Tag: spring

Finding the Beauty in Ordinary Days

It definitely felt like spring has sprung over the weekend which lasted till Monday.  Never mind if it’s looking grey again today.  But a few days ago, our little family had a lovely time as we worked in the sunshine, trying to reclaim our garden back from the remnants of winter.

T and I started with raking the leaves which should’ve been raked ages ago, but it was always too wet and cold to do it.  But over the weekend it was bliss.  We were all in our element, including Doc and Boots who loved basking in the sun and running on tree branches.  Hopefully she didn’t find any bird’s nests!

For some time now, the husband has been talking about wanting to put wooden borders with shingles for our pots of plants to rest on.  But like I’ve mentioned, the weather hasn’t been really conducive to do anything outside, he finally had his chance!

He started this on a Saturday, by Sunday he had all the wooden boards up, but found out that the shingles he bought wasn’t enough.  We managed to buy more yesterday and it’s all up:

I think he did a grand job!  We’re excited to buy more bedding plants, since the ones in our pots need replanting and even new ones.  There’s still obviously much to do in the garden.  I need to repaint our garden furnitures and hopefully we’ll manage to put up some swings and tick off some of our plans which we made last year when we first moved into the house.  It does take time, doesn’t it?

But over the weekend, it was one of those lovely ordinary days where I savoured each and every single second, bit by bit.  There’s beauty in ordinary days like these.

Relishing the ordinary, the way the sunshine poured through the window making beautiful patterns against our curtains.  The sound of Boots’ bell coming from the trees, hopefully loud enough to warn any birds that a predator is coming.  Little T sitting on the concrete steps eating her little picnic exclaiming “This is the best lunch ever” which consisted of a jam sandwich, apple slices and her a pear flavoured drink.

The way the husband frowned as he hammered a piece of wood into the ground missing his foot just inches away.  Even the sound of Doc’s faint barking which meant he was somewhere in the 500-acre farm land that surrounds our house.

And then later on, the sound of T practicing her cello and my husband and I both smiling, so proud of her, that what our little girl is playing is beginning to sound like good music.  These are the moment I want to freeze forever.

Reality sets in again, and it’s a Wednesday, our house at the moment is surrounded in mist.  Ah well…

Country Kids

Evidence of Spring

I’m cold as soon as I get up in the morning.  I’m missing our warm-terraced house in Bos.  This 400-year-old detached house surrounded by farmland, although lovely, is bloody too cold!  As soon as T is eating breakfast, I dive back into the duvet before jumping out again and helping her get ready for school.  I’ve had enough of this cold weather.  I’m desperate for the warmth and the sun, while summer is far off, I’ll settle for spring.

We had a burst of good weather last Sunday and the husband took this opportunity to chop off the tree that fell a few days ago because of really strong winds last week, although it was cold, I decided to join him and T out for some fresh air.   I also took my camera out to take some photos:

T had fun jumping in her trampoline.  She hasn’t played out here in awhile.

Wearing her current favourite jumper in the world.

I was so pleased to see so much green coming around, a cheery contrast to the drabness of the winter trees.  It made me happy to find spring flowers finally sprouting out in our garden.

And who doesn’t love snowdrops?

As you can see, there’s a snowdrop reunion happening on the side of our house.  Aren’t they the loveliest?

I think spring is slowly creeping in in spite the cold weather.

What’s your favourite spring flower?

I love snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils.

What about you?

Spring: Is it here yet?

I don’t know about other people, but winter, especially after the Christmas madness, I tend to fold-in and turn introspective (Although I’m sure if my husband gets to read this he’ll say “but you’re always introspective Dean!)

Can you blame me?  Coming from a tropical country where it’s warm and sunny everyday, of course, we do get the grey clouds too, especially when it rains, but it never lasts unlike here in England.

The the changing of seasons, while it is beautiful, always has an affect on me.  I try to ride it and just go with the flow, mindful that the greyness and drabness isn’t permanent, that it’s only temporary.  You would think that after almost a decade of living here, I’d be an expert now.  I think though, I’m getting better, my skin is thicker.

And it isn’t really that bad really, while January is awful, here in Cornwall, even though it’s only the first day of February, I can see evidence of spring coming already.  The bulbs are slowly coming up and the days are getting longer.  We no longer drive T to her gymnastics class at 5pm in the dark.

The bright days are coming and the thought of it makes me feel giddy!  The flowers will bloom soon.  The trees will get their leaves in abundance back.  All the colours, different hues will spring everywhere.  What’s not to like?  Are you excited too?

