Wednesday 27 March 2019

First Weekend in Spring

Along with a change in circumstances (and a good dose of sea air!) I am in no doubt my feelings of positivity have greatly increased with the much needed arrival of spring. The false start at the end of February had been a wonderful surprise and, although it was really far too early for such balmy temperatures, it only served to intensify my longing for warmer days and outdoor adventures.

It is the time of year when the garden appears in a hurry to wake from it's winter sleep. Things are growing at an alarming rate,  although,  if the weeds would care to take their time, then that would be more than fine with me.  The grass has now had it's first cut of the season and we are thinking about what to plant out there this year. Definitely sweet peas (me) and definitely a pumpkin (Lily) and always sunflowers. As yet, I'm undecided about anything else but I do know I would much prefer a low maintenance approach this year. I love spending time in the garden but I am, by no means, naturally green fingered.

On Saturday we took a walk around Grasmere. We were up bright and early, which is no longer a chore seeing as the mornings are getting lighter and we are treated to a regular dawn chorus. This meant we were able to enjoy a quiet walk along the lake shore from Grasmere village to the lower end of Loughrigg Fell. It is a favourite walk of ours and is an ideal place for a spot of paddling or a picnic. Not on this day, however, it was much too chilly. Although I did lose track of the amount of times I had to remind Lily to keep out of the water. Even though there is a perfectly good path, she insisted on walking right next to the water's edge and, more often than not, right in it! Thank goodness for decent walking boots, as her feet remained warm and dry the whole time we were out.

On Sunday we went for a walk in the nearby woods. Again, it was lovely and quiet and it was clear to see the woodland floor coming back to life, with Wood Anemones and Wild Garlic in abundance and it is obvious it won't be long before the Bluebells will be making an appearance. We stopped by the pond and had a good long look at the frog spawn, which we will enjoy watching change and grow over the next few weeks, but the main reason for our visit was to gather some of the Wild Garlic. It wasn't difficult as the fresh young shoots were plentiful and, with my little helper, we soon had enough to fill our small bag.  Once home, it was quickly turned into the most delicious, fresh tasting pesto, which we enjoyed simply, stirred through fresh pasta and topped with a sprinkling of cheese. If you have never tried it before I would definitely recommend it. The recipe I use is here.
J. X

Friday 22 March 2019

Sea Air

With every passing day, life is slowly returning to a steady rhythm once more and I can feel my shoulders beginning to lighten from the recent stress and worry which have been weighing me down these last few months.  With the uncertainty and apprehension almost behind us now, it is with huge relief I can now see myself looking forward and making plans for the months ahead once again.

In recognition of what feels like new beginnings, at the weekend I thought it a good opportunity to have a ceremonial blowing away of the cobwebs with a walk along the shore. There is nothing quite like a good dose of sea air to awaken the senses and make me feel alive, especially since the previous day had been so wet and windy we didn't even leave the house.

The day brought with it some lovely bright sunshine but the wind was still blustering and, of course, along the coast it is so much stronger than inland, that there were moments when it felt more than a little arduous to be walking in it. But, most importantly, it felt so good. Exhausting but good. While billowy white clouds raced across the sky we trundled across the sand, breathing in the fresh salty air. We continued to walk for a while, stopping briefly to enjoy a light picnic lunch (holding onto it very tightly!) and a play on the swings, before retracing our steps once more.  By this time our pace had quickened as, although the wind was now predominantly against us, it appeared to be sending some very dark rain clouds our way.

As the wind whipped around us, it felt bitterly cold and, although we were wrapped up well, since I had forgotten to take along my mittens,  my hands had spent much of the time tucked away in my pockets. Returning home I soon had them warm once more, wrapping them around a steaming hot mug of tea, the day's exertion lending itself to me feeling tired all of a sudden, yet with a clear head and renewed spirit.
J. X

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Ticking Along

It's been a while but, as the title suggests, life is ticking along nicely. I've been preoccupied with the everyday and, what with trying to keep on top of things, I feel like I've neglected this little space.
There has been nothing much noteworthy happening of late, with the exception of a welcome return to regular routine and, I'm pleased to say, life should be on a more even keel within the next few weeks. Lily has been back at school for a little while now and, aside from trying to keep up with the day to day chores, any free time has been spent relaxing indoors and ambling quietly through our days.

Following several sunny days, the weather has been very unpredictable and hasn't lent itself to us venturing far from home. We spent Lily's last day off from school paddling in the lake and picnicking on the shore.  A delightful treat of a day  and it was so good to feel the hot sun on my skin but, to be honest,  it was reassuring to see a return to more seasonable weather, I just wish it wasn't quite so wild.

Last week we celebrated World Book Day at school, with the focus being on poetry. Lily went dressed as a robin for the day, her chosen poem was 'The north wind doth blow.' I had somehow managed to assemble some soft fleece fabric into a cosy red and brown jumper, with the inside of a cereal packet fashioned as a beak (apparently she wore it all day!) and she won best costume in her class! She very proudly accepted her award of a book token and, after much careful consideration, has since spent it wisely on another 'Mog' book.

The days are lengthening and, with us finally being able to get back on track following a difficult few months, I'm hoping that along with some brighter weather I will begin to feel my mood begin to lift once again. Spring is on the way and it's a time to look forward and make plans for the months ahead. It's wonderful to feel I'm in a place where I can do that once more.

J. X