Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday morning prattle . . .

I know we shouldn't have really done it . . . yesterday being Sunday and all . . . but one does have to take advantage of the sunshine over here in the UK while you can, and so we threw a load of whites into the washing maching so that we could hang them out to dry in the sun afterwards . . .

They hung outside for most of yesterday afternoon and we brought them in once the sun started to go down . . . oh . . . how very beautiful they smelled. So fresh and like the outdoors and sunshine. I just adore the smell of bedding that has been hung out on the line to dry. It was still slightly damp and so we hung it over the doorway in the lounge to finish drying while we watched some television and that beautiful outdoor perfume scented our entire evening. It was just gorgeous. One could scarce ever need any other type of air freshener than the smell of the great outdoors . . .

It is the same when Mitzie has spent an afternoon running about in the garden. We keep the grassed area separated from the patio part with a fence and a gate. When it is wet, the veg garden part can be quite muddy and we don't really want her to play in there, but when it's dry we open the gate and she has a wonderful time running up and down, her long ears flapping in the wind and gathering in all of that outdoor smell . . . it's lovely. When she comes back in I could just bury my face in her ears and neck and stay there forever . . . she smells so very nice . . . it's quite wonderful really . . .

I'm just a fool for April
I love each tender day,
More kind than March's mayhem,
Less bold than teasing May,
Sweet April's wild and lovely,
With eyes as bright as rain,
She's graceful as the bluebells
that bloom in every lane.
She startles in an instant,
Her smiles may turn to tears,
But when she laughs, a little glimpse
Of Summer's joy appears.
~Margaret Ingall

I forgot all about yesterday being April Fool's day! I think that must be the first time ever. I can remember as a child planning tricks and foolery in the days running up to the first of April every year. Our poor teachers at school . . . I am sure they really loved April Fool's day . . . NOT. Chalk stuffed into the chalkboard erasers, things turned around backwards, thumbtacks on seats . . . there was no end to the tricks we would try to play on them. I'm sure they quite expected them, and there was probably nothing we could have done that they hadn't already experienced through the years.

I remember reading a story about some children that exchanged the salt for sugar in their home one April Fool's . . . and always wanted to try that trick out . . . but I never dared to do it, the fear of the wrath of our mother being far greater than any joy that might have been achieved by doing so! My tricks at home tended to be long the milder strains of . . . look!! There's a horse in the garden . . . and then when everyone rushed to the window to look . . . a boisterous April Fool!!! It all seems so very innocent now.

I think the best and most memorable April Fool I ever played was on my eldest son when he was about 16. It was always such a chore getting him out of bed and ready for school in the mornings once he hit the teenage years. WE had created a space for him down in the basement, so he could have privacy and his very own place apart from all the younger children and that is also where he had his bedroom.

At that time there used to be a telephone number you could all on the telephone called Freddy the Wonderphone. You could call Freddy to find out the weather, the time, lottery numbers . . . we used to buy lottery tickets quite frequently back then. So I pretended to call Freddy the Wonderphone and check our lottery numbers . . . quite loudly and dramatically I might add. As I read them out my husband would say "Yes, we got that one.", until he had said yes to each one and then we all proceeded to whoop and jump up and down in excitement, exclaiming how we had won the lottery!

You never saw a teenager scramble up the stairs as quickly as he did that morning. Oh my, but his excitement was ginormous!!! His eyes were almost like saucers and he was shouting . . . We won the lottery! We won the lottery!! We just stood there and looked at him as he stood there at the top of the stairs, all out of breath and huffing and puffing . . . and then we shouted out April Fool!!! Cruel??? Maybe, but it did get him out of bed . . . and he did get to feel like a millionaire for at least a few minutes! So not quite as bad as one would suppose . . . it must be pretty nice to feel like a million bucks!

It looks a bit like rain today. I hope it's only showers. My knees feel ok and I thought to go into town and buy some hotcross buns at the M&S. They have the best ones and when we were visiting our friend Doreen the other day she remarked on how much she had enjoyed the ones we had gotten her a few weeks ago. She had gotten some from a local shop last week and they weren't very good at all in comparison . . . they never are. M&S don't stint on the fruit, and they're really fluffy and moist . . . I think that's the secret to a good hotcross bun. The shops try to tempt us in with all sorts of flavours . . . cranberry hot cross buns, apple and sultana hot cross buns, etc. Give me a wonderfully old-fashioned luxury fruited one any day of the week. You just can't mess with what's always been good!!!

"If Spring came but once every century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change."

May your Monday be filled with some of the miracles and joys of Spring, and may this week in the run up to the celebration of that most glorious gift of all . . . the atonement of the Saviour . . . be filled with simple blessings, which are the best blessings of all . . .

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, delicious Roasted Chicken Breasts with Stir Fried Fennel Sprouts.

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