Just outside of the back door is a little step. It's the place I sit when the sun is shining and I am sneaking a quiet moment or two while the tea cooks or after I finish clearing up from lunch. Sometimes I flick through a book, sometimes I just close my eyes and enjoy the sun or watch bees on the blueberry bush. This week I found Sarah Raven's "Food for Friends and Family" at our local library. It's a fantastic book, with dozens of recipes for each of the four seasons. I had asparagus in the fridge from the allotment, so I sat on my step and found a recipe for asparagus tart.
I adapted it slightly, using less fancy cheese and mustard, but it was lovely. There was rhubarb too, and I know the recipe for crumble off by heart.
I do so love the first foods of spring.
It's been a lovely few days. On Friday I watched three boys run a total of eighty times round their school field in aid of a cancer charity. The rain held off, just, until it was time to leave and then the heavens opened. This is the view of the local church from the school field, just over the road. It's a very special, beautiful place, and I regularly think how lucky we are to live here.
This is Lulu, one of our two guinea piggies. The other one is Mrs Armitage - fans of the wonderful Quentin Blake may recognise the names from his fantastic book, "Mrs Armitage Queen of the Road". Lulu and Mrs Armitage have been in their run on the (very sparse) lawn enjoying the outdoors and whatever grass they can find. It is telling that there is thicker grass in some of the vegetable plots at the allotment than there is in the lawn at home.
On the subject of pets, we had a bit of a hamster drama yesterday. The middle boy has a little hamster of his very own, called (ironically enough, as you will see) Nibbles. In a careless moment he allowed himself to be bitten, hard, and sat on the sofa squeaking (boy not hamster) while blood ran off of his finger onto the beige carpet and Nibbles headed for freedom. Sigh. Salt was sprinkled (carpet), water was dabbed (boy and carpet) and an Iron Man plaster administered. I am very cautious when feeding Nibbles now in case he's developed a taste for human flesh.
I'm off to a little anniversary-type do for OH's relatives tomorrow. I chose a lovely David Austin rose as a gift which I hope they'll like. It's Darcey Bussell and she is red, smells fruity and divine and will make a nice bush apparently. I gussied her up with a bit of tissue paper and a (handmade-by-me) label and some ribbons.
Hopefully she will be well received; I know I would like her in my garden.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the half term break. We spent a happy afternoon at the local park yesterday, which is a fantastic big space with a paddling pool that the boys love. They did go in, but it was cold, cold, cold, so it was only a ten-minute dip. I'm hoping for more sunshine, but I think there may be rain ahead. Above is a picture of the clouds above "our" river, taken from the top room. Typical of May weather I think. Hope you all have a great week.