgarden theme tune in the checkout queue, the insatiable desire the Pickle has for anything bubblegum pink or just having to endure her preferred TV programmes - but toddler taste takes over your life. (On the upside, a little brainwashing does work, the Pickle loves listening to Madness, her Ramones T-shirt and is very fond of Bagpuss and the Clangers).
I think that I have talked a little about our backyard - the Pretty Good Life is very garden focused. Until we had a staycation last year I knew next to nothing about the local attractions as we had always had so much fun just enjoying what we have on our own doorstep. We have forgone the 'Are we there yet' chorus for the joys of gardening, talking to the minibeasts (as insects are now called) and endless home entertaining.
The Pickle spends hours in her playhouse - I made the cutest curtains for it, so in her imagination she is there for days ('It is summer, Mummy, so nights are very short'). She even plants her own garden, this year it went a bit awry when she extended her garden to the patio and filled any cracks in the paving with a very efficient mix of grass seed and compost.
The other picture is of harmony! The chicken pecking over the veg patch as we start our annual planting. The Pickle's repertoire of veg has hugely increased with what we can grow in the garden, she likes the strange triple barrelled leaf called chard-fromthe-garden and tries most other things. Of course there is the law of the unintended consequences, after weaning she decided that she disliked most of her early foods - ruling out bananas, raising and cherry tomatoes - so I grew orange tomatoes to give tomatoes a second chance. Now she is convinced that she only likes orange tomatoes and no red ones will ever do.
I love the Pretty Good Life in all its simple splendours - and most of that is down to luck and our lovely backyard. I am sure that there must be some good sense in thinking that if you are happy with your backyard the whole rest of the world can only serve as a huge and exciting bonus.