A spring supper

Thought you might like this, a very green ‘speltotto’ recipe to celebrate the joys of late spring.

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

250g pearled spelt

1 litre chicken stock

1 glass white wine

bunch asparagus, sliced into 3 cm pieces

3 courgettes, grated

pecorino or parmesan cheese

1 tsp lemon thyme

  • fry the onion and garlic over a low heat for 5-10 mins
  • add a glass of wine and the spelt, simmer til absorbed
  • add half the chicken stock, the lemon thyme and simmer til absorbed
  • meanwhile, fry the courgettes and asparagus with a pinch of salt
  • add the remaining half of the chicken stock to the spelt
  • when absorbed, mix the spelt and vegetables together
  • serve with pecorino or parmesan

Yum x

Blue skies

sumtwist14

Blue sky, you filtered into my soul

Sunshine, you warmed my skin

Nature’s light touch bringing the trees into bud

The freedom of woodland for my girls

Delight in their blue eyes

Water rushing, sticks clutching

Blankets and books in the dappled shade

Welcome, Spring

Easter

Roll away the stone from my heart

Let me meet you and clasp your hands in the garden

I won’t let go of hope

Your story follows deepest sorrow with unending joy

Let it be my story too

I believe it will be my story too

I’ve been part of two Easter services today.  Standing around the bonfire, I looked out to see the clouds split and the sea giltter in return, just for a moment.  This evening, a picture of a magnolia tree in flower reminded us that while life can feel cold and bleak summer will come.

My faith often feels like longing.  Today I will rest in knowing that there are many seasons of life, but summer will indeed come.

BudleighWarMemTwilght

Secret smile

Nobody knows it but you’ve got a secret smile
And you use it only for me
Nobody knows it but you’ve got a secret smile
And you use it only for me

So use it and prove it
Remove this whirling sadness
I’m losing, I’m bluesing
But you can save me from madness

beer-bubbles-1-astha-tuladhar

I found a tiny heart made of bubbles at the bottom of my beer glass today, and it made me think of the ‘secret smiles’ that we so often miss when life is busy or ill or sad.  I was chasing Little One as she made a beeline for the kitchen at Wagamama, but suddenly she was distracted and we found ourselves in a peaceful courtyard filled with white blossom.  Another secret smile in the midst of a fraught moment of parenting.

Now that Little One has more freedom from the buggy she roams and if I let myself get caught up with whatever she’s looking at, it almost always enhances my day.  There are some textured glass sculptures near the Cathedral and today she loved exploring them with her hands and was murmuring ‘shell’ to herself.  To us weary ones it can be just street furniture, just another distraction on the way to the carpark but how wonderful to stop and feel the green-blue ‘shell’ in the city centre.

I’m hoping I can create the space to keep learning from my kids, and to let them continue to help me appreciate how we can look for beauty even in the more challenging times of our lives.

An after-school mini adventure

Eldest is hanging upside down by her knees with a tumble of golden hair touching the ground.  Little One is throwing leaves, wood chippings and beech nut cases into the air with glee.  It’s the start of the Easter break and I’m determined that, though there may be fog following me around, we are going to have a little adventure anyway.

Like all good adventures should, we start with sustenance.  Plate-sized pancakes with cherries for me and an assortment of gooey sauces and tiny sweets for the girls.  Then off to a village play park with the best swings in the world.  Huge long chains just made for stomach-twirling heights and hanging backwards to look at the trees upside down.  A wooden fort with ropes, ladders and bars for acrobatics if you happen to be that way inclined (and Eldest certainly is).  We have the whole field to ourselves and though there’s thick grey cloud above, seeing the girls get into the spirit of mini-adventure lifts the clouds within.

On the way home Little One chirps ‘lovely day’ and I have to agree.

Reasons to be cheerful (part 3)

Why don’t you get back into bed? Why don’t you get back into bed?

Why don’t you get back into bed? Why don’t you get back into bed?

Dury and the Blockheads opening refrain sums up my week really.  Why am I so damn tired so much of the time? However the song also lists some pretty good reasons to be cheerful, so here’s my list;

Mr Whippy ice cream at the school gates, escaping to the sea and watching a hail storm from the safety of the car.  Cheese scone and a cup of tea.  Two girls smiling as they play with whizzing lights from daddy’s trip to Spain.  Tulips in a vase. Elderflower cordial and sparkling water, washed down with encouraging conversation.  A hot yoga class in Cornwall to look forward to at the weekend.  Olives and Bombay Sapphire chosen with love in Spain.

Depression, or this blip or whatever is happening is a royal pain in the arse.  But I’m not going to let it steal my weird and wonderful reasons to be cheerful (even if safety mode won’t let me watch the original video and I can’t get Spotify to work)

Rockpooling

I love the hope and longing encapsulated in Noah and The Whale’s First Days of Spring.  With my own story in mind I love the song’s answer to the feeling that we all have one chance to f*** up our lives; Like a cut down tree, I will rise again
I’ll be bigger, and stronger than ever before.

The first day of Spring.  Someone’s turned up the brightness on the colours today.  Acid yellow daffodils, a slick of cobalt across the turquoise of the sea.  Burnt sienna and bright orange on the back of the tiny crab we find in the rockpools.  On days like this all feels right with the world, and the colour is turned up in my heart.

Eldest wrote this poem which sums up our day beautifully:

To feel the sand between my toes, and see the sea as it goes

Barnacles, anemones and sea snails plenty

A couple of ice cream cones empty

Little sisters having fun, playing in the golden sun

Driving home to see a fox, hiding in amongst the rocks

How I love going rockpooling