My first post, yeeeehahhh! This is momentous to me as it means I have set aside particular me time for writing. Add to that the fact that I am having a baby-free few hours, am currently sat in a quaint teashop sipping posh peppermint and you have one happy, slightly hyper Nina! We’ll gloss over the fact that to arrive at this happy position I had to return home after previously arriving at said quaint teashop only to realise I’d left my wallet in the baby change bag… I haven’t had a ‘me bag’ since becoming a mother so in the heady excitement of setting off, my mushy baby brain overlooked that obvious necessity! Anyway, I am here now huzzah! (And the posh peppermint is served in gorgeous gilt-edged fine bone china. Oh yes.) In today’s inaugural post it feels appropriate to tell you a bit about the new beginnings that have been manifesting in my life as we step eagerly into Spring. (All photos in this post taken by yours truly on my Nikon D7000, post-processed by hubby in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop.)

Becoming a mother: new blossom and a new me

The peach tree in our garden has exploded into beautiful pale pink blossom over the last few days. That, and a little warm sunshine makes me feel like I’m emerging from a long, cold winter at last. This winter has been the strangest of my life so far. My first child, Archie, was born just before the weather turned cold for the season so I have been metamorphosing within the chrysalis, the cocoon of my home. Nina: biologist, wife, dancer, has become Nina: mother, wife, biologist (dancer?). Everybody says that nothing can prepare you for the way having your first child turns your world upside down, but somehow that statement doesn’t quite do justice to the earth-shattering/mind-bending/sleep-depriving/relationship-redefining process of getting through those first few months of being parents. The fact that it occurred over winter added an extra layer of surrealism for me. I regularly need air. Fresh air. Greenery. Nature. Having a small baby in the harshest season challenged satisfying that basic need for me. That’s because doing anything – ANYTHING – with your first small child requires almost military planning and a whole host of additional paraphernalia that you invariably don’t yet know how to work/manage, plus the physical and emotional strength to be constantly challenging what your perhaps battered body and rollercoaster hormones can deal with. But, it also gives you absolute freedom to stay the heck indoors if you want. After all, getting to know your new baby – and your new YOU – is of paramount importance. I haven’t been driving myself to get out by any means, simple walks around the block, or peeking about the garden to see what the plants are doing has generally been sufficient for me. But as the weather has been improving, I’ve been feeling the energy awakening within me again…the call of the great outdoors (or at least my greenhouse), to see little green things grow again, and to have the freedom to go out pretty much when the mood takes me.

My garden sanctuary

It’s no hidden nature spa or anything, but my greenhouse is my garden space. I can potter about tending little plantlings, organising my supplies and tools, or simply sit in the evening sun and listen to the birds. Whatever I do, or don’t do, I can just enjoy myself being outside and in the sights and sounds of nature. I’m not an experienced gardener by any means. Gardening and being in the garden give me pleasure and that’s enough for now. I don’t know what I might achieve in the garden this year with my own little sprig of a baby so it’s important I don’t put pressure on myself. My aim is to try to keep the greenhouse tidy and free of pests, and to grow a few things that I did well with last year: mange tout and baby corn were particular successes. We shall see… I hope you’ll join me for the journey!

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