Lying in bed reading with the balcony doors open and the breeze blowing in. Breakfast in the garden. Weeding and cutting, potting and planting, tidying and sweeping outside. Everything in the garden suddenly green and growing fast. Lunch in the sun. Drinking tea with my sister in her garden. The children playing outside all day long, scooting and cycling and running around. Paddling pools. Cutting flowers to bring indoors. Walking barefoot on the grass. Long, cool baths for the kids before bed to wash off the grime and sun cream. Gin and tonic. Sleeping with the windows wide open.
It's hard to believe we were experiencing snow showers just ten days ago. It seems that we've gone straight from winter to summer without a proper spring, not that I'm complaining. These fleeting warm days are such a blessing and we have to seize them - especially when they fall on a weekend - because you never know when it will be warm and dry next.
I've had the loveliest of weekends. The weather has been completely and utterly glorious. We abandoned plans to go the beach today (the queues!) and hung out in my parents' garden instead. They have a superior paddling pool (they really do) and the kids set up a run and jump thing with a trampoline which kept them entertained for hours. I've worked really, really hard in the garden lately; sometimes it dawns on me just how much garden I have to keep up with now, but I persevere. I've spent a lot of time working on the border my mum and I created this time last year. It's looking really established considering how new it is, full of colour and variety, and I'm delighted.
It's not very tidy, as there are daffodidils and hyacinths dying down here and there, but it's full of purple tulips (Queen of the Night I believe - their purple-black colour is wonderfully dark and dramatic), red wall flowers and hot pink azalea japonica just for starters.
All those shrubs I transplanted from my sister Katy's garden have taken beautifully. I can't remember what half of them are but it will be fun to watch them flower. Also, my other sister, Anna, gave me two tiny hollyhock plants last summer, bought for pence from a stall at a local fete. I forgot all about them but noticed today that they are currently about a foot wide and as high and in full leaf. I really hope they flower this year. I just love hollyhocks and they would provide so much colour and height against the wooden fence. I'm so excited to see what the garden does this year.
I hope you've all had good weekends, wherever you are, and that the weather has been kind to you. Thank you for your words of encouragement on the kitchen - I can feel you all cheering me on and it's lovely. Not long now. The cooker arrives on Tuesday. To say I am looking forward to that would be something of an understatement.
Have a great week.