dear diary :: catching up with life at home

I am back at home now. Looking out of my window this morning the world outside was damp and grey with a blanket of fog. I wondered what was best to do with my time. It certainly wasn’t gardening weather so I opted for pottering about the house. There is always plenty to do and although we arrived home last Thursday night I have not completely unpacked yet – not through laziness (well maybe a little) but once home I seemed to hit the ground running.

One of the reasons for coming home was to attend my extra six week Therapeutic Yoga classes I signed up for on a Friday afternoon. These classes are all about breathing – breathing into different areas that correspond with the chakras, concentrating on how the breath feels and making notes. After completing a series of yoga positions we breathe into those same areas again and notice the difference, breathing is deeper and easier and it is amazing how different you feel….more alive, relaxed, open – I am so glad I decided to do this course and will carry on in my own time when it comes to an end next week.

After the class I was feeling exceptionally calm and relaxed so it was a bit of a shame that DH and I had to pop down to town to buy some food for the weekend – an hour in Sainsbury’s isn’t condusive to relaxation but we needed to stock up with fresh fruit and vegetables. At the moment I am making quite simple meals, fresh vegetables with chickpeas in a stock for flavour and a little brown rice mixed in, last night was roasted vegetables with couscous and tonight a brown lentil stew with sweet potato and leeks and a thick chunk of bread.

Last Saturday was a day spent finishing some half started projects. DH has been fitting a door knob and lock to the new shed door and we brought the cooker down from the cottage to replace the one at home here. Although it had survived both the flood and being put in a skip it has stood in the conservatory all this time with no real home. As some readers will know my oven here at home as been on the blink for some months getting hot one day and not another. On the days it refused to heat up we resorted to using the small oven but this was not ideal as it did not cook meals that well. So we managed to heave the cooker into the back of our car to bring down home. Once we had given it a thorough wipe down (it is still like new) our electrician son-in-law helped to swap them over and wired it in. The old one will be no use to anyone and it is well over 20 years old and was second hand to us from my sister.

I like things that last a long time there are so many products that are disposable these days.

The replacement cooker from the cottage is a very basic stainless steel Zanussi with old fashioned solid hotplates and no separate grill but at least the oven works. We bought it new when we first had the cottage and we chose something quite robust in case we let the cottage out. It will do us fine until we can replace our kitchen and buy a new intergrated one.

To freshen it up I put sliced oranges in a bowl of water with a few drops of lemon oil, placed it in the oven and turned the oven on. The aroma was gorgeous and now the inside smells clean and fresh too.

And now I have an oven that works I feel like trying some new recipes again so have been revisiting old cookery books.

In and amongst I have been doing a little housekeeping inside – hoovering, sweeping and washing floors….. and socks….

…..and a little housekeeping outside – deadheading the annuals in pots, feeding the plants and tying in the wandering clematis.

I also cut and tagged the pale pink and white aquilegia and the bunches are hanging upside down in the shed to dry out so I can collect the seed.

The garden is looking lovely and buzzing with bees – my peonies had burst into life whilst we were away – I had waited for this moment for so long now watching the buds grow and fatten…and now they are simply beautiful and I cannot stop admiring them… they are just in the right spot to see them from my kitchen window as I wash up. What a shame they are usually over very quickly but for the moment I can just stand and stare.

The lettuce and courgettes are just about ready for picking and my seeds have sprouted – we just need a little more sun.

Tomorrow it is my usual yoga class and on Wednesday I will see the doctor about my knee as up to now it is not getting any easier. DH has to have his front tyres changed this week – more expense but overall I think our spending has been a bit lighter during June even with the trip to Scotland.

We have plans to try and look at kitchens again while the summer sales are on, at the same time we are trying to progress our cottage plans and arrange some time between commitments to have our summer holiday. Oh and not to forget making progress again on the pantry.

16 Replies to “dear diary :: catching up with life at home”

  1. My goodness, you certainly did hit the ground running! Your garden looks stunning and must have taken an incredible amount of work to get it like that. Such a pleasure to see the photos, thank you.


  2. Wow,you have been busy.Its amazing I find that when you retire ones days are all filled up and rarely get time to sit! I wonder how we managed when we were working!? We have had torrential rain overnight hopefully we will see some sunny days now! Enjoy your week.


    1. We have rain too and I am watching my long awaited peony blooms droop to the ground under the weight of the water. I gently shook them all a bit yesterday to lighten them – I need to invent some Y shaped props to hold them up.


  3. You have caterpillars with all those socks!!

    I love the little paved area with the pot plants. What a lovely spot for a cuppa.

    Well done on the long use of the oven. I don’t understand people changing them just for looks or for the latest model. Our oven is not the best – too hot in some spots and the dial keeps falling off. But we will keep it going for a few more years until we replace the kitchen. I think the oven is around 15 to 21 years old.


  4. Your garden looks so beautiful and I love the jug of flowers at the top of the post. I feel your pain with the oven, but it sounds like you have got it sorted. And it looks like your washing was very socksessful (I’ll get my coat)


  5. The garden looks wonderful–so full of beauties. Pure pleasure (plus all your hard work).

    Best of luck finding a kitchen you like at a price that doesn’t make you sink (pun intended–like Lyssamedana, I’ll get my coat, too). 🙂


  6. You’ve taken some beautiful photographs, Vivien, and your garden is looking lovely.
    It’s always good to be home and it must be a relief to finally have a reliable working oven. I’m sure you’ll enjoy trying out some new recipes. X


  7. Your garden is so pretty Vivien especially the seating area. I like all the terracotta pots clustered together and the white flowers. Just wanted to say that I don’t comment often nowadays because of all the adverts that keeping popping up all over the page which is a little distracting. Have a good weekend spending time in your lovely outside space – I’ll probably stay inside as I get too Hot! x


    1. Hi Simone – not sure if you will read this but I am looking into the ads problem and sorry you are bombarded with them – I don’t visit sites that are heavily covered in ads popping up – they are distracting.
      Have a lovely weekend, inside or out! x


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