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Sunday, 29 April 2012

weekend lunch

this weekend i went to visit jane. despite the rain the journey was quick. i arrived to a half full household. and. a very quiet nine year old. she had spent the week away with school and had arrived home not feeling 100%. this is ellie.

there were two new things i learnt about jane this weekend. first. even if her children are ill she doesn't let them watch tv all day. second. much like my dad used to take us swimming every saturday. jane's dad used to make soup for lunch on saturdays. this was how ellie was enticed into the kitchen. the promise of butternut squash soup. 

first the chopping.

then the cooking.

followed by the blending.

the soup is almost ready. just needs some heat.

whilst waiting, ellie was presented with a chocolate bar.

this is not just any old chocolate bar. this bar is a special thames water golden ticket giveaway chocolate bar. as ellie had been on a school trip her bar had been saved for her to open when she got home. it was presented by her dad. all of us looking on as she opened. 

this was what was inside.

and this was ellies face when she realised what it meant.

the family were already successful in the olympic ticket draw. this is the second bite of the cherry. the challenge for ellie? who to take with her. the bribery has already commenced. 

excitement over. lunch eaten. not even olympic tickets can make her feel better. but. maybe. tv time with her big brother is just what the doctor ordered after a week away. i hope she feels better soon.


Monday, 23 April 2012


Ok...so according to the papers, the news and my lovely husband who may work for a local water company we are in drought. The kind of drought that means we need to time our showers, water our plants with water from the washing up bowl, and definitely never use a hosepipe. This was confirmed when I went to London and on the train platform there was a stand where people where giving out leaflets telling me that we are in drought.
In yet, there is a certain irony in that. On the train platform the stand was surrounded by buckets, catching rain drops from the ceiling as it leaked.
It rained all of last week. It rained at the weekend. It rained today. This is what my phone says for the week:

So, why does that matter? Because weather somehow effects the mood. Everything feels grey, cold and gloomy. I'm typing this wearing my thickest jumper, in yet its nearly May. This last week I have gone through a real battle in my head. A battle to say I can cope at work, a battle to find enough a headspace to write on here (thanks to Emma as ever for keeping posting), a battle to force myself to do the things I should be doing.
Sometimes life is like that isn't it? We all have those things inside us that get us down, that make everything seem harder. As women I think its worse- the sense of guilt that seems to have been passed down through generations makes it harder. We can all have a talent for believing in our inadequacies.
Yesterday afternoon as I went into the kitchen out of the window it was still raining, but within this sunlight shone through. It made the garden look beautiful, the rain drops glistened.

We went outside to chase the rainbow- the hidden optimism, the beauty of the sky, we stood in the rain and got wet, but it was fun. It reminded me about finding the sunlight, accepting our mental headspace, of knowing there is a bigger plan, and of the beauty there is within.
However, I still advise an umbrella for the next week, a shelter is always good:)


Sunday, 22 April 2012


i don't work weekends. when it is raining on a weekend morning. i love lying in bed and listening to the sound. safe in the knowledge that i don't have to get up and out in it. today i was happy not to hear that sound when i woke. yesterday it rained. and most of last week. and if reports are to be believed it will for most of next week. on thursday i arrived home to a delivery. this was what it brought.

i received as a present a voucher for crocus. an on-line plant shop. last month i spent it. this month my veg and herb garden arrived. as everything arrives as plugs they need to be planted out quickly. whilst the rain was in abeyance i started early. working quickly.  i chose the window box collection as i grow my veg in pots on my deck. i set to work sorting out which plant would go in which container. quickly i realised two things. first; i had nowhere to grow the plants that needed to be protected from frost. second; i didn't have enough pots. a call to my sister provided a sunny kitchen window sill for peppers and cucumbers. and. a home for my overflow of spring onions and spinach. 

i can't say that i avoided the rain. but. i did avoid the hail. i am now the proud owner of a renewed herb garden. and added to my strawberry plants; tomatoes, mange tout, nasturtiums, lettuce. others will join them over the next few months. it's a good start. 

i'm not green fingered. but. i do enjoy pottering. the care and attention that tending to plants requires helps me relax and unwind after long work days. i enjoy eating what has been grown. thyme with roasted meats. chives with potato salad. mint in a glass of pimms. or a pot of tea. tomatoes. picked off the vine. eaten whole. i have to limit myself. the salad would never see them. the smell of tomato vines takes me back to being a young girl. an elderly neighbour would take us into his greenhouse and let us water his tomato plants. the sweet pungent aroma hit you as the door slid open. nowadays it is my tomatoes that are passed over hedges and fences and shared with my elderly neighbours. that is the best part of the tending and growing process for me; the sharing of it. 


