Sunday Morning

After my rather grey post on a grey day bemoaning the greyness that February can be… sunshine!  Sunday morning really was all about the sun and it was so warm there was no need for coats as I strapped Arty to my back and set off with Minnie to walk to the North Notts Ploughing Match (held, confusingly, not in North Nottinghamshire, but our little village in South Yorkshire – although admittedly, close to the border).

I don’t know much about tractors.  They haven’t really factored heavily in my life (save for them being a regular sight motoring back and forth on the roads around here).  However, Arty is a big fan (well, of anything with a motor really) and so, going along for a nosey was a natural choice, bearing in mind it was being held a short walk from our home.  There were all sorts of tractors on display, from the modern, to the vintage and, also demonstrations of pre-tractor days, with a small number of heavy horses, what I think were mules and two very lovely Fjord horses.

We paused and ate some homemade cake before trundling back home to get some bits done in the garden.  What a difference a bit of sun makes!

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Dreaming of Spring

The weather has taken a turn for the colder, as so often happens in February. I always feel I have to brace myself for this month, for the last haul through before the Spring Equinox, when I feel that finally the warmth will start to come (although frosts are still a danger until mid-May here).  I haven’t seen snowdrops yet, this is a photo from a past year, when I got out more, pushed myself to walk in the cold.

But instead I’ve been walking somewhere further afield and far more cold.  I’ve had a bereavement (maybe that has more to do with my yearning for roses than the approaching of Valentines – that need for soothing and balance, that I know the scent of roses brings).  My “remaining” grandmother died a couple of weeks ago, not far past her birthday, only a few years away from her centenary, and that has added an extra level of grey to the month.  I made the trip to Norway, to attend her funeral and it was beautiful, quiet, understated, but special – how she would have liked it.

The flowers were so pretty – all pastels of pink, heather, peach and cream – distanced from the snow and swirling white of the sky – whispering more of a summer’s day.  I could smell the roses as I carried the wreath.  It was good to see family, some of whom I have not seen since they were children – they have now grown to adult.  Whilst I have been to Norway in the past few years, it has been well over 20 since I last visited this town.

We stood in the graveyard in the snow, whilst further snowflakes fell. My great grandmother is buried here. And my grandfather, next to where my grandmother was laid.  They will share a headstone.  The snow was fairly deep around – no going off the cleared path.

Blue skies and sun returned the next day, although the temperature fell further.  I only stayed 2 nights and, whilst it was good to meet up with family and to meet my brother’s fiancee (they live in New York, we don’t often see each other) I needed to get back home and watched the sun start to set on the train journey south to Oslo and the airport.

I brought the snow home with me, but only a shadow of it.  Mostly its just been grey and rainy, as it often is.  I’m hoping it lifts soon, so I can return to the woods – see the snowdrops that I know grow in the borders.  I think perhaps I’ve missed them this year, maybe I’ll see crocus instead.

In the meantime I’m going through my seeds, thumbing seed catalogues and dreaming of Spring.

A Wedding!

randn

I’m very pleased to announce that at the beginning of the month my eldest son got married!  We had a lovely afternoon and evening and it was a wonderful (and very touching) ceremony.   They have a baby due in November and move to Germany early in the New Year – so a very busy time for them both!

I also managed to get a photo of all of my children together (a rare thing!)  My eldest son looks so much like my paternal grandfather (it’s quite incredible).

children

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!