We are home after a beautiful long weekend spent at my parent's house to celebrate my Dad's sixtieth birthday.
It is the house I grew up in and is full of the sights, sounds, smells and memories of my childhood, especially in the summer. I am always reminded of the evocative title of one of Joni Mitchell's albums, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, when the weather is this warm. It brings to mind the house in summer with the windows all wide open, curtains flapping in the breeze, the distant sound of a lawn mower and bees buzzing, with the smell of cut grass.
We spent nearly all weekend in the garden (and it is a very nice garden indeed).
Toe nails were painted and very cold beer was drunk.
I relaxed my usually very strict nail varnish policy and painted Bella's toe nails to match mine. (Such a little thing made her so happy, I did wonder why I don't let her have painted toe nails more often.)
My favourite image of the much enjoyed paddling pool, taken first thing in the morning when the light was soft and the air was still. I love the way the toys are abandoned after a busy day's play.
The bluest of blue skies.
Knitting in the sunshine.
Party preparations. Glasses and plates and chairs were hired.
Twenty metres of bunting were quickly made by stapling oilcloth triangles to ribbon, then hung around the garden.
John made beef chilli for forty (there he is, proudly wearing one of my Mum's aprons!). John's chilli is amazing and I will post the recipe soon. Mum and my sisters made quiches, four types of salad, six different desserts and a birthday cake.
The view from my old bedroom window as the sun was setting, over the neighbour's rooftops.
Then candles were lit and there was eating and drinking and chatting with dear family friends, people my sisters and I have known all our lives.
There were also mosquitoes (the size of my bites!!! I have six of them!) and small children who didn't settle until nine every night due to light evenings, the heat and the excitement that comes from sharing a room.
We are still enjoying this glorious hot weather but I fear it will go tomorrow. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. What did you do?