Saturday, 15 April 2017

Almost Easter


Thank you for your words on my last post. You were kind, reassuring and supportive, just what I needed. Thank you to those who don't usually comment - it was lovely to hear from you. Still, all these years into blogging, I marvel at the warm community of friendship and solidarity that there is here. We still miss our Molly a lot but it gets easier and we are able to talk about her more easily now, and with smiles not tears. 

This past week has been deliberately and purposefully quiet. After the sudden warmth of last weekend, the last few days have been cooler but still sunny. We've been out and about a little but spent most of our time at home and in the garden, and I think it's been good for us all. I've always loved the Easter holidays as they're not as pressured and busy as Christmas, or as long as the summer holiday, and it's the time of year to be energised and active, enjoying the garden and fresh air. I have found it difficult to sit still and have taken a lot of comfort in staying busy, doing some spring cleaning and gardening. I've washed clothes, bedding, curtains and cushion covers, emptied cupboards and scrubbed windows. I've jet-washed decking, painted my planter and bought lots of plants for all the pots. I'd have done all these things anyway but I've taken a particular quiet satisfaction - contentment, even - in doing these tasks this week. 


I felt that Easter had been a bit overlooked so decorated the house a little. As always, there is so much comfort in the constancy of these traditions, of hanging the same decorations and planning the Easter lunch menu. I put some pussy willow in a vase on the kitchen table and made a little wreath from an embroidery hoop and a few flowers, and hung it above the mantel. 


It looks pretty but won't last long. 

The children and I made Easter nests, as is our family tradition. They were a massive failure in that Angus poured too many rice crispies into the melted chocolate, so they wouldn't stick together. We're still eating them.


I made a Simnel Cake today for the first time, with homemade marzipan/almond paste. This wasn't as tricky as I thought it would be and, while it was one of those cakes that seems to take all day, I didn't mind that. For once, I don't seem to be in a mad hurry. I haven't tasted it yet though, I'll save that for tomorrow. 


It hasn't all been chores though; we visited the submarine museum in the week with the children and that was really good fun; we ate our Domino's pizza on the sofa while watching a film (Star Wars); we had a huge pub lunch then a nice walk yesterday. A couple of nights ago I just sat on the sofa with a glass of red wine and a bag of kettle chips and read a cookery book, for ages. It was brilliant.

Shall we review my impossibly long Easter to-do list? 

  • look into and possibly change energy supplier 
  • ditto mobile phone contract
  • make dentist appointment
  • paint the planter in the garden
  • do some gardening, generally
  • go to the tip
  • wash all bedding, rugs and cushion covers
  • clean the windows
  • sort out all the winter coats, boots and hats in the hall cupboard
  • wash and pack away woollen jumpers
  • new school shoes for Bella
  • re-pot all my indoor plants
  • finish my crochet cardigan
  • do some yoga every day
  • do sit-ups every day (feel free to laugh at me)
  • crochet a basket of play fruit and vegetables
  • read some books
  • cook lots of amazing food

  • I have ticked a lot of those off the list but you'll all be glad to know I took your advice and decided I didn't need to clean behind the cooker after all. I haven't done any yoga, or sit ups, but I did go for a run with my sister last Wednesday night. It was my first run in months and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I have almost finished my crochet cardigan, but haven't started the play fruit or vegetables yet. I am reading a lot - books and magazines - and I have cooked and eaten a lot of delicious food. Tomorrow, for Easter lunch, we're roasting a leg of lamb with potatoes, asparagus and spring greens.  I always associate Easter with citrus flavours and often do something like a Tart au Citron or Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert, but this year I'm making a Key Lime Pie. We might go for a walk on the beach too - all that food, we'll need to work up an appetite. 

    Happy Easter to you all. I hope your Easter is both joyful and relaxing and that you do the things you want to do with the people you want to be with. 






    26 comments:

    Susan Smith said...

    Another lovely post & am glad life is settling back down after the turmoil last week. Your time sounds as though it's been well spent without worrying about what you are "doing", which is a great exercise. Your food talk was making me think that I don't really do much now there is only two of us & the Simnel cake is one I've never made, but just watched Mary Berry make one on her Easter Feast. Enjoy the rest of the break & take care.

    Mac n' Janet said...

    Happy Easter to you too. You cleared a lot off your list. Love lamb, we had leg of lamb at Christmas so we'll just have lamb chops tomorrow.

    Jennifer Hays said...

    Happy Easter! I loved reading about what you did this week. You got a lot done! You still have next week; I'm sure you'll get through the list just fine. Your Easter menu sounds delicious. I am making ham, scalloped potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and dinner rolls. I baked a carrot cake today and will make the cream cheese frosting tomorrow. I cheated and bought pre-shredded carrots which was sooo much easier. I will do this forevermore.

    Christina said...

    You know, I just realised that we haven't got a single Easter decoration, not even a sprig of pussy willow! I am totally ashamed of myself. Will I change it? Probably not but will make a mental note for next year. Keeping busy is a good way to help you all heal. Wishing you a lovely Easter Sunday xx

    Kimberley said...

    Have a lovely Easter. I hope I am as industrious as you - I've 18 days off school which is perfect. Love the blanket on the end of the bed.

    CJ said...

    Easter lunch sounds delicious, I love anything citrus. Glad you've been having a good week. The Kettle chips / cookery book hour sounds blissful. Well done on the simnel cake, it's something I always think I should have a go at. 'Do some sit ups every day' is on my list as well, I had forgotten until you mentioned it... Right, I'm off to do the sewing things on my list now - take in shorts and sew on badges. Hope you have a wonderful day. CJ xx

    Catherine said...

