Thursday 28 June 2012

Salad Days

Humidty has descended, the sun appears for a while and then we have a tremendous thunder storm. But its warm, feels like summer at long last and I'm in love with the season again. Lots of lovely things to enjoy:

Pea shoots with my lunchtime salad.
Herby butter made with mint growing in my sodden garden. 
A rare sunny evening, tea outside and a view full of housemartins and screaming swifts.
 Lots of lovely flowers
Time for a nature walk before before bedtime, down along the towpath, keeping an eye out for kingfishers.
The sound of rumbling tractors, humming mowers and clattering trailers is everywhere. A break in the weather means its time to cut the June hay.
As the sun sets our little valley is lit up.
And in the morning, from the kitchen window, it looks like summer fever has got to our farmer - how romantic is this!  
P.S. For everyone who wanted to know - the buttercup meadow is just below The Roaches and Hen Cloud on the outskirts of Leek. We followed a really nice walk laid out by the Moorlands Countryside Service that runs from the village of Meerbrook. Its lovely to know so many of you like the picture, I was blown away, it was like a huge cloth of gold laid out before the hills.

Friday 22 June 2012

Rescued from the rain ...

I've waited weeks and weeks for St Swithun's Day to flower - and as ever its lived up to its name, brought on the deluge and the petals have turned brown and rotted on the stem.

So I was ruthless; chopped them all off at 6.30am this morning in a torrential downpour and they've made my weekend already. Fabulous - whatever the weather.

Hope your weekend is dryish and fun,xxx

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Thankful for Fresh Air

A dose of fresh air works wonders for me after a busy, busy week. I was almost glad of the dismal weather on Saturday because it meant I could cosy up inside, getting to grips with the house, make it feel properly at home while the energetic ones in our family were doing energetic things.

I needed a few hours pottering, straightening crochet blankets, finally fixing cup hooks onto the dresser, cutting flowers from the garden and putting up pictures while it poured down and the gales blew to make me feel relaxed again.
And when the clouds parted on Sunday we took Woody for a Father's Day outing to a favourite village (Monyash, Derbsyhire) which is always somewhere we head to for an afternoon of gentle country pursuits; pond dipping for tadpoles and sticklebacks, an ice cream treat after tumbling around the playground, then a stroll around the lanes before a special tea back at home with my Dad and Mum for company.
Our wet, grey summer stretches on. Patches of sunshine appear here and there (always when I'm stuck in the office) but the Atlantic is still throwing lows and fronts full of rain our way.
But even under lowering skies, England is still a beautiful, beautiful place in the summertime.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Summer in a Jug

I'm not going to mention it. Honestly. I'm not.

But I am going to rave for a few minutes about Sweet Williams. Aren't they loveliest summer flower? Well if I'm honest I adore hundreds of flowers but when these berry shades start to appear it on the greengrocers stall in the Butter Market, they always make me feel that summer is truly here.

Have you noticed I haven't talked about it yet? Doing well I think.
Wimbledon's not far off, one Test Match series done and dusted already and there's some summer football on somewhere. The amazing annual fiesta of three weeks packed solid with bikes is on the horizon too.

We've been away, my peas are ripening, the first batch of housemartins are tweeting in their nests. 

And its feels like March!

Sorry, couldn't help myself after all. Clearly we're now paying off for half a week of glorious May sunshine with day after day of rain, wind, grey skies and chilly temperatures. 12 degrees Celsius today - honestly!

I know we Brits like a good old whinge about the weather but everyone seems truly browned off with it now. Maybe we'll be blessed by the time the Olympics come around but it seems a long way off.
Rain in April seemed fair enough, but am I allowed to be a bit fed up of it now? Humpf.
At least the Sweet Williams are cheering me up. Back with smiley stuff soon Xxx

Wednesday 6 June 2012


Blimey, what a joy of a weekend. From tea parties to fish and chips, concerts and services, downpours and coats on the beach, it was all extremeley British and rather marvellous for that.

After the wedding last year I'd wondered how the jubilee would stand up against it and in the end it was its own thing entirely and, as one lady at the concert put it, "we've all been brought together".

Most of us agree I'd say, those who don't did their own thing, but joining in is something we British enjoy doing, come rain or shine, and this Diamond Weekend we definitley did it in style.
Our little family trundled south west again towing our batterted old caravan behind us for a few days on a sweet little farm in deepest Dorset in the Marshwood Vale Arriving early we had the site almost to oursleves and at the end of last week it was very warm and still, despite the grey couds and we managed plenty of beachtime at lovely Lyme Regis and fabulous West Bay.
We explored the coast a little more, had lunch in a very smart cafe on the beach at Burton Bradstock, fished for crabs off the harbour at Weymouth and climbed the lighthouse at Portland Bill. It all brought back happy memories of my childhood holidays and it was lovely doing it our own way again, like last year.
Everywhere we went jubilee celebrations were in happenning. Fetes, 50s fasion parades, tractor runs even. We spent Monday shivering in Lyme Regis then, as the wind finally dropped, the sun miraculously appeared and we watched the harbour come alive with boat after boat decked out in bunting for a special flotilla display in the bay.

My favourite moment was waving off some of our family who were out on the water with friends in a teeny little motor boat covered in union flags.

 Even the cafe condiments and my little breakfast table in the field seemed to sum up the spirit of this weekend.
 And now we're home I don't have the heart to pack my bunting away, so its up on the dresser awaiting the greatest show on earth at the end of July. Roll on the Games!
Just wanted to add a massive thank you for all the wonderful comments left on my Cornwall posts. It made me so happy that you were all so happy for me - if that makes snese?! Glad you liked the 60s style pics too, I've finally discovered Picasa (about a decade behind eveyone else) and had lots of fun messing about.. Will get around to replying properly as soon as I can. Thanks again for all the lovely wishes. S x x x