Sunday, 15 April 2012

handmade wishes

last weekend my immediate family all got together for the first time in a long time. i have nieces and nephews. the girls are older than the boys. it's always great fun to see them play together. over easter they got to hang out. the day my brother arrived to make it a full house it was my birthday. throughout the busy day i was presented with handmade birthday wishes. my nieces are prolific with pen and paper. not until i was tidying up this weekend did i realise how prolific. 

this one melted my heart. the oldest wrote it. each one of the four signed their own name.

then came all the pictures and cards. love. the oldest is six. the youngest four. i love how my sister and sister in law have encouraged them to be creative. fueled their imagination. allowed them to express themselves. be it with words. pictures. clothes. each have their own specific personalities and style. it is my honour to be an auntie come climbing frame to each one.

none of them put their names to anything. i can guess. but. i love that i got sunshine. smiles. and rainbows. after all isn't that what life is all about? i still dream in colour. i hope when they are grown they will do that too.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

the voice

last week i had my sister in law and nieces to stay. my sister in law asked me if i had been watching the voice uk. i hadn't. she proceeded to tell all waxing lyrical of her love of it.  will.i.am had a lot to do with that. that's a different post for a different day. as we were spending the week together we made a pact to watch it saturday night. i got what she was talking about. tonight i watched it again. the final blind auditions did not disappoint. take a look. make sure you keep watching until the end. the end is epic. not a dry eye in my house. 


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Bank Holiday Monday

This Easter we have done a lot of travelling, to collect family and visit family, but it didn't matter as the long weekend meant it didn't feel crowded. Easter Monday was a typical gloomy bank holiday; but we braved the rain and went with my sister in law to Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The scenery and wide open spaces go on for miles, with all shapes and sizes of sculptures marking the landscape, some of which are inspiring, others quirky, but all interesting.

In between the cousins chatted......

It was a special day; as this is where my sister-in-law has chosen to get married in September. The park fits her; unconventional, natural, beautiful. It was her chance to share it with us and show us her dreams and hopes. I think wedding clothes with wellies sounds perfect.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

weekend snapshot

last week was busy. i had family to stay. and went to stay with family. it was easter. and my birthday. we had great fun with little people. even the sun came out to play. it was fab. 


Friday, 6 April 2012

Relaxing Friday

Today was about a journey. All we had to do was to travel from home to Norfolk, with no other plans for the day. I woke up with no expectations, no lists, just knowing that at some point we would pack up and be on our way. The journey was long, and once here the weather was gloomy with little option to go out and explore. Yet today it didn't matter. With nothing specific to do I stopped, sat and enjoyed the company of people I love, with no other agenda or distractions. We watched music videos, took silly pictures and chilled. It's a long time since I've stopped and enjoyed just being and sharing moments. Today nothing big happened, but it was perfect. Jane

Thursday, 5 April 2012

higher love

when the alarm went off this morning i was in such a deep sleep that i thought the alarm i could hear was my visitors, not mine. suddenly i realised it was my alarm i needed to hit the snooze button on. coming to i heard a neighbour putting their bin out. in my sleepy state i realised i hadn't put mine out. pulling on last nights clothes bins were put out and on return a bathroom entered. standing under the shower running through all the things that the day would hold (read to-do list) this song came out of no-where. singing ensued. work load was heavy today, not much time for mind wandering or humming. walking in my front door, free of the week and looking forward to a long weekend full of family, friends and celebrations, i started singing it again. i remember the video. i didn't remember chaka khan. so 80's. enjoy.


Monday, 2 April 2012

vix at forty

this weekend my sister and i hit londontown for twenty four hours. our sister in law was forty. we had a duty to the three d's. dress up. drink. dance. we had a brilliant night. there were no little people. the first time in over six years. my brother and i take pictures. lots of them. i had a glitter ball theme. he had a spectacles one. these are the ones i took. bar the picture of myself of course. that credit goes to my little brother. obviously neither of us took the photos of the three of us together either. i didn't catch the guys name. but i like the cut of his photography jib.