❤ Stepping out into a glorious, sunny Spring morning on Friday and noticing how beautiful the treetops looked with their fresh new leaves against the bluest of skies.
❤ Loving that I am lucky enough to have this woodland only a ten minute walk from my front door, enabling me to seek out some tree-induced freshness when the mood takes me (see my previous post)
❤ Walking home from school on Friday afternoon, the canal beginning to busy up as lots of boats arrive into town for our annual Waterways festival.
❤ Every day we walk past the ice cream tug boat on our way too and from school, and Little B knows that if he's done well at school then Friday afternoons will often bring about an ice cream treat.
❤ Mr Ice-cream makes Little B "his usual" on Friday afternoon which is a single scoop of Yorkshire farm vanilla ice cream topped with chopped nuts and chocolate sauce. We stop a while on a bench beside the canal to enjoy the afternoon sunshine and wait while Little B devours his cone. Pleasure all round.
❤ I am used to seeing canal boats come and go along our school run route at all times of the year, but during the first weekend in May when boats are arriving for the festival there is so much visual pleasure. I love to take in the small decorative personalities of each boat.
❤ Often it's the domestic homeliness of the boats which really capture my attention - neat piles of logs, laundry dying in the sun, a dog sprawled out on the warm deck, pots of herbs and flowers blooming on every available flat surface.
❤ This beautiful boat window cover immediately caught my eye - a combination of lacy crochet and delicate cross stitch, I might have swooned a little right there.
❤ Walking down the hill to the canal past this long beech hedge on Friday evening, a quick trip to the supermarket with Little Lady. I brush my fingers gently through the soft green leaves and chatter to myself, marveling at their softness and that particular lush shade of new-leaf green. Little Lady tries to pull my hand away, telling me not to turn into "the neighbourhood crazy lady who talks to the leaves". She actually tells me (with some mild horror in her voice) to "step away from the leaves!!" Never...I love the look and feel of their newness and they beg to be touched and cooed over.
❤ Saturday morning, more blue sky and bright sunshine. For the first time this year it's warm enough for me to sit in my little back yard and eat breakfast while still in my pyjamas....such a simple pleasure, but a hugely enjoyable one.
❤ Onward from my al fresco breakfast and it's mid morning now. I'm still in my pyjamas, slurping fresh coffee and listening to the gentle sounds of the neighbourhood going about it's business. I'm absorbed in my own wonderful hooky world making little blue squares to add to my banner. It's absorbing and delicious and I feel like I could honestly sit there for the whole day working those rounds of blue.
❤ 6.30pm now, and I'm walking down to the train station to meet my Dad and Lady B who are arriving from Dorset for a week's stay. The early evening light is sublime, so clear and bright and uplifting. I love how the trees are showing their bare branches one minute, then in full leaf the next, and I can never, ever seem to catch the transition in action. It happens so fast! When did the leaves happen? When??
❤ Sunday evening, after a hot lazy day of hanging out with my Dad and socialising with the neighbours on our friendly street, followed by a seriously yummy barbecue dinner, I took Little B and Little Lady down to the canalside to join in with the boating festivities. There is live music playing on the temporary stage and a jolly party atmosphere as more and more people arrive.
❤ I adore the long days we are have at this time of year - these photos were taken at 9.30pm as the crowds gathered beside the canal to wait for the "Illuminated Cruise" to start.....
❤....the first of the boats cruises into the canal basin just before 10 pm - it's been a long day for Little B so we only stay a short while before walking slowly back home to the comforts of bed.
❤ The first Monday in May is a national holiday in the UK and gives us a much anticipated Long Weekend. The weather can really make or break any weekend plans, but this year it was utterly glorious for the whole three days. For the third day running I'm sat eating breakfast in my back yard and enjoying the gentle warmth of the early morning sun. I love seeing those little wispy clouds (we call them "mares' tails" ) that arrive when the air is warm and clear.
❤ I am so so so happy with how my banner is coming together!! I absolutely cannot wait until I get to stitch on the white letters and see how they look against that beautiful patchwork of blue. These colours keep reminding me of "The Starry Night" painting by Vincent Van Gogh, kind of a patchwork of summer night blues dancing together and making me feel joyful.
❤ Monday lunch time, and I'm walking with Lady B. My Dad is feeling a bit flattened by the heat from the day before (we spent all day outside eating, drinking, chatting in the sun on Sunday), but Lady B and I are off on a stroll through the park.
❤ I am stopped in my tracks by these trees in full bloom, gosh the sight of them honestly took my breath away.
❤ I so enjoyed standing underneath them, gazing up through the layers of delicate white and pink flowers to the blue sky beyond. Absolutely stunning.
❤ My favourite bench was calling to me, but we couldn't stop as we were walking to the farm shop to buy fresh produce for our evening meal. We bought bright red cherry tomatoes still on the vine, a tub of herby olives, seeded flatbreads, butchers lamb and mint burgers (yay, another barbecue dinner!), and best of all........................
❤ ..........locally grown asparagus. Oh my goodness, how I LOVE these green stalks!! I toss them in a little olive oil, season with fresh ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt, then cook on a hot griddle pan until they go all toasty and lightly charred. Fresh parmesan grated over the top and eaten with fingers whilst still hot. Yum yum yum.
I love this time of the year so so much. I love the first real warmth of the year, the frothy blossom, the greenest of leaves, carpets of wild garlic, bluebells and local asparagus. It really is a season of all round outdoor loveliness.