Friday, 28 June 2013

Rainy Afternoon

The last few days have been a bit of a let down as far as warm sunshine goes:  we haven't had any.  It all went wrong after the summer solstice a week ago.  Before then we had enough sun to keep even me happy, but ever since it has rained, or been dull and breezy on almost a daily basis.  Time to turn my attention to the mess indoors and the rattling of empty cake tins.  The weekend is upon us.

While the rain pattered against the windows and the wind whispered round the cottage, Pea and I cranked up the radio and settled in for a few hours baking.  When the mood takes me I can get quite carried away in the kitchen, but I always seem to be making cakes and biscuits.  I have little interest in making savoury pies and roasts at the moment, that is something I enjoy more in the autumn and winter and cakes are so gratifying to make and eat; especially eat.

So after an hour or so we had a tray full of raspberry buns, apple pasties and a simnel cake.  Chocolate was sadly lacking, so we made a chocolate biscuit cake.  I love bashing the living daylights out of a packet of biscuits, reducing them to chunky crumbs, then adding them to melted butter, cocoa and sugar and giving it all a stir.  It's so easy and quick but incredibly satisfying.  The addition of melted chocolate on the top finishes it off to perfection.  We all love it, but I have to limit myself to one or two very small pieces, otherwise I could easily eat the whole lot.

All that baking and licking the bowls out left us feeling a little guilty, so as the dogs were gleefully chasing each other round the table and bashing into my lovely dresser, it was time to rug up and head out.  There was only a slight drizzle in the air as we left the cottage, not enough to deter two hardy country girls, though Puppy was a tad non-plussed.  It was fairly mild and the rain fell softly, giving the hedgerows a fuzzy appearance as it draped a covering of tiny beads over the landscape.  We walked in our usual direction; up the hill and past the scary house but instead of turning right, we carried on down a lane we hadn't taken before.  I absolutely love discovering new lanes and wondering what lies round the next corner.  Usually I hope for a derelict cottage or farm house.  Guess what...?

I know!  Gorgeous isn't it?  I am quite adept at going into raptures over old houses that should probably be knocked down, but the romantic in me wishes I had the means to bring them back to their former glory.  I want to breathe life back into them; fill them with warmth, laughter, love and the smell of cooking; let their walls reverberate with the sound of children shouting, doors slamming and dogs barking; see smoke curling from their chimneys again and bring back the memories of Christmases long gone.  See?  Incurable Romantic.

By now the rain was starting to fall with the express purpose of soaking us to the skin, so we turned and retraced our steps homeward.  I love days like this.  I don't mind that we were getting very wet.  It was a pleasure to be out in this beautiful landscape, just us and the sounds of the countryside around us.  Peace and quiet.

By the time we got home all four of us were drenched.  Pea rubbed the dogs down and gave them a carrot each.  We dried ourselves and had a cup of tea while watching Wimbledon, where the sun was still shining.  I made the mistake of leaving my cosy chair for a second and when I got back it was to find Puppy had made himself nice and comfy in my absence.  Charming.

He had also stolen a coat hanger from H2's bedroom and was busy re-arranging it's shape.  I will pretend I didn't notice.  A bit of frantic cleaning and tidying ensued before it was time to fetch H2 from school.  The cottage looks clean, fresh and bright (apart from the boys' room, which I haven't had the energy to go into today).  But it feels as if it's holding it's breath, waiting for the moment when the boys arrive home and leave shoes, bags, uniforms and PE kits all over the place.  Someone's school jumper will lie in wait behind a door and try to leg me over as I pass.  H2 will fling himself down in a chair, thus testing the springs and stitching on my already old and worn furniture.  H1 will say he's had the worst day ever and needs to eat/fiddle with his ipod/ignore everybody/not do the dishes, for the rest of the evening.

Never mind, I can ply them with cakes and all will be well!

Have a lovely weekend and thank you for

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karla,

    You live in such a gorgeous part of the world! Those old houses are amazing, I would love to go for walks amongst all that history as you would never find anything that old here. Your lovely Puppy there looks very much like our black Whippet Remy too, same cheeky personality too by the sounds. Is he a Whippet?

    Mel x