52 weeks of happy 20/52

IMG_7130I went back to work this week after a break of almost two and a half years. I am only teaching one yoga for birth class a week so it’s not a big deal. However, it’s great to be back in business again and I’m looking forward to welcoming lots of lovely Mums-to-be.

IMG_7148Babykins and I met up with some friends at a ‘sling meet’ last Thursday. There was no chance of getting my little big boy into any kind of carrier so we played in the park with one of the other pre-schoolers while her Mum went off to lead the babywearing crew on their walk. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine in Teesside that day so there were lots of parents (27 I think) enjoying carrying their babies in slings, wraps and backpacks. After the babies came back to the play area, Babykins and I wandered down to the river to visit the ducks. It was peaceful with only the occasional dog walker passing by. Babykins was great company so we happily sat in the sun enjoying our snacks and wondering if ducks like banana. We’re still not sure but I think it’s fair to say they prefer bread.

IMG_7171On Saturday we had a long awaited trip to the theatre to see ‘Horrible Histories – Terrible Tudors‘. The Middle Miss had been a bit reluctant to attend. I think she was concerned that she would have to witness a few beheadings. The second half had scenery that produced 3-D effects. So, although the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots was done in the form of shadow puppetry, her blood appeared to fly at us from the stage. Thankfully The Middle Miss coped with it all.

IMG_7174Finally, after the downpours of Saturday, Sunday afternoon was spent in the allotment. After much nagging from my Mum, I planted out some of the runner beans (there are more waiting). After last year’s epic fail, when we harvested not one bean, we are hoping for better things in 2013. Some of these beans were planted direct into the soil and protected by fleece. The larger ones have been growing in the greenhouse. This means we have plants at a range of stages and hopefully that will mean a longer, more spread out picking season. Bring on the pickled beans.

The Promise of Spring

We called into our allotment yesterday. It has been somewhat neglected in the last few months. This is not good. In the next few weeks we should start planting the seeds for the new season. There is a LOT of work to do before we can begin.

At least the children showed plenty of enthusiasm for digging their patch over.

There was all the usual excitement over the first worm to be dug up (poor worm).

Wallace was let out of the shed to do his duty as the door stop. If only he could actually provide tea.

We have had quite a good sprout harvest. Sadly, we should probably have picked a lot more of them by now.

I planted a whole row of cabbage seeds way back last spring. I didn’t do a very good job of marking where they were though. When they started to germinate, I couldn’t work out what was cabbage and what was weed. I didn’t have this problem with any of my other seeds so I assumed none ¬†had grown. So I got a surprise when I spotted this:

Just goes to show how long it has been since I was gardening.

Our purple kale has been standing for well over a year. It looked like it had some new shoots on it so we nibbled a few raw leaves. It’s surprisingly tasty that way. The biggest surprise of all is that Son Number One declared both the raw and cooked versions to be ‘yummy’. I don’t think this photo ¬†really does justice to the colour.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find some shoots on the purple sprouting broccoli. There will be MUCH more of this in the next few weeks. These seeds really took off. I foolishly planted three whole rows last summer. The Husband got the job of separating them out from the original clumps of seedlings. He took great delight in telling me I had overdone it by about 40 too many plants. It will make a change from a courgette glut.

Guess what was on the menu for our supper last night. It was a veritable feast of brassicas (and toad in the hole).

There are plenty of reminders around that we are only just leaving winter behind……

For example, this is what remains of last summer’s runner beans.

But spring is certainly on the way.

I can’t wait to eat our first rhubarb of the season. Maybe next year we should try to ‘force’ some, buying forced rhubarb is very expensive. We’ve got the right variety ‘Timperly Early‘. Again, I don’t think this photo does justice to the beautiful colour and texture of the unfurling leaves. There is so much spring promise in them.