Five on Friday and one year on

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One  There must have been a massive downpour last night. Water was running off the fields and streaming onto the main road this morning; there were rivulets of soil and leaves along the lanes, and big puddles everywhere. It was also distinctly soggy underfoot on my way down to the beach with the dog. I walk there more and more these days, pulled by the sound of the waves on the pebbles and the possibility of being the only person there. I wasn’t there long before a couple arrived with two very energetic spaniels and a portly man pitched up with two equally portly labradors. He stopped halfway to the water’s edge, stripped down to his shorts, donned a swimming cap and gloves, then bounded into the sea. Yes, really. It may be a gloriously sunny day but that sea is blinking freezing. He wasn’t even wearing a wetsuit. Bonkers. He swam along close to the shore while his dogs, obviously more sensible than he is, ran along the beach barking. Probably telling him there was no way they would be joining him.

Two  Spring is most definitely in the air here in our coastal plot. I watched a pair of blue tits checking out the old nest box in the cherry tree earlier. It would be lovely to have birds nesting in it but our two city-turned-seaside moggies will probably deter them and, anyway, I’d hate the cats to catch any fledglings (the mice, shrews and other assorted creatures are bad enough). Alfie spends a lot of his time down by the pond and during our first summer here, he kept bringing a newt into the kitchen. He would catch the newt, carefully carry it up to the house and deposit it gently on to the kitchen floor. I’d scoop the still-very-much-alive newt into a tub of water and take it back to the pond. This happened several times over the course of a couple of weeks and I’m sure it was the same newt each time.

Three  You can almost hear the plants growing in the garden. Buds are swelling on the fruit trees; gorgeous blue grape hyacinth flowers are studding the path edges; tulip and narcissus bulbs are shooting up; and crinkled rhubarb leaves are pushing through the soil. It’s all heart-swellingly life-affirming. The primroses I picked for my ‘In a Vase on Monday’ are still looking lovely. I forgot to tell you about their scent – they smell deliciously honey-like which is something I’d not noticed before I picked them. I’ve photographed them next to an apple to show you how tiny the little jug is.

Four  I’ve been working my way through last weekend’s sourdough loaf. David has got into a great routine of weekend bread-baking. Sometimes bagels, sometimes baguettes, always a sourdough loaf or two. I’ve taken some photos of him in action and he’s ‘thinking about’ writing a guest post about his new passion. Watch this space.

Five  Wordpress informed me a couple of days ago that I’ve been blogging for one whole year. More often than not, I am late to the party (in all senses of the phrase) and I’ve read that many people think that blogging may have had its day, whatever that means. Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still relevant, hugely  enjoyable and creatively satisfying. I love reading your blogs and making connections. I have laughed out loud, been inspired, had a lump in my throat, been full of admiration and learnt a lot. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting and thank you for your friendship.

I’m once again joining Amy for her Five on Friday weekly round-up. Do pop over to see her and for links to many other Fives from around the world.





Come with me

IMG_5963Down to the beach.



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It’s half term here this week and the skies have been blue, blue, blue which is a thrilling combination. The sun was peeking around the curtains yesterday morning in that ‘come outside, it’s a perfect day’ kind of way, so I couldn’t possibly resist the lure of the beach. I managed to persuade my bleary-eyed daughter to come with me and the dog to see the effects of the recent storms. It appears that Imogen and her mates have thrown much of the beach up on to the car park and there were lots of stranded jellyfish and plastic bits and pieces. Oh, but it was beautiful – one of those magical moments when I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be. And it was lovely to stroll along with my girl, chatting and noticing the gorgeousness around us. I took rather a lot of photos – I have restrained myself in my selection here (really, I have) – and our walk set me up for several hours of proof-reading. It didn’t seem so bad being stuck at a desk after such an excellent start to the day.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Howard Jacobson in the Observer magazine on Sunday which leapt out at me: “Uncertainty is the only respectable intellectual position to have about everything.” I may have more to say about this next time. Oh, and I’ve managed a bit of crochet!

Wishing you a splendid rest of the week.