Wonderful Wednesday 4 May 2016

Light on Flowers

Hello all you lovely people – I hope you’ve had super duper weeks. Mine (the good parts) has been filled with flowers, swimming, walking and eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and I’m feeling GOOD 🙂 Here’s what’s made me extra-specially happy this week:

1. The light. Isn’t looking at dappled light on leaves and flowers the most magical thing? I love the fact it doesn’t get dark until after 9 anymore. I haven’t really noticed it getting lighter and lighter, I have just kind of stopped lighting my pretty candles and reading in semi-darkness of an evening, and am instead watching the birds busy about outside and seeing the houses and fields all around glow in the sunsets each night. It’s a time for slow walks home and sunshine and showers. For animals and little flowers to come peeking out of wherever they’ve been. It’s the British Spring, and I love it.



2. Coconut milk in porridge. As with the 2015 smoothie train, I’m late getting on board with the alternative milks around these days. Having a little coconut milk left over from my smoothies last week, I tried some in my porridge and WHAT a nice treat that was. I’m not a fan of milk in porridge usually – I just don’t like hot milk, and even when it’s mixed in with the oats it kind of tastes too much for me. I like the simplicity of plain oats and water. But the coconut milk is different. It’s horrid on its own (well I thought so) but in porridge it adds a hint of coconut and a kind of creaminess without making it too rich. A pinch of salt and a sprinkling of brown sugar and I had a little bowl of heaven for breakfast on Sunday morning and It Was Good.


3. Getting out on a little ramble last Saturday made me smile. Especially when the sun came out and the grass almost glowed it was so green. I was especially pleased to be on this particular walk, as its a spot I’ve driven past loads of times, seen the green green grass and really wanted to explore. We wandered up a little hill, smiled at all the little lambs and then came back via this clear blue river. Lovely.



4. Having a Friday evening in. Now, anyone who reads this will know I enjoy the odd little drinkie on a Friday night, usually with colleagues, almost always prosecco in the pub near where I work (during summer; in the beer garden). But this Friday for one reason or another it didn’t happen. Which was fine by me. I pootled off home to a relaxed dinner and 3 whole hours of uninterrupted reading, save scoffing my dinner (pork chops, new potatoes, peas and leeks) and a glass of Argentinian Malbec. I finished Hanya Yanagihara A Little Life, and I can honestly say it’s the best book I’ve ever read. Brutal, devastatingly sad and gently uplifting all at the same time.

Malbec and Crisps

5. Rediscovering the music of my teens alongside another Malbec and some crisps on Saturday night. The Beautiful South, Blur, The Beatles, Oasis, Elton John, Stereophonics, Coldplay, bit of Spice Girls, definitely some Boyzone. All those other boybands. Remember Bewitched? Hmm…

We’re not talking only 90s music – we’re talking the weird and wonderful assortment of music collected from friends, family and teen magazines that made up a person’s personal playlist. Although in those days (and I’m NOT that old) there weren’t playlists were there? There was Heat magazine. There was your friend’s dad (that’s the Beautiful South link), there was your other friend and her older brother and his friends’ tastes (Oasis). There was buying albums from Woolworths when they first came out, looking up at the top 20 and wishing you had just a little bit more pocket money saved up. There was Top Of The Pops, and there was your dad’s record collection (Elton John and The Beatles, bit of Pink Floyd). For me, there was also classical music (mum), ballet scores and piano concertos. Then there was Gilbert and Sullivan and perhaps best of all, music from the shows. Now there’s Muse, Amiina and Dream Theatre, Sigur Ross, Bach and Mozart. Einaudi. And still Elton John.

Listening to my ‘old’ music reminds me of happy times. Of an uncomplicated life. Of long hot summers (did they ever exist?) and playing out. And that little slice of nostalgia on a quiet Saturday night did me no end of good.


6. Shopping for treats. I’m mostly a budget shopper. I buy 2 for 1s (but only when I need them), I cook lots of vegetarian meals, I make things with mince and sausages. I cook in bulk and make my own chicken stock. I bake my own bread and freeze the leftovers. But sometimes, particularly on long weekends or when we’re in a self-catering cottage, I like to go up a notch. So this weekend I had a more luxury shop. Expensive farm yoghurt. ‘Better’ bread. Over £10 wine. The best crisps (Lancashire crisps). More meat (pork chops and chicken breast). Organic apple juice. LOADS of fresh fruit. Asparagus. New potatoes. Muesli in clear plastic bags. Lemons to make classes of chilled water more interesting. Marinated anchovies instead of peanuts. Spelt flour. Almond milk. Fresh herbs for cocktails and salads. It’s been GREAT 🙂


7. Not having to get up. I’m an early bird, so I’m not really one for snoozing in bed. I usually like to get up and DO something, for the great fear of Wasting The Day. But with a long weekend, there’s just so much more time. Time to lounge around a bit longer, swiping my legs around on the sheets. Turning over. Turning back. Scrolling through twitter for a while. Half opening the curtains and having the first cup of tea in bed. THEN getting up. Still having the rest of the morning to make more tea, potter about, write in this little space, make another cup of tea. Take time stirring porridge for breakfast. Have a long shower. Tidy up the bedside table a bit. Have another cup of tea. Think about doing something more productive. Not doing that. Lovely.


What have you been up to this week? Has it been busy or quiet? Rainy or sunny? If you’re interested in more snippets of happy things then head over to any of the other #wonderfulwednesday gang for more treats: SallyKate, Michelle, Cat, Katie, Jo & Em.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Cat says:

    What a fantastic list of happy, Helen! I loved reading this! You’ve captured English springtime perfectly in your first paragraph, it was wonderful.

    I think that treat foods are extra special when they’re just that and it sounds like you’ve earned every single one 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your week and the weekend ahead xx


    1. Ah thanks Cat 🙂 Have a great week yourself! H xx


  2. Books And Boardies says:

    I am loving the springtime look of this weeks wonderful wednesday 🙂 Your pics have really made me smile, I love the flowers of Spring!
    That night of rediscovering music sounds amazing – when B*witched came on did you sing along and crack out a bit of really bad Irish dancing?! 😉
    Aww treat foods are always great, I’ve been cheekily popping into M&S in the evenings this week to try and grab evening bargains! Don’t judge me for being a cheapskate but their chicken with mojo sauce from the spring collection was £2.49 yesterday and it fed me tonight and is going in salad for lunch tomorrow and it’s blooming gorgeous!! x


    1. Ah thanks – it wasn’t supposed to be spring themed but then I saw all the sunny photos and just had to post them! H x


  3. Kate says:

    The spring light is just gorgeous. So bright and it makes all the colours pop. I love driving home and it still being light or catching a beautiful sunset. There seems to be so much more time in the day when it is lighter.
    Music can bring you right back to a place a long time ago. Songs always hold such powerful memories for me. It’s great to be a little nostalgic and look back at old music as the memories always seem to come flooding back. I love your mix of music and how it seems to come from so many influences.
    As always your photos are stunning! Have a lovely rest of your week
    Kate xx


    1. Yes you’re right about it seeming like there’s more time – love this time of year – full of promise! H x


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