Bank holiday, bluebells and baking

Since David has been working away from home during the week, weekends have had a slight air of urgency-bordering-on-frantic-rush about them. There is so much to fit in that we’re often frazzled, with little time left over for relaxed conversations, making plans or spending time together (forget ‘quality’ time, just time), so a bank holiday weekend is a treat. We can luxuriate in an extra day – time for a relaxed coffee and chat together, for long family meals, for a dog walk together, and wandering around the garden and pottering. Today is a grey and drizzly day but I don’t care; Saturday and Sunday were gloriously sunny and we spent plenty of time outdoors. Frankly it’s nice to have an excuse not to be in the garden digging out stumps and lugging rocks around, which is what we had planned to do today. I’m glad to have a rest.

There’s an ancient wood near here which is full of bluebells and wood anemones at this time of year. It’s a magical place to visit (even when there are no bluebells) and is a favourite place of ours. We walked the dog there yesterday morning – the sunlight filtered through the branches, birdsong was all around and the smell was divine. Breathing big lungfuls of spring air, scented by spring flowers, surrounded by glorious nature – there is nothing quite like it. Sorry if you’re fed up of seeing photos of bluebells; I’ve seen quite a few on other blogs and on Instagram but I never tire of them.

I also made time to do a little baking in honour of the long weekend; I love to bake but have to be in the mood. I made Nigella’s Victoria Sponge (from How to Eat) but substituted 30g best cocoa powder for 30g of the flour, thus making it into chocolate cake, and added a simple choc fudge icing. It got a big thumbs-up from the boys. The stars for me, though, were the Rhubarb and Lemon Scones I made to use up the few stalks of rhubarb pulled on Saturday (recipe from this blog which sadly seems to have disappeared). I doubled the quantities given and can vouch for their more-ishness.

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my girl’s knee situation – it is getting better and she’s off the crutches; I’m sure she’ll be dancing and trying out her pointe shoes in the next week or so. As for football, she’s determined that she’ll carry on. Family life… Gosh, it has it’s ups and downs, doesn’t it? I’m struggling a bit with how best to deal with my eldest at the moment. His GCSEs start in under three weeks and I keep walking into rooms to find him sprawled out and on his phone, or taking him a mug of tea when I think he’s hard at work only to find he’s gone back to bed. It’s so exasperating! I know I’ve banged on about this before… He is doing some work but he’s taking an enormously relaxed approach to the whole thing. He tells me there’s no use in him revising for pointless exams because the world could end tomorrow (hmm), or he tells me how stupid it is to make 16-year-olds do exams and the government is crazy and the system is bonkers (he could have a point). Sigh. All I want is for him to do himself justice so he’ll have as much choice as possible in the future. I wonder what to do for the best but, for now, I’ve decided to back off. I know things could be a lot worse.

My boy is still inside this crotchety 16-year-old, though. Last week he called me into the kitchen where both cats were in a stand-off. One of them had brought in a very cute mouse, I’m fairly sure it was a field mouse, which was sitting statue-like between them, not moving a whisker. We managed to shoo the cats outside and get the mouse into a box – I think the poor thing was stunned with fright but it wasn’t obviously injured. He carried it carefully down the road to let it loose in the field and came home to report that he’d waited to see that the mouse was ok and watched until it had scurried off into the undergrowth. That is my boy.

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Bank holiday, bluebells and baking

  1. What a lovely story about the mouse and so good that you saw a good moment in your son. I have to say whoever invented exams for 16 to 18 year olds should be shot. It has to be about the worse time in a teenagers life. You sound as if you are doing great, just being there for him. Listening when he needs to sound off and encouraging him. You can’t do more. Good luck 🙂

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  2. There are never too many bluebell postings for my liking! Your rhubarb and lemon scones look so tasty. I just need my rhubarb to grow a bit taller so that I can try them. We are going through the same thing with exams and studying (A levels though). I am forever offering to do spot tests, but they seem determined to make their own way through these trials. Good luck.