    I loved the idea of Simnel cake taking all day. Time to think and reflect with the delicious spicy smells in the air. His is the first year I have not made one and Easter does not feel complete so I won't miss it out next year.
    Happy Easter to ou all.

    mags said...

    Happy Easter and hope you are all able to enjoy the day. This is my first Easter on my own as Dan and Gemma are in Coventry so a little odd but I will enjoy some sewing and crafting.

    Mary Nolan said...

    Happy Easter. Thank you for your beautiful blog. I always look forward to reading your updates. So sorry about your dog. We had to make a similiar decision years ago. Very difficult. Children come first tho! Much love to you.

    Mike@Bit About Britain said...

    Apologies - I stumbled into your blog and spotted a lovely shot of Langstone, and the, further down, Idsworth Chapel - both places I used to know. Wonderful! Idsworth is a very special place. I also see you have had a bit of a tragedy - sorry to hear that - didn't read fully as it seemed a bit intrusive. We had to get rid of a dog when I was a boy for similar reasons. Hope your daugher is well - that's the main thing.

    Louise said...

    ooh I love key lime pie! It sounds like you have achieved a lot and have the satisfaction of crossing plenty of things off the list! A dominos film night sounds perfect, but I don't have a dominos in delivery (or collect and get home before it's cold!) range sadly! I've had my busiest Easter holiday ever I think, not relaxing all as I've done lots of Wildplay work (I need the extra money!) so I'm looking forward to going back to school for a rest!

    Jill Mcmullen said...

    Happy Easter to you and your family Jill. I love Easter far for than Christmas and love doing my traditional family things. Caramel shortbread, Easter cakes and also roast lamb. Your home looks wonderful as usual. Molly will find a new home. Not an end be a new beginning for her and your family.

    Sarah said...

    You are so industrious and organised Gillian. I'm hope I'm not alone in feeling a bit lazy in comparison. We went to St Hubert's Good Friday service which was really special. This evening I'm roasting a shoulder of Adsdean lamb to eat with home grown purple sprouting broccoli and asparagus and rhubarb for pud which you have inspired me to turn into a tart. Happy Easter to you and it is very good to know you are all feeling better about Molly. (The dusky pink colour of your cardigan is so gorgeous!)

    Vikki B said...

    LOVE the embroidery hoop wreath you made. What a great idea. I love the simplicity of it so that each flower stands out. Happy Easter to you and your family.

    Regine Karpel said...

    Beautiful.

    HooksandNeedles said...

    Your photo reminds me of Langstone harbour. It was my favourite place to visit as a child and teenager. As a child we lived in Purbrook, Waterlooville and Cowplain areas of Hampshire so very close by. Years later my husband said his favourite place was Bosham.
    We used to visit Farlington Marsh together too which on a very hot day is lovely as the breeze is so cooling. When the tide comes in at Farlington Marsh it's very eerie as it kind of bubbles up from beneath the sand.
    Living in Lincolnshire now is lovely but I guess you always have fond memories. Cathy x

    VeggieMummy said...

    Happy Easter! You have been busy with your list; well done. Your Easter wreath is lovely and the Simnel Cake looks delicious. I love marzipan but have never managed to get around to making one. Looking at the photo of your kitchen, I see we're apron twins! xx

    mrsrobinson said...

    Hope you all had a happy Easter. Your gentle holiday seems just the thing, and the successes on the holiday list are most impressive!

    Jo said...

    There is solace in lists. Glad you are all ploughing ahead. I am making a tarte aux citron today for a family lunch for 12! i am cooking salmon, asparagus and green beans - Gillian we would be mates if we lived near each other!! (I don't clean behind the cooker either)Jo x

    Elena said...

    Beautiful

    Anonymous said...

    If looking at different energy providers is still on your list, I could thoroughly recommend Good Energy. We switched to them several years ago, partly because we wanted to 'green' our energy supplies and our roof isn't suited to installing photovoltaic. We've been delighted with them - not only do we know that all our energy is from renewables, but their prices aren't outrageous, their customer service is outstanding, and they are real people based in a real office not far from where we live (in Chippenham). Their bills always make sense, and they are refreshing in being proactive in proposing reductions in our monthly direct debit when this is sensible, in sharp contrast to our previous experience with the big providers always putting it up even though we usually ended the year in credit - we've been working hard to reduce our energy consumption over the years - and then we had to have the tedious conversation pointing this out to them and insisting on a reduction. No more of that with Good Energy!
    (and no, I have no personal, financial or any other interest in them).

    Librarian said...

    Your Easter decoration looks nice, and you know I love seeing pictures of your beautiful home anyway!
    You have accomplished a lot from your Easter list, but I am glad you did not do it all - you'd not be human then :-D
    Easter was cold and wet here, but that made staying indoors and being on the road back and forth between my place and O.K.'s easier and we didn't feel like we were missing out on sunshine and fresh air quite so much.
    There was plenty of great food and drink to be enjoyed, and an incredible amount of bunny- and egg-shaped chocolates is now on the sideboard in my living room.

    Anonymous said...

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    AnnieOBTextiles said...

    I'm a bit late with my Easter wishes, but enjoy the rest of the holiday and relax with a glass of something on a regular basis. (Sit ups are over rated)

    Lisa said...

    I think going to the tip was on a lot of peoples list judging by the queue at our local one!
    I hope you enjoyed your cake and that this week has been a relaxing one.
    Lisa x

    Gracie Saylor said...

    I enjoyed reading about your goals and progress thus far, and your decorations are lovely even if they just last for a bit :) xx