Monday, 22 April 2013

The Sweet Unpredictability of Spring

Spring has sprung, and then it changes it's mind and goes to earth again.  Over the weekend we have enjoyed beautiful sunshine and relatively mild temperatures, or they would have been had it not been for the ever present chilly wind.  Today, the rain has set in and the fog has drifted over the sea and covered our part of the island in a damp blanket.  The wind swirls it all around and sends it racing across the countryside, buffeting the birds and snapping the stems off daffodils.  But when the sun shines, everything changes and becomes soft and beautiful.

As usual, I dragged my assortment of children, teenagers and dogs out for a walk or two during the weekend.  H2 has a standard moan when the W word is mentioned.  I ignore it now as it's more of a habit than anything and something he feels he must do or I may just go over the top and take him for a really long walk.  And that would never do.  The countryside was a feast for anyone who cared to look.  The sea sparkled icy blue..

The mountains have shaken all but the merest dusting of snow off their ridges...

And a gateway to a secret garden beckoned me closer.

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Back at home and H2 released from his torture, I set to work in the kitchen baking a waggon load of cakes and biscuits to feed hungry children for the weekend and maybe even into the early part of the week, (I should be so lucky!).  I flicked through my cook books and found a Bramley Apple cake that I hadn't made before.  I have made two different apple cakes over the autumn and winter, but not this one, so being in the mood for wholesome, farmhouse type baking, this was the one to make.

I left it in the oven about 30 seconds too long, so while it wasn't burnt, it was a tad dry, but a big dollop of creme fraiche sorted that little problem out and all was well.   So well, in fact that it didn't get to see the end of the day.  I also made breakfast bars, spice biscuits and apple scones.  H1 made a tray of Millionaire's Shortbread yesterday too, so we have a few things knocking about in the cake tins, for a little while at least.

The best thing about sunny days is that Puppy is overcome with exhaustion and spends most of the day asleep in any patch of sun he can find.  If his slightly baggy teddy is there too, so much the better.

Since recovering from his 'Man Op', he seems much calmer and happier, apart from this morning when he wanted out.  I opened the back door and he shot out at lightening speed and dug is nose into a sad, struggling flower bed, quivering with excitement.  As I watched, wondering what he was up to this time, a tiny mouse jumped up from the flower bed and made a break for cover; Puppy was too quick and grabbed it in mid air, juggled with it for a second then held it down with a paw.  I thought it was all over for Tiny Mouse, but No!  He saw his chance and ran across the patio to the safety of a group of plant pots but Puppy was in hot pursuit and was close on his tail.  My heart was in my mouth at this point and I willed Tiny Mouse to escape, but preferably not in the direction of the open back door.  Puppy scraped and pawed at the plant pots and while he was thus engaged, Tiny Mouse mustered all his courage and leapt high in the air and darted for the hedge at the side of the patio.  Puppy was completely pole-axed and couldn't believe what had happened, but Tiny Mouse was saved!  Yay!  Puppy still wasn't ready to give up, but I had seen enough near-blood-shed for one day and went out and dragged him in by his collar.

The excitement of living in the countryside!

I will leave you now to go and sort out my soggy pile of washing, tidy the kitchen after a soap-making session this morning and think about tea for the troupes.  Oh lucky me!  Have a lovely day and thank you for reading. xxx


  1. you are invited to follow my blog

  2. What a beautiful place to live. Stunning landscapes.

    1. Thank you Claire, I'm glad you like the pictures! Karla xxx