There’s a small but prolific ornamental cherry tree growing in my next door neighbours front garden and during the past two weeks this tree has bloomed it’s little heart out. After a very cold, slow start to the spring season it’s been absolutely glorious to gaze up at these gorgeous flowers and feel the gentle warmth of the sun on my face.
The tree has been a-buzz with bees and it made me feel grateful for our neighbours who grow such lovely flowers, shrubs and trees in their small patches of front garden.
There aren’t any floral trees in my own front garden just yet (our butterfly bush is an August flowering shrubby tree), but I did plant up a large terracotta pot of grape hyacinths and narcissus which is looking rather lovely on my door step.
I’ve had these daffodils on my table during the past week, and I’ve been swooning over them on a daily basis. I splashed out an extra pound on this fancy-pants frilly bunch in celebration of Easter and they’ve been so lovely, if just a bit extra.
Also on my table this week is a cute bowl of mini eggs. Along with hot cross buns, these delicious little chocolatey morsels are an essential taste of Easter for me and I absolutely go mad for them. The mini-egg season is over for another year and I’m quite sad about it, but then again I don’t think they would be so special if you could buy them all year round.
I unearthed the Easter Box from the depths of the attic eaves and was overcome by a tender wave of fondness and nostalgia. So many memories held in this miscellaneous pile of bits n bobs, a precious reminder of years gone by when the Little People were still oh-so-little.
I love decorating for the seasons (I think Easter is my favourite actually), and bringing out the same decorations year after year feeds into my emotions for sure. At one time I used to decorate purely for the enjoyment of the Little People, but that faded away some years ago and honestly, now I do it all for me, me, me.
Easter weekend was mostly quite sunny and warm and I was able to use my outside washing line for the first time this year. Sun dried cotton bedding has to be one of life’s great pleasures – getting into bed in the evening when it’s all fresh and clean and smells DiViNEly of the outdoors is just the most joyful thing.
Day by day the trees are waking from their winter rest and this particular shade of new-leaf-green really makes my heart sing.
On the woodland floor there is no shortage of greenery because we are right in the middle of wild garlic season and I’m very happy about it.
I picked some leaves to bring home a few days ago so that I could whizz up some wild garlic pesto. I generally manage to make one or two batches each year (here is my recipe blog post) – the wild garlic picking window (when the leaves are young and fresh and before the flowers arrive) is pretty small so you’ve got to be motivated when the time is right.
I made a jam jar full of this vibrant green sludge and it tastes wickedly garlicky, it’s incredibly potent. In fact, I’m almost too scared to eat it because I fear I will reek of garlic for weeks on end and repulse everyone. I went and bought the most expensive and Italian-looking spaghetti I could find in the supermarket to make a simple bowl of garlic pesto pasta….but I’ve yet to pluck up the courage to do it. I’ve got the garlic fear.
Since Easter weekend came and went, the warm, springlike weather vanished and a storm has blown in across the UK. It’s been rotten, absolutely rotten this week. Really cold, seriously blustery and wet, wet, wet. I think the official term would be “Squally Showers” (and shamefully I just had to look up the spelling of squally). In amongst the weather chaos there have been odd little patches of unexpected sunshine, and we were lucky on Tuesday to time it right and spend a couple hours walking at Bolton Abbey without getting drenched.
It was a lovely amble along the riverside, made even more special by the sighting of a peacefully grazing deer. This is only the second time we’ve spotted a deer at Bolton Abbey, although I’m pretty sure they are there all the time and are experts at staying hidden. I love walking with the family so much (we had Little Lady and Little B with us), and the pleasure of it has only grown over the years since they were small little peeps walking with us.
We drove home via the “scenic route” which takes us up over the top of Barden moor, and it was lovely to see the hills rolling into the distance under a blue sky with nooooo raaaaain. We stopped the car very briefly and Little Lady and I got out to get a blast of fresh air – it’s the kind of fresh that steals your breath clean away and I love to inhale it right down to my toes.
Do you recall the very first photo of this rambly blog post, the one where I showed you my neighbours cherry tree? Well it has reached its peek now and due to the squally conditions this week, we’ve been showered in petal confetti every time we step out the front door. So pretty, despite the bloomin’ rain and wind.
Did I mention how cold it’s been too? I wish my Springy April narrative was different, but alas we’ve been plunged temporarily back into winter and the past few evenings I’ve even lit the fire to keep out the chill. I hear next week’s supposed to get better, and this morning the ladies in the coffee shop told me to expect double digit temperatures next week, woohoo.
I wish I had more exciting things to talk to you about, but truthfully life just lately has felt like a bit of an uphill trudge. I think my immune system must be a bit fed up because I’ve got yet another cold, hot on the heels of recovering from that awful one last month. I’ve struggled with low energy levels, and not a lot of motivation to do anything much.
The week before Easter I went down to Dorset, my second visit of the year. I travelled by train to go and stay for a week with my Dad again, a trip planned so that Lady B could take some days away from the responsibility of caring for him. I never know quite how much to share about this kind of thing as my family affairs are pretty personal…but the reality is that I am carrying a fair bit of worry about my Dad’s health and it does affect my equilibrium quite a lot. We are around two years into a steady dementia decline and I can tell you it’s tough. I do try and deal with it in as positive a way as I can, and of course I do still love to be down in Dorset – but yeah, it’s not at all easy. Maybe I’ll chat to you more about it in another post, and show you some of the photos I took there?
Thanks as ever for calling in to visit, and if you have time to leave me a comment then I’d love to hear your news.