I like this photo, it makes it look as though our yard is kind of rustic and charming with carefully considered pots of bulbs arranged in a cute way deliberately down the steps. In reality this is where all of the pots of bulbs I’ve had in the house over the last 3 years get dumped and happily they just seem to grow anyway. (See here for the before photos)

Even this mass of bulbs that isn’t in a pot it flowering! Very tenacious.

Tiny Tin Bird likes to go outside a lot now and he really likes to stroke the petals on these little tete a tetes. I say, “Gently, gently…” and to his credit, he is.

I have been training him to be gentle with the daffodils and amaryllis on the windowsill. I lift him up and he strokes the petals and then the stalks and is very sweet with it. He waves bye-bye to them when I put him down again, too. Yesterday I moved the daffodils into the kitchen so I could put them in the bin as they’d come to the end of their life. Later, TTB stood under the window, pointed to the amaryllis and said “Ler-lers!”. Oh my! “Yes!” I said, “Flowers!” he gave me a big grin and went to the kitchen door, pointed up at the daffodils and said again, “Ler-lers!” Flowers! Oh bless him, I was so proud. His linguistic development is such a joy to watch (and without a doubt the only thing I have used my degree for is to feel smug that I know how to observe this, ha) and he is very proud of himself when he learns a new word and gets one right.

The amaryllis is above the radiator which I think has helped to bring it on, it’s only taken a few weeks and now look at it:

Massive! It’s so beautiful. I’m glad that the stem isn’t too long as it’s still managing to support both heads. There is another head yet to bloom on this stalk, along with two very small ones which look immature and I don’t they will flower. There is a second stalk as well, but I can’t tell how many heads are on that one because it’s still closed up. It’s been really exciting waiting for it to flower actually and waiting to see how many heads it would have. I have enjoyed the surprise. I’m definitely going to get an amaryllis again next year!

Thank You

When I started writing this blog in 2009, I had no expectations for it. I just wanted to write, and to do something with all of the photos I took, really. My friend blogged, and another friend had sent me a link to Attic24 (I think so that I would stop asking her to make me a crochet blanket!) and I just wanted to have a blog too! I remember getting my first comment and was giddy that someone had actually read it and felt moved to comment. We were living in our first flat together at the time and I remember going into the tiny little kitchen to tell Andy that someone had actually commented on my actual blog.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the biggest and most significant ways in which blogging has changed me is that I used to be a very bored person who didn’t do or achieve anything: I would look forward to the weekend and thus not being at work, but the weekends were so boring I found myself looking forward to going back to work again the next day because at least there was something to do! A vicious cycle. Since having a blog, I have always wanted to do things to make sure I have things to write about! I am a far better and more contented person today than before I wrote a blog and I think I would probably still be miserable if I’d never started one.

I certainly didn’t expect to receive the amount of love, care and friendship that you guys send my way. It’s incredible. I still find it quite mind boggling that people actually even read my blog, let alone feel moved to offer to send me things they have seen that they think I would like, or to offer such kindness as to buy me a countertop oven. I’m humbled by your words and intentions, and I wish that I had a more eloquent way of expressing my gratitude than by just writing “thank you”. Even my father in law telephoned me last night to say how amazing my blog readers are!

I really mean it though: Thank you. Thank you for your offers of help, and suggestions for solutions and your support and your recipes. I will definitely by trying the recipes! Thank you for sending me emails too. I feel horrible for not being able to reply to emails and comments as much as I would like to. Thank you for the suggestion that I should put up a paypal button so you can buy me a coffee and a bun, it’s not really something I’m comfortable with doing: I certainly don’t expect money or payment from you for reading my blog but I appreciate the sentiment behind it. (Also please stop encouraging me to eat buns! I have very low willpower for Chelsea buns as it is, without you lot financing it!)

Please don’t worry about me or feel sorry for me because we don’t have an oven at the moment. We are saving up to do all the work we need to do, and we’re muddling along ok at the moment. I had been feeling really miserable about things, which is unlike me, but I think perhaps we had been feeling poorly in an underlying way for longer than I thought. Since our illnesses have all cleared up (nothing awful really, mainly cold/flu like things with some stressful days and nights of TTB having a stupidly high fever and then we all got coughs, but enough to make you miserable) we have all felt a lot better. And hey, it’s just a challenge and an opportunity to learn to cook new and different things without an oven, yes? Not a problem, challenges I can do. We will get there!

:-) xxx