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It’s an absolutely glorious day here in the Calder Valley, where it feels more like spring than February. The thermometer has hit 14 degrees, double the average for this time of year.

I’ve been busy tidying up the garden wearing just a polo shirt as it’s that warm. Gardening’s always been a great escape from the stresses of everyday life and the world’s problems. Whatever else happens you can always rely on the seasons to change and for plants to burst into life after hunkering down for the winter. As well as cutting back some of the bushes and climbers ready for spring I’ve also cleared out and replanted a couple of the hanging baskets with these violas.

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They’re adding an extra splash of colour to complement to dwarf daffodils that are beginning to open in the flower beds.

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Whilst I’ve been busy in the garden, Dawn’s been occupied in the kitchen, preparing dishes for when her parents arrive later so it’s very much a domestic and relaxed day. On the menu is Lasagne and a Cheesecake – although I’m not sure it’s going to have candles in it – or if they’d all fit! Dawn’s mum (Norah) celebrated her 78th birthday earlier this week so the meal is a belated birthday celebration. Cooking can get complex due to dietary requirements nowadays, both Dawn’s parents are gluten free and Dawn can’t eat cheese, so we’ve ended up with two different Lasagne’s. Here’s one ready for the oven.

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Now the cheesecake (with blueberry topping) is ready…

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