2016: the year of spaciousness

Because there's more to life than work


Spring’s on its way!

2014 is turning out to be such a contrast to 2013. Last year, it was March before I saw the crocuses coming up in the garden – in fact, it was one of the first entries on my nice new blog last year. I stepped out the door though this morning to be greeted by this early bird:

IMG_2424I’d say in a couple of weeks or so the garden will be full of these. These are really early crocuses (Crocus tomassinianus, if you want its Sunday name!) and are a fantastic crocus to grow as they seed themselves. I bought a pack of ten a few years ago and we now have literally hundreds all over the front garden. They are also much earlier to flower than the big Dutch hybrids (the fat,velvety ones in deep purple, yellow and with stripes that you see all over parks), and I love them for the fact that, as is the case in my garden this year, they’re often out before the snowdrops.

The other bulbs (daffodils, grape hyacinths, irises and chionodoxas) are also progressing well:

IMG_2425There’s something about bulbs that makes me so happy. I think it’s the fact that they reliably appear when everything around them seems dead and grey, a real, tangible reminder that the year is on the turn and warmer days are coming. The sun is setting slightly later now and I notice that from tomorrow, where I live, it’ll be around until 16.31. That’s nearly a full 45 mins more of daylight since Christmas. I also can’t wait for a bit of dryer weather: we’ve been incredibly lucky here compared to many parts of the UK that have had such awful flooding, but everywhere is still dank and muddy, and a couple of weeks of dry weather would be a real delight. I’ll keep hoping…but the bulbs are a sign that good things are getting nearer.



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Luscious lemon cake

IMG_2417The baking of the lemon cake was postponed last night, as on closer examination the loaf tin size suggested in Sainsbury’s magazine seemed to have been a misprint – I couldn’t find anywhere on line that sold loaf tins that were 13cm x 7cm, and my small tin was way bigger than that, plus the quantities seemed strangely small. So I resorted to the tried and tested BBC Good Food Lemon drizzle cake instead, and it worked perfectly.


It’s cooling now and will shortly be demolished by myself and my other half who’s just returned from a long run (and I had a run this morning too, so we’ve earned it. No question.)


Recharging my batteries

It’s Friday afternoon, I have a host of work that I should be doing, but I know my brain is tired. So I’m stopping. Doing stuff I enjoy, that engages my senses, reduces the stress response – and returns me fresher and brighter afterwards. So on the agenda is:

Embroidery – I’ve been working on this kit since Christmas and am so enjoying doing this for the first time in years.

IMG_2399Stroll round the garden – looks like it’s going to be an early spring this year with a few flowers already out like hellebores,



IMG_2402and the silvery seed pods of honesty just hanging on.

IMG_2411A little light baking – I’m planning on making a lemon drizzle cake from this month’s Sainsbury’s magazine.

Reading – currently enjoying ‘By Blood’ by Ellen Ullman, unsettling and gripping tale of someone who overhears sessions with an analyst in the room next door…

A long, hot bath with the luxurious smellies I got for Christmas.

Browse through the blogs I follow.

Spot of meditation…

I feel better already – what have you got planned to help you wind down this weekend?

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I love weekends


It’s warm, quiet, the house smells of mixed spice and there are rock cakes cooling on the kitchen worktop. There’s a tickly feeling at the back of my throat as I try to fight off the cold that OH has had since New Year, but a cup of tea and warm cake is making it go away nicely. I had a fantastic lie-in this morning, the food shop is out of the way, and I am mulling over which creative project to go and do next (probably my crewel embroidery that’s been the fave choice so far this week).

Can we have weekends every day please?