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  3. Your son sounds like a very fine person, and I have a feeling he’ll do just fine. I can’t help but have a sneaking suspicion he’s kind of right about exams…

    We lived with the “husband out of town all week long” thing for a whole year, and it is a very different kind of life. I hope it’s not too stressful for you.

    I’ve never seen bluebells IRL before, so I loved your photos!

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  4. I am another one who never tires of bluebells. They are only here for a short time each year so we need to enjoy them. You have also manage to capture the blue colour so well. Your cake and those scones look fantastic too. I’m so glad your daughter is on the mend. Hope the GCSE’s go ok for your son. Sarah x

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  5. I never tire of bluebells. We haven’t got many yet up North. My teenager has a rather relaxed approach to exams, too. He did mention that they were pointless, that the world could end in five minutes and that really he didn’t care. I did reply that unfortunately he had to sit them all the same and that he might as well get studying and do himself proud. He went back to bed, to consolidate his learning apparently. Now, with three days to his first exam, I notice that he is a bit nervous and actually doing practice papers and stuff…. he has to have at least a B in all the subjects he wants to take to Highers (your A levels) and the pressure is on. Glad you managed to spend some time with your husband. I work with mine but still, we rarely have time to talk properly and I can appreciate it is much more difficult for you, with David being away during the week. Have a lovely week. x

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    1. Our sons sound remarkably similar in their approach to it all. I can’t help but secretly admire my son’s ‘two-fingers’ approach but I’d like him to care a bit as it’ll be him that suffers if it all goes Pete Tong. Roll on the end of June when it’ll all be over! x

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  6. Well, we all love bluebells and how lucky we are to have so many beautiful bluebell woods in the UK.
    Your son’ s revision reminds me of my son some years ago now, lying in the sun revising for his GCSE Physics with the book on his face. He was fast asleep, obviously learning by some sort of osmosis.
    Those scones look wonderful, I might have to try them.

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  7. Bluebells are so fleeting and enchanting that we have to grab every chance to appreciate them, so keep posting photos 🙂
    Your rhubarb scones look good; we had them this weekend too though I didn’t think to add lemon. Next time.

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  8. Your son sounds like a nice boy and I’m sure it will all come together with the exams. It does sound frustrating right now, though. I think I will find similar with my own son when he is older, it sounds like they may have similar personalities. I enjoyed the bluebell photos and baking photos very much, keep them coming, I say. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. It is difficult with your eldest child as you’re going through everything together for the first time! I just do my best and try to keep a sense of perspective 🙂

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  9. The bluebell season is so short that we need to post as many photos as we can! So difficult with this revision business – my eldest son, now at uni, gets so het up during the exams that he finds it hard to think straight; my youngest is about to start A levels and he’s much more laidback, taking it in his stride. Between the two, it is easier to deal with laidback: your son may well surprise you with his chilled approach! I hate this exam season and am longing for the afternoon of June 17th to arrive! Hope the rest of your May goes well – not too long to the next bank holiday!

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  10. I do love a long weekend. Both the scones and the bluebells look delcious – and you can never have too many pictures of bluebells as far as I am concerned (as you can tell from my blog). As for your son, it is very gratifying to know that you have helped bring a gentle soul into the world, they are in short supply.

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  11. Oh Sam that bluebell wood looks like it should be in a children’s picture book, just magical! I am giving your baking a big thumbs-up too, those rhubarb scones look and sound delicious. My children are younger than your children but family life certainly has ups and downs, I agree. Good luck with the knees, exams, cats and mice x

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  12. Sweet story — 16 is a tumultuous age in so many ways. Parents of teens have the toughest job, I think, so much discernment is demanded and restraint and patience. . .
    Gorgeous photos — you are so fortunate in your bluebelled woods and meadows over there!

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    1. Thank you Frances. I’m finding the teenage years the most challenging so far but I do my best. Keeping the lines of communication open is crucial. I’m working on the patience…

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