Friday 29 April 2011

A Day to Remember

The sun shone, it was warm, friends and neighbours came out to celebrate and we had a day to remember at the street party my sister and her neighbours organised.
Everyone made such an effort to join in, contribute and get to know each other. No matter where you stand on the monarchy there's no doubt that today came about because of the wedding and never would have happened without it.
After watching the service at home (magnificent, moving and sweet all at the same time), we headed over the hills with cake and spare chairs for an afternoon in the sunshine.

Can't believe how beautiful the weather was. It's been known to snow in June here and when we lived in the town too we rarely saw the sun. Everything it seemed came together for everyone today.
A day of special memories, family & friends and a good old fashioned British party. Brilliant.

Friday 22 April 2011

Straight into Summer

April seems to be masquerading as mid-summer around these parts and in most of England too. This must be the third Spring in a row that we've had the paddling pool out, eaten breakfast, lunch and tea in the garden and spent sunny afternoons in the woods. Spring seems to be harsh and short nowadays. Just a few weeks ago there were frosts and cold winds but before the month is out we've been catapulted into summer.
Already the beech leaves have unfurled and things are romping away in the garden and the greenhouse. A bit too soon if I'm honest because its a few weeks yet before I can plant out our tender crops and flowers.
But we're revelling in it too, especially as summers recently seem to all be over by mid July when the cloud, rain and Atlantic fronts roll in for weeks on end. So today has been an exceptionally good Good Friday. A quick trip to town this morning to collect the meat for our family lunch on Sunday and then, after another alfresco lunch, we headed up to our favourite shady spot for a stroll through the bluebells.
They're just emerging and the delicate scent is just beautiful when you walk into the woods. There were plenty of other wildflowers too; red campion, bugle, unfurling ferns and what I think might be a common orchid but I'm not sure. Any ideas?
There's nothing we like more than being out in the woods, exploring.
And gathering too. A little wild garlic came home with us - (there are swathes of the stuff and I was very careful to take just a few leaves). Some will flavour our curry this evening and the rest I think will be nice as a cheesy toasty snack tomorrow. Hurtling into summer is rather delicious.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Back in Time

The weather was glorious for the 40s event down at the station this weekend. The family were visiting for Grandma's birthday so we strolled down the lane after lunch for an afternoon of nostalgia, atmosphere and fabulous clothes.
We didn't have time for a trip down the line or see the entertainment at the other stations unfortunately, but the three little boys we had between us (and the two bigger ones) seemed to get just as much out of watching the engines chug up and down the line, peering in the beautiful old cars and noseying around the military vehicles.
For Grandma, sister-in-law and myself though it was the music and clothes that made our day. I love 40s music and really enjoyed Victory Belle's performance in the NAFFI tent. Lovely dress too. Is it ok to have snood envy?
This lady particularly looked the part. Even her newspaper was from 1940. The atmosphere was wonderful and rather surprising sometimes.
I hadn't expected to bump into a German colonel and the Dad's Army gang too!
Great fun for free and on the doorstep. Just my cup of tea - if rationed.

Friday 15 April 2011

A Little Bit of Vintage

Finds have been thin on the ground lately. Charity shops in particular have been pretty poor hunting grounds but in the past few weeks I've found a few lovely treasures, my favourite being this ramshackled old deckschair that I hauled home from the flea market for £3. I've wanted one for years but never found one so yesterday was a very happy one indeed.

It needs a new sling and I'm on the look our for some old style/new canvas if you know what I mean. I don't fancy anything too vibrant. These deliciously mellow colours with an atmosphere of sunny afternoons listening to the band in the park or ice cream on the prom are more what I'm looking for.
Talking of the prom, I couldn't resist this tea towel. Woody grew up in the rather refined Lytham St Annes so any cheesy Blackpool kitsch comes home with me. Just the thing for doing the dishes on our caravan trips.
Looking forward to eating something delicious from these juicy bowls too. It'll have to be something old school like trifle or jelly and ice cream won't it. I've no idea how old they are or where they're from and I imagine there should have been a sixth but the four of us will enjoy squabbling over which colour we'd like. Perfect.

Friday 8 April 2011

Weekday Weekend

Today has been just heart stoppingly beautiful. Bright blue skies, a warm breeze and hours and hours of bright sunshine. Not working on Fridays anymore is working out brilliantly I think.
The boys finished for the holidays yesterday so we decided on a very relaxing day today, filled with not very much more than enjoying this blissful weather. Breakfast in the garden, a bit of drawing and plenty of  Lego keeps our two happy for ages.
Me too. I could have stayed here for ages.
But I thought a little wander might go down well so we packed up our lunch and headed a short way down the road to explore the island in the river.
Its the tiniest of islands with stepping stones to it that are often flooded and a few perfect little picnic benches to stop for a munch and a think. We watched herons and buzzards soaring around and barges slipped past down the canal alongside while we ate and played and imagined being marooned.
Back across the river is the steam railway and we can neverwalk past without a look around. No trains today but I love to just drink in the atmosphere.
Looking forward to this very much in a couple of weekends time.
A last paddle and then we headed back to the garden for a bit more refreshment and relaxing on a sunny afternoon. Happy days at home.