☀ It's the start of the long six week summer break here, and just as I did last year I thought it'd be nice to share some little snippets of life as we pootle gently through our days. I woke up late this morning completely disorientated, not knowing what day of the week it was or what on earth I was supposed to be doing. It was a blissful feeling when my brain finally woke up and I realised I could take my time and nothing much was needed of me for a while. I adore this feeling so much! It's relief mixed with an overwhelming sense of calm. All is well, it's the summer holidays and we will be operating on a completely different schedule for the foreseeable. Yippeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!
☀ Summer holidays for me generally means a lot of juggling. As with most mums of school age children, I'm used to multi-tasking and mixing my parenting with work commitments, and this summer holds a fair amount of both for me. I'm cracking on with lots of Yarndale stuff, working on the content for the printed brochure as well as the big Creative Community project that I organise each year. I designed and made these little "treasure bowls" last week as a project for the Yarndale brochure - they are made from pure wool which means I can put them into the washing machine and felt them.......so much fun! I'll show you more in a separate post as I've got another felting project on the go right now too.
☀ Luckily for us our allotment is only a couple of minutes walk from our back door so we are easily able to nip up most days and check on our small but precious crops. These are my minuscule, super-dwarf beans which I am so in love with - they are ever so cute! Despite their diminutive size they are starting to deliver us some delicious beans and I couldn't be happier. it's like having a row of really well behaved little children all performing over and above what is expected of them. Gold star award for the teensy bean plants, top of the class.
☀ The sweet peas aren't producing a whole lot of flowers to be honest, and look a bit on the spindly side. I have a feeling I forgot to pinch out the growing tips at the seedling stage, so the plants never bushed out like I expected them to. Ah well, I'm happy to be picking small posies each week which are scented to perfection, even if there isn't the abundance I was hoping for.
☀ Our small tenty green house is working out really well and keeping our plants nicely protected from the winds that whip across our sloping hillside plot. We've got cucumbers, tomatoes and chilies growing in here and I love seeing how well they are doing.
☀ This was yesterday's harvest, gathered with a great deal of happy enthusiasm by myself and Little B. We had to carry out a fair bit of adventurous hacking to get to the teensy raspberries through the riot of brambles in the overgrown soft fruit bed. It was rather painful and our haul was a little on the small side, but still, the excitement was unrelentingly high. I let Little B eat the raspberries with some greek yoghurt and honey and he said they were super-yummy. And check out my cucumbers, how good do they look?! So proud of my veggie babies.
☀ I'm working on the printed patterns for my new Summer Ripple blankets this week, which is quite hard going. Taking step-by-step photographs as I create the borders and writing up the patterns isn't nearly as enjoyable as the hooky itself which has been hugely pleasurable. But I'm making good progress and hope that everything will be ready to go by the end of this week. Maybe even Thursday.
And in other news, I know I am late to this particular party but I've just discovered frozen smoothie packs at the supermarket. Wow, they are brilliant! They nestle in the freezer between the massive selection of lollies and ice creams and the bags of ice cubes, so you have to kind of know to go and look there for them. There isn't a huge choice in Morrisons, but the above concoction was made from a Red Smoothie pack (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and mango), blended with a dollop of greek yoghurt and some milk. Yum yum yum, sooooooooo good. The Little People are ecstatic that I'm willingly offering to make these for them without thee need for begging or nagging on their part.
We've had this multi purpose blender for almost a year now (it's a NutriPro 1200) and it's fantastic for general blitzing jobs in the kitchen (making breadcrumbs, chopping nuts, blitzing soup, making curry paste, hummus, dips etc) but I've never been bothered to make smoothies with it. However, it really is the bees knees when it comes to blending chunks of frozen stuff, I've been very impressed.
☀ The curious mixture above came out of the Green Smoothie pack and consists of frozen kale, banana and mango. And in case you're wondering what that bitty sawdusty stuff is, well, that's lemongrass. Took me a while to actually read the packet and work out why everything was covered in sawdust. I divided the pack up into individual bags so that I can easily make up one smoothie at a time (that isn't all kale and no fruit) - it gets mixed with apple juice and water to produce this.........
.....mmmmmmmmmm. It looks a bit overly health conscious, but actually tastes delicious. Little B couldn't be persuaded though, he took one slurp and said it made his tummy hurt and could he please stick to the pink one. Guess I'll be the one drinking the kale smoothies then.
☀ A photo of our Big Chair, just because I love it so. It's an oversized chair-and-a-half that we inherited from J's parents who were throwing it out and it fits an adult and willing small child quite nicely for film watching and snuggling. I change the blankets over regularly as they get a lot of wear and tear on this chair, and I'm really enjoying the bright pop of colour that the Sunny Granny Stripe is delivering right now. In case you were wondering about the cushion, that's the Water Lily cushion I made last year using Stylecraft Batik yarn (see here for yarn and pattern details). It's grown on me considerably since I first made it, and I do appreciate the more subtle colouring set against the exuberance of all my blankets.
☀ The Big Chair is where I sit when I can't sleep and come downstairs in the very early hours of the morning. I'm generally a good sound sleeper, but due (I suspect) to my hormones, I'm having some very disrupted nights just lately. I wake at 3am feeling as if someone lit a fire under me, and then find it almost impossible to get back to sleep again. I feel anxious and a little panicky, with a racing heartbeat and a mind that refuses to switch down a gear. I've learnt not to struggle with this any more, and instead of tossing and turning I get up quietly, come downstairs, make a cup of tea, sit quietly with the cat and read or crochet a little until the rest of the household wakes up. I was surprised when I got up yesterday morning to see that it was still dark at 4am. So I switched on my my fairy lights and lit some candles, and waited for the sun to wake up. It was so peaceful as I yawned my way through those darkened early hours of the day.
☀ Little B - so very, very happy to be on his summer break home from school. His happiness radiated out of him today as he loafed about listening to music, playing with his lego and watching insane cartoons on Netflix. He played outside too, kicking a ball around with his friends on the street and riding his bike up and down and up and down. The start of the summer holidays always feels so light and joyful, with endless days stretching ahead to be enjoyed and filled with good things. Oh, I'm hopeful for many Good Things. Always hopeful, that's me.