Saturday, 30 January 2016

This Week

Hello there, and thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post which was all about poetry. I must confess that when I wrote it I was a bit worried that it might be met with a rather quiet response. However, I should have known better, and I was delighted to discover that you enjoy poetry too - yay! It was fascinating to hear about your favourite poems and to hear about why they're special to you. 

This week has been pretty chilly with a good deal of stormy weather. Last weekend I managed to do a bit of gardening: tidying up dead perennials, a bit of weeding and some pruning. It felt good to be outside digging the soil and being active, and I spent an hour or so in my shed afterwards.

Some muscari which I bought from a supermarket a week ago are doing well and will bloom soon, and brighten up the shed with their wonderful blue-ness. I can't wait.

Yesterday they were in bud next to their scented cousins, the hyacinths. Such a lovely spicy, springtime smell.

At Christmas I bought another Mark Hearld concertina card decorated with a scene of winter birds. It's in my shed too, reminding me of the birds outside in the garden.

This weekend I plan to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch, spending an hour watching the birds in my garden, and taking part in the survey. I already sent off for a pack and have refilled the feeders ready for our feathered visitors.

As you can see, Clover took an active interest, hanging about while I put out the seeds. Not sure the birds appreciated this.

I can see this might not work. Cats are not ideal birdwatching companions.

Whilst I was out in the garden I had a look round to see what was blooming, and discovered that there is a surprising amount of colour out at the moment. Outside our back door is this potted rosemary.

Looking at its flowers closely you can see how very blue and delicately marked they are.

There are pretty frilly primroses,

sweet violas,

hardy little snowdrops,

spotty-leaved pulmonarias,

richly-coloured and scented wallflowers,

bell-shaped heather

and shyly nodding hellebores,

delicately freckled and patterned.

And indoors on the window-sill a bright vase of sugary pink tulips glow in the sunshine.

More indoor flowers were to be enjoyed at my friend Jane's house which is where I spent a very pleasant afternoon last weekend. We have been friends a long time and share a love of making things, gardening and baking. When we can we take turns to go to each others' houses for a creative afternoon. Jane had prepared a very cosy corner with pretty miniature daffodils and a scented candle. Bliss. We had an inspiring time together sketching, sewing, crocheting and knitting.

It was lovely to chat and bounce ideas for projects around, as well as seeing what each other are making. 

Jane is talented and sells her brooches and artwork on Etsy - you can visit her shop here. It was fun to be surrounded by someone else's creations for a change, and very relaxing.

We drank tea, ate slices of stollen, and I started to crochet a basket from some chunky handspun wool which I bought online a few years ago. 

I finished it this week. Can you see the little star beads which have been spun into the yarn on the inside of the basket? I bought this gorgeous yarn here, as well as the yarn which I used to make my autumn garland and crocheted pot in this post.

It makes a good container to keep my wool in.

Or my knitting. I do like baskets, don't you?

This week I discovered overnight oats, as recommended by Jane. I had never heard of them, but after a bit of online research I discovered that they are quite a big thing. You may well know about them already. Not sure how I missed them, but I think they are the answer to my breakfast dilemma: I know porridge is delicious, healthy and excellent for keeping weight off, but I never seem to have enough time to make it before work. Overnight oats, however, make themselves. You simply put rolled oats in a container with milk, yoghurt, or a dairy alternative like soya, almond or coconut milk, and leave it in the fridge until morning. You can also add fresh fruit, like berries or banana, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and a sweetener like honey or peanut butter. You can even add cocoa powder the night before. That's all a bit rich for me first thing in the morning, so I kept mine quite plain with milk, walnuts, seeds and a little honey. Delicious. Thanks, Jane.

I shall leave you with two glorious sunrises this week. The colours are so gorgeous, I don't mind that they signal unsettled weather for the day ahead. As far as I'm concerned they're a great way to start the day.

See you soon x


  1. You have had a beautiful week! Love to spend time in the garden! Yesterday I did the same on my balcony with the Sun, but today it is raining.

  2. Oh it's so nice to see all those blooms! It will be a while for us yet! What a fun basket: I am seeing crocheted baskets everywhere right now so I guess I should jump on board and make one for myself. I love those little stars!
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  3. Cathy, what a wonderful colourful post with all the florals and the sunrise, I cannot believe the amount of colour you have in your garden in January. I just love your pale pink tulips as well, just beautiful. xx

  4. Lovely to catch up with your lovely news! How great that you have been able to get out in the garden, it is still too wet here! I enjoyed seeing yours instead though. Hope that you have been enjoying the bird watching. xx

  5. I always have soaked oats for breakfast, with cashews and either apricots or cranberries, love it. The basket is brilliant, I do like crocheted baskets. Lots of gorgeous flowers blooming in your garden, the close-up of the rosemary is wonderful. Wishing you a good Sunday. CJ xx

  6. How nice to see all those pretty flowers, I spent an hour out in the garden the other day, it was very cold but I just felt the need, I did some weeding, I will do a little bit every week.
    I usually do the bird watch, but not this time, as the birds are a bit sparce here. xx

  7. Ooh those oats look good - do you eat them cold? We have porridge in the morning too, but I cheat, I microwave them ...(said in a whisper) and on weekends we have slow porridge made in the pot x

  8. So much colour in your garden at the moment and I've never looked closely at Rosemary flowers before; so lovely. Love your metal mobile and bird feeder and your basket is gorgeous. I tend to blitz oats in my breakfast smoothie but I think I'm going to have to give those overnight oats a go. Have a great week. xx

  9. Hi how lovely to spend an afternoon of creativity with a friend like that. I must confess that I do not have any close friends who live close enough to meet up like that anymore. My best friend sadly passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago and I miss her everyday and another close friend recently moved up to Newcastle which is about a 5 hour drive so no good for popping round anymore lol. I do miss having someone close by I think now I'm not working I need to join some craft groups etc however I'm still as busy as I was when working just with different stuff so will need to make it a priority. Thanks again for visiting my blog Cathy it's exciting to get comments when you're just starting off with blogging.

  10. Beautiful skies and flowers! I might give those oats a try as they are meant to be really good for you. Your pretty crocheted baskets look great. x

  11. It is lovely to see the flowers in your garden, it will be a while yet before they come out here. I also chose pink tulips for the house this week. Hx

  12. Thanks Cathy - it waa lovely to spend a creative afternoon with you too, looking forward to our next one. Your basket looks gorgeous! Xx

  13. How did your bird watch go, birds are always difficult to attract if you have cats! You have so many lovely flowers out already in your garden. The rosemary flowers look unusual I haven't seen them with so much white patches. Sarah x


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