Tuesday, 21 May 2013
On Saturday morning I spotted this bright bloom in the flower bed, its head drooping down to the earth. I thought one of the kids had snapped the stem while playing so I brought it inside. Turns out there was a heavy snail hiding inside weighing the tulip head down. Snail relocated, a glass milk bottle vase was all that was needed.
Sometimes the simple things are the best.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
|A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013|
A: Watercolour challenge. Drawing this year's rather garish tulips.
T: Countryfile. Running away from snails on tiny toes.
Today's title is sarcastic, I'm afraid. Despite the rays, we've all been in rather black moods. Been having too many early starts and late nights.
Yesterday was my beau's birthday. Breakfast in bed consisted of croissants and jam, brownies and berries, cava and coffee. And a whole heap of crumbs. The morning involved pottering, but the afternoon was spent at the Lido for a treatment and lunch in the glorious sunshine. Followed by 'The Great Gatsby' last night. I loved it all, and am out tonight for more birthday fun - this time, a friend's 40th with cocktails a-plenty. Chin chin!
Have a great weekend.
Also linking this up to Mammasaurus and her How does your garden grow? linky.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
It doesn't happen often, does it? The kids are happy, no-one is crying/whinging/hungry/tired, and everyone is up for some fun. But this is what happened on Saturday morning.
I've written before (briefly) about T's speech delay, caused by a bad case of glue ear. We were on the list for grommets but a recent check-up showed T's hearing had improved enough for this intervention to be unnecessary now. The speech delay and other issues remain, however, and will for a while, I guess. T's nursery could not be more brilliant with him, and recently told us they'd spotted his interest in 'envelopment' - a play schema which manifests as an interest in hiding, covering, filling, burying, wrapping, enclosing, volume and capacity. So, to reinforce this interest, Saturday morning was spent at our pretend birthday party.
First, we made playdough cakes topped with real candles that were lit and blown out numerous times. Balloons were blown up and glow stick necklaces fashioned. We played hide-and-seek, musical statues, and pass-the-parcel (using a set of stacking sandwich boxes instead of wrapping paper). We made cards, ate Welsh cakes and drank chocolate milk from little bottles with straws. T loved it. And when my boy is happy, I'm happy.
If I were a better blogger, I'd have taken loads of beautiful photographs documenting this glorious morning. Instead, I chose to play (and you get a rather messy table pic!).
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
I get a little giddy at this time of year, what with all the new blooms coming out to play. On Sunday, A and I went on a road trip to pick up some furniture. On the way, he needed the loo so we stopped in a little lay-by where I couldn't resist pinching a few stems of cow parsley for this week's Nature in the home forage.
Simplicity itself, I love the way they sit quietly in an old apothecary jar up on the mantelpiece, next to a new (old) mirror with just the right amount of foxing to the glass.
I was lucky enough to be the recipient of lovely Lou's May Day tradition, when I opened the front door to find this beautiful little jar of sweet flowers hanging from the door knob. Thank you Lou!
Don't forget to link up to Project Simplify this month - 3 days remain.
Saturday, 11 May 2013
|A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013|
A: With his friend.
T: With his daddy.
My, these kids have spectacular hair. It's difficult not to focus on their mops. Perhaps haircuts are in order, definitely when summer arrives (come ON, we're waiting for you).
This morning we had the best time. So good, in fact, it deserves a post all of its own. The rest of the weekend we plan to have a little jiggle about of furniture, rearrange some stuff (I know, we do this all the time. Never satisfied), and try not to get 'winded away', as A used to say, in this horrid blowy weather. I think having long hair has given me an intense hatred gusts and gales. The only good thing I can think to say about it is that I inadvertently find myself humming this lovely song.
What are your weekend plans? Do you hate this weather too?
Friday, 10 May 2013
Last Sunday we headed up to Ashton Court with friends for a picnic and a few rides on the miniature railway. The kids ran about in fields of green, hiding in hedgerows and chasing bubbles. We breathed in air full of warmth and blossom.
Busy as ever, the miniature railway is a curious collection of quaintness: tiny steam engines cared for by dedicated enthusiasts, themselves cared for by kindly old ladies wielding copious mugs of tea and chunks of shortbread.
This is England.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
On Friday I held a one-week-old baby called Dot. She did an excellent job of making me completely broody. Those twinkly dark eyes! That lovely mop of black hair! Oh, newborn babies are really something special. Made my boys seem like GIANTS.
I wanted to make something for my friend to eat, and tried to think my way back to those early days and what my tastebuds would've wanted. I settled on chocolate-dipped strawberries - fresh, healthy, and thirst-quenching, but a little bit special too.
300g chocolate (I used half dark and half milk - I like the semi-sweetness of this blend)
Method (clockwise from top left):
I am being facetious but it really isn't very complicated. It's important to dry the strawberries thoroughly as water left under the chocolate layer will make the strawberries go a bit runny. The melting stage is over a double boiler or a bowl over (but not touching) a pan of boiling water. It's very easy - just dip the strawberry into the chocolate mixture and twizzle around a bit until it no longer drips. Then place on a tray covered with parchment or baking paper. You could put them in the fridge for an hour or so to cool, but no longer than that or little beads of moisture form on the chocolate. Any leftover chocolate could be poured into a chocolate or ice cube mould.
These really are the perfect summer treat.