Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A family weekend.

I'm sure I am not the only person Mother/Daughter  who had a really wonderful weekend.

I just love this jolly little person!

Saturday was St Patrick's Day and as an English woman of celtic extraction (two of my grandparents were Irish, one Scots and one English) who is married to an Irish man, it is a feast I thoroughly enjoy.

When I took my little girl to school, in Twickenham, on Friday the dining room had been decorated to celebrate the feast day, and the town itself was aflutter with flags for the match on Saturday.  My son, who had worked at a corporate event before the match, said that there was a fantastic atmosphere in the town during the evening.

Flags out in Twickenham

An Irish Menu at my daughter's school

And wonderful decorations

Filling the dining room with fun

All the buildings looked bright and welcoming

Especially the public houses!

and I managed to get the Leprechaun Trap to school
for my daughter's class to enjoy!

I did a little Irish themed baking on Saturday, and as well as my old favourite Soda Bread,  I baked  some cupcakes I had seen on Elizabeth's inspiring blog Pine Cones and Acorns, here.

Delicious with coffee in the evening

I was delighted with them, they tasted divine.


The next day was of course Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent.

I know many mothers love having a lie in and breakfast in bed, but I had my parents coming for lunch and have a regular Sunday morning commitment at my church, were I run the First Holy Communion class, after 8.30 Mass.  So my lie in consisted of getting up at 6am rather then my usual 5.30!  However, I did get a very lovely card!

Once home from church, I started to cook.  I get great pleasure from preparing  family meals. As well as  my parents joining us for lunch, both my sons were able to make the meal too.

I cooked a simple meal of Confit de Canard with roast potatoes and lots of green vegetables.  For pudding we had apple crumble with homemade ice cream, followed by cheese and crackers.  Sometimes, when you're cooking a meal for three generations, it is best to stick to tried and tested things that you know work.

I was very spoilt, as well as chocolates, I received some beautiful flowers, and my sons did the dishes!

A beautiful tub of bulbs

Daffodils (from my little girl)

Roses from one son

Tulips from the other

I do hope you all had a lovely and happy weekend, the best times of my life are those I spend with my family.

Monday, 12 March 2012

A Pause in Lent - Humility

Floss, at Troc, Broc and Recup', organises a wonderful, thought provoking Lenten Pause.   If you pop over to her blog you'll be able to find the other bloggers who are contributing, and read their superb posts. (You can find the link on the icon on my side panel.)

It's the third week of Lent and this is my first post for a Pause in Lent.

Angela had suggested the Cardinal Virtues as a focus for these Pauses and reading through other contributors I am relieved to see that people are taking the interpretation quite liberally.  Phew!

The list is truly inspiring:-

 This core list is  work of many of the great minds of the Church,  and if we could all live by these virtues wouldn't the world be a better place?  So I want to think about the challenges I personally have in putting these virtues into practise.

On the surface many of them appear simple and straight forward.

I like to think that I am someone who demonstrates patience, kindness, generosity, and liberality. That I do try to be diligent and to show valour.

 However  I believe that humility is perhaps the most challenging of the virtues for me.  The very act of blogging demonstrates this.  Do I need to post  recipes and snapshots of my life, is that modest?  Or am I clamouring for attention? Shouting "Look at me, Look at me!"

I really don't know the answer.  On one hand to share knowledge and simple delight in the world is a good thing, but perhaps to pursue humility I need to move the focus from "me" to "us".

 I am going to try think of "us" being the whole world, rather then my immediate circle of family or friends, so that means mentioning Fairtrade goods whenever I use them in my cooking and looking for opportunities to highlight the work of charities.


Here are a couple of  everyday photographs.  What could be simpler or more enjoyable then feeding the ducks at the pond?

We had a bag of stale bread, and after Mass on Sunday, walked to the pond and fed not only the ducks, but the swans and geese too.

Friday, 2 March 2012

A Walk in the Park

We are lucky living in Richmond.  Most days I walk down to the River Thames with the dog, through some lovely water meadows.  But every once in a while it is nice to go up into Richmond Park for a walk.

Last Saturday my little girl and I went to meet some friends and have a stroll to Pen Ponds.  It was one of those glorious early spring days and the sun was shining.  So meeting in the car park was a little tricky, it took us both a while to find parking spaces!

But it was worth it.  A small herd of young male deer had been grazing nearby and were on the move to pastures new.  They walked right across the path in front of us.  I wish I had borrowed my husband's camera with telescopic lens, but I am quite pleased with the photos I managed to get from my little camera.

Once the deer had gone we walked onto the ponds, were we stopped to feed the ducks, and then the children ran into the woods, and made some alterations to a den.  They had such a great time.

It was a wonderful two hours, full of beauty and laughter.

A grazing deer

Bread for the ducks, gingerbread men for the children
and a cake for my friend

The banana loaf, the recipe is on A Trifle Rushed, here

I hope the ducks are hungry

And I know the children will eat these all up

A note about the deer

I'm always amazed that people let their children walk
so close to the deer

Lots of people had their cameras

Deer on the path!

Heading to the woods

This is my park!

A quick fight


They are noble

And eat a great deal!

More fighting

Joining the herd

The den

Great fun for small children

The children moved an awful lot of wood
to complete the den 

Walking past the pond


And if you zoom into the tree top, some parakeets!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy St David's Day!

I bought some lovely daffodils this morning, especially for St David's Day, but of course they are still closed up.

So I popped across the road and took some photos of some beautiful daffodils nestled in a bed of lavender.

Best Wishes today to all my Welsh friends.

These will be lovely in a day or two

And a Mad March Hare!