Easter weekend

A full few days and now everyone has gone.  I always like this.  I love it when the house if full and busy and everyone is round the table and I love it all over again when everyone goes and the house is quiet and we have the place back to ourselves.

This weekend we had younger daughter and her friends with their three month old baby staying for a few days.  They are great visitors to have.  The girls muck in with cooking or take the making of a meal over entirely and Ady is happy (or at least appears happy!) to help Ian with whatever outdoor project is taking shape.  This weekend's project was making a concrete base to take two 1000 litre water tanks which are going to take the water from the workshop roof and serve the cutting garden and the new fruit and veg beds in the field.

There was still time for much walking of the dog.  There is a great walk down to the river where she can jump and swim for sticks.  Wood anenomes have come into bloom over the week or so she has been here, their delicate flowers and filigree foliage trembling in perfection under the still bare trees.
This isn't one of mine but is by engrailed.co.uk and just catches that delicacy perfectly.

The baby came too in her sling, snug against her father's chest.

On Sunday older son came over after lunch and we had a huge Easter roast dinner with lamb with rosemary and garlic, roast potatoes, roast butternut squash with the last of our tiny red onions, broccoli, carrots, gravy and home made apple and mint jelly.  Afterwards we had apple crumble, our Howgate Wonder apples still lasting after all these months in their informal storage system of hanging up in the rafters in the workshop in plastic bags.  It was the kind of meal where everyone leaves the table with a satisfied sigh.

I made hot cross buns for the first time for ages and they were just delicious, soft and sweet enough yet without the sometimes spongy texture of mass produced ones.

Family visitors had hardly gone when we had a visit from Phil and Alex  (and Phil's dog) who are walking the Offa's Dyke Path to raise funds for the Multiple Schlerosis Society.  You can follow their progress here as they walk the length of Wales.  They put their tent up in the corner of our field and had a huge breakfast here before setting off for another long day's walking.  I had such a great time when I walked the path last year that it was really good to think about it all again as they shared their planning and their progress.  They are really doing it the hard way, carrying a tent and camping gear although with a support vehicle replenishing their supplies.  We carried all our stuff when we did it but sleeping in B&Bs made a bit impact on how much we needed on our backs!  We'll be following them for the next nearly two weeks step by step.  Good luck!

So now everyone has gone and the house is quiet.  In a little while we will take the dog out and then get our seed potatoes in this afternoon.

And this morning I saw the first of the swallows swooping above the stone pigsties where they will nest!  Yes, winter is gone and spring is truly here.


  1. Sounds idyllic, apart from the camping, and with a lovely baby too. Lucky you..... Your HCBs look wonderful!

  2. What a wonderful Easter you had, and great news that the swallows have arrived, I think I saw one the other day but it was travelling at great speed thanks to the wind, that I am waiting to see another before declaring my first possitive swallow sighting.

  3. Sounds like we had exactly the same Easter dinner. The very last of our butternuts, and the very first picking of purple sprouting. I wish we could get some apples to last this long; our Granny Smiths lasted quite well, but are now long gone.We too had a few swallows recently; they were swooping over the pool cover to drink. Haven't seen any since.

  4. Rachel - I am not up for camping any more myself, like a comfy bed now!
    Angela - I saw that someone I read who is near Warrington had seen swallows so was hoping we would get ours soon and here they are!
    LM - We spent ages trying to store our apples by the book and not succeeding. Now we just put them in supermarket bags and hang them high in a cool workshop and they last for months, weird!

  5. what? swallows already?

    this was Easter as it is meant to be; full of family, feasting and fun. I can imagine he pleasure it must have given you.

  6. No swallows here yet - spring seems to have ducked out for a bit and let winter back in.
    Your weekend sounds like the perfect blend of inside and outside, work and play and delicious food.
    I'm interested in those large water tanks. Are they purpose-made, or were they used previously for something else?

  7. Pondside - the tanks are called IBCs (International Bulk Containers I think) and are used for the storage of all sorts of liquids. You can buy them second hand here, properly cleaned out, and they make great water tanks. They recommend you to use black ones for water but ours are clear, which makes them more likely to grow algae but should still be fine for garden watering.


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