:: We had a lovely time on Saturday celebrating John's birthday. When asked what he wanted to do, he said he just wanted to chill, so that is what we did.
We pottered around the house, went for a walk, ate ice creams, and went out for dinner to a burger place in Portsmouth, 7 Bone.
We came home for the birthday cake, a stack of peppermint Oreo chocolate brownies.
:: Decorating the downstairs spare room/Bella's new bedroom has ground to a temporary halt but that's ok. The worst, the dustiest, jobs are done and all that we need to do is paint. We are just waiting for an electrician to come round and move a light switch for us, then we can start.
:: I've barely touched the garden this year but it's looking surprisingly alright. Ok, the borders are a little untidy, and we really need some rain, but it's all ticking over quite nicely out there. Finally the borders, which have only been there since we moved in four years ago, are starting to fill out a little and look more established.
:: It looks like we'll have a decent amount of redcurrants and blackcurrants this year, if I can beat the birds to them.
:: The succulent planter on the outside table is looking good and I've done absolutely nothing to it. Perhaps they really do thrive on neglect.
:: I made my first sourdough loaf on Sunday, following this excellent tutorial. I began the starter mixture the week before, dutifully discarding and feeding every day, watching the bubbles begin to pop on the surface. So satisfying. I have so much to learn, but a big appetite for both eating sourdough (it's our favourite bread in this house, we can eat a loaf in a day easily) and learning how to make it better. This loaf was with white flour, and I put way too much on top, so it's very pale looking, but I want to add wholemeal and rye flour, to darken both the colour and flavour.
:: We have become a little obsessed with this Anna Jones pasta recipe over recent weeks, cooking it at least once a week. I've never tried cooking pasta this way, all in with the vegetables, water and oil. but it's a revelation. Even the children ate it.
:: It was back to work today, and that was OK. I like my job, I like that I don't dread going to work. My colleagues are so nice, it makes the biggest difference.
:: After not thinking we could afford it this year, we are now very tentatively thinking about booking a break during the six week summer holidays, and are torn between finding a bargain now, or booking something at the very last minute. I like the idea of leaving it until the last moment, but then that takes away the thing that - for me, anyway - is the best part of going on holiday: the anticipation. The looking forward to going, counting down the days, researching the local area, planning what you'll do when you're there. Are you going anywhere this summer, and if so, where? Any ideas of inspiration, in the UK or Europe, are much appreciated.