Friday, 31 March 2017

Blue eggs and bluebells

Spring is really making its presence felt now. Yesterday we had a top of twenty degrees. I managed to dry a load of washing outside in one afternoon. These 'little' things are still things to rejoice in. I can see the wild woodland garlic beginning to push up their flower heads. There is constant birdsong, even at 9pm. The bluebells have appeared, seemingly overnight. Magnolia trees are aburst. And one or two gangly heron sit next to the brook quite often, soaking up the afternoon sunshine.

Blue eggs seemed appropriate for the new season, and the beginning of all things Easter. I bought a half dozen of blue and a half dozen of white. The blue came in such a beautiful range of hues. Some much more green than blue, and others the perfect shade of 'duck egg blue'.

I know I should leave the bluebells in the garden for the bees. But they are such a wonderful sight for me, being my first English spring and all. I snipped a couple to put on my nightstand. In any case, over the weekend I sowed a box full of mixed 'blue garden' flower seeds for me the bees. I'm hoping for cornflowers and forget-me-nots to pop their heads up come summer time, but it is such a lucky-dip box of seeds, we'll have to wait and see.

Kate  x

Friday, 3 March 2017

Thoughts on nesting

I am a nester through and through. There's no place I would rather be than at home, pottering, and fluffing my nest. So, after a little over five months of nomadic-like living since moving to England, I am bursting at the seams at the thought of finally moving into a little Cotswold cottage to call home for a while. There's still a week to go, but I can just about hear those keys jangling in the lock. For the months we've been waiting for this lease to start I've had a hard time suppressing a feeling of dread that something, for some reason, would prevent us moving in at the last moment...So far, touch wood, it all seems to be tied up and a 'sure thing'. Even typing out that thought seems like tempting fate.

I read a quote online the other day.

Everyone has,
I think,
In some quiet corner
Of his mind,
An ideal home waiting
To become reality.

-Paige Renee

For me, this cottage is that home. If I could draw to save myself, and someone had asked me to illustrate my ideal home upon moving to England, it would have looked a lot like this place. Almost identical. I might have dreamed it into existence. Right down to the farmhouse kitchen sink.

We didn't realise we would end up living so far west when we arrived, but we've fallen deeply in love with the West Country, the wide, green farmland of Wiltshire, the darling little villages of the Cotswolds that time seems to have forgotten. I am in a real-life rural idyll out here, like I've somehow stumbled into a life befitting Beatrix Potter (albeit a long way south of the Lake District). 

The village that fate has gifted us nestles into a small valley, a brook babbles past the cottages, and the whole settlement is surrounded by ancient beech woodland. There is no shop, no newsagent, or petrol station. Just two village pubs. Some people would baulk at not being able to pop around the corner for milk. Or be unnerved that there is no grocery store to do a thrice weekly shop at within five minutes of home.

I, on the other hand, am relishing the idea that I will have to live more thoughtfully. I will need to have a fully stocked larder, make use of my slow-cooker, bulk cook, and freeze emergency meals. I am hoping this makes me more mindful of the ebb and flow of the seasons, the beginning and the end of each day, to slow down and notice how the light is different from month to month. I will have to exist contentedly in a little village free from modern trappings. No neon lights, no billboards or advertisements of any kind. Not any street lamps (I must buy a torch asap), or even numbers on the houses for the postman. Just the village noticeboard outside the churchyard. 

I know as an Australian (even one raised by English parents, with centuries of British blood in me) I am probably guilty of romanticising the English countryside and village life. The thing is, the line between romance and reality is so thin in this part of the world, I almost doubt its existence. It is very possible to drive through a Cotswold village and be completely convinced you've accidentally stumbled across a film set. Every English cliche is right before you at one time or another; gentlemen in tweed suits, bunting flapping in the breeze, woodland brimming with the latest seasonal offering- snowdrops, wild garlic, bluebells.

My nesting heart is going to be so full and satisfied once we get those keys. It might be a while before I come up for air...

Kate  x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

St David's Day daffs

The first of March means we can now look towards the arrival of spring. 
Early daffodils are here, with their sunny disposition they stand determined, blooming and smiling in the frigid breeze.

Alex came home with ingredients for Shrove Tuesday pancakes last night, with two bunches of daffodils clasped in his hand. I've clearly trained him well.

Their trumpet-like blooms are bursting open and bringing lots of cheer with them. I put them on my new (to me) Edwardian oak plant stand, the first furniture purchase I have made for the cottage we move into next week.

This move can't come soon enough, until then, the daffs are keeping me occupied.

Kate  x