Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Out and About :: Bluebell Walk

How beautiful have the wildflowers been this spring? I don't know whether, after a long winter, everything feels abundant but the flowers have seemed especially plentiful this year. May is all about the bluebells and there is an area in Malvern that is especially known for them. In West Malvern the whole side of the hill turns blue - you can see it from the distance - huge swathes of purple rolling over the hill like a beautiful inland sea. In all the years I have lived here I don't think that it has ever looked quite this dramatic though.

The scent coming from these beauties is incredible - they make me want to gather them by the armful and bury my face in the coolness of their scent. Won't though - who could do such a thing and spoil it for others?

Don't you love the shock of lime ferns against the blue of the flowers? This walk was like a sensory overload.
Whilst I wandered around exclaiming Finn and his friend soon ran off to find the play park they have both been coming to since they were babies. I love that they go back to their playing roots when they are there and dare each other to go further, climb higher...However old and cool they think they are, the little boy is never far beneath the surface.

I will go up again over half term to make sure I get the most of this amazing place before they all fade, ready to amaze us all again next year.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Simplify :: the weekend

We are deep into the exam season. Last week Finn had his KS2 SAT exams, which thankfully ended up being relatively stress free. This week GCSE English Literature exams mean that I am on tender hooks for my students. They are a wonderful year group this year and these hard working young men and women deserve to do well. Fingers crossed that the right questions come up for them tomorrow. Then, looming up on the horizon, are Fergus' A levels. Anyone who mutters about exams being easy these days obviously do not see how hard young people work for these exams. I get sick of the nay sayers who like to judge our wonderful young folk at this time of year.
All this exam stress means that the weekends become an oasis of calm for me and mine. We need to relax and find time to plan and dream. For us it is vital that we try to get out into nature - so easy as we live in such a beautiful part of the world. It is also one of the most beautiful times of the year - like many of you I cannot get enough of the cow parley that is blooming on every verge at the minute.
We have also been planning our summer - we are staying in the UK this year and are going to spend some time on the south coast, including a few days in fabulous Brighton.
 I also like to spend time creating - the cold afternoon encouraged me to light a candle (soothing lavender) and work on my blanket. The work on this is sure and steady. By winter it will be finished and on my bed, the warmth of its summer making making it cosy in the cold nights.

I hope your weekend was also simply restful, leaving you ready for the week.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Simplify :: A Walk in the Woods

Well hello! How are you? I hope you had a fabulous weekend - gosh almost exactly a week ago. It was so lovely to have the extra day wasn't it? I have found myself dreaming about that luxury of time as my head tries to escape the reality of this week. We got away, staying with wonderful friends in West Sussex. I love their cottage and a perfect example of how to live a simple life well. I arrived with a head full of exam preparation and problems at work which had brought on sleepless nights. What I needed was a really good walk. Luckily for me the South Downs offer a fantastic choice.

With half our party heading off to the football my wonderful friend and I set off for the hills. What treasures we found. The woods were just so beautiful, there is something about a tree coming freshly into leaf that just takes my breath away. Honestly I can babble on about it for a l o n g time. There were also bluebells, cowslips, wild orchids, wild garlic, meadow campion, primroses and probably a few others that I have now forgotten. What I certainly forgot to do was take pictures for the longest time, but that is what excellent company and interesting conversation can make you do.

Half way round we came across these fantastic old sheds and a very beautiful, simple church. It was a great spot to stop and rest before heading home again.

I had the above shed glazed and kitted out with a wood-burner in no time. I have a passion about living in a shed shaped building....

By the time we got home to a welcome cuppa and a slice of homemade cake all my anxiety had been blown away. Sometimes in life it is hard to remember how good it is for your sanity to get out and walk in the woods. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Make::May Day Posies

May! May has to be one of my favourite months, despite its association with exams for me.
My part of the world looks its prettiest; blossom and cow parley lace the hedgerows and I love how green the trees look when the leaves first unfurl. Foraging for flowers and greenery is easy at this time too. Quite a lot of the above was foraged
This year, like last year, I joined in with Lou at A Little Green Shed by making a May Day posy. You can read about it here. It is such a lovely idea to leave flowers on a doorstep - I know that the ones I left last year were very well received. I made the one above to take into work for everyone which would have been great if I hadn't managed to leave it at home. Oh well, happy May Day to me!

Thursday, 30 April 2015


And suddenly you go out into the garden and you find it has sprung into life. Spring is just so beautiful.