Spring-Cleaning

I love this time of the year. It’s just the right time for the cold weather to calm down a bit, and we get to enjoy some beautiful sunshine without the sticky and stinky humidity our summers bring.

Whilst March is always a tough month, one I do not like at all, it also heralds the beginning of spring. And of all four seasons, it is most definitely my favourite.

I associate spring with new beginnings. After March, April starts with the promise of warmer breezes and bluer skies. I finally put my heavy jackets to rest and take out my cardigans and lighter layers, with the hope that I am not tempting the fates into throwing at us more wind and cold. I set my boots aside with a huge sigh of relief. I can finally wear sock-less flats and perhaps even dare to show my feet if the weather permits. That is after getting a pedicure, with a pretty coral colour perhaps. I slowly start removing layers and layers of clothes, scarves and socks. Skin is scrubbed and buffed, dead and dry skin discarded of,  and body parts hidden by the winter cold start getting properly prepared for the outer world to see. I start pushing myself that bit harder at training because visions of me in a bathing suit start popping up every morning at 6am whilst squatting, and panic starts kicking in. The days become longer, and so can our walks. Gozo at this time of the year still stubbornly holds on to the last of the green grass, before the brown, dried-up ambience sets in – typical of our summer.

Now is also the time when I start pining after a new hairstyle, look up new, fad diets and amazing superfoods. I restart my Bucilla kit for the tenth time because I suddenly realize that I can finish it in time for next Christmas…but only if I continue working on it for more than a couple of days.  I start a frenzy period of internet shopping because suddenly not one single female in our household has any single item of clothing to wear. I go through the girls’ wardrobes with a heavy heart because I have to empty the winter clothing, half of which will never be worn again.

After reading Island Fairy’s post, I immediately downloaded the Headspace app. Today is Day 2 of my meditation practice. With it just being ten minutes long, it’s something I can find the time for more easily than an hour-long session. I have also grabbed hold of my copy of The Universe Has Your Back, and started reading it again. I go through periods when I can not read some books. They just do not appeal to me and I physically hide them away till I feel ready to give them another go. After reading the reviews on this book, after eagerly waiting for it to arrive, once it did, I was just put off it. I read the first chapter, found myself blocking over it, and I had to stop. I now feel that the time is right to give it another go. I’m thinking that ten minutes of meditation a day and some pages of this book, will help my mind go along with the sense of new and fresh beginnings this time of the year brings.

This is perhaps my own version of spring-cleaning. I think we all have our rituals this at this time of the year. Some which we perhaps do not realize unless we sit down and think about it. I can go through spring with a clear head. It is perhaps the only season where my energy levels are higher than usual, and things are that bit more possible and happier. Summer is too hot for me to muster any enthusiasm, autumn is too busy for clarity, and winter I do not particularly like. I guess spring is my season.

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Chasing the Sun

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Catching The Sun

When the weather is slightly warm, you let go of anything you’re doing and hurry out outside to enjoy it. After a freezing winter, spring has finally made an appearance and it has never been more beautiful. The beautiful thing about England is that we get to experience the full four seasons, and this has to be my favourite.

After Cesca finally woke up from her nap, we ventured outside:

Rosy cheeks and rosy lips - it was a long nap in a warm sunlit room!

Rosy cheeks and rosy lips – it was a long nap in a warm sunlit room!

And we headed off to a park where C spent 50 minutes running around, trying to chase birds. Sadly she did not succeed…

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

She walked and walked...

She walked and walked…

She finally stopped for a drink and a very short pause.

She finally stopped for a drink and a very short pause. 

A short struggle and some serious shouting later, she was strapped back in her pushchair. It was a fun hour 🙂

Spring is in the air!

It comes for hours at a time. Then it goes away, hides for a day or two and then makes a spectacular return. We’re all waiting for it, quite eagerly! Every time we see it coming, I particularly get excited because it means change is coming about! We had it around us these past couple of days, except yesterday, but today it seems to have made a grand return.

Yes, spring is in the air.

Spring means freshness, crispness, blue skies, time to wash and store the winter coats, book a pedicure, paint your nails a lovely coral or pink colour, unearth your sunglasses and finally feel some warmth on your bare arms! I love this season – maybe because it follows winter or maybe because it’s the one season when the earth is blooming and everything seems that bit nicer. Life unfolds before our eyes and planet Earth is never more beautiful.

We had a great weekend. We did nothing special but A finally ended his Saturday morning working shift and that means that the weekend got longer for all of us. We received super super news on Saturday night, the type of news that we’ve been all waiting for for the past couple of months, and I am so happy. I baked a delicious Strawberry Layered Cake, which Char (Cakes by Xar) gave me the recipe to. It’s a great spring cake – you make excellent use of the delicious strawberries available right now! We went to eat at a friend’s house, we ate, we drank, we laughed and we are thankful. Cesca is nearing her 9-month mark – I can’t believe nearly been with us on the outside for as long as she was on the inside! I can’t imagine a life without her now.

I am in a happy place at the moment. I’m grateful, I’m appreciative, I’m thankful and I’m smiling.

Being so happy on a Monday morning must be a first!

 

Keep smiling and be happy. Exactly.

 

You can add as many layers as you wish and stack up the cake as high as you want! Thank you Cakes by Xar!!

I got these funky green jeans for C!

And I found this lovely blue and white blazer for myself.

 

Spring Break and The Penguin…

After over six weeks of absenteeism, we finally returned to The Rock for a long weekend. The island is absolutely beautiful at this time of the year, and I did not mind the rain or winds – it was a lovely treat driving with the window down, taking in the smell of wet grass and earth. Spring is my favourite season of them all and the visit planned for Easter should be perfect for afternoon walks in the countryside or on the beach, having an ice-cream, and being able to sit outside for a chilled drink.

I have been feeling myself grow lately – it seems as if I am doing so by the day! My mother’s reaction was strong proof to this. For the woman who is always telling me to eat (‘you’re eating for two now’), and telling me I am not that big, appeared shell-shocked when she saw me last weekend! As were A’s mother and my friends and family whom I met up with! In fact, all the clothes I had left there during our last visit, did not fit, and last Saturday night I had a bit of a panicky moment when every top I was putting on was too tight at my upper-half and made me look a bit disturbing, especially with a lace v-neck top I had which ended up pushing my now-bigger boobies beyond the top! The only thing to do was re-wear Friday’s top which at least was comfortable. With our next visit being during Easter for a longer period, I need to urgently get some shopping done! One top alone can not get me through a fortnight’s visit!

The flights were comfortable, although I have now started walking sideways down the aisle to reach the toilet. I am hoping that at least for now, the penguin walk has not started, and I can still walk in a slightly straight line. Next month’s flight should prove to be interesting…

One sweet moment was during last Sunday’s lunch when A’s grandmother, a formidable woman of 93, told me not to keep the baby in for too long because she wanted to meet the little one before her days were over. This is the same grandmother who last December gave us small white towels and face-clothes – all for the baby. Because, according to her, you are only supposed to use white things on newborns and little ones 🙂 In fact last Sunday, she was telling me, in an absolutely appalling manner, how her friend’s daughter was using black towels for her newborn because they’re better than white ones for frequent washing. Her facial expression was one of shock and disbelief, and only after reassuring her that I would not be using black items, did she continue eating. You have to love the elder generation.