Headon Warren

Yesterday, we all went for a walk up to the top of Headon Warren.  It was a lovely day, although windy.  I was glad the kids had their snoods on – by the end they were wearing their hats and gloves too.

What a lovely spot this is
What a lovely spot this is
Gorse and heather - I hope my heather takes off soon
Gorse and heather – I hope my heather takes off soon, it’s still really small

The only problem with walking in the countryside is all the dogshit.  I know, it is the countryside and some should be expected but this was ridiculous.  Plus, most of it was in those little black bags that someone had collected it in but had just then dumped by the side of the path.  I really had the urge to start reporting it using my Clean Islington app but clearly that wouldn’t work as we aren’t in Islington.

Leap year

I’d totally forgotten that it was a leap year this year.  I remember once being in a bank and the cashier told me that 29 February is the day on which all employees basically work for free.  I was glad I’d taken it as holiday.

Primroses at the end of February
Primroses at the end of February

 

 

Robot lawnmower

One great thing about it being nearly Spring is that the robot lawnmower has now been serviced and is back in action.  Over the winter, the lawn is a bit too soggy for it to do much good and, in any case, the grass doesn’t need much cutting then.

Robot lawnmower
Robot lawnmower

It works in a similar way to those robot hoovers people used to have.  My husband has put a guidewire around the lawn and it wanders about, cutting the grass as it goes.  When its battery gets a bit low, it goes back to its little house to charge up.

The only problem is that my daughter is terrified of it.  It doesn’t help that it appears to follow her whenever she is in the garden (seriously, this is a coincidence).

Baking bread

I’ve rather been inspired to start baking bread again by my sister-in-law’s blog Succumb to the Crumb.  I’m not going to make sourdough though, I can’t be arsed.

I ended up digging out my copy of Brilliant Bread and doing the basic white loaf.  The handy thing about this is that you don’t actually have to do all the much – the dough spends most of its time sitting about (proving) so it’s a good thing to do while your kids are around.  Plus I have a kitchenaid so this does my mixing and kneading for me.

You need this book
You need this book

My loaves never end up being a normal shape – they are always a bit wonky or flat.  So this time I did it in my AGA loaf tin.  It still ended up being a bit of a mad shape but not as mad as it is when I just bung the ball of dough in the oven.

Here it is
Here it is

We had it for breakfast with butter and raspberry jam.  Good thing too, as I also did frozen croissants but they ended up doughy AND black on top.

Spring!

So, I have DECIDED that it is now Spring.  Officially, I think this doesn’t start until the 1st of March but my little daffodils are now out and there is blossom on the trees.  Plus some of my rosemary is flowering beautifully.

Spring!
Spring!

I’ve just had a deliciously hard prune of my buddleia and hydrangeas (last year, one of my hydrangeas went all summer without flowering and I suspect it was because it hadn’t been pruned).  Of course, they could now die but I can’t help that now.  It looks as though my gardener has already done the roses so I texted him to thank him.

I’ve also had a tidy up of my flowerbeds.  It looks as though you were all right and the nepeta has now started to revive itself.  I hope that the calamintha nepeta at the front does too.  Unfortunately, the euphorbia has also perked up (my husband hates it).  I’ve decided that I need some sea holly (the perennial one) to plug in some of the gaps.

A little while ago, I bunged some sweet violet seeds in trays in my cold frame.  The seed packet didn’t really give instructions so I winged it.  Nothing seems to have happened so far but then perhaps it takes longer than a couple of weeks for those to germinate.

Window box

So yesterday I tied up my window box.  It still looks TERRIBLE but at least it is tidy and terrible.

Ugh
Ugh

For someone who is interested in gardening, I don’t half neglect the one in London. Perhaps it will perk up once we get into Spring.

I’d already had a bit of a nightmare – we are off to the IoW for the weekend and my nanny is going to join us from Saturday night so I ordered her ticket online.  And went to pick it up at the Essex Road station.  Ha!  There were no staff.  So I got the train to Moorgate.  Where the lady told me that Moorgate isn’t a mainline station so I can’t print out tickets there.  So I got the Metropolitan line to Kings Cross, where I could print out the tickets – so I did.  Then I got the Victoria line home.  Ugh.

I have a headache.  Sorry this post isn’t more cheerful.  My mate M told me to get some Nurofen cold & flu tablets.  I’ll perk up soon.