My dear friend Nic has been recording 100 fun things with her boys over the summer and she has really inspired me. She always inspires me to have more fun and to be grateful for everything. As a family we thought we could combine recording the joyful poetry of everyday life with fun and have agreed on a family list! Let's see how it goes and happy summer everyone :) Jo xx
Sunday, 20 July 2014
July is my birthday month. So being 40 is a big thing - considering I still feel 23 in my head. I had the best of birthdays celebrating with family and friends. Nothing big, just a weekend away with the family, a family lunch and a wee night in my favourite bar with my favourite people. I laughed a lot and felt very happy and loved. I am so happy and grateful for all the great people in my life. My other half played a big part in organising it and this picture just sums us up- still happy together and best being together after 18 years.
Monday, 23 June 2014
Can you see it - just there in the light illuminating that fern frond? That beauty, the poetry of the everyday as I call it, brought a catch to my throat and tears to my eyes. It can be a fleeting moment in nature, it can be my daughter telling me for the 5th time today that I am 'the best cooker' (she knows I love cooking and love cooking for my family). Or just a kind word or a memory of being loved and cherished. The thriving stoic little leaves of an apple mint plant I smuggled from an ornate garden and am nurturing in a silver pot in my garden. All of these things the touchstones of my life. It's the observing and the recording that make you value them and use them to shore yourself up for the hard days.
Sometimes if you look, you see.
Maybe for a season, this summer season I will record and hold close the poetry of my life.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
It was a busy weekend with my oldest's theatre school show on Friday night and attending a wedding with the family on Saturday. Good times.
Sundays, well Sundays are for pottering. We started the day with big fluffy pancakes- I've been making pancakes for the kiddos for breakfast for years but just recently found the perfect recipe. It's by the Reith sisters from their 'Three Sister's Bake' cookbook. I've posted about them before and I cannot recomend the book enough. This pancake recipe is foolproof. You know when you watch the bubbles forming on the pancake surface and then flip them and they just begin to puff and rise, such basic, beautiful kitchen alchemy - well these pancakes do that every time.
Later on I tried the Earl Grey Tea Bread from this months The Simple Things magazine. Again this recipe worked a treat and is a lovely tea loaf, dense, moist and not too sweet. I just could not resist a recipe that involved grinding a spoonful of Earl Grey tea leaves with sugar- just a little more kitchen magic.
Lastly inspired by Jen over at Little Birdie blog I got snipping at my chive flowers and made some chive vinegar. Already the blush pink of the liquid looks enticing. I doubt it will be laid by for a few weeks, rather used for salad dressing through the week.........
Monday, 26 May 2014
We did a bit of planning for the bank holiday weekend- we need to with two small kiddos with a ton of energy. I've told you about Finlaystone Country Park before, it's our special family place. For the past few years we have taken out an annual pass. Unlike a National Trust membership that we had before we have really made use of the Finlaystone pass. We headed there on Friday, the kids took in the pirate ship (in the middle of the forest and made from wood), the swings and we did their favourite 'hill walk'. Lunch in the cafe which is now run by the Reith sisters, of the Three Sister's Bake fame - the food was delicious and they were very patient and child friendly! We ended the day with a walk around the formal gardens, beautiful summer light making the flowers look magical. Just look at the ethereal blue of those Himalyan Mountain Poppies (Meconopsis).
I managed to fit in seeing Boo Hewerdine with a good friend- a musician I have loved since I was 14. It was good to hear some of the old songs, some brilliant new ones and Boo's hilarious, wry take on a fascinating and often under appreciated song writing career.
Other highlights were removing an over grown shrub from our garden at home and some replanting. I have had to admit recently that gardening is a new passion. My other half described gardening as 'my hobby' and well, it suddenly dawned on me that it is. It's grown on me slowly, every year since we moved to this house my Dad has given me tomato and courgette plants. This year I have grown the courgette plants and a range of other herbs myself. I'm amazed that I can do it. Start small and learn as you go is my advice, oh and Elspeth Thompson's wise words to hand helps me too.
Today was a family bowling outing with a pizza lunch, a final garden centre trip for a new hydrangea and now early nights all round but with good memories to carry us through the week ahead.
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
This post is for a very old friend. I promised him at Christmas that I would send him the link for my blog and I haven't. It's possibly that I felt self conscious about him reading this- I'm not sure on reflection why. At one time he probably knew me better than anyone alive. Maybe it's my habit of compartmentalising my life and of being woeful at keeping in touch.......
I remember when I was younger I did nothing but talk, we talked about everything and anything, analysed things, speculated, read and discussed. My friend loved the first line in L'Etranger by Camus. How I knew so much about nihilism and philosophy then I'll never know- I've forgotten almost all of it. And I've never really found that talking again. When I see my oldest friends it's there but time and life and children all alter you. I miss that talking.
We would lie on the pavement and look at the stars, honestly we did, and completely without irony. Long drives in our parents cars on a few pounds of petrol, those beautiful country roads are with me still. I was lucky very lucky to have had such connected relationships.
That picture is me circa the times I'm talking about in this post- on an art trip to London. Taken by my friend Jacqui.
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Well there you go- Easter 2014 gone in a flash. Two cakes, a lot of chocolate, lovely family visiting and our 10 year wedding anniversary. I also got to hold my new, beautiful wee niece. She is tiny and perfect and meeting her was the best feeling. I hope you all had a great long weekend. Easter is special to me, it is sad but ultimately uplifting and I think regardless of what you believe it is hope for the year ahead and a new beginning. I know this will be an exciting year with lots of warm sunny days to come.