Thursday, October 21, 2010

The beauty of it

I've been pretty quiet in the past few weeks. Nothing special has happened. We have just been busy living and enjoying it.

The last time I posted, I was getting ready to receive my mum and dad over in our new house for the first time. They were supposed to arrive on the Saturday and leave on the Tuesday but they unfortunately had to cut their stay short and left on the Monday due to the strikes going on in France and their Tuesday flight being cancelled. So they were over on a very short 1.5 days visit. Short but very very enjoyable. The girls loved them being over. We went on a nice walk on the Sunday followed by some cake and bread baking and a lovely dinner. We all walked down to school on the Monday before making our way to the airport.

I am glad to say that they loved the house and the surrounding area, although we didn't get much time to explore much with them. Noelie took her first steps after a lot of coaxing by my dad. She is now flying around but only on her terms. If she wants you to hold her hand, she will not walk unless you do. And then, after a while, she will just let go and doesn't want you near her. Her speech is also developing at an incredible rate.

Marie has already had 2 outings in her new school. One exploring the woods, from which she returned with a bag full of dead leaves (what for!!!), conkers and various other sticks and stones. Another one, to the library where she got to meet Steve Cole, author of the Astrosaurus children books which she loves. Tomorrow is the last day before half term and they can get all dressed up in their Hallowe'en costumes and finish early and the Parents association have organized a Spooky Hallowe'en disco for the kids tomorrow evening. Marie has decided that she wanted to dress up like her sister and so, will be going as a witch.

In the meantime, I have started on my course. It is a distance learning course and I really need to get cracking. I have nearly completed 2 modules of it already but there have been no big assignments yet. I have also indulged again in my love of baking and baked fresh bread nearly everyday. I have discovered a wonderful recipe for bread that requires very little time and effort and have been using it ever since. My parents tried my home baked bread and found it delicious. My mum even stole the recipe off me. My brother and his girlfriend who were over in August have been already converted and bake their own bread too, despite both of them working full time and working shifts! You can find the recipe here: Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. Look for their master recipe and you too will be able to make your own bread in no time at all and with no sweating from all that kneading!

Doesn't it look nice?
Other than that, Mr Foodie has too succumbed to the baking lightening that seems to have struck our house lately. He tried his hand at making cupcakes, no less and cookies. I have to admit, he did a very good job at it. I am no icing queen and the first time, I just made normal icing, none of that fancy swirly pink glittery stuff. But the second time, I tried to make THE frosting. And didn't do that good a job really. The stuff looked like it had split. I tried piping it onto the cakes and it just looked like a big pink blob had landed on them. Mr Foodie made them look a bit nicer by adding sprinkles and other stuff on them. He was all proud of himself and I was really proud of him too. He even brought some into work to share with his colleagues! Some of them probably thought that he was trying to poison them, but I can confirm that they are still alive one week on!

And the rest of the time? Well, the rest of the time, I have just been in awe at the beauty of the countryside. When you live in town, there are too many things around, too many streetlights, too many buildings, not enough trees to notice the beauty around. I have been looking from my kitchen window at the century old trees lining our little country road, their leaves turning from green to yellow, red and orange. I have looked at the mist hanging mid air and the sun rising over it. I have looked at the stars and the moon and the shadows it casts in the fields around. I have looked at the gust of wind taking with it colourful leaves from the trees and depositing them lightly onto the ground. I have listened to the conkers falling from the trees and hitting the road. I have watched the squirrel who lives on the big tree at the end of the garden, jumping onto the telephone lines and making its way safely across the road. I have looked at the pheasants in the field next to us and admired their beautiful autumn coloured feathers. I have enjoyed walking into the crisp morning air to the school and back, all wrapped up. And I am just wishing Christmas would come quick so that I can get a nice, decent camera to take pictures of it all and share them with you. But until then, I will make do with the better photographer of the family. Here are a few pictures that my dad took when he was over.

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