So that’s a wrap on February. Bring on spring and, failing that, bring on pancakes! Or so my thoughts were at the beginning of this month, which seemed to flash by in a momentary blur of icy hailstones, brute-force winds, and a variety of Siberian and European storms. Beginning with a figurative storm and ending with a literal one, it was one hell of a whirlwind month. If January crawled, February took it upon itself to do a full on sprint to make up for lost time. Now suddenly March is upon us, and I find myself reflecting over the craziness of the past four weeks.
The weather alone essentially turned every walking or driving experience into something which closely resembled one of Hercules’s twelve labours.
Cue picture of me battling the elements as I trekked out for a walk at work:
It was survival of the fittest and absolutely no joke.
Kudos to my tiny little car though, which proved quite the trooper through the so-called ‘beast from the east’. Sure, I had to dig her out of my driveway every morning, scrape several inches of snow from the roof, and not forget to evaporate the icicles which merrily decorated the whole lower edge right down to the license plate, but hey, I’ll be damned if she didn’t trundle through the sleet and wind as steadily as if it had been the middle of summer.
First proper winter driving experience – check.
Here’s a few pictures of slightly calmer times, between the snowstorms and bracing winds of the last month:
In retrospect, the weather was really a conveniently giant metaphor for the frustrating time I’ve had in other aspects of my life during this month. Everything from work stress to social stress proved a strain, until all I wanted to do was run to the other side of the world and breathe. Let’s just say it was trying, but the most important part there is the ‘was’. I think I’m through it now – walking 10 miles over last weekend helped let off some steam – and things are definitely more chilled now (pun unintended). Or maybe I’m just a bit less grumpy. We all go through fazes, I guess.
However, through all the wind and rain and general ‘Yorkshire tropics’* there was some good news. My daffodils, which I painstakingly planted over several frosty November weekends at the end of last year, have begun to sprout. Everywhere. Literally, they’re popping up all over the garden with no apparent intention of stopping anytime soon. Forty bulbs – that’s how many there were. It was forty for £3 or eighty for £5, and no way was I planting eighty bulbs. “It’s a good deal though,” my work colleagues said when I lugged the initial bag of bulbs into the office after the spontaneous lunchtime purchase. “It is,” I agreed, “If you want nothing but daffodils ever again.” I love daffodils, more so because my favourite colour is yellow, but one can only take so much of a good thing. I struggled to find places for them all around the garden, but finally managed to distribute them in as many corners and plant pots as I could find. Winter gardening is not something I’d recommend – my dog was certainly the most confused at his human’s sudden urge to dig – but it seems to be paying off!
On a totally unrelated and slightly warmer note, I also chose February to do something I have never before shown much interest in: cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I will bake until the cows come home, but cooking has always been a ‘meh’ topic for me. Suffice to say, that faze seems to have dissipated faster than the snow outside, but for all of last month I rather fancied myself Queen of the Kitchen. Here’s a short rundown of what are probably best referred to as ‘experiments’:
American-style blueberry pancakes – light, fluffy, sweet, what more could you want?
Apple pie baked apples – tasted good, but definitely didn’t quite look like the picture. More effort than they’re really worth in my opinion. No photos of these (they were eaten too fast), so I’ll insert the link below of the recipe I used.
Risotto stuffed peppers – lots of bitty preparation but well worth the results. Delicious. Again, no pics, but here’s the recipe link:
Chocolate cuties (yes, that’s their official name) – healthy(ish) bites of adorableness. Satsuma segments dipped in chocolate and cooled in the fridge – these didn’t last long.
If the same wave of domesticity should hit at some point in the future, I’ll be sure to document the results. Realistically though, there’s a very slim chance!
So that’s February all done and dusted. March has already got off to an interesting start with more new endeavours and a few memories made, so I’m excited to see where the month takes me.
Until next time, have a great month and keep warm wherever you are!
*When the weather changes so frequently that we experience sun, rain, snow, wind, and anything else the Pennines can hurl our way within about a ten minute window.