The Flowers of Trerice – A National Trust Property

It’s so worth it to be members of the National Trust and English Heritage when you have a little one to entertain.  During the holidays or weekends, when the weather is good (or even bad), a day out in any of their properties is sure to be a winner and of course not just for the little ones, but as well as for the grown-ups too.  There is a rich history behind each property which allows us to get a glimpse of what it was like to live in a certain era and they often come with lovely grounds and gardens great for exploring or just enjoying it’s beauty and splendour.

Trerice is a grand Elizabethan Manor near Newquay down here in Cornwall.  Just like all other National Trust properties, the gardens have beautiful plants, trees and flowers, but since it is still early spring, there wasn’t much abundance of them, but even the few that were there were still lovely and definitely worth a photo, or two, or more 😉

bluebells_littlesteps

Bluebells are one of my favourite spring flowers.  We didn’t find a lot of them, but still saw them dotted all over the gardens.

pink_littlesteps

We also spied a few pink ones too.  Aren’t they the prettiest?

pink_flowers_littlestepspurple_littlestepsdaffodils_littlestepspurpleflowers_littlestepsredtulips_littlesteps

Beautiful red tulips.

redberries_littlestepswhite_littlesteps

My favourite spring flowers are snowdrops, bluebells, tulips and of course daffodils.

What are yours?

Do you have any favourite National Trust or English Heritage property?

Do share.

Hopefully the Bright Days are Here To Stay

The sun, the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man … – Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist).

That’s exactly how I feel after a long bout of the dull, greyness of winter and suddenly the days seem longer and there are more frequent moments when the sun is out and even though it is still cold, at least it is bright and lovely everywhere you look and the smell of the promise of spring is in the air.  Spring is my husband’s favourite season, and since moving to England, I can see why.

Out and About

This week has been all about walking around and taking photos in the sun with Doc while little T is at school.  I’ve shared some photos on my recent post and if you’re following me on Instagram, chances are, you’ve probably seen a few photos too. so I won’t bore you lovely folks by posting the same photos here.  Feel free to click on the links if you haven’t seen them yet.

Little T

After the half-term break, my daughter is back in the grind with school and her after-school activities like gymnastics, swimming lessons and Starmakers (this is really more like playing with friends).  Thankfully her cello lessons happens during school hours, otherwise I think she has way too much on her plate.  After all, she’s only 5, no wonder she always seems exhausted by the end of the school week.  I’m just glad that she’s enjoying all her activities and has stuck with them, in spite some of her friends dropping out, which makes me and her dad even prouder of her, than we already are.

Hopeful

When the sun is out, everything seems possible, isn’t it?  As if all your doubts and negative emotions, feelings or thoughts were but illusions or imagined.  I come from a country where there is always sun, so when it’s out, it almost feels like home to me.

I have some exciting news to share with you lovely people, but I don’t want to jinx it and only want to share it when I’m 100% sure that it’s all true. I’ve learned my lesson.  I’ve shared news prematurely in the past before and it all came crumbling down like a nightmare, so I’m keeping this close to my heart, till the coast is clear.  Only then will I share the good news.

As for the weekend, we have nothing planned.  The historian has a lecture in Exeter, hopefully the weather is the same, or at least, try so little T and I can do something fun outside.  Sadly, the weather isn’t good tomorrow and I have a feeling the weekend will be the same too.  But one thing I’ve learned about living in England is that you can never predict the weather no matter how much you keep checking the forecast online.  Sometimes it is spot on, other times, it’s completely the opposite, but I’ve learned to play everything by ear.

What about you?  Do you have anything exciting planned this weekend?

Do share.

My word of the week is Sunshine.

The Reading Residence

Photos from our Back Garden Today

Woke up with sunshine pouring out of our windows. I’m wondering, has spring arrived? Or is spring really on the way? My husband says the days seem longer now.  That thought makes us happy.

 Have you been outside?  I have and saw this.

blueskies_littlesteps

Beautiful blues skies, a bit cloudy against the winter trees.  Lovely isn’t it?

view_littlesteps

If we move from here, I’m certainly going to miss this view outside my kitchen window.

flowers_littlesteps

Finally!  A photo of our Camellia in the sunlight, if you’ve been following me over on Instagram, I’ve been posting photos of it in the mist.

shadows_littlesteps

And the sunlight was making delightful shadows on the wall too.

shadows2_littlesteps

Even our winter plants seemed to cheer up in the sun.

plants_littlesteps

…. or maybe not.

Could it be true?

Is Spring really on its way?

Focusing on the Small Joys: A lovely day at the beach

Children are experts when it comes to small joys.  To them, it’s the small joys that matter.  It’s the little things that can instantly summon a smile on their lovely faces.  To us, what may seem insignificant, means the world to them.

“Really mum, I can sleep in your bed tonight?”  Says little T with the biggest smile and excitement on her face, as if I just offered her a trip to the moon and back.

