Wasn't the weather over the three day weekend just glorious? Sunshine, blue skies and record breaking temperatures, for the time of year. Everyone at work today had a slight post-holiday glow about them, as much due to the relaxed feeling the warmth brings us as to the effect of spending time in the sun. I found that, in just three days, meal times were later, bedtimes later, routines disappearing and everything sliding into that gorgeous holiday mellowness. This morning was a bit of a shock to the system.
Actually, we did a lot this weekend, but the weather made it all so much more enjoyable. My parents and I worked really hard in the garden, digging out an entire flower bed, taking garden waste to the tip, pruning and tidying and generally licking the place into shape. We jet washed the decked area outside the patio door from our kitchen and then I gave it a couple of coats of protective decking stain. John finished the table and benches he made for the garden and they are just fantastic - I'll have to do a big post soon showing you everything we've done in the garden. I'm so happy with how it's turning out. Nothing major, no groundworks or landscaping, but just rethinking the space and how we use it to get the most out of it.
In amongst all this labouring was lots of fun though; meals in the garden, various chilled drinks drunk in deckchairs in the setting sun; new potatoes with butter and mint from the herb garden, slow mornings, children reading outside in the sun, a happy whippet, trips to the beach and the woods to see the bluebells.
The beach on Sunday afternoon was divine. Usually when it's so warm a couple of miles inland, where we are, you find it's a few degrees cooler and breezy down on the beach and it can make quite a difference. But on Sunday it was just as warm and still; people were swimming in the sea, paddle boarding, sunbathing, having barbecues, just enjoying the weather. The sea was calm and clear and I wished we'd brought swim things and a towel with us so that we could have stayed longer. But as it was we were there to walk Ziggy, and he had a wonderful time running around. I didn't let him off his lead until we were quite a way away from most of the people. I didn't want him stealing anyone's sausages. (I'm also very conscious, and respectful I hope, of the fact that many people - especially children - don't like a dog running towards them to say hello, so I am very careful about where he's off his lead.)
On Monday, in between giving the decking another coat of stain and replacing the torn parasol canopy (lesson learned - pack it away in the winter) we went to the woods. I try to do this every spring if we can because....well why wouldn't you?
The walk from the car to the woods isn't a long, a mile and half at most, but it was hot.
But there was frothy cow parsley along the paths and the heady scent of lilac as we walked. When we reached the wood it was deserted, which made me happy. It's a very small area just tucked away off a track but the profusion of bluebells is always what makes it so breathtaking. Hopeful of some photo opportunities, I took my new camera with me and had fun with the new lens.
I think we were a little too late for the full technicolour display though, as they seemed much more faded than on previous visits, though no less beautiful for that. We stopped in the shaded woods and had a mini-picnic of cake and water (too hot for a thermos of coffee) and spent a while just wandering around and taking it all in.
I think that was one of my favourite moments from the whole weekend actually, that pause in the woods. Just the four of us, having a nice time and feeling a bit like we were on holiday. Well five, if you count this one.