Friendship, a Chateau, and super giant pumpkins│#LittleLoves

April was one of those months where time seems to be moving too quickly. Although it feels like it was April FOREVER, the sprogs seem to be growing up by the second - the days are long but the years are short and all that! My daughter has been allocated her primary school place, she had an excellent pre-school parents evening, and last week she was pre-school’s “Star of the Week”. All of a sudden my son seems to be chattering away a lot more, and his way of playing seems to have moved on too. When scribbling on paper he tells me what he’s drawing, he makes up little stories when playing with toys, and he most definitely knows his own mind. Our little family seems to be maturing so fast, and I’m not sure I like it or that I'm ready for it. 

I finished “How to Be Happy” by Eva Woods in just a couple of days. If I said it was one of the most uplifting books I’ve ever read, I bet you wouldn’t guess that the majority of the book was set in Lewisham hospital where one of the main characters was dying of a brain tumour, and the other was visiting her mother who was suffering from early-onset dementia. Although it was a little cheesy, and it had a predictable “happily ever after” ending, “How to Be Happy” was an easy read and would be the perfect choice for a relaxing beach holiday.

I stuck to the same genre for my second book of the month, and finally got around to reading “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. This book had the same overriding themes as “How to Be Happy” - friendship, love, life - but the plot of Eleanor was more intricate and had a few more elements of surprise. I can see why the book has been as popular as it has. The majority of negative reviews I have seen mainly focussed on the idea that they didn’t like Eleanor’s character and found her unrealistic. I disagreed. Despite her awkwardness I warmed to her fairly quickly, and I actually know someone very much like her!

I know I’m 5 years behind, but my husband and I finally finished watching “Breaking Bad”. It’s one of those programmes where I loved the first few seasons but it lost its appeal for the last 2 seasons. I thought the initial premise was really clever, and the characters were interesting. The acting was excellent throughout, but by the end my dislike of Walt’s character completely overshadowed any enjoyment I was getting from the programme. As each episode finished I found I was just really really really annoyed! 

I also watched series 4 of “Escape to the Chateau”. I have watched this since it started in 2016 and I love it. The individual skill sets of Angel and Dick compliment each other perfectly, and they are the ideal team for the task in hand, but what stands out for me is their incredible attitude towards both the project and life. I love the fact that they say “right, let’s just give it a go and see what happens and we’ll figure it out as we go along”. No dithering, no “what ifs”, no overthinking. They just try everything, and it seems to nearly always works out perfectly. I’m sure that there are plenty of trials and tribulations behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to, but I’m fairly sure me and my husband would want to kill each other every day if we undertook a project like that. Not only because we are completely impractical and struggle to hang curtains, never mind restore a crumbling chateau! (My daughter also thinks Dick’s moustache makes him look like Grandmaster Glitch from the Go Jetters - which I think is hilarious!)

I’m still enjoying exploring the world of podcasts and have really liked listening to “The Fringe of It”. I follow both the presenters, Charlotte and Liv, on Instagram, and listening to this podcast is just like having a couple of friends chatting in my kitchen (I usually listen whilst cooking or washing up!). They start the weekly podcast by chatting about what they’ve been up to, what they’ve been reading, watching and buying (I guess a bit like a #littlelove podcast) before they tackle a meatier topic such as friendship, stress, or body image. 

Music- wise I’ve been listening to The Vamps a lot recently. No real explanation, I just have!

Less made, more grown. Over the last 9 months the children seem to have been given lots of things to grow. Charlotte received a sunflower growing kit for her birthday, a friend of ours bought them both “super giant pumpkin” growing kits when he visited recently, and their great-grandad gave them an envelope full of seed packets he’d collected and wouldn’t be using. The kids got stuck in with the planting at the beginning of the month and, despite not being much of a gardener, we appear not to have had any major failings yet (apart from the little slugs that ate all but one of our sunflowers!). 

Zinnia and "super giant pumpkin" seedlings

I am a little concerned about exactly how “super giant” the super giant pumpkins will end up though. At the moment, between those, the sunflowers, and the zinnia seedlings, I appear to have a kitchen full of triffids until it’s warm enough for them to go outside. I’m also concerned that I’m now middle-aged...I’m considering purchasing a cheap little cold frame.   

P.S. My dad took an excellent photo of my orchid last weekend. I've had it a couple of years so it's not a new plant, but I'm very pleased I've managed to keep it alive so long, and it makes me happy, so any excuse to crowbar a photo of it into the blog!

Lovely photo of my orchid taken by my dad
Sun cream! Although brief, we had some excellent weather last month, which meant I had to invest in some more Factor 50. The days of Factor 50 use already feel very far behind me though. This week has been pretty hit and miss. I’m keeping everything crossed for an amazing Bank Holiday weekend though so we can crack the BBQ and fire basket out. 

and lastly
I’m very much playing catch up with my blog posts at the moment. I have lot of ideas and things I want to write, but the thought process and the planning stages seem to have taken over the actual “doing stuff”. However, I’m well on the way with my very overdue New Zealand posts, and I do have lots of other things in the pipeline too...if I can just actually find the time to transfer them from my brain to the computer.

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
Linking up with coffee work sleep repeat