Peonies are so beautifully frilly and vivid. They somehow seem too showy for the location in which they are often found – otherwise boring front gardens. They look as if they should be part of some tropical rainforest if you ask me. They remind me of my childhood when we had one growing in our slightly empty front garden border (my Mum will probably tell me that it wasn’t empty, but that peony is the only thing I can picture growing there). I remember being slightly amazed that such a big flower could just pop up each year with no help from us. I’m still slightly in awe of that now.
More flowers. I was a bit grumpy at the weekend, probably due to Babykins (and therefore me) having had a bad week of sleep. Bed times are becoming quite a battle, which I hate. I went out for coffee with a friend on Saturday afternoon and when I got back, The Husband and Babykins gave me a bunch of yellow roses to cheer me up. I thought they would look good with the big daisies that have suddenly sprouted in the allotment so I popped out on my bike to collect some. Obviously the gift of flowers made me happy but I also very much enjoyed using my bike, which has been stuck in the garage for far too long.
Babykins and I had an outing to RSPB Saltholme on Monday. Despite (or perhaps because of) being so close to industrial Teesside, there is something special about the landscape here. At the moment it seems to be teeming with swooping birds: particularly terns, black-headed gulls, swallows and sand martins. The latter two birds being part of the essence of summer in the UK. We joined in with their ‘little explorers’ group, making a bird feeder from a juice carton, listening to a story and singing a song. That was fun, but actually, the bit I enjoyed the best was just wandering around the place by ourselves. I appreciate these days so much more because I know that as soon as school starts, trips out will be reserved for the weekends and holidays. Then you have to share with the rampaging hordes. Babykins and I had a fine time spotting minnows in the ponds, watching the birds on the feeders from the hide and exploring the play area. I think we will be visiting again soon.
Supper: Pork belly slices (sorry, not a vegetarian special this week) cooked in aromatic broth, served with noodles, steamed mangetout and stir fried red pepper and spring onion. Now for the happy part ALL THE FAMILY ENJOYED IT!!!!! It’s not often that happens. See the chopstick at the top? The older two children decided that noodles should be eaten with the culturally correct utensils. They had fun winding them around and around and slurping them up. Oh, and the meat was from the reduced to clear section of the supermarket so not only was it tasty, it was cheap too. Happy days.
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