The strawberry patch is a popular place to be in our garden at the moment, all the sweet, tiny strawberries are ripening and there are some ready to pick every day. The children push aside the leaves looking for the scarlet berries and pop them straight into their mouth.
The rain is pattering on the roof of our garden room while I am indoors wrapping presents for K's sixth birthday ready for Saturday.
I have spent the morning squeezing around the play den that the girls set up before school which is now taking over half of our living room. They made me promise not to take it down so they can play in it 'straight after school mummy, don't touch it. Leave the silks exactly as they are.'
My mind is on one hundred and one things that need to be done before the weekend:
Deciding what cake to bake for the Birthday Girl.
Getting ready to make 33 birthday chocolate cup cakes tonight after the children are in bed for K to take in for her class mates for their morning break tomorrow.
A camping list as for K's birthday treat she would like to go away in the bell tent.
I need to figure out when we are going to pick up K's birthday balloons on Saturday ready for her tea party.
While I write this the pattering has now turned to torrential rain...And all the while, I am thinking, is my little girl really going to be Six Years Old? Oh my, where has the time gone?
We're still settling into our new weekly rhythm, with K at school full time and Little L at pre-school for two and a half days a week. Sorry if I have been delayed in replying to any comments, with so much change to our daily routine, eveything is still shifting into place.
It was wet on the way home from school yesterday, a beautiful warm fragant rain was falling, refreshing in the humidity of the day.
While the children are at school, I am finding little pockets of time amongst the daily chores, where I can do something like wander out into the garden and really 'see' what is in front of me without the calls of 'mummy, mummy, mama.' It feels nice to have some uninterrupted moments where I can properly think, reflect and ground myself a little, away from the chaos of day to day to life with two small children.
Little L and I got down onto the kitchen floor after lunch yesterday to do some baking. She's too short to reach the counter top even with the help of a stool. For ease of clean-up, we placed the bowl on a large tray to catch any spills. She's left-handed and she stuggled holding the bowl and stirring the wooden spoon at the same time. It took a while for her to cream the butter and sugar together but she got there in the end! She managed the sieve well, tapping the flour into the bowl. When it was time to crack the eggs, I got a small, clean bowl for her and showed her how to tap the egg onto the side of the bowl before pulling the egg shell apart. But Little L had her own ideas, she held the egg above the bowl and squeezed it until it broke and then watched while it took her mama five minutes to fish the egg shell out before we could carry on. She sat on the kitchen floor watching her cakes rise in the oven saying 'Mama, they're getting bigger, mama, can we ice them yet? I want to ice them right now.' We iced the cakes out in the garden, so there wouldn't be icing sugar flying all over the kitchen. She took her time, spooning pink icing onto the cakes and showering sprinkles over them. Didn't she do a good job?
I really loved spending time with Little L in the kitchen so definately want to have more 'kitchen' days, I would like to get one of these child friendly choppers so she can help with the veggies. I've contacted Nichole from her beautiful 'Live Free' blog to ask her where I can buy one!
We spent Sunday afternoon next to the campfire, toasting marshmallows and lounging on the grass. The children were content to run back and forth from the wood pile to keep the fire from burning out. I found some flat rocks to lay underneath our Bon-Fire Brazier from Soulpad to prevent burning the grass, a lesson I learnt from last Summer. This time, we also had the campfire well away from the house, to stop our home from filling with campfire smoke. A couple of weeks ago, we set up our brazier right next to our garden room...which we discovered to be a big mistake when I realised I had left a window open!
I have promised the children that we will make some damper bread soon, just like the lovely Emma Bradshaw. That should help fulfil K's wish, 'Come on Mummy, can't we do something exicting, like cook some more food over the campfire?' once we had reached the bottom of the marshmallow bag.
They tramped through an old fishing hut at the edge of the River Test and played on the river bank watching the bright light glinting off the water. They threw bread into the river for the ducks and squealed when fish came swimming to the surface to feed, sending up splashes with their tails. We never made it inside the Abbey, as the children were having too much fun exploring the walled gardens, the river and the tiny streams. There is always another day.
My camera is a NIkon D90 with a 50 mm f 1.4 G lens. I almost always shoot in natural light and in high quality jpeg and very rarely edit my photos. I have just started to shoot in Aperture priority mode.
Please don't use any of my photos without my express permission.