The clocks have gone forward. The blue, hazy days have arrived (apart from this morning, when it's distinctly grey and wet outside).
We had a lovely weekend outdoors. On Saturday we went to put flowers on my mum's grave for Mother's Day, and sat for a while by the pond in the cemetery. It may sound odd to say it was nice, but it was. I don't feel particularly close to my mum when I'm there; I don't feel she's present in any way at her final resting place. Strange as it may seem, I always feel closest to her when I'm out walking or when I'm bustling about in the kitchen.
But it's a beautiful cemetery with meandering paths and mature trees and wild areas around the edges.
I went to my friend's house that night and four of us had a takeaway. She only lives by the village school, maybe a hundred yards from our house. Good job as I didn't get home until 3am. So I took full advantage of my Mother's Day lie in the following morning...
Not for too long though. I didn't drink the night before, so no hangover to contend with. And the sun was shining. So we packed a picnic lunch and went for a little wander.
Joe had a great time, climbing on the sculptures and watching the trains going by.
We soaked up the warmth and had a lovely slow Sunday.
Joe didn't complain too much about climbing the hills either. We usually take a snack out as he lives to eat, so it's the perfect incentive for him to keep going. Today's treat: a piece of chocolate birthday cake from a party he'd been to on Friday.
It felt very spring-like. We spotted the first lambs of the year in the village (but the sheep in the field behind our house are still at the heavily pregnant stage). Joe, ever the gannet, started talking about rosemary and suggested a roast lamb dinner. I'm not convinced he understands the link just yet between fluffy animals and meat on a plate.
Either that or he's completely lacking in sentiment. But he does have a conscience, so I suspect it's the former.
I think Sunday was possibly the bluest, warmest day of the year; at least it was if you kept out of the shade.
There are plenty of things growing. I love butterburs, they're so prehistoric-looking.
And our mock currant in the back garden is in full flower.
The dandelions are not in our garden. Joe enjoys weeding. I have to point out what has to stay and what needs to go. He doesn't always get it right...
Monday was a lovely day too, so after some printmaking I went out collecting ferns. They're my favourite thing to make prints from as the shapes are so graphic and they're pretty robust.
I press them before doing any printmaking, so I've been using last year's plants and they finally crumbled away so it was time to restock.
There are plenty of places nearby to find ferns, and many types to collect. But I wanted to stay as close to home as possible because I had a lot to do so I went up a little lane which has nice views and shady banks.
I prefer to use the 'Deer fern' (Blechnum spicant) because I love the shape. So I plucked a handful and whilst I was collecting, I noticed all the other growth that's happening.
Things are definitely getting more green. And although I haven's photographed any, the wild garlic is appearing too so Joe and I can go picking next week during the school holidays.
The forecast is good so I'm looking forward to spending a few weeks with him. I've got lots planned - mainly little adventures nearby - with making and reading and meeting up with friends too. Perhaps even an egg hunt.
I'll hopefully post during the next couple of weeks but if not, it'll be because we're enjoying a well-earned break from the crazy school and workday routine!