It's been one of those weekends where loads seems to have happened if you know what I mean. As it had seemed like such a long time since Mr C and I had had a day out anywhere we planed to make the most of the dry weather and lack of snow and headed up the A1 to the RSPB reserve at Sandy. We've been RSPB members for a while now, but often don't seem to make enough use of our membership and this trip was an attempt to turn that around.
I was amazed at how large the reserve site was as it provided several different walking routes around through a mix of heathland, woods and also gardens around the Lodge building itself. The birdlife seemed to be keeping itself to itself whilst we were there, but I was able to see a couple of Jays playing, as well as the usual suspects of blue tits, great tits, blackbirds, robins and chaffinches. A pheasant even popped out for a bit to see what was going on. What I wasn't expecting was to bump into an old work colleague and his wife whilst there! Still, a pleasant surprise.
Saturday night was a C family gathering to celebrate my FIL's birthday and this provided a good excuse to try out another new recipe to provide him with a birthday cake. As part of my 52 in 2010 I used the Victoria Sandwich recipe in The River Cottage Family Cookbook. I've not used this book often enough yet as everything I've made out of it so far has been great. This recipe was one of the old fashioned cake ones where you weigh your eggs at the start (four in this case) and then use an equal weight of all the other ingredients. I was quite pleased with how they turned out though and the addition of both raspberry jam and buttercream icing between the two halves (Mr C's doing as I have to admit to a mid-afternoon nap at this point!) was a perfect balance.
Sunday provided me with an opportunity to start collecting all the various things that I will need once Baby C joins us. Via the local NCT mailing list someone was offering some Lollipop washable nappies that she no longer needed. I'm very keen to try using reusable nappies, so am delighted to be able to try them for free. The only thing the woman who gave them to me requested was that I pass them on to someone else once I've finished with them, or if I decide that they're not the right type for Baby C. Not a difficult promise to make.
Making the most of the longer afternoon we put some work into the garden for the first time this year. Having popped down to Homebase for a few things, the number of cars in the car park suggested we weren't the only people doing so this weekend. There's quite a lot of clearing up to do out there at the moment and that's what we've been concentrating on for now. So much of what needs doing is still very new to us, so a pile of gardening books by the back door is helping us understand exactly what we've got and what needs pruning how. The weather forecast suggests that the cold weather and snow may be returning to us sometime next week, but at least we could pretend that Spring was on its way for a couple of hours!