Monday, 13 July 2015

A Pretty Perfect Weekend


Ah, this weekend...it was just what I needed. Slow and steady with that elusive balance of activity and rest, time alone and time with people. Last week was busier than usual; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I attended a First Aid at Work course* and on Thursday and Friday I had my usual days at work and tried to cram in everything I usually do at home on the other days. Then after lessons on Friday our school held it's summer fair, a completely lovely event which the children thoroughtly enjoyed. John was able to attend and he took the kids home after a while, but I stayed for the clean up and arrived home about 7.30 pm, very tired. I slept so deeply and heavily on Friday night that on Saturday morning I don't think I was really with it.

We went into town, to the library and to Waitrose. The kids signed up for a six week summer reading challenge and, caught up in the excitement, I also decided to borrow six books. "I'm going to have my own six week summer reading challenge!" I declared to John, "It'll make me make time for myself over the holidays!" He just laughed at me.


I chose two crime fiction titles (The Dying Minutes and R is for Ricochet), two books that I can't believe I haven't ever read before (Love All and Love in a Cold Climate), and two purely because I liked the jackets (Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Sex and Stravinsky).  I'll probably only read one but who cares, my intentions are good. That's the great thing about libraries, isn't it, you can just pick up as many books as you like and on a whim too, and if they're no good then it's no loss. 


We had a coffee and bought some bits and bobs. Fruit, flowers, beer chosen for the label design. I have decided that nectarines are much nicer than peaches, and the yellow fleshed ones are best of all. These were almost syrupy and so good with pancakes.


I pottered with the flowers slowly, enjoying the snipping and arranging, glad not to be in a hurry.


Flowers in every room. I'm good at buying the cheap ones and stretching them into lots of vases in lots of places.


I spent most of the afternoon in the garden, reading the paper and crocheting. Every now and then I came indoors to do something or get something, but it was a pretty chilled out affair. I drank tea and listened to Woman's Hour on the iPlayer. My sister and brother in law were coming for dinner on Saturday night so we did some cooking. Really easy, no fuss stuff, like spiced nuts.


Smoked trout pate.


Spinach and ricotta stuffed cannelloni (John made that).


Lemon possets with lemon shortbread for pudding. Nice food lined up ready in the fridge, ready for a happy evening of eating and drinking.



Today we met up with my dear friend Abigail and her family in Guildford. We had a lovely long lunch together, made plans for the summer and looked around the castle, where we saw the most beautiful wild flower planting.


Isn't it stunning? Imagine having this in your garden.



And these marigolds and geraniums had been planted in huge swathes throughout the castle gardens. I'm not sure if I like them, they are maybe just a bit too bright and brassy for me, but very eye catching.


I'll take these poppies any day.


I wish every weekend could be this good but I know it can't, normal life and work gets in the way. But that just makes times like these all the more precious. I hope you had a great weekend too.




* I went on this one and it was excellent; informative, well delivered and very useful. I hope that I never have to use it, but that I don't forget what I learned either. 

38 comments:

Susan Smith said...

What a thoroughly wonderful weekend. Glad you shared it with us. The wildflowers look so lovely and I'm with you on the nectarine front, as I'm not fussed about the "furry skin" on peaches. Have a good week and take care.

VeggieMummy said...

Sounds like a fantastic weekend and I love the look of the spinach and ricotta canneloni. I'm sure I could force down that lemon posset and shortbread too! xx

Ingrid Orens said...

With the risk of being laughed at, I will admit it : I love those fields of marigolds :-)... They remind me of my childhood... Everybody (and I really mean éverybody) used to have them in there garden those days. Those flowers brightened up every street !

Librarian said...

Perfect weekend indeed!
Love the wildflowers... the marigolds and geraniums are very attractive, too, but I also prefer the wildflowers, they are just fantastic.
The food sounds and looks great - anything that says "spinach" gets me :-)
You've not been all that long in your new home, but already it looks completely and totally like a home.

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

What a wonderful weekend you had. The only preference I have over peaches & nectarines is that the flesh must be hard, weird I know! Spinach & ricotta cannelloni is a huge favourite here though I have been known to stuff large pasta shells instead purely for laziness. I love how you picked beer for the labels, I'm allowed to pick my husbands old ale bottles because I like the decoration on the lids - I have a little collection. I hope you find the time to read your books x

SaraJ said...

Glad you had a good weekend - I chose my puppy! I don't think you can beat a wildflower meadow. I have tried so many times to establish a patch in my garden - it's harder than it looks! Have a great week. x

Jacqueline said...

Definitely a perfect weekend. The flowers in the castle gardens look stunning and must have taken hours to plant to get that huge display of colour. The gentleness of the wild flowers are my favourites though!

sandra gilbert said...

