After what feels like a long winter, it feels like spring is finally slowly starting to spring! We have warnings of more snow this weekend, but just now the air is cool and crisp, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and there are daffodils springing up in the gardens to match those I have been buying for my vases inside since February.
I am nearly halfway through this pregnancy. It feels very strange to write that. Most mornings I wake up and suddenly remember with a jolt that I am pregnant. I’m not very bumpy yet, I have the first hintings of stirrings of movement, nothing firm, almost the idea of a kind of squirming sensation along with the odd little ‘pop’. I can’t wait for a proper bump and proper kicks, maybe then this will all feel a little more real.
I’m busy all the time just now, with a three year old who is heading towards four, a part time job and a house to run it is to be expected. Although I am asleep by 9:00 mist nights I am trying to fill the little nooks and crannies of time with things that feed my soul. I am reading, reading, reading. I discovered Rosamunde Pilcher recently. I’ve been aware of her for years and years having shelved her books countless times when I was working in libraries…but somehow I never got around to reading her work. I find them so comfortable, a real little haven of domestic bliss. You wish you could just slip between the pages and have a weeks holiday there.
I’ve also recently discovered the Miss Silver mysteries by Patricia Wentworth. I’ve read more Agatha Christie than I haven’t, so finding work of hers which is new to me doesn’t happen very often. Miss Silver takes a different approach to Miss Marple, but they are both of the Golden Age, both knit, both star in well written mysteries, so I am really enjoying these.
I have a little grey dress on the knitting needles for Jessica. I plan for her to wear it next winter, and when it is finished to start a matching one for her little sister. I am also crocheting a pair of bed socks, having seen a lovely pattern on the Tales From A Happy Home blog. I bought the yarn, a lovely soft alpaca while I was up in London a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think I have written about that, but amidst all the snow, having been housebound for most of a week, I managed to get up to the spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, and had a very inspiring and enjoyable day.
I came across a pattern for some little crocheted owls this morning, and thought a set of those in rainbow colours would make a lovely gift given alongside a copy of Wow Said The Owl which is a childrens’ story book about colours. So many things that I want to make, and so little time!
I am also starting to plan what to make as gifts for Easter, and thinking about a few decorations. Oh, and I saw some beautiful liberty print fat quarters which I would like to use to make a ‘Happy Birthday’ bunting banner. At over £30 I need to find a slightly more affordable option though!
In the kitchen, I’ve been thinking about freezer cookery a lot. I am batch cooking meals for Jessica to try and make our late afternoon/early evening routine easier and more relaxing for us both. My favourite thing I made last week was a batch of meatballs which I froze raw on a tray, then shook into a plastic bag, and a tomatoey sauce to go with them which I froze in a nice cube tray and then decanted into a Tupperware box. When I want to cook them, I just take out some meatballs and cubes of sauce to defrost, pop them in an oven proof dish and bake for 15 minutes whilst cooking the pasta. I like the feeling of peace it gives me.
I read a piece by Tonya Leigh last week, and one line has stayed with me. ‘The person who is being chased through the woods by a bear is not thinking about what to cook for dinner‘ how true that is! And when my own personal bear is disorganisation, it makes me realise that when I am thinking about trying to get a load of washing on, not being sure what we’ll have for dinner, knowing I’ll need to pop to the shops with Jessica to get something for dinner….I’m using my resources on firefighting and not having so much time to just enjoy the dailies was of everyday life, not having so much time to plan all the seasonal joys and little extras.
As Alison over at Brocante Home has written, it is routine which gets the canvas prepared so you can then enjoy decorating it. Scrubbing the loo and vacuuming will never be glamorous, but when everything is clean and tidy and unfolds as it should, when there are always clean clothes in the wardrobe and a delicious meal on the way to the table…everyone gets to just relax.
I am making a concerted effort to work on making life as simple as possible for myself. As well as exploring freezer cookery, I treated myself to a beautiful berry red notebook to use as a kind of bullet journal. My lovely friend Annastasia has been keeping a day book for years, and mine is inspired by her, and incorporates my diary. It felt so good last night sitting and drawing out calendar pages for each month and filling them with details of midwife appointments, specially days at preschool, birthday parties, all the things I have been holding in my mind but not pinning down on paper.
Next steps will be to really tweak and pin down a routine for housekeeping, so the washing, shopping, cleaning, and cooking happen as easily as possible.
It feels almost like a kind of soring cleaning, all this looking at new ways of organisation and exploring new authors, starting to be creative again.
And now, I am off to peg the washing out on the line to dry in the spring sunshine. It has been lovely catching up, I didn’t mean for this to be such a long post…if I had known before I had started to write I would have offered you a cup of tea to sit down with!