Tag: spring

Cross country training, the promise of spring & a snowy surprise

While the Beast from the East is but a memory now, you’ll still find traces of his visit in the fields and on the side of the road as you drive along the A39, only they’re looking more like cement, a murky brown, or more like mud actually.  And we wonder if he’ll ever visit again?  We promised T that next time we’d be ready and buy a sled if we see one on sale, although I honestly doubt if this rare occurrence will happen again… but you’ll never know and it’s best to be prepared next time.

T together with some of her friends and other schoolmates will be doing the cross-country run together with other schools this Friday.  We’ve been helping her “train”… I’m using the word “train” really lightly here, because it’s nothing hardcore at all.  The Historian does run with her when he has the time, but since he had a lecture in Exeter last Saturday, T was stuck with her mum who has a weak knee and so I just walked behind her.

We were doing rather well.  She’d run ahead of me and I’d walk briskly behind her.  Admiring the promise of spring – the daffodils were out again. Before the Beast’s visit, lovely Spring flowers were slowly coming out and then they were blanketed with a thick layer of snow.  It’s nice to see them out again.

T ran past the small barn and into our neighbour’s farm.  We’re lucky we have lovely neighbours who let us roam freely around their farm.

We passed the other outbuildings  and still she kept running, occasionally checking whether her poor unexercised mum was still behind her.

And into the small woods, past up the hill and then that’s when she saw it.

I saw her stop on her tracks.  She looked back at me and smiled and went for it.

T giggled as she got stuck in the thick snow.  I was really amazed to find this much snow on the side of the lane.  I’m sure it will melt soon especially since temperature has been slowly rising. I let her play in the snow for a while. After all thick snow is rare on our side of the UK especially in March, before reminding her to go back to running till at least the end of the lane and then she can play in the snow again.

After running around in circles and getting stuck in the snow, T and I decided that it was time to head back home…

… for a lovely treat of Oreo Ice-cream.

Isn’t life just sweet? 😉

Winter is Dead …

thank goodness for that.  Up country, the trees have fully regrown their leaves.  Down here in Cornwall, even though Spring happens early, the trees are still recovering from the “deadness” of Winter.  Some of them are still bald, some are slowly sprouting tiny leaves, pert against the blueness of a Spring sky.  I understand why this is my husband’s favourite season.  He says he likes it because there is hope in the air.  I like it because it is beautiful.  Suddenly the greyness is gone and there is an abundance of colour.  What’s not to like about Spring?  You must be really dull or hate life not to embrace everything about it.

Spring break has also come and gone.  We spent the first week pottering about, mostly gardening, although there is still a lot to be done, we are slowly getting there.

We also visited my in-laws in the second week and did a day trip to the bustling city of London.  It was nice to spend time with the family, but it was great to drive back home to the country again.  I think I also understand why some people don’t like leaving their place.  It can sometimes be a bit cumbersome and I’m not alone in feeling this.  My husband heaved a heavy sigh as he stepped on the gas to make that long trip back up-country.  We haven’t even left and yet we were already longing for home.

Ah home.  At the moment, home is this 400-year-old farm cottage surrounded by cows and fields.  The house gets mouldy in Winter, I have yet to repaint the walls.  There are still remnants of mould even though we’ve tried our best to wipe them away, you can still see them on the walls like scars that haven’t healed.  I’ll get down to doing all that, hopefully this week.

Hope and Spring, such a lovely combination, don’t you think?

A Whiff of Summer

Could it be true?  Could summer really be near?

The clocks moved forward last Saturday and it definitely felt like we are not that far from everyone’s most favourite season – summer.  Well obviously, coming from a tropical country, it is my favourite, although I do love the golden colours in autumn too.

I love summer here in England, especially when the weather cooperates.  I love the long summer days especially, sitting out in the garden at 9 pm and it is still light.  We like to sit around in the fire-pit waiting for the dark, the barbecue long gone and drinks have been passed around and little T ready for bed, but refusing to go.  What’s not to love?

Obviously it isn’t summer yet but Spring has definitely sprung. We found something in the small outbuilding we have, down in the garden.  It was a hammock we bought on sale last year.  I think we got in the end-of-season sale in our favourite garden centre.  I remember thinking we must be mad to purchase it, especially since it was the beginning of winter, but I’m so glad we did.

T was delighted when we called her over.  And being a kid, she insisted that we used it right away.  After searching for a piece of rope and two trees that would be strong enough to hold the hammock, we set it up.

And as soon as it was up, little T plunked herself down with a book while her dad mowed the lawn and Doc was busy chewing on a stick and I went on with my chores.  I looked back as I walked back to the house to do my chores, and right that very moment, that instant, it felt like we’ve fast forwarded to summer.  Funny how a hammock can magically transport you into time.

Sadly, as I type this and look out the window, a different scene unfolds before me.  It’s rather a dreary one actually.  T has been wearing her summer dresses to school two days in a row now, even though yesterday, it was hardly sunny.  But as I helped her get ready today, I suggested maybe it would be best if she went back to wearing her grey skirt and tights instead.  She agreed and said “It’s like winter again, isn’t it mum?”  I sighed and said yes.  Her father grumpily added “Yes, that was it.  We’ve now gone back to winter!”

I’m in need of something more magical than a hammock, one so strong it will somehow bring the sunshine back and will it to stay.  Know of any?  Do share.

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…

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


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


Beautiful red tulips.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


…. 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.


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.


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.



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


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


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


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


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



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


Not before looking back at this little piece of paradise.


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?