Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Ten things :: June

Here we are at the end of the month. I'm counting down to our (hopeful) holiday, the end of the school year and the end of the medication for LittleR. Hopefully normal life and nursery can resume soon. I need to be more positive I think.

:: It's exhausting trying to work in the evenings when you've managed a 2 year old's flighty temperament particularly when the work you're trying to do is as riveting as mine. Actually, the work is really interesting but I've reached the end of the line and need a break. I'm hoping to get one solid publication done before our holiday. That's the aim anyway.

:: The British Summer is here. I think it actually might be too hot. Well, we're experiencing 2 days of 28-30C in Leeds then, I expect it'll rain and normal service will be resumed.

:: I cannot believe it's nearly the end of the school year. We have sought and obtained a green T shirt (more difficult than it sounds) for BigRs class sports day tomorrow afternoon. It seems they position the parents in the direct sun. For hours on end whilst small people 'throw long pointy sticks' ("what's that called again Mummy?"..."Javelin?") I'll look forward to that then!

:: To make sure we make the most of the weather, we had another BBQ yesterday. In the last 3-4 years we've had maybe 3 BBQs but decided earlier this year to invest in a gas BBQ. Now there's no stopping us. I think this is the 4th BBQ in 2 months! I made some burgers and bought some sausages - standard BBQ fare.The ABO has plans for doing a whole fish now!

:: The garden is looking pretty good even if I say so myself. It could do with a bit more planning rather than chucking it in and seeing what happens (aka hoping for the best!) but most of it is looking pretty good so far. Let's hope it can continue into the later summer.

:: Somewhat disappointing is this year's strawberry haul. I'm not sure what's happened but lots of the strawberries have turned white and hard rather than ripening. We shared the only one suitable for human consumption yesterday. Fingers crossed for a few more. Still our peas and runner beans are looking good. And then there's a late show for the sunflowers, no buds yet but I'm still hopeful!! And of course we still have some apples on the tree.

:: One major success (for me at least) was the fact I grew a radish! Yes just the one but it was peppery and delicious. There are potentially some others on the way - possibly even enough for a salad!  I've tried radishes for the last 2 years and finally appear to have gotten somewhere.

:: There have been a few sweet treats. My parents visited and brought treats from Betty's.
I have made a cherry cake and rocky road (how easy is rocky road? -I'd assumed it was a dark art!). Now I'm planning my birthday cake. Hmmm...what to make?

:: I treated myself to some supermarket peonies. Finally, I found some on offer. I love how they take ages to open and unfurl and then are suitable blousy and frilly.

:: We took the girls to Abbey House Museum one Saturday afternoon. It's a great place to look round, particularly if the weather's bad and the cafe's open. They have one area set up as a Victorian street then the rest of the museum is devoted to toys and games from throughout the ages. Of course the girls' favourite part is where they can make pretend tea parties...of course they can't do this at home because they don't own any cups/plates/jugs/coffee pots or play food.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

In my head

There are lots of things in my head at the moment. Some of which are easily shared, some not so. It's still hard living with a background of worry. I'm working on papers and research plans in the evenings to make up time for not being in the office work. But...

:: The sun has been shining which has improved my mood (and the girls too) no end. We go outside to play at least twice a day. I attempt to stop the smallest girl picking every flower in the garden and mostly act as umpire (well football season is finished...) over who wants what toy...

:: The garden has taken shape nicely, quite by chance one bed is full of only purple, and blue and white flowers. Anyone would think I'd planned it that way - it's just a fluke. I'm usually of the mindset of shove it in and see if it grows!! I'm loving this allium - wonder what it'll look like when it's fully open?

:: I'm wondering why on earth a Nobel prize winner would be such a fool and say what he did and then pass his gaff off as a 'joke'. There's plenty of people not laughing. Sexism is alive and well and in a lab near you. It's nearly 20 years since I started my PhD - you'd have thought things might have changed but I know that the 'leaky pipeline' is alive and well and no thanks in 2015 to a man who  makes comments like that. I could go on but I may spontaneously combust.

:: I've been baking. Tonight there's a cherry cake in the oven. Earlier this week I made scones. I think I may have found a super scone recipe (better than Mary Berry's) here. I think it's the use of strong flour that makes the difference. Very yummy even though I didn't have any clotted cream.

:: I'm struggling to think that in a month it'll be the school holidays an BigR will have completed her first year at school! How did that happen? We're having to plan her birthday party now as she's 6 the week everyone returns to school and the invitations need to go out! Eek.

:: I went for a lovely day out with a friend, her new baby and LittleR to Harlow Carr. We had a delicious (birthday) cake in the Betty's cafe there and a super walk and put the world to rights. The alliums were beautiful...

I love the meconopsis - fancy this in my garden next year...

:: One of the clematis I've been growing has suddenly turned brown and crispy. I'm very sad. I've plants with the name of both my children in the garden and neither are up to much this year. Maybe I'll just buy a new one!!

:: I joined the bandwagon and got the Orla Kiely jars. Not used them yet but they're there...ready...

::  I'm planning the ABO's birthday. It's a significant one that ends in a zero. He did so well with mine a couple of years ago I've got to get it right. It doesn't help we'll (hopefully -small child depending) actually be on holiday for it so some of the gifts need to be light enough to tarvel with. Maybe I should make a list?!

Monday, 1 June 2015

The year in books :: June

Once again (here come the excuses) I've not actually finished a 'reading' book. I'm halfway through Jay Rayner's 'The Apologist' and good though it is, it's not been completed. I've been busily reading cookery and other food books in search of some inspiration to go beyond our usual dishes and also gaining inspiration form craft books at all the thinks I could make in my free time (hahahahaha).

This got me thinking about what I consider reading. In fact, I have, actually read a lot this month...but just not what I consider a proper 'reading' book.

In June I aim to
:: finish The Apologist
:: Read A God In Ruins
:: Write down all the other books/magazines I read to see what else I get up to!

Joining in with Laura.