Waking up after dormancy

Time for a #weeklywednesdaysnapshot! Been a while, for me. We had a much needed withdrawal from Doing during the first half of Winter. But as Spring approaches, I can feel life also starting to flow through me again. I’m becoming more and more aware of seasonal shifts and cycles living here, and I’m relaxing into embracing them.

“En vintergæk
En sommernar,
En fugl foruden vinger,
En lille ven,
Som har dig kær,
En kærlig hilsen bringer.
Mit navn det står med prikker
Pas på det ikke stikker…”

Last weekend was the first weekend of the year that we both went outdoors working. There were a couple of trees near the house and road that had come down in the winter storms, they weren’t causing an obstruction so they’d been left for A. N. Other day. Steve cut them into manageable lengths, the bigger pieces went for firewood processing and the thinner pieces went into building two new sections of dead-hedge. There’s no money for new plants yet but some kind of hedging is necessary to make these parts of the grounds safe to let the kids play in unattended. Erika is 3 now and I am incredibly grateful that she is not a Runner. She stays within permitted areas, happily, because there are so many of them! I love that I can happily let the kids play outdoors largely unsupervised. Two will climb trees and the smallest gets the trampoline to herself. It’s wonderful.

One section of dead-hedge has completed the border of the small front garden, and over the year I’ll add perennial herbs and edible climbing flowers and plants to the area so as long as the kids don’t pick the snowdrops to eat them (as it is one huge snowdrop patch) they’ll have nasturtiums, runner beans, peas, and various herbs to pick or harvest. Plus I’ve finally identified three young cherry-plum trees (as well as the big one that knocks on our roof) so in Autumn they should be able to pick those too – and we know now that they are good eaters! This week’s tidying efforts has seen a self-seeded buddleia (not wanted right next to the main window) and an accidentally pulled out lavendar plant transplanted into the front garden, along with a new winter hellebore that I’ve been hoping to get after the cats destroyed my last one.

Another bigger section of dead-hedge has started the border of the area that will become the main vegetable garden. I can see it out of my kitchen window, but have to go all the way around the house to get to it! Still, it’ll be a lovely growing space. Maybe I can convince the husband to work a “back” door into the house renovation plans somehow so it’s a little simpler to get to. Taking a bit of a risk because it’s so close (as in, next door) to where the goat paddock and chickens will be – but hopefully a couple of sets of appropriate fencing will keep them separate 😉 The main vegetable garden is bordered by a small chestnut grove, and my pipedream is to create a little layby (with permissions of course) and a pop-up shop on the other side of the dead-hedge, selling the bits and bobs we (eventually) produce here. In my daydreams it’s housed in a converted horsebox…. ahhh it’s good to dream, helps you to keep an eye on how you’re doing mentally too! This section of dead hedge has had three chestnut saplings transplanted along its length, in the hope that in time it becomes a real live hedge. No sycamores or ash in this one though, I already spend far too long pulling sycamore and ash saplings up from next to the house or in the vegetable garden. They are more than welcome a little further along in the woodland.

The small vegetable garden is ready for planting, mostly. There’s one small section of couch grass left to deal with, and the whole area needs protecting from the cats who basically follow us everywhere and then poo while they’re keeping us company.

I’ve finally started sowing – peas for pea shoots, and early broad beans are now sown in trays in the porch. Only a handful, but more than last year. This year I’m itching to get started, having got somewhere almost ready to grow in already! Such a far cry from this time last year where we’d just felled a sycamore that was too close to the house, and then it lay covering half the overgrown vegetable garden for another two months…

The kids have rediscovered Outside after our winter dormancy / hibernation too. Charley decided to have a go on Ben’s bike (we suggested it to him in the autumn as he’d grown out of his bike, but it was just a fraction too big and he lost a bit of confidence) and nailed it!! Confidence – and joy – returned. Need to find Ben a bigger bike now. We seem to be moving up a bike size every year. Good job second (and third and fourth) hand bikes are fairly easy to find around here! Also I think I have discovered why Erika refuses to try the balance bike. It doesn’t have a FACE. Her trike is a bee, with a face and a funky yellow and black paint job. Maybe all the balance bike needs is a facelift and she’ll contemplate trying it! I’m loving this season. The kids are capable of getting themselves ready to go outside, Ben and Charley sort themselves out, and, as long as I’ve got Erika dressed, Ben’s able to get her into her outdoor clothes and boots. So I am a lot more free to just go outside, as there is significantly less to have to think about! We’re also all getting used to it a bit more, so we’re not having to try to remember what’s needed or where things are because we’re getting outside almost every day. I love looking out of the window before I finish getting my self sorted for Outside and trying to work out where they all are. Bikes and boys up by the climbing frame – boys in the tree, usually – and Erika on the swing or trampoline, or digging.

Our renovation plans are becoming more solid, figuring out what order to do things in. We can get the far end of the loft conversion wired and boarded out and divided into rooms without a huge amount of help. Part of that work can include a balcony and when we wandered around looking at the space available, it can be a pretty huge balcony, extending up to the edge of the vegetable garden, and out to across the top of the outside woodstore! A staircase leading down next to the vegetable garden, and it (once it’s inspected and signed off) can be our “home” while the other half of the loft is completely re-done. A new sliding patio door into the living room can become our front door / builders access, so we can seal off the hall, pantry, loo/shower, and kitchen so they stay dust free and we can still use them. It’s nice being able to breathe enough to allow ourselves to keep dreaming like this. This is the year it’ll happen, if it happens at all.

We learnt a new word the other day. Pyt. It’s when hygge is no longer working. Pyyyt med det. It’s okay, don’t worry about it. It’s a way of letting go the things that happen outside of your control, not letting them control you, and getting on with getting on. I guess the Finns’ “elämää oon” is a similar concept.

Happy breathing, and happy dreaming. Life may be chaotic behind the scenes but we’ll get through it.


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