Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Scenes from a rainy day


It's been a typical January day - grey and rainy. But I'm liking my new calendar (bought last week for half the original price, I suppose because it's not officially New Year any more).


I stash old plastic pots of bulbs from the previous year under a shelf in the garden. They're all showing signs of life again so I've brought these little muscari inside - I love them. These will (if they flower) be blue. I think. Can't quite remember...


I've also been hunting down jars ready for my first ever marmalade-making session. It involved throwing away some old raspberry jam and some very old cranberry sauce, so no bad thing.


I managed to buy up the last of the Seville oranges from the grocer. 1.2 kilos. I'll have to calculate how much sugar's required as I think Nigel's marmalade recipe calls for 2 kilos. It also says I need two lemons, so maybe I'll just use one.

Baking is the only time I enjoy doing maths. Paying my credit card bill is my least favourite use of my (limited) numeracy skills.


A blurry Joe: a combination of low January light and high toddler energy.


I try and get out with him most days, but yesterday he was testing my boundaries and my patience. After an exhausting morning at playgroup I was on the point of collapse. This is him just before his afternoon nap, having one last rifle through the cupboards.


The cyclamen plant is still alive. This must be a personal record. In fact...


It's decided to produce more flower buds. It must have concluded I'm not too bad to live with after all (although a visit to my mum's house at the weekend, where I witnessed what cyclamen can do when they really like you) put my little plant to shame. 

I still love it though. We have a very fragile relationship.


A bit of light reading, in between housework and childcare.

Not really. I can just about hold my own when ordering from the lunchtime menu at Cafe Rouge. But my mum gave me this book as she thought it might come in useful for some kind of craft project. The French text is quite lovely-looking. And Valentine's Day's around the corner.


I hope you're all getting through January without feeling too deprived of sunlight. It is getting lighter (gradually) and I've spotted snowdrops growing - hopeful signs.

12 comments:

  1. Golly, you had me really impressed with the French book for a minute. I'm getting a bit obsessed with noting how much earlier the sun is rising and how much later it is setting. Marmalade making is the perfect antidote to dark days, I'm planning to do mine on Friday. As for calculating the sugar -it is simply double the weight of the oranges.

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    1. I should start leaving that book lying around, just to see what people make of it. They may think I have Hidden Depths.

      Thanks for the marmalade tip. Phase One is now complete and hopefully that's the most labour-intensive part over and done with. Thank God my food processor has a citrus squeezing attachment (not much cop but it saved some effort). The kitchen smells wonderful, I have to say.

      Tomorrow: cooking!

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  2. I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth!

    Leanne xx

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    1. Keep going! Good food (and by that I mean indulgent food) works wonders. I find that February's the best time for taking a healthy approach as it's nice and short :)

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  3. Hello Sarah
    Well done with keeping focused on all the little pleasures and joys that keep one focused on getting through January! Having a toddler is hard work, Alice used to get very energetic before her naps and then would crash and burn, giving me some respite time.
    Good lunch with the marmalade making, I am sure it will look, smell and taste divine and cheer you all up in the grey days x I was a bit obsessed with de Beauvoir for a few years, mid twenties, her relationship with Satre fascinated me. I like that you have all those pretty French words at your disposal to be crafty with this valentines. Take care xox

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    1. Hello there! Yes, we're getting through the month... although it's only the greyness that I find difficult I suppose. I love the whole 'new start' feel of it. But it is raining hard (again) and that means careful thought about where to take my little one for a few hours...
      You're right about it being hard work with a toddler. It will hopefully become a bit easier once he can say a bit more rather than just random words!
      You impressed me with the whole de Beauvoir thing! I know very little about her. But yes, the book is lovely and I'll think of some nice creative things to do with it (and no doubt share the results on here)...
      Stay warm and eat well - February's almost here!
      S x

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  4. Your cyclamen is looking super.How did the marmalade making go? I'm yet to try any preserving. Maybe that'll be the goal when I get the kitchen back? Looking forward to seeing your book craft project :)
    x

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    1. Hello! There's a big pan of peel, pulp, juice and pips bubbling away in the kitchen. The back door's wedged open with an old welly as it's getting a bit steamy (but it's very fragrant)...
      I quite like the whole cooking in stages thing but it has been quite an effort. If it tastes good I'll do it again next year!
      S x

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  5. I have cyclamen bravely holding on in hanging baskets outdoors ... it's nippy out there, I don't think mine love me much!

    I always worry about using paper from foreign language books in case I inadvertently include a word that might cause offence, but you're right, it does look pretty :)

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    1. Cyclamen are quite temperamental, in my opinion. Strange since they are outdoor, wintry plants... I do like the little miniature ones though and can never resist.
      I was thinking the exact same thing about the book - and wondered what exactly I was posting in that photo!

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  6. With a bit of detective work I managed to hunt down the same calendar- also reduced, so thank you. It makes a nice change from the Ice Kingdom one I had last year. Somehow those pictures of glaciers and icebergs began to pall by midsummer.

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    1. Glad you found the calendar! Bought mine in Waterstones - the guy at the till warned me they didn't have much of a selection left and he was right (unless you're a fan of One Direction or kittens).
      I do like mine though. And unlike icebergs, each monthly illustration seems to be suited to the right time of year :)

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