Our oldest turned four two whole months ago and I have to say that I’m really enjoying four). I never got around to documenting it here for this and that reason, and I know I’ll be disappointed if I don’t, so here it is (with a little recap of all her other birthdays).
Her first birthday.
Her second birthday at the beach, no too shabby.
Three years old!
Four years old!!!
Happy (very) belated birthday to my strong, funny, determined, creative, generous and beautiful four year old who I’m so blessed to spend my days with.
Summer is here! We’ve been enjoying very full days spent entirely out of doors, hay making, putting up fencing, eating strawberries, gardening and summer has only just begun. These are the days we were so longing for back in February, I’m being mindful of that and soaking up every minute. We had our little ritual of putting out offerings for the fairies and pixies on the summer solstice, this year blackcurrant tarts. Happy summer everyone!!
It’s elderflower cordial time.
Last year I made elderflower champagne which was delicious and I’m itching to make it again, but I’m starting off with the cordial. Almost all the produce I canned last year save a few jars of salsa and rhubarb barbecue sauce has been eaten and it’s relieving to start squireling things away again. We planted quite a lot of elder last autumn, and really we can’t get enough of it, it’s the most useful plant I know of, we need more…
Flowers, flowers, flowers!!!
We had to refresh our chickens early spring thanks to old Mr fox, that’s old news but I’ve been neglecting this blog for quite a while now I realise. We have a cockerel who is a coucou de rennes(Alfred), three marans (Frances, Grace and Ida, characters from a favourite book of M’s) and “the grey one”. We like these chickens a lot more than the last ones, they are the real deal, hunting and scavenging and full of beans, they’ll do anything for a juicy snail (comes in handy with the garden).
We also took on a pregnant rabbit, Alex made a lovely cage with some nifty guttering feeders and other gadgets, so that we can have pastured rabbits. We shall also be receiving two new mystery arrivals at the end of next month that we need to prepare for, we’re excited!
Here we are in the middle of spring and it is incredibly green and luscious in the garden. I’ve made it a little bit bigger this year, but I’m pacing myself. Alex made me two lovely raised beds (I used the lasagne method) and I’m trying out potato towers for the first time, so far so good but I’m not sure what kind of a harvest we’re going to have. Tomatoes in, beans germinated, summer won’t be long!
I realised last week that saint David’s day was coming up and thought my little ones would enjoy a day of dressing up, eating welsh cakes and cawl, singing welsh songs ect ect. Well in any case, I thought, they are good sports and so far pretty much enthusiastic about anything, and this was no exception!
In our late winter garden.
- sprouts, kale and swede are still coming in
- fruit trees are pruned and starting to come to life again
- garlic is sprouting, as are the onions and all things bulb
- hello crocus, snowdrops and soon daffodils
- peas and broad beans are in!
- two little girls are as full of youthful exhuberation as ever and enjoying every second of a sunny late winter day being free and learning about the world outside (as is their mother)
Winter is on it’s last legs, such a mild one we’ve had, and there is March waiting at the end of the week. It was so spring like out there today, we watched sparrows making a nest on the side of our house, (where there has been a nest every year since we’ve been here), the heather was full of bumble bees and a few honey bees too, we can see and hear a lot of bustle and activity going on.
Here is a quote for you from one of M’s (and my) favourite stories The Wind in the Willows, we were all feeling a bit like mole today, “Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with it’s spirit of divine discontent and longing.”
It’s finally time to bust out the cherries we froze this summer. It’s so lovely to get that flavour in the depths of winter and I’ve been waiting for the time to arrive when we’re tired of the sight of apples and pears. We have quite a few big bags of cherries and five or six kilo bags of blackcurrants (my favourite), plus with the chickens laying more eggs thanks to the longer days, we are back in business.
M and I threw together this clafoutis on the weekend, an obvious thing to make with cherries but so easy and simple and special, because simple is special isn’t it? Also feast your eyes my new mixing jug/bowl I had for christmas, it’s something I’ve been looking for for a while (literally years), with cup measurements, it’s the perfect thing.
I started knitting a cardigan for myself a few weeks back but wasn’t sure how it was turning out and it’s been sitting on top of the bookshelf eversince . I’ve been missing the wool in my hands though and when the kids are tucked up in bed I’m itching to knit something. After much deliberation I picked up the needles again and really, truth be told it’s not the cardigan, it’s the knitting I’m after.