Tag Archives: nature

What a difference a smile makes :-)

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Hey everyone,

I’m feeling all warm and cosy and I want to spread the goodwill 🙂 Life is good. My little family is happy and healthy and enjoying our days. Being a mum is hands down the best thing I have ever done. Even better than having my book, something I’ve written, out there in the world being enjoyed by people, which is something I dreamed of since I was a little girl.

My days are busy, but if you ask me at sundown what I’ve accomplished that day, the list is not very long. Holly pretty much consumes all my time, feeding her, entertaining her, simply just being with her. I’ve realised that she will only be this little for so long, and once this time with her is gone, it’s gone forever. So I need to forget things like cleaning the house spotless (no great sacrifice) and focus on her. We walk a lot, sometimes to get her to sleep but mostly for enjoyment, and it was on one of those walks that I decided to start what I imaginatively call, ‘The Smile Project’. I walk past so many people every day, of all ages and race, and usually it’s eyes fixed to the footpath or straight ahead, and zero interaction. But I’ve noticed since Holly was born and now joins me on my walks that people just can’t resist a baby. Seriously. She hangs in the front pack on my chest (killing my shoulders and neck because she certainly isn’t light, but she’s anti-pram at the moment so it’s that or carry her in my arms), and people smile and coo and go all gaga when they see her. Some even comment, “cute baby” and the like, to which of course I say Yes. Yes she is.

I’ve been blown away by how a simple smile can transform even the most sullen face. It’s a beautiful sight to see 😀

So now I smile at everyone whose path I cross, and if they smile back I say ‘Hello’, and I think we all benefit from this simple interaction and continue on our separate ways just a little bit happier.

Why don’t you try it?

Ok that’s enough smugness for one post.

Because I’m home fulltime with Holly, every day seems like a weekend. So I do little things daily now in the spirit of this blog, to reclaim life’s little pleasures. Holly and I have fun in the garden. We smell and touch flowers, listen to birds, feed the birds, keep the cat away from the birds. We also lie on the grass and watch clouds waft by like big balls of cotton wool while one of us sticks our toes in our mouth (see if you can guess which one).  I bake bread and cakes (yep, I’m a regular Nigella Lawson now, have baked three cakes in as many weeks! Unlike Nigella I don’t wear a dress, heels and lipstick while doing so, it’s pretty much pyjamas all the way) while Holly hangs out in her activity centre behind me. We go for walks and forage (i.e. steal passionfruit and grapes from someone’s garden. In my defense, if you insist on growing them along your front fence then you must expect some degree of pillaging).

We had a lovely family BBQ last weekend at mum and dads. It was a last minute thing that Dad thought of around lunchtime, however I flexed my culinary fingers and whipped up a homegrown cherry tomato salad with balsamic, olive oil , garlic sea salt and pesto flavoured feta cheese, and I baked some more of the rosemary bread. A year ago I would have bought a bag of buns and a salad in a plastic container from the supermarket on the way out. Progress is a wonderful thing.

Ok this post is getting a bit long so I will sign off here. I do have an update on the latest art project which I will upload on here in the next couple of days.

Take care everyone x

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Holly and her Nanny ♥

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Left to Right – My hubby, Dad, nephews Oliver and John, Brother Rob and his wife Ange, and mum and Holly. I am taking the photo (obviously) and my sister is hiding behind me because she hates being in photos, despite being tall. blonde and beautiful. Go figure.

An Eviction

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Some of you may remember a few months back when I bought a bird feeder and had visions of becoming the neighbourhood hang out joint for our feathered friends.  I imagined they would flock to our yard and I would become known as the Nigella Lawson equivalent of the bird world.

It was a dismal failure however, and although the birds were more than happy to eat bread from the lawn around the bird feeder, I never saw a single one eat off it 😦 As I am wont to do, I gave up on the whole thing in disgust.

I remember a few of you were helpful enough to point out though that the birds prefer the hot fat/bird seed mix in colder months, and now, ta da, Winter is here. Complete with crunchy frosts and ice filled water bowls (poor dog). So I am going to try again.

Problem – Upon closer inspection I found out the bird feeder has tenants. Eight legged ones in fact. I can’t see the spiders themselves, but judging by the amount of webs all over the place I’m thinking it’s an extended family.

Scarier still is the fact that the food I put there months ago is still there. If nature (and the dog) haven’t managed to get rid of it, then imagine how much the stuff sticks to the poor little birds insides. Eep.

This weekend I will evict the current tenants (with a hose and from a safe distance) and try again. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

Sorry it’s late!

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I meant to post these pictures last week but ran into some technical difficulties, i.e. the camera wouldn’t turn on, no matter how many times or how hard I pushed the button. I was fearful that I may have broken it and have to confess that to hubby, who gets nervous when I use expensive equipment because I am Not Careful Enough ( ok I dropped it once, the day we bought it, let it go already). Luckily it was simply that the camera needed charging, which is his domain, and then I had a busy few nights and well, no more excuses, here they are.

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Let’s feed the birds!

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Let’s feed the birds!

Flicking through the book just now this idea jumped out at me, bringing back memories of my mother cooking up mixtures of oats and lard (note: memory frequently unreliable or not paying attention – must check this recipe with her) and serving it warm on bird feeding plates perched on posts. I remember the satisfaction and delight my mother got watching them dine and knowing she had helped starved off the chill and hunger for our little feathery friends. Read the rest of this entry

We’re off to the Seaside!

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We’re off to the Seaside!

That’s the plan anyway. It all depends on the weather. Right now outside my window it’s dark grey and gloomy and the rain has been falling steadily all day. Working at a primary school this means big puddles and muddy fields which are, of course, children’s adventure playgrounds. Hence lots of grubby but happy children needing clean underwear and shorts. Sigh

The long range weather forecast for the weekend is looking a little grim but hey, as we all know, weather forecasts are hardly ever right.  Read the rest of this entry

I spy with my little eye….

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I spy with my little eye….

It's a little blurry on purpose so the wrinkles aren't as obvious.

…lots of beautiful things! Wow is all I can say. Mother Nature, I have really slagged you off lately, due to the whole ‘rainy summer’ thing. But after the beautiful pieces of art I’ve just seen I will admit you do some good work. Read the rest of this entry