Monthly Photo Challenge: March

Oh, March, where did you go to so quickly? You flew by without me noticing and without my usual photo excursions. You started off raging like a lion, fierce winds ripped through the garden and down the chimney flue causing it to whistle and whine and making it too dangerous to light the fire. This was followed by a week of fog and mist and greyness. March has been the greyest month so far despite the lengthening of the days and then the forwarding of the clocks giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evening.

One fairly spectacular sunset in early March

I watched as my hyacinths flowered and then were battered by the wind, the rain, the hail. I watched the daffodils in the lane bloom and die before I could even get a photo of them. I watched the garden birds chase each other around the trees: the chaffinches, the house sparrows, robins, blue tits and great tits. Willy Wagtail has been missing in action and the fieldfares have flown back to their homelands, even the starlings have departed to pastures new. So it is back to the corvids who have taken their position on the roof of the barn once more. A lonesome buzzard made an appearance and circled the sky looking for prey.

We have made a decision not to try and convert the two small rooms into one large one and open the loft as a mezzanine as it has become apparent that this is a lot more work than we had anticipated. For some reason builders are not keen to take on the work, so we need to get an architect in and that will push the price up. As well as that we have loaned part of our house fund to my daughter to help her to extend her house and create a 3rd bedroom for the boy child. I say child, but he turns 15 next month and had thus far spent 13 years sharing with his sister(s).

So, the remaining money in the pot has now been spent on a new bed and mattress (when did they get so expensive?) and flooring for the “east wing”. Which meant removing all the furniture already in those rooms, and decorating them before the flooring goes down. It took me weeks pouring over paint charts to decide on colours, and with both the rooms being north facing and receiving little light (deep walls) and no sunshine, except for one which does receive some light from a south-facing Velux, it was a tricky decision. White is too cold, yellow can be sickly and I longed for some colour after years of living with neutral decor. So the music studio/office (the room with the most light) has become a quartz grey with soft white trim and the 2nd bedroom is now a gentleman’s club with deep grey-green walls which hopefully will come alive with the warm oak of the new bed and some strategic lighting.

Several windows and misted up ones are going to be replaced so at last it won’t look as though it is constantly raining. Because it isn’t, really, even if I do complain about the fog a lot.

Dining – eventually

Of course all this emptying of rooms has had a significant affect on the rest of the house and being open plan it means the whole place looks cluttered and messy again. I wish we had done this last year before we moved in, but sometimes you need to live in a place before you understand how best to use the rooms and how they react to light throughout the year.

The ‘New’ Library

This has had an impact on the amount of blogging I have done this month too. Although some of that can be blamed on our abysmal connection this month. Some evenings it doesn’t stay up long enough to even view a blog, let alone write a post! Despite upgrading the router to the best(?) our broadband seems to be getting worse. Soon it will be time to bite the bullet and speak to BT – something I am not looking forward to.

Pretty in Pink

The sheep are in the fields, the cattle are grazing once again and the bulls next door are practising for the choir, though to be fair I hardly notice them now. Hawthorn or is it blackthorn is in flower and my tulips are already beginning to open. And Alice is still there whenever I look outside.


So, March has gone. We have been in our new home a year now and it feels as though we are settled in.  The house is a tip – AGAIN!! Though at least there is no book mountain… and soon we shall have everything back in its place. And hopefully I shall make the time to do the things I kept saying I would do in March! Like a walk on the beach, visit a few gardens, go out for lunch. You know, those important things in life 🙂

(And yes, I do realise that I am posting this in April, but I was hoping you wouldn’t notice)

The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2017 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Read his blog for the new rules this year (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.


  1. Tish Farrell says:

    Your home renovations struck a big chord, Jude. We’ve been in our house 10 years, and made some major changes, but there are always the things you wish you’d done before you moved in. In fact we were having that conversation yesterday which made for much gloom as to the amount of fall out that further proposed ‘improvements’ might create. But then you are so right too, about understanding the space first, and discovering how you will actually use it – as opposed to how you thought you’d use it. I love your boarded walls btw.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Eventually I would like to get the mezzanine done, but it is proving difficult with access without knocking a load-bearing wall down. Unfortunately neither of us are very good on ladders these days.

