These photos were taken last Monday and Tuesday, the 11th and 12th of March. The blizzards we had on Monday were quite dramatic for this part of the world. Checking the forecast for the next few days is not a very cheery experience. Temperatures are forecast to be low and more sleet is predicted.
I love snow (I have written about it many times) but really, in March, it’s just not funny anymore.
What made me happy this week? Well, waking up to THIS of course.But I think I have probably written enough about snow already. So, what else has been going on?Predictably, seeing the children playing peacefully makes me happy. The Middle Miss is always keen to do some colouring in and she loves to be neat and precise. What made me particularly happy about this arty session was seeing Son Number One getting equally good results. His fine motor skills get better and better. Apparently his picture is a gnome who works on a life boat.
I finished a little project. That’s always a good thing. I decided to make something decorative at the start of this month, just as the Christmas decorations came down. The house always seems so empty at the start of January. The large hearts are adapted from a pattern on The Royal Sisters blog (find it here); the pattern for the small, red hearts is from Attic 24 (find it here) and the medium sized, more densely stitched hearts are my own pattern.My fourth happy moment involves babies but NOT my own I hasten to add. On a Wednesday morning I look after the local NCT Bumps and Babies group, a meeting place for new and expectant parents and their offspring. Last week we had what I think was a record attendance of 19 parents and 20 children. There were representatives of at least 4 different nations and two sets of twins! As a volunteer you have to enjoy what you are doing and who could fail to enjoy seeing lots of beautiful babies growing bigger and cleverer every week. It’s also a pleasure to see the parents benefitting from the mutual support they can give each other. I even got a few baby cuddles this week, happy days indeed.
The met office finally got it right for my patch this weekend. We had lots of snow on Friday night and now it has all gone. It melted almost as fast as it arrived. Yesterday could have been our last opportunity of the season for snow related playtimes. These were some of out antics from last weekend.
If you live in a climate where living with snow is a regular occurrence the British obsession with it must seem strange. We pore over weather forecasts, worrying about driving to work and if the schools will be closed. Children (and -ahem- some adults) stay awake at night, constantly peeking out of the window to see if there are any flakes falling yet. We moan or get excited about it in equal measures. We don’t really cope with it well, and it’s not surprising really is it? Our snowfall is unpredictable, some years there is barely any. Hardly worth investing in special car tyres for example. We live on a crowded island too. Our roads only just cope with the volume of traffic at the best of times. Add a blizzard and a few crashes and there’s bound to be mayhem.
But, I still love snow. It’s one of those things that gives me a feeling of childish excitement even though I’m now a parent. I used to share this excitement with my Dad. He loved to get out and play in it and, unluckily for the rest of us, was a mean shot with a snowball. I could rely on my Dad to take me sledging whenever it snowed, even if it was a school night. I’m sure we must have been with my Mum and Brother but I don’t have memories of that. What I do have memories of is heading off to our local sledging spot, often in the dark.
Dad prided himself on finding the best spot. He didn’t necessarily want to go down a steep slope like most of the other people on our local golf course. For him it was all about how long you could spend going down hill. To be fair, he also avoided the crowds because he was a teacher in the local secondary school and didn’t really want to be among the pupils in his spare time! So Dad and I had our own private hill and it did seem like a good long ride down to the bottom. There was a pond near the bottom that you had to be aware of. Falling in to that would have been a disaster but, at the time, it just added to the adrenalin rush. Sometimes Dad would go down the hill on his own while I waited at the top but more often than not, he would lie on his front on the sledge and I would lie on top, holding on to his shoulders. Dad did the steering by sticking his toes into the snow and by leaning one way and another. It was such a thrill to be barrelling down hill, feeling as if I was teetering precariously on top of this speeding sledge. It is such a vivid memory for me.
Now that I am taking my own children sledging I wish I could find that hill. It can’t have changed. The little conifers that we used to pass through to get to it must be considerably bigger but it must still be there. Somehow I just can’t seem to work out which hill it was that we used to use. Yesterday, despite not being able to find the hill, I did resurrect Dad’s sledging technique. Going downhill fast with your face inches from the snow is really the only way to go sledging and I think I have passed on this family tradition to another generation.
I’m sure I never used to see ‘proper’ snowflakes when I was a child. Was I just not looking carefully enough, caught up in the more exciting activities that come with snow? Is this viewing of snowflakes the consequence of age or has the type of snow we get changed?
I’d love the opportunity to see snowflakes under a microscope but for now, the macro function of my camera will do.
All images taken with Canon Digital Ixus 80IS and edited with iPhoto.
Inspiration from Little Tin Bird, here. Scroll down to the last picture.
This makes me REALLY happy as it doesn’t happen all that often. This was another no TV night though, which certainly helps. There have been other, snow related moments of play that have made me happy this week but I can feel an extended, snow tribute post coming on so I’ll save those pictures.3. My thrifty lemon and elderflower jelly was put to good use in a cream sponge cake.
I was a bit unsure about how well it had set but it is a lovely texture for glazing cakes. Earlier on this week The Husband used it on top of a baked cheesecake. He took it to work to (belatedly) celebrate his birthday. He had more than one marriage proposal on the strength of it, though I’m sure it was his baking not my jelly that was responsible for that.4. Well risen Yorkshire puddings made into individual toad in the hole.
I never got Yorkshire puddings right until I found this recipe. I have never had a dud batch since. Seeing them rise almost impossibly high makes me happy every time. Eating them gives a certain amount of pleasure too.