Wasn't the weather gorgeous this weekend? We had sun and blue skies and it was especially welcome after all the freezing rain and wind we had last week. I spent as much time outside as I could, from my coffee in the garden first thing on Saturday morning to a walk in the woods this afternoon. The children and the dog are constantly running between house and garden, in and out, the kitchen door permanently left open despite my protestations. The wind is still quite cold - it's only March, after all.
Saturday began with pancakes, our tradition when it's John's weekend off, and a cherished ritual of mine. John leaves for work at 6.30am on weekdays, just as we're all getting up, so breakfast - especially a slow, unrushed one - together is lovely.
We went for a walk down to the shore, where sun was squintingly bright and the wind whipped my hair in my face. Molly showed incredible restraint and didn't bark at a single dog (although she pulled on her lead a lot) so that was a nice change. She's usually noisier.
We came home to hang out the washing and examine our treasures. Angus's eagle eyes had picked out some flint and a broken bit of pot - possibly archaeologically very valuable, we're not sure - which he scrubbed carefully then added to his Treasure Box which contains things like sea glass, stones, bits of twig, feathers - you know, important stuff.
I spent all afternoon in the garden. This was my first proper gardening session this year and, I don't know if it's the same for you, but I kind of have to psyche myself up. The thought of what there is to do overwhelms me and I put it off, but then - like exercise - you feel so much better for doing it afterwards. I tidied and trimmed, swept and weeded, and felt a tiny amount of control return. The grass was raked vigorously and looked better for it. Honestly, if you want to get rid of your moss problem, get a greyhound.
Although you might lose your grass too.
My parents came over later in the afternoon to help me with the back border. We removed the edging of assorted rocks and stones and created a straight line, easier to mow and keep tidy. I'm enjoying looking out of the kitchen window and seeing something pleasingly neat, rather than chaotic and overgrown.
The garden has really come to life in the last couple of weeks. The daffodils are over now, but the wallflowers are just coming out and the tulips are on the way.
I have plans for this planter which, as you can see, we use as a dumping ground. I'd like to paint it and move it to a new spot, fill it with canes and plant sweet peas. I used to grow sweet peas a lot when we lived in Leeds. Sometimes I think I enjoyed our smaller garden there more. It felt more manageable somehow. What colour should I paint it do you think?
Inside, I'm still enjoying the grape hyacinths, even as they droop.
I'm also enjoying watching the late afternoon light move it's way around the house, creating dramatic shadows and highlighting corners that were in darkness a few weeks ago.
This morning started well with handmade cards and cuddles in bed. I was just getting settled in bed with a magazine and drink, the curtains open in front of me and the light streaming in, when I remembered the clocks had gone forwards. I don't know why but this really annoyed me and I spent the rest of the morning rushing around in a grump, doing chores and bemoaning the lost hour that I was going to spend doing nothing.
Molly looks quite comfortable there, doesn't she? Her latest thing is to lie in a sunbeam until she's so warm she's panting, then go and stand by the back door. When you open it, she doesn't go outside, but just stands in the breeze, nose twitching, sniffing the air until she cools down. Then she goes back to her sunny spot.
Sheltered from the wind, the woods were almost warm this afternoon, and we went out in our shirtsleeves, and with sunglasses too. So nice. Simple pleasures.
Our weekend ended with a big mother's day get together at my parent's house, with my sisters and all the grandchildren. We each had to bring dessert and John decided to make a Blood Orange Cheesecake. Blood oranges could not be found however, not even in Waitrose, so we made a Blush Orange Cheesecake, whatever that is. Either way it was delicious.
Can you see where I stuck my finger into the topping to see if it had set?
My sisters brought a chocolate fudge cake and banoffee pie. I didn't get a photo of the banoffee pie but I ate a lot of it.
It occurs to me that I've eaten rather a lot of cake this weekend. But I've done a lot of gardening and walking too so it probably balances out. Sort of.
Happy Mother's Day to you.