Thursday, 25 April 2019

Every last drop

The bank holiday weekend feels like longer than three days ago. A few days back at work and school, back into the rush of after school activities, combined with a sudden drop in temperature, and it's like I imagined that gorgeous, sunny, relaxed few days we had last weekend. It's always the way when you jump straight into summer temperatures - it's a horrible shock when the wind and rain remind you that yes, it is still April.

It's unusual for John to have the full four days off work so we were determined to make the most of the Easter long weekend by doing absolutely nothing useful or productive. No decorating, no DIY, no sorting out cupboards - who even are we?!

Food always features heavily in our Easter celebrations. Bella and Angus aren't as interested in making Easter nests as they used to be, which is fine with me as they aren't my number one choice. New traditions are being formed in the making of chocolate bark: white and dark chocolate melted, swirled together and sprinkled with bashed up mini eggs and some mini marshmallows.

I would have liked to have made a Simnel cake, but it's only me that likes it so that seemed a bit of a waste. Instead I made a chocolate malt cake from this book, something I knew everyone would like. We cut into it on Monday after a barbecue and there's only one piece left now so I think we can assume it was popular.

We had a big family meal at my parents' house on Sunday with an egg hunt for the kids (with cryptic clues to solve - they aren't toddlers pottering around the flower beds with their baskets anymore...) and since my mum cooked the roast lamb, we all brought dessert, and my contribution was lemon meringue roulade.

I used this recipe which I've made before and it works really well, except that last time I was disappointed by the lack of lemon flavour, so this time I upped the amount of lemon curd from two tablespoons to almost a full jar, and it was much improved for it. 

There was also a lovely cream tea on Saturday afternoon, a late Mother's Day gift for my mum from my sisters and I, and also a fabulous brunch on Bank Holiday Monday. It was just the four of us and I was feeling virtuous and hungry after a morning run and, after two weeks of eight hours unbroken sleep each night, full of a strange feeling of both energy and calm which I think is what it's like to be rested. It's a unfamiliar feeling and I liked it. I ordered toasted sourdough topped with pesto, avocado and poached eggs, served with roasted tomatoes on the vine and a side of bubble and squeak. I could eat food like that all day every day.

I enjoyed having an Easter tree this year. Rather than hunt for tree branches I found some old sprigs of pussy willow I had knocking around and used stones to weight them into place in the bottom of the vase. 

We made time on Easter Sunday afternoon to go for a walk in the woods to one of my favourite places for spotting bluebells. 

I try to go every spring because I think it's worth the effort. This patch of woodland is hidden from the path and it's only when you turn into the wood and scramble up the path that you suddenly see all this spread out in front of you. 

It makes me glad to be alive.

I think this one was enjoyed it too, even if he was a bit hot.

I spent a pleasant hour in the garden on Monday creating a little succulent garden for our outdoor table which was looking a little bare.

I found a large bowl that I bought in IKEA a while ago, but which I never use as it's huge and doesn't fit in any of my cupboards in the kitchen. I store it in the garage where of course I forget all about it. I filled the bottom with pieces of broken pottery for drainage then a half sand/half compost mix, before adding four succulents I bought for £10 in B&Q.

My track record with succulents in the house is not good (I am certain I have been over watering) but I'm told they thrive on neglect and sunshine, so I'm hoping this little collection does okay over the summer months.

I'm glad we made the most of doing nothing productive, it's a very good plan. 


  1. I have a succulent stone trough on the patio but I am fighting a losing battle with the squirrels.They bury conkers and end up emptying the succulents out looking for them.Most annoying.Glad you had a lovely family Easter.

  2. I love the bluebell photos, they are so elegant and you're right, Ziggy certainly looks full of delight in the picture. Ooh that roulade looks delicious, my teens made chocolate cornflake slices whilst we were away over the weekend. Essentially just melted chocolate and cornflakes. They left it in the fridge, thick in depth and how we didn't break our teeth I don't know. It was nice though once I managed to break it. Cx

  3. All your sweets look so delicious! I've just started a diet, but I have such a sweet tooth. Sounds like you had a lovely, restful time - just what we all need from time to time. I would love to round a corner and see all those bluebells!

  4. Those bluebells must look even more spectacular in real life - I find that photos often can't do blue flowers justice, such as forgetmenots and bluebells; cameras can not distinguish between greens and blues as well as our eyes can.
    All the food sounds and looks marvellous, and I am glad you had such a good relaxing few days!
    Yes, getting back into the routine of everyday rush happens so quickly, and as you say, even quicker when the weather turns from summer back to April at the same time.

  5. I wish our little wood had a carpet of bluebells they are so beautiful at this time of year. I love your Easter tree - it is the first time I have ever made one - but I did the tissue paper egg variety - had great fun though. The weather is so unpredictable at the moment.

  6. There are bluebells in the wood at the farm and I feel bad that I have not walked down to take a peek when we are there house building. Today I will take 5 minutes out from grouting and make the little walk down - thanks for the motivation. Jo x

  7. All gorgeous. I haven't had a long weekend like that for a long time and it sounds wonderful. Love your little succulent bowl. By the way, did you drill a hole in the base? Succulents like a very well-drained soil so be careful with watering and don't leave it out in pouring rain if there's no hole for the water to drain away :-) Sam x

  8. It was a bit hot for dogs at times wasn't it. Love your Easter twigs, very elegant. And the cake is a triumph. Glad you all had such a good break. And how wonderful to feel rested. Bliss indeed. It will all be a bit wild out there this weekend I think, but I have a whole day out to myself tomorrow and I am absolutely beside myself, the wildest of winds will not deter me. Cannot wait. CJ xx

  9. Really tempted by your succulent photos, and last night's GW feature on them. And those bluebells are stunning - it must be lovely to know that you have your own 'private' patch of blue to look forward to next year. Thanks for the link to the roulade recipe. I see it can be made ahead and frozen - looks ideal for when we have visitors coming for a whole week (eek) in June.


  10. شركة تنظيف منازل بالخبر

    شركة تنظيف منازل بالخبر شركة المثالية هي افضل شركة تنظيف بالخبر يمكنكم التواصل معها للحصول علي افضل خدمات تنظيف المنازل والشقق والفلل والبيوت والمجالس والكنب والسجاد والموكيت والمفروشات بجودة عالية ومواصفات قياسية حيث تعد شركة تنظيف منازل بالخبر اولي الشركات التي التي تخصصت في مجالل التنظيف بالخبر ولديها خبرة كبيرة وعمالة ماهرة وادوات تنظيف حديثة وطاقم عمالة مدرب علي اعلي مستوى فلا تترددوا في الاتصال بشركة المثالية للتنظيف بالخبر وسوف تحصلون علي افضل الخدمات المنزلية من نظافة ومكافحة حشرات بارخص الاسعار

  11. Oh I love this post full of beautiful things. You have been very productive and it was nice you spent it with your family doing things together. xxx


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