Last week it was half term and I tell you we were all so ready for a change of pace and a break from routine. I'm sure it's the same in every household with school age children, that deep-down need for some respite from the clock watching and the nagging that comes with trying to get the offspring ready for the day and out the door on time.
On top of the usual school stuff we're in the midst of GCSE exams with The Teen, so the slight ease up last week was especially welcome for him, and for me too. I'm trying really hard to trust in his very laid back approach, trying my level best not to keep questioning his commitment or the amount of time he's spent revising.
All will be well, I'm sure.
So last week was all about laid back relaxation, which I'm happy to say that we all rather excel at here. However for me personally, I would have dearly loved a trip to the coast in amongst all the laid-backness, I'm feeling a strong emotional pull to be beside the sea at the moment. But when I put the idea forward to the family I was met with a complete lack of interest or understanding. I even offered to down-grade my expectations to a day trip to the West coast instead of an overnight stay on my favourite East coast, but nobody wanted to go and I have to be honest, it broke my heart a little. My Little People are growing up so fast, and most of the time I absolutely love to see their independent and strong spirits thriving. But every so often, oh I do so long to have them little again, when trips to the seaside would be met with such joy and enthusiasm.
Once I got over my disappointment and realised that we wouldn't be going anywhere at all, I settled down into our home space and made the most of the warm sunny days. We did some more to Little B's bedroom which is still an ongoing thing, and we had a bit of a clear out of rubbish in the cellar and the back yard which was very therapeutic. We bought bags of compost and I refilled all my back yard pots before planting them up with some colourful annuals. We worked at the allotment, cutting back overgrown pathways, weeding the main growing beds and preparing to plant out various little pots of veggies and herbs that we've collected from kinds friends and the garden centre. I saw an idea on Pinterest for creating a trellis for sweet peas out of bamboo canes and twine, and that's going to be my next project. I've already got the seedlings waiting patiently to put down their roots into deeper soil - gosh my to-do list really is humongous.
As well as all the Doing, there was plenty of idling for us all and I guess that's the whole point of these short one week holidays at home. To rest, recharge, and to seek out the little things that make us deep-down happy. I spent lots of time in my back yard, either crocheting or reading, or sometimes (especially first thing in the morning) just sipping coffee and listening to the birds. My reading was all about drinking in the May and June magazine issues which I had been saving especially for this week of down-time. These are my most favourite issues of the whole year (well this it my favourite time of year in general) and they did not disappoint. Such a lot of visual happiness in those pages, all light, fresh, summery colours to inspire and bring on the happy vibes. Just lovely in a dreamy, slightly unreal kind of a way.
Although I had hoped for some days out last week, in the end we didn't venture further than where we could walk. We walked in the woods, walked to the farm shop and we spent quite a lot of time at the park.
One evening I took Little B with me on one of my regular buttercup appreciation walks, and on the way there he'd asked me how many buttercups there were in the meadow. I told him to guess how many he thought, to which he answered "maybe around two hundred?" His face was a picture when he saw the true scale of the meadow, it really is breathtaking and his wide astonished eyes reflected it perfectly.
I love the light at this time of year, most especially at the end of the day. I love that a walk in the park at 8pm feels so special when the sun is low and golden and night time still feels a long way off.
Last week I picked my crochet banner back up, and after a few weeks break from it I know straight away what I needed to do for the border. During the school holidays we try and keep our Creative Coopers group going on a Friday morning at the cafe, and I think I appreciate those happy hours even more during the holidays than I do during term time. It's just a fabulous way to round up the week and I dearly love spending time with my creative friends and any visitors who happen to drop in to join us.
Once I'd finished the 6 border rounds it was time to stitch on the letters. This didn't go smoothly, in fact, it was probably the hardest part of the whole project and took for EVER to complete. My fingers protested at all that stitching (I used back stitch around the outer edge of each letter, so it was very labour intensive), but I stuck with it and am so so happy with the outcome. I'm crocheting an additional piece all along the top now so that I can insert a piece of wooden dowel for hanging purposes, but I promise to show you very soon when it's all done.
So that was the end of May, and although I'm a little sorry that my most favourite month is over for another year, it's been absolutely spectacular. I've never known a month to have so much continuous sunshine and so little rain and I've loved every minute of it. I've loved the abundant greenery and the flowers (how can you not love a month that contains blossom, bluebells, wild garlic, cow parsley and buttercups?!) and most of all I've loved the length of these warm golden days.
Here's hoping that June is just as lovely all round!