Slow Living :: June 2015

June was a busy month and it was hard to find time to blog.  30 Days Wild saw us getting out of the house every day (even if it was ‘only’ to walk the dog – something that I hadn’t done for a while due to mobility issues whilst pregnant and afterwards, when I had to be careful of any sudden pulls or jars), but I have had to take it carefully as I still have some residual difficulties with my knee, back and neck.

It was Minnie’s third birthday during the month.  Moo made a wonderful birthday cake: sponge flavoured and coloured with berries, layered with whipped cream and more berries, covered with a marshmallow frosting made from marshmallows she made herself, coloured with – yes, you guessed it – more berries (our strawberries have been busy in the garden!) She decorated the cake with a particularly impressive calendula bloom, surrounded with pinks and violas.  It was very pretty and tasted amazing!

June is the month for foraging for elderflowers and making elderflower cordial/syrup – some bottled in the fridge and some frozen for later in the year.  It’s wonderful for adding a dash to all sorts of things (including the crumble above).  I also made a mint syrup from chocolate mint in the garden (I have a few different mints) and Moo made various ice creams and sorbets.  We were gifted some rhubarb and, along with a punnet of strawberries, Minnie made her first crumble (which was served with some homemade vanilla ice cream made by Moo).

It’s been hard to get into the garden and do much.  Arty wants to be held all the time and isn’t great about being laid down (if he’s asleep he swiftly wakes up again).  He seems to know when there is work to be done, or if there is something else I’d like to do, but whenever we are out, he will sleep through with no problem at all (even in a busy indoor play area!)  Still, I managed to get a bit done and helped Minnie’s pot on the experimental tomato cuttings.

June also saw Erk back from university and doing a national tour of family and friends.   It may have been ‘slow’, but all-in-all it was a tiring month!

Slow Living :: May 2015

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With a newborn baby, May has seemed rather a blur. However, you generally don’t get much done at any speed in the first few months and it has been another lesson in patience, because even getting something as simple as the washing up done isn’t a given.  I started off using a stretchy sling, but problems with my neck and back have meant that towards the end of the month I’ve had to put sling usage on hold, which has affected the amount of household tasks I could do (because he’s not a fan of lying down without being directly on or next to someone).  So I’m struggling with some frustration at not being able to get things done that I feel I should.

The children have been variously helping to prepare food and Moo has, of course, been baking.  Amongst various other cakes, she made two different lemon drizzle cakes: one in a bundt pan, decorated with violas and calendula petals; another in a loaf tin, decorated with lavender flowers.

The loaves of bread may look rather simple and uninspiring to you, but these are the first two loaves that I was organised enough to make after Arty has been born.  I was very pleased to finally have got back to making bread again (and I’ve kept it up since – so a little bit of normality regained).

Plenty to sow this month and plenty growing.  The first of the tomatoes (Latah) are fruiting and our sweet peppers (approaching two years old) continue to fruit.  Currants are also fruiting and the strawberries flowering.  There’s a huge amount to do in the garden and I’m trying to rise above feeling frustrated that there is very little I can get done with Arty.  Thankfully plants will continue to grow (if a little haphazardly) even with a small amount of care and some things, salad for example, are already being picked and eaten.

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