I hope everyone had a fab Easter. Wasn’t the weather fantastic?
It’s fair to say I had a typically British Bank Holiday, starting with a visit to the garden centre with what felt like the whole of West Yorkshire. I love gardening, and when moving, have always been more upset about leaving gardens than houses. In my current garden I have the blessing oftwo huge deciduous trees just over the fence, which, though beautiful, spend the autumn and winter months shedding their leaves right onto my decking. This leaves a rather fetching carpet of green slime, which took a lot of hard graft and copious amounts of hot water and Zoflora to shift this weekend (other cleaning products are available). It was all good though – the sweeping and scrubbing offered a gym-free workout which burnt off my Easter egg before I’d even consumed it.
I crave one of those gardens you feel cocooned in, jam-packed with lush plants and trees. The problem is there’s not a scrap of soil in mine, apart from the pots I’ve planted. I’ve tried growing trees in pots to add a bit of density, particularly the Japanese maples I love so much, but they shrivel up and die, and decent-sized artificial trees are so expensive! I also love gardens that are set up like living rooms, complete with rugs, scatter cushions, blankets and beautifully laid patio tables. But how can people be arsed to bring it all in every night before it inevitably rains?!
Where I live, many of my neighbours end up sitting in the street because it’s a total suntrap. On warm weekend nights, this can lead very pleasantly into an impromptu get together, as was the case on Friday and Sunday night. After all, is it even a British Bank Holiday if you don’t spend at least part of it sitting on a camping chair, wearing a blanket and drinking gin next to a fluorescent sign from B&M?
The other thing I loved this weekend was spending time in Leeds. After a spot of shopping, my Mum, daughter and I enjoyed a fab visit to Rabbit Hole Coffee for cake and cava. For me, nothing lifts the spirits like a wander around John Lewis, Victoria Gate and the Victoria Quarter, topped off by a visit to the market to stock up on beautiful fresh ingredients which are often miles cheaper than supermarket fare and don’t look like plastic toys. Shopping (Leeds Market) and window shopping (Kurt Geiger) is also a fantastic way to get my steps in, so it’s win-win! That, combined with a return to running and some beautiful morning walks with my greyhound along the canal have also meant that I’ve hit 10,000 steps every day this week. Yay!
Speaking of greyhounds, I’m really excited about my visit to the BBC Radio Leeds studios on Monday to discuss Adopt a Greyhound Month on the Rima Ahmed afternoon show. There are so many myths about these beautiful, gentle dogs and I’m going to do my best to dispel some of them so that more people consider adopting a hound. I will of course be taking Ozzy along but I’m hoping fervently that he behaves. He frequently omits loud and unsavoury bodily noises when I’m relaxing in the garden or on conference calls, and he once did a massive poo in the living room while I was in a really important meeting. He also obstinately refuses to lay down on hard surfaces, so I’d better ask Rima if she has a blanket available! Do listen in if you can.