This morning, I decided to bypass the playground and just go for a long walk/scoot instead. The girls and I went along the Greenway to CS Lewis Square. We spotted some magpies someone had painted with “two for joy” under the bridge. I like the fact that the confinement with the virus is enhancing people’s creativity and thoughtfulness 🙂 It was beautifully bright and frosty outside and it felt like we were the only people out 🙂 That’s one benefit of going for early walks. I have read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to the girls, so they get excited about seeing the statues and understand the relevance of them 🙂 They stopped to look at Mr Tumnus and then we went to the skate park bit so they could do loops on their scooters. I wished I’d brought my purse when I saw people emerging from the neighbouring cafe with hot drinks, but it made me appreciate the one at had at home even more when we finally returned 🙂 The girls climbed along the walls, stopping to say hi to the robin sculpture perched on it. I had never noticed it before but they seemed taken with it. On our way back, we stopped to see the witch and the wardrobe and the girls checked if there was a magical land inside it. I never spent a great deal of time at CS Lewis Square because it felt far away, but our house is near the Greenway and going that route seems to cut the walk down quite a bit.
We got home with numb hands and ready for hot drinks. I made the girls some hot chocolate with cream. I find the UHT cream handy to have in the fridge for ice-cream sundaes and fancy hot chocolate at home 🙂 I had a mince pie and some coffee and the girls opted for crackers over the Christmassy choices they were given 🙂 We sat and had a chat and the girls threaded their dry paper beads onto rainbow string to make necklaces.
Afterwards, I got out the last Toucan box we hadn’t completed. It was another planet poster like one we made months earlier (one of the girls hadn’t received it in their box yet, so we turned it into a group activity.) The girls coloured in coffee filters to use as the planets and then used pipettes to wet them. Then I stuck bright tissue paper onto the wet filters to create tie dye patterns. We will add them to the poster tomorrow when they have dried. I love looking at lots of bright colours all placed together and even though they aren’t finished, the sight of the collection of colours on the kitchen counter cheers me up. Sometimes I think just looking at a bright colour improves my mood 🙂
I decided to make another recipe from The Simple Things magazine. I didn’t have almond butter, maple syrup or almonds, so I adapted it, using peanut butter, honey and mixed nuts. They don’t contain butter or sugar so they were referred to as healthy cookies in the magazine. (Whether they are or not, they taste good anyway.) I found decorating the tops of them with chopped nuts very therapeutic and the smell from the oven was so comforting 🙂 The girls tried the cookies but announced that they didn’t like them, so more for me 🙂 I think going for long walks and baking are the two activities that are saving my mental state at the minute 🙂
I’ve started to watch videos about an artist who lives in Paris and it has made me nostalgic for Paris, the language and the things I did when I lived there. I’m going to take a leaf out of her book and make some bolognese tonight with red wine, even if looking out over the Parisian rooftops is only an option online at the moment 🙂