Thursday, March 4, 2010

A kind of magic

I know I keep going on about sunshine, but it's just so lovely to see it again! Everything seems so much better with that glorious light pouring in through the window. In fact, it really was better today, right from the off when I woke up to...nothing much in the way of noise. This is in contrast to the usual shrieking. My boy is a generally happy soul but for some reason he seems to wake up and get an instant cob on. The solution I began trialling last night was to leave a little bag of toys and books in his cot after he fell asleep. This morning he woke up, found the bag and contentedly played for about an hour and a half, chattering away to himself until I came in to him to be greeted by smiles and calm. Happy baby, happy mama! My mum has offered to sew a custom made bag to attach to the cot side and later the wall for this purpose- let's hope last night wasn't a one off.
Also this morning he went to his first toddler gymnastics class, which was another success. No surprise really that 45 minutes of charging round a miniature assault course was right up his alley. Lunch was followed by a loooong nap for a satisfied little soldier.
The sun just kept on coming so as my thoughts turned to the evening meal I found I wanted to make something fresh, green and sunshiney. Pesto seemed to tick the boxes, so I used the recipe in Cranks Fast Food to make the gorgeous green goop pictured above. I don't know why I don't make it from scratch more often- the taste and the smell combine to make me dream of summer days eating fresh food outdoors...picnics, barbecues, campfires, beaches- can't be that far off, surely?!?
Being realistic, though, it's still pretty chilly and we've a way to go yet, so back I went to another old favourite cook book- Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries. I struggle to get past January...cheese smothered potatoes, bulghar wheat with mint and aubergines and todays double ginger cake are all tried and tested, and there are still a couple of soups I want to try from that chapter and something else I can't recall but remember I spotted today. So many good recipes, this is the book I recommend to anyone who asks, although I can't work out how to stop the sultanas sinking to the bottom of the ginger cake- suggestions anyone?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Longer days

Oh how lovely to have sunshine again! Okay, only one precious day, but it was actually sun that warmed, sun in a stunning blue sky, sun that lifted the spirits and pulled us outside and back to what's become a favourite haunt in all weathers- walking to Coniston's Torver Jetty. On such a clear day, the views across the water and up the fells were amazing.
Please note how a certain young man ended up without a coat or hat- he just refuses extra layers whenever he can! However, he did run back and forth so much on the path- setting a challenge for his poor little pal who has only just found her walking legs- that he didn't seem to get too chilly. All this at five in the afternoon and we still made it back to the car and home in daylight. That promise is getting more real...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No idle hands...

It might seem like I've not been up to much recently but truth is, I just haven't been taking photos! In rain and shine (oh very welcome sunshine!) we've been out on some local walks, trying out a newly acquired, second-hand double buggy in preparation for baby number two. Baby number two, by the way, is very wriggly and was fine when scanned the other day- it's all getting a bit real! As far as craft is concerned I'm working away on the quilt, patiently hand stitching. My current rate is about halfway across in an evening, so long as I'm not feeling too tired. It's going to take a while yet- there are two and a half short side lines to stitch and four long sides- but it will be so exciting when I get to rip out all the tacking and snip off all the ends.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Boys and their toys

I've written before about the way that genetics seem to prove their own existence when it comes to the relationship between my little boy and all things mechanical. Despite being surrounded on a daily basis by a lot of cookery and craft and spending a lot of time out walking among woods and hills, he is fascinated by everything involving wheels, moving parts, buttons, switches and generally how things work. Okay, so his Daddy spends a lot of time on his bike, but actually he doesn't get to see that very often- yet he is delighted by the sight of cyclists and bicycles. Whether it's nature or nurture, he also has very good fine motor skills and is unphased by small buttons, different fastenings and unfamiliar lids- it doesn't take him long to work them out so I have to be pretty vigilant!
This weekend held a treat for my mini-engineer (and his bigger engineer Daddy) when we went to the farm to see a bridge being pulled down...diggers and lorries and cranes oh my! For more information on why it was happening, see my MIL's blog Town Mouse to Country House, but suffice to say that a certain small boy loved running up and down a dual carriageway closed to traffic, pointing at all the big machines, watching the sparks as steelwork was cut down and waving at all the men in high-vis jackets.