      1. Tish Farrell says:

        That does sound daunting. I don’t do ladders either.

  2. Allotmental says:

    Great update 👍

  3. It does look blissful though 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I can stand and look at the view for hours!

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I think it’s blackthorn, too early for hawthorn and it’s a creamier colour (and it smells a bit!) I love your blue pots and I can smell the white hyacinth from here. All the hard work will be worth it in the end Jude 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, I thought Hawthorn is May time, but unsure how early things are down here. It does have rather a pleasant smell. I got some close ups of the flowers – they are very pretty. I am looking forward to getting everything straight next week and can then concentrate on the conservatory and garden – seeds to sow and all that 🙂

  5. Dina says:

    It sounds very good what you are doing, Jude. And you are right, sometimes one has to live in a place to find out what works the best for you. We have been doing this and that to the rooms here in Cley, but we both feel hestitant about major redecorations before we see the final outcome of Brexit. I’d love to do things like you are doing now, but if I start, I’d like to know it’s for a long time …

    1. Heyjude says:

      I hope things turn out OK, I can’t see anyone who has made the UK their home as long as you and KB have (I guess fayries have their own world to live in) should have to leave. It would be crazy, but I suppose the PM has to ensure that Brits living in Europe aren’t turfed out of their home too. Hopefully common sense will prevail throughout the EU.

      1. Dina says:

        I feel absolutely confident that KB and the fayries can stay here, after all, they live in Cley for more than 30 years. It’s my situation that’s somewhat tricky. I live here 80-90% of the year now and the plan was to make the final move and settle down 100% at the end of this year. Well, we made the plans before Brexit, didn’t we. I have not worked 5 years in the UK/paid tax/social system here … so according to the new plans I’ll have no social security should anything happen to me. Anyway, we take it as it comes. I can’t turn the back to Germany now, waiting for the PM so sort out the deals for foreigners turns out to be a very costly pause for me.

    2. Heyjude says:

      I can see how that is going to be tricky. I guess you just have to hope there is a way which works for you all. I hope it all turns out the way you would like it to, but appreciate that the uncertainty is worrying.

  6. Hooray for books. The first two my eyes distinguished were a dictionary and a book about Bob Dylan.

    That was a good scraggly tree to play off against the luscious sunset.

    1. Heyjude says:

      We did in fact donate a lot of books to Oxfam, before we moved, including a much loved set of travel books. I always find it difficult to get rid of books, but sometimes you have to let go. The OH is a writer (IT) hence all the dictionaries and thesaurus and language books and IT books: he nearly had a heart attack when my daughter laughed at the amount we have and said, “you can use them online”. Ah, the younger generation…

      The tree btw is a corkscrew hazel. Very interesting and especially in winter when it is bare.

  7. We are supposed to be decluttering too! After being here for 16 years we are finally finishing off the room above our garage (started but not completed by the previous owners). The idea is for it to be a writing/reading space with room for our vast library of books (now overflowing from the study) and a children’s play area/retreat. Our daughters are a little miffed that we didn’t do this when they were living at home and are now doing it for our grandchildren but it is a luxury as we’ve pointed out and not one we could justify back then! One of our house/pet sitters is a carpenter (highly recommended) and he is hopefully going to do the work with his mate whilst we’re away! Your paint choices sound lovely! I enjoy colour but have toned it down to more neutrals in the past few years but want something light and sunny for the loft room (soft lemons/blues/creams and greys I thought). Hope you have a lovely Easter! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      That sounds good. Wish we had a garage, that is one thing missing from our new house – mindst you I have never had a garage since actually owning a car! A retreat would be the icing on the cake. You can go a lot brighter in your hemisphere, here the northern light makes everything look a bit blue so we have to be careful.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Indeed 🙂

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