I’m not going to lie (why do people say that? why would you lie? And if you were – you wouldn’t precede it by saying that you weren’t now, would you?)
Anyway, I’m telling the truth when I say it’s been another hard week at work. But I’m determined not to let it get me down. I’ve got a lovely house I enjoyed relaxing in on Friday night; I gobbled some lovely wine and food at the weekend; bought some bright yellow flowers for the garden, and had a whole weekend of pottering that was simply splendid 🙂
Here’s what made me PARTICULARLY happy this week:
1. My little spell of gardening on Saturday morning. The weather lady said it was going to rain and rain later on in the day, so after the obligatory two cups of tea sipped whilst listening to the birds flit round the garden (joined this time by Mr. Roast Chicken, an unusual and most welcome change) I donned my ‘garden wear’ (an awful combo of sports shorts, t-shirt and suede deck shoes) and started weeding. I pulled out great armfuls of nettles, brambles, dandelions and rotten leaves and filled a whole wheelie bin full of the stuff. The garden looks so much better. I rather liked the look of the garden before – I would hate it to be all tidy and clipped back – but ours was going rather too far down the ‘country chic’ look and resembled the back of a farmer’s field. And not in a good way. Now it looks a little neater, and I can actually see the flowers I want to see without them being swamped by brambles and ivy. Then the heavens opened and we had the most deliciously fresh downpour.
2. Half Baked Harvest. This is my new favourite food blog. I just found these and it’s only a matter of time before I’m going to feel the need to whip up a huge batch. Her food photography is stunning, and she makes just the kind of food I love, jam-packed full of veggies and with a Mexican twist on many of the recipes.
3. Pancakes. This year I’ve finally remembered how good pancakes are after Pancake Day. We ate a healthy dinner of fish and the creamiest sweetest most nutty buttery potatoes EVER that I had dug up from my potato pot in the garden just hours before for dinner. They were divine. But the meal wasn’t filling me up a couple of hours later, and we ate early, so I whipped up a batch of pancakes. I make them fairly plain, but I always add more sugar than the recipe says, and then (and this is the best part) roll them up and dip them into golden caster sugar. Yum yum YUM that is just the greatest pudding ever. Sweet sugar, crispy buttery edges and soft doughy middles.
4. At the other end of my naughty / healthy spectrum of food cravings this week has been the JUICIEST nectarines. ‘Ripe and ready’, claimed Sainsburys – and ripe and ready they most certainly were. Bursting with all the flavour of the hotter, sunnier parts of Europe. They remind me so much of being on a balcony somewhere hot, with a cool sea breeze taking the heat of a day at the beach. A summer treat to be devoured frequently and with the utmost of pleasure. Always cut into segments. Noone likes nectarine-teeth.
5. Back to the afore-mentioned potatoes. WHAT a pleasure it was to dig up these pearly white beauties. I didn’t realise it would feel quite so exciting. Like finding a present you didn’t realise was there at the bottom of a stocking. I pulled out a few and washed them under the tap until their papery skins just slipped away. It’s true – they really are better. Now I just need to wait for my tomatoes and courgettes. Getting into this gardening malarkey. I even recorded Gardener’s World.
6. Catching up with really old friends. Well, not really old, just past the 10 year mark. People who you’re absolutely yourself with. People who mock you, poke fun at you, but are thrilled with your little joys and ready and waiting to help with life’s snags. The people who make you laugh and laugh, remember why you are friends, and wish you saw them often.
7. Going on a forest walk, where the pine trees smelt so luscious after the heavy rain we’ve been having. It was like going for a walk in southern Europe in summer. The air was still, the insects were buzzing and every step we took gave us lungfulls of deliciously scented air, thick and humid.
8. My new nearly-stonewashed cropped denim jacket. Because it’s cool, and I don’t usually do cool 🙂