I wish for her to never ever forget this expertise.  Why does growing-up mean forgetting that it’s the small joys that matter?   American writer Pearl S. Buck sums it all:

Many people lose the small joys in the hope for big happiness.

You could say, living by the sea, when the sun is out and the temperature rises our biggest “small joy” would be heading out to the beach with a picnic.

IMG_8632

We’ve been to Pontireglaze beach a few times, but we usually pass through Polzeath beach to get to it.  This time though, we decided to park up the hill and head for the beach using a different path.

walking2_littlesteps

Normally, I wouldn’t dare walk near the cows with their calves, especially with little T around, but they seemed unfazed as a small procession of people walked on the path in their field.

cows_littlesteps

beach_littlesteps

Just when I was worried that we took the wrong the path, the beach suddenly appeared before us.

spade_littlesteps

Little T got her spade and had a little play in the sand.

rockpools_littlesteps

Here’s little T and her dad exploring the rock pools.

rockpools2_littlesteps

I knew she’d end up wet, so we stripped her off and left her in her underpants.

blueskies_littlesteps

I have many lovely memories of little T playing on the beach in just her knickers.  These are all filed under my small joys.

polzeath_littlesteps

backup_littlesteps

After putting on a clean-dry dress on little T, we decided that it was time to head back home.

beach3_littlesteps

Not before looking back at this little piece of paradise.

cows2_littlesteps

A cow and her calf eyed us suspiciously from afar as we made our way back up.

When the sky is grey as today, these photos with lovely blue skies keep the gloom away.

What about you?  What are your small joys?

Good Day Sunshine

I think I know what McCartney was thinking when he wrote the lyrics to the Beatles’ song “Good Day sunshine”.  Just reading the words, makes you feel good already:  “Good day sunshine.  Good day sunshine.  Good day sunshine.  Good day sunshine.  I need to laugh, and when the sun is out.  I’ve got something I can laugh about.  I feel good, in a special way.  I’m in love and it’s a sunny day.”

And he is so right, when the sun is out, the gloom is nowhere to be found either.  As I’ve mentioned we’ve been having absolutely glorious weather and when you live in the UK you keep expecting it will be over soon and the rains will come again.  And as of yesterday, the rain has come!  But that’s life in the UK 😉 and the plants needs some watering, so it’s fine.

The glorious sunshine started during the Easter break, the sun came out in its full glory and since we had a close friend over, who also happens to be little T’s godfather, we went on a lovely  country walk.  T also had a little friend over, so along with two little people, three adults and a four-legged over excitable dog, we all headed out for a little procession through the woods.

kids1_littlesteps

Over the hills we went, but had to go skirting around the hills, trying to avoid the cows with their calves.

kids2_littlesteps

We didn’t want to risk it, not with two children and the cows with their babies would definitely be nervous around an over-excitable dog like Doc.

kids4_littlesteps

After a bit of walk and hearing a few whinges from the little ones, we finally reached St. Peter’s Woods, which meant we weren’t far from Minster Church.

kids5_littlesteps

And then there it was – Minster Church, just like Forrabury, parts of the building was built during the Norman times.

minsterchurch_littlesteps

I love the graveyard here, it always looks beautiful and different as the season changes as seen on this post.

cemetery_littlesteps

doc_littlesteps

Poor Doc, as usual, had to be left outside as we all went inside to have a look around and actually, a bit of a rest.

hardstare_littlesteps

You might be wondering what little T is doing in this photo:  She’s actually practicing her “hard-stare” made famous by Paddington Bear.

kids7_littlesteps

Kids will be kids.  Clambering over stairs with no fear, in spite the adults cautioning them to slow-down.  Then it was time to head home.

What about you?

Does the weather also affect your mood?

As I type this, grey clouds are hovering outside.  But like I said, we actually welcome the rain, so it’s not so bad and I besides, I just checked, the sun will be out again tomorrow 🙂

Underneath the Cornish Sky (A Springtime Walk with Doc and T)

We woke up to beautiful sunshine and sky.  After doing my chores, we decided that this was the kind of day best spent outside.

IMG_8281

Little T in her Elsa dress with a lightweight jacket on.

IMG_8283

I love the crisp Cornish blue sky.

IMG_8284

And of course, the excitable Doc was with us too.

IMG_8285

And up we climbed again.

gorse

One of the many reasons why I love the coast is the dramatic changes over the seasons, from drab grey, to beautiful vibrant colours, like these yellow gorse, you’ll see them all over the coast-line during spring and summer.

IMG_8287

And of course, the coastline is always dramatic around here.

IMG_8288

That white building on the hill is known as the coastguard’s hut.  It’s beautiful up there, but we never really go up unless we have visitors.  I worry that one of us might fall!  Yes, I am paranoid that way.

