It's been a while.
It's been Easter. Two and a bit weeks off school and (for the most part) away from the digital world.
School actually finished very early for Easter. Most of the others in the locality are still off this week. But Joe went back on Tuesday (wearing shorts). The warm weather didn't last though. We're back to grey skies and chilly winds.
It was gloriously warm and sunny at the beginning of the holidays; Joe went to stay with his grandparents for a few nights so we took a walk, ate lunch outdoors and got on with some DIY. It had to be done.
Still, those two days of painting and repairs were quite relaxed. It always helps when the sun's shining and the windows are open and the washing's out on the line. Even sanding and undercoating doesn't seem too bad.
Joe came home having ridden on trains and zip wires. He was very excited.
Meanwhile, the Easter eggs continued to accumulate.
It was good fun, actually. Jay rattled the letterbox and Joe ran out to find a letter from the 'Easter Bunny' (me), telling him to go on a hunt for the eggs. So he did. It broke my heart a little bit, I'll be honest, to witness just how gullible he is. But the intentions were honourable.
We went to a birthday party a few days later with another egg hunt. So there's a lot of chocolate around at the moment.
The garden's starting to fill out now. Fruit is - well, fruiting. The Honesty plant I put in last year has shot up and is smothered in white flowers. The Dicentras are dripping with inverted pink hearts.
The forget-me-nots, not so much. I thought they were supposed to spread everywhere...
Joe and I have been out hunting for bluebells, picking nettles and wild garlic, paddling in the river and playing in the park with friends. We've made things with clay, built with empty boxes and baked Garibaldi biscuits. We've drawn and coloured, visited the cafe and walked, cycled and taken little excursions in the car.
But we like the woods best.
I actually prefer being there when it's a bit damp and overcast.
It's getting very green under the trees. I need to head out next week to collect plants for pressing, ready to make prints, and maybe I'll do some sketches too.
It's a lovely time of year. Next we'll have hawthorn blossom and cow parsley, so maybe we'll head back over to Cheshire to visit family and walk among the hedgerows.
The first cuckoo flowers (or Lady's Smock) are out. They always remind me of being little, and of picking them for my mum from the field across the road.
The blossoms are in full swing.
But I think the herbs in the garden might need replacing. They've gone a bit woody and bedraggled-looking. Joe enjoys picking them to make 'spells' with. We stirred them up with some empty snail shells and pebbles, and made little brooms too with the prunings from our birch tree.
In the spirit of spring I'm trying to like the fact that, again, the sparrows have built a nest right outside our bedroom window. Let's face it though, they're noisy little buggers. Especially first thing in the morning.
Still, it's a good feeling to finally emerge from the dark winter days and see everything coming to life. I've even painted my toenails (silver).
And now Joe's back at school I'm trying my best to catch up with work, blogging and all those things that get shelved when term ends. I'm glad that I've accepted 'doing it all' isn't the way to go. While he's little, my work is strictly term time only. That way I can just accept that our days are spent doing things together and I can relax and enjoy that. The to-do list can wait.
I hope you had a great Easter.