You always know in this house when things are getting back on track: the kitchen becomes a place of (happy) industry once more. Pottering with food, plants - and (this makes me very happy) - hanging washing out on the line.
On Sunday things started looking up. A new month, heralded by bright sunshine. I could quite literally feel the clouds lifting; so much so that I felt up to a walk into the village to make the most of the glorious February weather. So off we went. Still snow on the fields (and rather a lot in the churchyard, much to Joe's delight). Dazzling blue skies. Green shoots, buds.
After we came home I roasted chicken with potatoes, lemon and oregano. It was good.
As my appetite has returned I've felt the urge to get cooking again. And baking. Muffins in this case. It's interesting how, over these past few weeks, I lost my appetite for a while and as it's returned I don't really fancy certain things. Dairy in particular - milk, yogurt. Except butter. I'm a real butter girl.
I was even off tea and coffee until yesterday. Luckily the Lancashire Tea's back in favour. There's only so much herbal stuff I can drink.
Anyway, muffins: This recipe. I've used it for years and for some reason always get the urge to bake these when I've been feeling unwell. They're really good for breakfast, work well with gluten free flour and you can modify them with whichever fruit or nuts you like (I do). They're also very good - ahem - buttered.
I took a trip to the local farm shop/garden centre the other day. It's ridiculously expensive but I needed lots of fresh beetroot. More on that later this week. I also picked up some huge brown eggs and a big bulb of garlic.
The plant section was pretty sparse, what with it only being early February, but I wanted to buy some pots for taking geranium cuttings. The compost and grit were eye-wateringly pricey too so I decided to take a little trip over the border to Yorkshire in a couple of weeks to my favourite garden centre. It's very big, very reasonable and the drive there is rather lovely.
Today Joe went to his Wednesday morning nursery. The walk there's a nice one: along a high road with moors on either side. Again, the sun was out but the air was face-smackingly sharp. Joe refused to wear his mittens. His hands were purple. I felt like a Bad Mother.
It wasn't much warmer in the church hall. And it was heaving with toddlers. It seems the childminders have discovered us. So our little group of regulars sat in a corner being all sniffy and complaining about the mayhem and bemoaning the loss of our quiet little mummy haven. The ladies who run the place were incredibly excited to suddenly have so many paying customers. And they're right I suppose.
Note to self: be more charitable.
I'd just like to say thank you all so much for your good wishes of late. I'm feeling so much better already and am looking forward to moving past those past few weeks and enjoying the coming spring. It is coming.
Oh, and the card holder in my previous post: I'm not the type to take credit for an idea that's not mine. I found it on Pinterest. But I'm glad you like it.