As you can see, the sun continues to shine and the temperatures continue to make us Yorkshire dwellers feel like we are in high summer already. It's been absolutely glorious and seriously H☼T here today, I've loved it sooooooooooo much. After all the cold, wet misery of last week (when we had our central heating on, and our fire lit in the evenings), this week has been truly incredible, if a bit extreme.
But best of all, today I finally got to ride on a bus! YIppppppEEeEEE!!! I've been waiting to take a bus ride to Ilkely for weeks and weeks so that I could visit the gorgeous yarn shop there for essential rippling supplies. But it wasn't all about the wool (although boy, I am thrilled to have a fresh hillock of yarn balls in the Attic again), it was as much about the journey itself. You see, we often pass by the bus station in our town, and Little B is always fascinated by the rows of buses waiting for departure. I had promised him that very soon we would go on a bus ride, and I really wanted to keep my promise.
The bus ride was ace! The bus was a double decker affair, and we got to sit up on the top deck right at the very front. It was half an hour of continuous excited chatter from my Little Companion, oh my heart was fit to burst I tell you.
After a little gander around the shops, we walked down to the Riverside Park for a spot of play. The playground here is a good'n, even better on a week day when it isn't too crowded. We spent a lot of time on a wooden tractor pretending it was a bus. When it got too hot (and I really couldn't stand being the Ticket Inspector any more), I coaxed my little Bus Driver away from his beloved vehicle and we went in search of a picnic spot. We chose the above shady place under a cherry tree and settled down to rest and eat lunch.
We took our crocs off and wiggled our toes in the grass. The feeling of cool, damp grass on hot tired feet was utterly delicious.
My lunch was also delicious. I adore M&S salads, and this is one of my favourites. It's called "Lentil, Giant Couscous and Goats Cheese Salad with a Lemon and Basil Dressing". A real scrummy taste sensation which I would love to try and recreate at home....would need to locate Giant Couscous, I don't think I've ever come across this for sale in any shops? Anyone seen it/heard of it before? I love it. Mmmmmm.
After lunch, we toddled off to the little refreshment cabin in the park to buy ice cream. Oh boy, Little B's cup of joy did runneth over today. A bus ride and the playground and a picnic and an ice cream all in one day? Terrific! The latter was a messy affair, but all the better for it I'd say.
We took the bus home at 2pm and arrived back with 30mins to recuperate before heading back out into the heat again for the school run. The sun was still blazing down in the late afternoon, and the Little People sweetly requested that we go up to the park to eat our evening meal. It seemed like a good idea, especially as I had planned a salad for dinner which could easily be transported in a cool bag and eaten with fingers. Whilst in Ilkley I paid a visit to the famous Lishmans Butcher and purchased some of their medal winning sausages. I baked them in the oven when I got home (they were incredible), cooked up some buttery baby new potatoes and hard boiled some eggs. Then I packed up cherry tomatoes and cucumber, and a punnet of sweet English strawberries. Juice for the LP and a cold bottle of beer for J and I. It was a wonderfully simple but delicious meal.
The park really did look glorious in the late afternoon/early evening light.
Our picnic spot was right at the top of the hill at the place where the cut grass meets the undergrowth and the overhanging trees cast a dappled shade.
The undergrowth was looking so beautiful, a mix of dandelions, daisies, ferns, tall grasses and froths of lacy cow parsley.
I do have a real soft spot for cow parsley, it's incredibly pretty I think. I would love to scoop armfuls of it up to bring it home, but sadly it smells a bit yucky. Too yucky to tolerate in the confines of home.
Lots of dandelion clocks about too, which I love. Those seedheads are such a marvel of nature.
The trees in our neighbourhood are properly filled out now and I love that intense green of freshly unfurled leaf.
The colours, the light and the lush abundance of it all reminded me why May is my favourite month.
Everything is so beautiful and happy-feel-good when the sun shines and we can spend time enjoying the pleasures of Outdoor Living.