April Showers, glimpses of sun, muddy boots and dirty knees

About sums up my first few days at home. I’ve been gathering momentum. Taking stock. Having a break from blogging. Peering out at my garden and allotment. Wondering what the new season will bring me.

The first few days brought beautiful bright blue skies only to be followed by days and days of grey low cloud and teeming rain. It seems April Showers are here.

A busy day on the allotment, picking and digging for food – bundles of fresh spinach, small tender leeks, a bag full of Purple Sprouting Broccoli, winter lettuces of crisp crunchy Frissee and soft buttery Reine De Paris.

I’m collecting my thoughts and energy. I’m preparing for the BUSY weeks ahead of sowing, sowing and then sowing some more.

Home cooked meals of Risotto with leeks and last years frozen peas, bowls of steamed Purple Sprouting Broccoli with a dab of butter, fresh salads with a light vinaigrette, spinach and chickpea stews to name a few.

It seems I’ve come home with a need to organise and clear before I sow the first tender crops. The time just before I go full steam ahead into growing and gardening. I need to find my rhythm or maybe re-discover it.

A few days away from writing and photographing my life and all that is around me. Gradually piecing things together, sorting through the boxes of seeds. Looking and listening. Hearing the raucous morning chorus of seagulls on the rooftops and the sweet evensong of blackbirds. Watching the rain clouds come in and the trees bend in the wind. Seeing the new growth in the garden.

Reacquainting myself with home and home-life.

It’s time to get my boots on and take my camera out and about with me. Time to get digging and muddy and revel in the garden and life.


  • But perhaps not today, eh? 50mph wind gusts and 12.6mm rainfall in 24-hours. I think I’ll stay indoors and keep dry. 🙂

    • I was in London yesterday and had rain of biblical proportions and train derailments on my return (a goods train on the line). Chaos 🙂 The wind is predicted at a mere 30mph and no rain today so it’s a boots on day today !!

  • I always find it hard to get myself motivated to return to normal daily life after a long trip away. But gardening always inspires us…hard work but nice rewards.

  • settling in for the summer, so much to do, all that potential in the packets of seeds, yes, a wonderful time 🙂

  • Love this post – especially the boots!
    Isn’t it funny how our appetite turns so quickly to lighter fare in spring, even though it’s still chilly and rainy outside?

    • Hi Marie, the boots are old, probably getting on for 15 years old, I think at this rate they will out live me 🙂
      And yes to our change in diet – I still have the odd soup day craving, but for the most part I don’t want those big carbs and rich meals of winter, but that could be something to do with all that French cheese 🙂

    • BAM, that is so sweet and kind of you! I have no idea where I’m heading, and you know what, I like that feeling. Happy as ever to have you along fo rthe ride !!

  • The showers and sun sound just like our weather here: we had one hot day where I had to take all of the covers off the bed and open the window and the next day I was tying the window shut and piling it all back on. You must be so happy to be picking and eating your own fresh greens again and looking forward to all of that puttering around.

    • Yes just the same! I haven’t yet changed our winter duvet over for the summer one, I’d be back wearing thermals again!
      And Sharyn it is fabuous to be eating home grown food again, even though I found some good shops for fresh produce when we were away, nothing beats my own, regardless of how it looks!

  • I too have been planting up my pots and sowing all of the seeds I can lay my hands on. I’m hoping to manage to grow beetroot, spinach, herbs, nasturtiums and lavender this year and incorporate it into my baking! fingers crossed. Lovely photos!

    • Your plans sound wonderful and tasty – fresh lightly cooked beetroot, and greens of spinach YUM. And flowers and herbs too, just perfect, I have lots of Lavender and Nasturtiums on my allotment and the bees and buzzies love them as much as I do. And now I’m looking forward to reading about how you will use all your goodies!!

  • Well put! I am doing the same thing here in Tennessee. My garden is growing…lots of greens and a few strawberries this week. Gardener’s Rock!

    • Oh Teresa you tease! Strawberries in April, I’m drooling at the thought. It will be a while yet before I get that first taste of sun warmed ripe strawberries freshly picked….. Ahhhhhh. 🙂

  • Must be a bit of a shock to back home. While spring holds the promise of the summer harvest there is always much to attend to. I am happy to tag along as you share your garden adventure.

    • I think it’s just a bit strange right now – mountains replaced by seaviews. And yesterday a work trip to London – oooph!! And as ever it’s lovely to hear from you Debs, I need to pop along and see what delectation you have cooked up for me 🙂

  • Good luck getting back into your routine. I seem to be challenged here too, even without a lovely winter away to re-adapt from! (Though I am making good progress clearing out the remnants of last year’s harvest from the freezer)

    • Hi and thank you, I love using stuff up an dalways feel better for having that clear out too. Kind of givingthe freezer and store cupboard a mini Spring clean 🙂

  • I can imagine it is both invigorating and a little overwhelming to acclimate home again after such a long period away! I hope you have indeed felt just happy contemplating the months ahead in your garden and kitchen, Claire! I’m not necessarily familiar with the purple sprouting broccoli…so I’ll hope for some pictures sometime 🙂 Welcome home! Debra

    • Thank you for the welcome home Debra 🙂 we are gradually settling back into some kind of routine and life – I’d forgotten how busy life at home is !!
      About the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, I’m about to do a post on it, and a simple favourite recipe of mine, so hopefully you’ll get a better idea of it then – it’s one of my absolute favourite veggies! Claire

  • Claire, great shot of the boots! Don’t they tell a story?!! Welcome back home and to the good muddy earth!

    • Thanks Spree, it seems the boots resonate with a few people 🙂 And oh yes they have a few stories to tell, to start with the were second hand to me, a gift of sorts from a former lodger who moved back to NZ. and all that happened a lifetime ago, and I expect them to last me a lifetime, talking of which they could do with a bit of TLC 🙂

  • It’s funny how we feel like “strangers” in our own homes after being gone for so long.. I’m sure you’ll find your rhythm in no time at all! Gardening has a way of doing that!

    • You know I think I’d actually forgotten how busy life is at home, and with the garden in Spring it’s flat out sowing and planting and phew I need to sit back and have a cup of tea now 🙂

  • Welcome back and so sorry we didn´t get to meet up 😦 Boy was last Weds wet and windy – I spent the day with very wet feet as I stepped into a huge puddle at the start of the day! Hope you are getting back into your rythmn…it´s pouring here in Spain too but the garden has shot up in our 5 day absence.

  • It was a shame that diaries and time din’t co-ordiante. But I’m sure it will happen and soon 🙂
    I was in London last Wednesday and it was insanely wet and windy! I’m surpirsed you didn’t get blown out to sea 😉

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