Loving the wildflowers but I can't help but agree with Ingrid those Marigolds are such a familiar sight and so beloved of councils throughout the land.

Libraries are such a great resource and sadly under funded, there was a piece on the BBC earlier in week about how many are now being run by volunteers. Good luck with your 6 week challenge.

Emilia Jayne said...

What a wonderful weekend. Love the decor in your lounge as well.

Amy at love made my home said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend!!! I hope that you can find some time for your personal reading challenge, it will be great fun for the children too I am sure. I love your mantel, especially the birds, they are fantastic! Glad you had such a good time all round! xx

driftwood said...

sounds like a perfect weekend indeed, x and I love the sound of your dinner xxx delicious x

Jacqui Galloway said...

Those wild flowers are absolutely gorgeous. I have read all the Sue Grafton alphabet murders.... you'll love them.
Jacqui x

amanda peters said...

What a lovely weekend, food, family and friends... the flowers look stunning.
Amanda xx

Anonymous said...

Ooh, yes, the wildflower meadow-look for me every time. Beautiful. It sounds like a completely perfect weekend. I especially like your Saturday afternoon. We have friends coming for dinner on Saturday and I think I might adopt your menu (if you don't mind!).

Mac n' Janet said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend. The wildflowers are wonderful. We have a side lawn that's awful and I keep threatening to sow it with wildflowers.

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

I think dividing up a bunch of flowers is definately the way to go...all sounds perfect! :) xxx

Lotta said...

That's such a perfect wildflower meadow - very tempting for part of the garden!

Anonymous said...

I love your woodstove area Gillian - the natural wood mantel looks beautiful. For being "easy" food, it all looks delicious!

Jo said...

I am not very good at relaxing!! I kind of think I should be doing something and really that doing should be being myself so I am insanely jealous but have taken a moment to enjoy the wildflowers. Here's to more restful weekends. Jo x

the linen cloud said...

Sounds blissful Gillian! Those wildflowers are beautiful. Hope you have a lovely week. Bee xx

Christina said...

I have never seen wildflowers as beautiful as those. The variety is amazing. I enjoyed 'Where'd you go Bernadette' on your pile, it would make a good summer read. Dinner at yours looks lovely! Hope your week is less hectic than last week. x

The Creative Academic said...

What a wonderful weekend. Those wildflowers are amazing. Such a good idea to set yourself a summer holidays reading challenge. I really hope you get through them. I loved 'Love All'. Hope your week is a little calmer...have a good one either way. xx

Clare said...

Looks like you had a wonderful weekend a six week reading challeneg sounds like such a good idea, wow that wildflower meadow is stunning
Clare x

Angel Jem said...

A lovely weekend; what a gift!

A little happy place said...

Sounds a lovely weekend! Hope that you're enjoying your new job! xo

Lisa said...

When I was at the school I did a SJA first aid course, ours was over 2 days and by the the second afternoon I had a splitting headache, there was so much to learn!
My marigolds were all eaten by slugs so am loving the photos of yours here.
Lisa x

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

Oh yes, definitely the perfect weekend. I love weekends like those, definitely ones to cherish. I have spent my life living near Guildford, yet never been into the Castle grounds. Oh yes, the marigolds, a real smack in the eye of colour! xxx

Kate-Em said...

This sounds like a really perfect weekend. Good luck on your reading challenge!

Alison said...

What a fab weekend, it's good to get the balance right isn't it, when it all falls into place. I want to sit in the middle of that wildflower meadow for a while! xx

Penny said...

That dinner would be my perfect dinner party! How do you manage to keep your home so lovely and tidy when you are working?! Looks beautiful. Those wild flowers are stunning, I prefer them to the regimented planting if the marigolds. X

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

I was worn out just reading the start of your post! I'm glad you got some relaxing weekend time though and you've reminded me that I promised DD we would go to the library this summer too. She did the challenge a couple of years ago and loved it so we must make time to go this year and I like the idea of joining in I must say. I used to be such an avid reader...

S x

Sol said...

Fab pictures. Could you do a post on the little birds on your mantel piece please...

Annie Cholewa said...

A fab weekend by the sounds of it, and clearly with great food. I hope the coming one's as good :o)

Anonymous said...

If you only read one book this summer from the library, read "Where'd you go Bernadette?" Itwas not the kind of book I would usually choose but I was riveted the whole way through. Lovely post with beautiful photos as always. Catriona

cassie said...

I love poppies too. This is the first year I have successfully grown them in my garden! I also buy things just for the label from time to time. I've seen ads for that beer and have wondered if it is good, but haven't spotted it in the store. So fun to see it pop up on your blog!

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