✿ a walk to the farm shop on my own one morning last week, just because I didn't feel like going home. I bought a bar of my favourite chocolate and a take away milky coffee, then walked back through the park to my favourite bench to sit in the sun and consume the aforementioned refreshments. It was a small window of relaxation in my busy week that I would probably have forgotten about if I hadn't just come across the above photo of my bench view. These are the same cherry trees that I photographed in this post back in May - in fact if you look at the 2nd to last photo in that post you'll see my favourite bench right there under the trees.
✿ pegging out the laundry and having a little tussle with the clematis. It's flowering beautifully this year whilst attempting to grow it's way along my washing line. I've decided to leave it be and peg around it as best as I can.
✿ A Sunday morning walk along the river - this is Linton Falls looking incredibly dry and depleted (you can see this same spot in my November post when the river was in full flow).
✿ the heatwave continues here in he UK, with temperatures reaching 29°C (this is around 84°F which I know isn't at all hot for many of you in other parts of the world, but it is for us Brits!). I love the hot weather (love love love it) but it sure looks like hard work for those wearing a woolly fleece.
✿ plodding along the riverside, listening to the banter going back and forth between J and Little B. It was just the three of us on this Sunday morning as the two Teens were both off doing other things.
✿ a little bit wowed by this enormous tree fungus, it was as big as a stack of dinner plates. Somehow I always associate fungus with the Autumn season, but this summer-loving one was seriously impressive.
✿ love love loving a continuous succession of summer posies in various jugs and bottles on my table. Sweet peas, cosmos, lavender and lady's mantle looking unbelievably pretty. I've got sweet peas growing at the allotment and in a large pot in the back yard too - I can't say they are really producing an abundance of flowers just yet, but there are enough for me to pick small posies every week. I've got a little bottle of flowers beside my bed at the moment too, which makes me so happy.
✿ a family jaunt out on Saturday to the RHS gardens near Harrogate where it was all very beautiful, sunshiny and refined. In complete contrast to the calm, serene surroundings our youngest child decided to behave like a wild thing.
✿ luckily there are parts of the gardens that are very suitable for wild-child behaviour, thank goodness for the open grassy slopes (roly-polys galore) and the woodland play areas (cue much wild running). I think all that restrained behaviour on the terrace at Betty's tearoom (not to mention the sugary drink and cookie that was consumed on said terrace) simply needed an outlet. It was simultaneously worrying and inspiring watching that child deal with his excess energy.
✿ the last time we came to HC was many years ago when I was carrying Little B inside my tummy and it was Autumn time then. The gardens are an absolute delight in the height of summer, I was on visual overload for a while.
✿ I adored this wild flower meadow planted next to the kitchen garden, it was humming with bees and was such a feast for the eyes and the soul.
✿ there was so much about the gardens that I enjoyed - the alpine house, the kitchen garden, the ginomrous terracota pots overflowing with summer flowers, the willow sculptures....it was all very, very lovely. I wish I'd taken more photos, especially of the kitchen garden which was totally inspirational and made me wish for more time and energy to give to our allotment plot.
✿ J and I have been walking in the countryside every chance we get and I have so enjoyed being out and about making the most of the weather and the summer season. On Sunday all three of our offspring happened to be busy with friends so we took ourselves off to Bolton Abbey and walked the whole length and breadth of the estate. From Barden Bridge at one end down to the Abbey at the other end, crossing back and forth over the three river bridges in a big loop. I think it was around 7 or 8 miles in total and was such a lovely walk.
✿ at the start of this week we had our first proper downpour of rain in almost two months. A muggy grey day of low cloud and light drizzle, followed by heavy rainfall in the evening. The air smelt amazing and was the very definition of the word petrichor. It was just the most calming and relaxing thing to be sat quietly in bed with the window wide open, listening to the sound of the rain falling.
✿ keeping up the watering regime at the allotment has been a struggle in this dry hot weather but we are plodding on with it. Our small number of crops are hanging on in there, some doing better than others. The spinach gave up early on and bolted, but we have high hopes for cucumbers and tomatoes which are looking very promising growing in the shelter of a small plastic tenty-type greenhouse thingy. I planted a row of dwarf beans and they are the smallest bean plants I have ever seen, barely reaching above my ankles. However, they are producing flowers and beans..........and yesterday I harvested the grand total of nine beans which was very exciting in a rather small, modest way. We ate them for dinner, sharing them out two each which was a bit of a joke but the Little People made the appropriate enthusiastic noises to keep me happy. Bless 'em. In case you were wondering, I added shop-bought sugar snap peas to the 2-bean offering so it wasn't quite as desperate as it sounds.
✿ been playing with sweet peas this week, arranging them, faffing with them, photographing them and just plain enjoying their colourful beauty, like you do.
✿ I really want to have a go at designing a crochet sweet pea flower so that I can make some to twine around a Summer wreath. They are very three-dimensional flowers so I've found it hard in the past to look at photos of them and work out how the petal construction might work. But having the real thing to look at makes it very much easier, and the colours are really inspiring me and my summer loving heart.
✿ not homegrown potatoes, but the mint is growing exuberantly in one of my many back yard pots. Yesterday's dinner offering was the nine allotment green beans (with added sugar snap peas), salmon filet marinated in olive oil/lemon/honey/garlic then pan fried, and baby new potatoes tossed in butter and fresh mint. It was light, tasty and utterly summery. I hope the Little People look back on their childhood family meals and remember how blinkin' good they were. I cook from scratch with fresh ingredients most nights, and having the five of us all sit down at the table to eat our evening meal together is one of the true highlights of my day. I may be totally rubbish at housework in general, but I do always try my bestest to do a good job with the food thing.
✿ a little bit of after dinner hooky in the back yard, crocheting the last run of ripples on this gorgeous summer cotton blanket. I think I've only got around 6 stripes left to make, then it's onto the border. I'm so looking forward to telling you more about the yarn (which I've totally fallen in love with) and the two summer blankets that I've been steadily plodding away with since February. Not long to wait now.....I'm really pretty flipping excited to share, it drives me a bit bonkers to keep things under wraps for any length of time. I'll be feeling a whole load better once this is all out there, I can't wait!!!