IMG_8291

Little T wanted to stop by our special bench for a little rest.  This bench has one of the best views along the North Cornish coast.

IMG_8290

Little T basking in the sun.

IMG_8294

And Doc actually hiding from the sun!  He found a little shade near the long grass and plonked himself there.

IMG_8295

I love the plaques you can find on the benches around here.  Every time I see them, I always stop and read what’s written, some of them are really touching.

IMG_8298

Before going home, little T wanted a play at the playground.

IMG_8300

But was actually exhausted, so after a while, we ended up going home.

What about you?

Were you also up and about today, enjoying the glorious sun?

I hope so, because  the last time I checked the weather forecast isn’t going to be anything like this in the next few days!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Turning into a Tourist

The tourist season has begun.  Our sleepy little seaside village awakens and teems with life.  You’ll see them everywhere – ramblers, weekenders, second-home owners, tourists from all over.  And the good thing about this, is that we too have visitors and that means, we too turn into tourists, and no matter how much you’ve seen and been around the place where you live, you look at your surroundings through a different eye – as if you’re seeing it for the very first time again.

Now let me take you around with us, especially if you’ve been following my blog, you might just recognise some of the scenes I’ve photographed more than a dozen of times over the changing of the seasons.

IMG_5521

The Coast Guard’s Hut

This is a short walk from our house and where we take Doc for most of his walks.  On a clear and sunshiny day, it looks like this.  In the winter, it’s all grey, but still beautiful nonetheless.  If you go all the way up, you’ll have a fantastic view of the sea and other cliff tops.  But not today folks.  This time, we ramble on!

IMG_5524

Horses

Some days you’ll find horses grazing on the foot of the coast-guard’s hut.  Every time I see horses in open air like this, I am reminded of that video from the song “Foolish Games” by Jewel.  (Upsound music).

IMG_5532

The Blowhole

Luckily it was low-tide and you could see the blowhole in all its glory.  The only problem with this though is that you won’t see the dramatic swishing of the waves against the rocks and hear the tremendous sound of the water going in the hole and being dramatically expelled or more like belched out of the hole in a thunderous roar.  When it is raining, the scene is often times sinister, like you expect something bad or mysterious to happen.

IMG_5533

The Harbour

Like all harbours, tourists like to conglomerate here whether they are having a picnic, sunbathing or just enjoying the views and lovely sunshine.  And when the tourist season is over, this becomes an empty place.

IMG_5538

The View from the other-side

In the low-tide as seen above, the place becomes like a mini-beach for little T and her best-friend F.  In the summer, we take them down here for a little play.  See this post for some photos.

IMG_5545

On top of the hill

Since we were with a friend who was visiting, we took him all the way up on the hill.  A couple clearly had the best seat, although since I’m a bit scared of heights, I don’t think I’d be able to sit there.

IMG_5551

Seal Sighting

If you’re lucky, you might just be able to see a seal bobbing up and down.  Yes, that tiny little dot is indeed a seal.  And if you’re really, really lucky, you might even spy a dolphin!

IMG_5554

The Waterfall

At the moment, it is just a mere trickle.  The amazing thing about where we live is that you don’t only get lovely views and walks along the coastline, it’s not just all about the sea.  But you’ll also find waterfalls big and small along the way.

IMG_5558

And of course, the cows.

IMG_5560

And if you meet an over-excitable dog running around like a loony, stop and call him “Doc”.  But be warned, if you do this, be prepared to be slobbered all over with licks and excitable little jumps.

IMG_5562

And here he is slumped over a sea of daisies, exhausted from all that running around. Actually, at this point, I was also so tempted to lie next to him as I am the most un-excercised woman on the planet.  I was huffing and puffing all the way down the valley and up the hills.  I am ashamed of myself.

IMG_5565

And then lo and behold, the end was near.  Our destination was actually just a few steps away and not a dot on the horizon – The Farm Shop.

IMG_5567

You know you’re absolutely in the vicinity of the Farm Shop when you see this miniature horse.

IMG_5568

Heaven is eating a slice of cake and a cup of tea after a long and meandering walk by the coastline, before being jolted back to reality …  of having to walk back into the village and do it all over again.

IMG_5573

But then if it means walking through this post-card looking cottage – then it isn’t so bad at all.

IMG_5574

By this time, it was way past 3pm – time to pick up the little one from play-school.  “What took you so long mummy, daddy and Uncle T?  We didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth.  That we went on an adventure without her, stopped in the Farm shop and the pub, before heading back to pick her up.

To make up for that, we took her to the pub and sat in the garden.  After all, that’s what tourists do 😉

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s #WhatsTheStory.

 

Did you go away somewhere lovely for the Spring break?