Monday 16 April 2018

Breathing space

Where did the last few weeks go? The Easter break seemed to fly by and I must admit it was with a heavy heart that I walked Lily to school this morning all ready for the new Summer term. Although, she's completely fine about it. She's happy to stay home, but just as happy to be returning to school, so for that I am thankful. I've really enjoyed our time off together and it couldn't have come at a better time, so that we had the opportunity to get our strength back following our various illnesses.
We've been keeping busy and done lots of walking. It was lovely to be able to revisit the Coffin Route between  Grasmere and Rydal. The initial plan was to climb Helm Crag, but when the day dawned the weather was a little more unpredictable and much windier than expected, so we decided to stay on lower ground, follow the Coffin Route (Renamed the coughing route by myself for obvious reasons. Thank goodness it's cleared up now), then walk around the shores of Rydal Water and Grasmere, returning  to the car following a brief cafe stop for hot chocolate.  A gentle circular route of around six miles. There are more photographs taken on our last visit here, when the day was brighter.

The woods are always a favourite place to visit. The Wild Garlic is growing in abundance now and I am trying to decide if I should make some pesto like I did last year. I'll have to be quick if I do as the lovely new green shoots won't be around for much longer. Apparently, a stick is a necessary wood walking accessory, required for prodding, swinging and poking at streams.

We enjoyed making (and eating) these chocolate brownies. Half the brownie batter goes in the tin, the salted caramel goes in the middle, then the rest of the batter goes on top. Delicious! They taste so good with the caramel oozing out when you bite into them. I must make some more soon.

The garden has seen a bit of action and I have been adding some colour to the pots. It doesn't take much to brighten things up a little does it? Just a few new plants have made all the difference. We have also sown some vegetable seeds. I wasn't sure whether or not to bother this year, but Lily was very eager to try. So this year we have gone with lettuce, courgettes, spring onions, beetroot, a few carrots and some tomatoes. They are all planted now, so we'll see how we get on. There doesn't seem to be any signs of life yet but I have noticed some random sunflower seeds from a previous year seem to be sprouting, so I'll have to be sure to remove them from the raised bed. The strawberry plants are growing once again and as they are in a larger container this year, I'm hoping we'll get a few more fruits than the five we managed last season. I might even put out the garden furniture at the end of this week, as the weather improves.
Family life is chugging along nicely and as well as feeling much better now, I'm also going to be spending some of the next few weeks getting on with the Spring cleaning and having a good clear-out. I've already made a start on the kitchen and have decided to do it slowly, one cupboard at a time, so that it isn't so overwhelming. I've done three so far and I'm very happy with the results, it all looks so tidy! Being able to reach for something without the entire contents of the cupboard raining down on me as well is also a plus point.
Last Saturday, as the Easter holiday was coming to an end, we spent some time riding our bikes down by the sea. It was very busy - with it being a lovely day there were lots of people out enjoying the sunshine - but we had a really nice ride along the promenade. It's good to see how well Lily has improved in the last couple of weeks and she is a very confident, albeit easily distracted rider.
J. X