Sunday, 26 March 2017

Dancing Washing and Blushing Oranges



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.  




26 comments:

Jennifer Hays said...

Happy Mother's Day, Gillian! It looks like you had a wonderful day. You are much loved.

mrsrobinson said...

Happy Mothers's Day to you... Sounds like a nice day, once the realisation of that pesky hour had been forgotten. I too ate a lot of cake, though without the exercise! We were away this weekend, so maybe I did more wandering than I think... In Suffolk the daffodils are still looking oh so cheery!

Librarian said...

Another one of your lovely posts - a great start to my week, Gillian, just before I'll start work :-)
Your Mother's Day sounds good except for the clock-changing induced grump you were in for a bit. Thumbs up on all the gardening work!! Paint suggestions for the planter: If you intend to have sweet peas in it, why not choose a sweet pea colour - in a muted shade, not too bright as it will only look like plastic then. White or grey (like Angus' bed) would look good, too.
Daffodils are over already where you are? Wow! We're right in the middle of daffy time, and I love each and every one of them.

Jenny Larking said...

It WAS a beautiful weekend wasn't it? I know what you mean about a small garden versus a larger one but with children and dogs it is much nicer for them to have a larger one and not aim too high in terms of control or beauty. As regards the colour of the planter I think a sky blue or aqua would be lovely. I am going to grow some sweet peas again this year. They are my favourite summer flowers I think. To me scent is the most important thing.

Angel Jem said...

Good weekends are such a pleasure, aren't they? Mine was mixed: mostly sunny with occasional cloud cover. And Mother's day was a waste of time for me. I think I might be American this year and celebrate again in May, but just by myself.

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
A similar weekend was had here. Hopefully I can blog about it later. Computer woes reign again. I heartily approve of Angus and his treasure box. Olly has one of his own, and there are always random piles of stuff we've found on our travels scattered about the house. Also I think I may be related to Molly. I do much the same when it's sunny. I'm pretty good on the lead though ;)
Leanne xx

Susan Smith said...

What a lovely chatty post with plenty of pics. Glad the weekend was so nice & you sure fitted a lot in. Our clocks go back next weekend & today was 38, then dropped dramatically to the high teens. What a difference it made. Have a good week & take care.

CJ said...

Yes, gardeners are allowed large quantities of cake, it's in the rules. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend. The weather was utterly scrumptious wasn't it. And it's always lovely to look out at the garden after it's been tidied. How about a very subtle grey-ish green for the planter? Whatever colour you choose I know it will look gorgeous, you have a talent for making things beautiful. I shall look forward to seeing it with sweet peas in it. Mine have just germinated, only 50% so far though. Hopefully there will be a few more popping up. Have a good week Gillian. CJ xx

VeggieMummy said...

Gosh, that cheesecake looks good! It was a glorious weekend wasn't it. I spent a merry morning pressure washing the patio - so much duck poo! I now keep wandering to the patio doors to admire my handiwork. It won't last long; the ducks will soon be back! I can't wait to see what you decide for your planter. Enjoy your week. xx

Christina said...

It was a beautiful weekend here, too. I know what you mean about having to psyche yourself up for the first big gardening day, it is daunting. It looks like you got lots done though! I would paint the box turquoise, or a egg yolk yellow. The blush orange cheese cake looks absolutely amazing! Hope the weather stays fine for a few days. xx

Lisa Holmes said...

Lovely post with great pics. I have a little gardening tip you may find handy, When the garden seems a huge chore, I break it down into smaller jobs that take about an hour. Then depending on your time/energy/enthusiasm you get to choose how many jobs to do. I find it much more pleasing to be able to cross Jobs off of a list, than being faced with an Everest of garden to climb. Most importantly enjoy your garden and your lovely dog x

Katie said...

It has been a lovely weekend to be outside hasn't it! We went for a long dog walk/pram push, and also did some gardening. I remembered about the lost hour but that didn't make me any happier about it! It has continued to be lovely today, which makes the walk to the library all the nicer. Hope you have a lovely week Gillian, and I am thinking an aubergine colour for your planter, but that might be because I am braver with colour in someone elses home than in my own! xx

Anonymous said...

The sunbeam comment made me smile. As the sun patterns in our house have changed over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed both our cats and dogs lying in a sunbeam. And our one little dog will lie a foot from the front of the woodstove until he is panting, then he drags himself away. Silly pets. http://www.lifewiththecrew.typepad.com

Anne said...

In France, Mother's day is later but if I could have these cakes, I would be over the moon ;-)

Marion Ogden said...

Belated happy Mother's Day. It looks like you had a lovely time the whole weekend - lots of jobs done with plenty of nice food and family time too. The cheesecake looks fantastic! x

Jo said...

Happy Weekend. We had a lovely time too. I got on with the gardening a few weeks ago so I feel a bit pleased with myself. We went riding on Saturday and it was beautiful.Jo x

Anonymous said...

Man, your husband is a keeper ! Please can you post the recipe for that cheesecake ? It looks amazing !!!!

AnnieOBTextiles said...

A wonderful weekend despite the stolen hour on Sunday morning. It's so good to see blue skies and dispense with hats and scarves again. The cheesecake looks amazing.

Louise said...

I really enjoyed reading about your weekend, it sounded so lovely! Those cakes look so good!

galant said...

Lovely photos of such a happy time, Gillian. Love those cakes!
Margaret P
www.margaretpowling.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Gillian, 'd love to bake this orange cheeesecake. Where did you get the recipe from ? Elisabet

Anonymous said...

One of my favourite things when the weather gets brighter is getting the washing dry outside, the fresh smell of it. I also dread the first gardening session after Winter as it is hard work, but like you I have done it now and felt like I had really achieved something afterwards. Lokking forward to more sunny days, however it seems to have turned grey the lsdt couple of days.

cassie said...

Looks lovely as usual! I especially love your tea towel on line with the foxglove on it. Your pilea plant is doing well! And I'd like a bite of each of those desserts, thanks :)

Gillian Roe said...

Hi Elisabet, it's from the book Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days. If you google "Hummingbird Bakery Blood Orange Cheesecake" you'll find lots of links to it online on other blogs. :-)
Gillian

Gillian Roe said...

Hi, it's from the book Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days. Search for "Hummingbird Bakery Blood Orange Cheesecake" you'll find lots of links to the recipe online on other blogs.

Lisa said...

All of those desserts look scrumptious.
Molly is such a beauty, lovely to see what she has been up to!
My sister has had to put down astro turf in her garden, the dogs ruined the grass.
Lisa x