Sunday, 28 July 2019

Summer Days

The last week has passed us by in a warm haze of home days, paddling pools and ice cream. I can't really account for our time, but it has been glorious. I've had moments when the clock turned back slightly and my ten year old and twelve year old seemed so much younger as they sprayed each other with the hose or splashed in the paddling pool. We haven't gone far, only to see friends and family locally, and haven't even made it to the beach, although I did regret that decision last Thursday when the temperatures reached record highs here. The children have been outside so much, in and out of the garden more than I can keep track of, going out on their bikes in the warm, light evenings, playing out with friends. I love to see the towels and swim stuff pegged up on the washing line at the end of a hot day, dripping in the setting sun.

I've been cooking a lot and enjoying it so much, just loving having the time to plan meals and potter in an unhurried fashion. I've been eating yogurt and rhubarb compote for breakfast every day, drinking a lot of iced coffee, making halloumi salad, pasta with peas and goats cheese, stuffed peppers. Eating the blackcurrant and liquorice ice cream with my friend in the back garden on her birthday while all the kids were in the paddling pool.

When it cooled down enough I tackled some cleaning jobs that I always put off until the school holidays; thoroughly scrubbing the kitchen, cleaning windows, rugs and cushion covers, mopping and washing and turning out cupboards and drawers. A summery Spring Clean. I've been busy planning projects too, ordering yarn and fabric, buying and downloading patterns to keep me quiet over the summer holidays.

More Drops Paris cotton yarn for my blanket...

...and I spent the last of some birthday vouchers on three balls of Scheepjes Whirl for another blanket I want to make in the autumn. (I chose the colourways Slice 'o' Cherry Pie, Caramel Core Blimey and Liquorice Yumyum.)

I also ordered two balls of Bobbiny cord to make this bag. I use my moon bag a lot, but it is quite small, so I was really excited when Emily brought out a pattern for a larger version, and I'm going to add a buckle to this one to make it a little more secure. 

The fabric I ordered from Seasalt arrived (in a package totally without plastic, well done Seasalt) and it's even lovelier than I thought it would be. Three metres for £20, I'm still pleased at what good value that is, and I'm wobbling over whether to make a skirt or dress from it. 

I hope you're all well and staying cool. It's overcast and breezy here today so I think we might go down to the beach for a walk/paddle this afternoon and let Ziggy stretch his legs. We have another quiet-ish week ahead of us here; I have lots of errands and shopping to do tomorrow, we're seeing friends on Tuesday and next weekend, and there are a few play dates planned for the children but nothing too taxing.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

A Change of Pace

I finished work on Friday and, since then, I have:

:: received some of the sweetest gifts from children

 and flowers from colleagues

:: attended a local Gin Festival (I highly recommend everyone do this!)

:: celebrated the first day of the holidays with waffles for breakfast

:: enjoyed the sanity-saving properties of a good blanket to crochet when life is so hectic. I've reached the half way point now and, since it's a corner to corner one, each row will now only get shorter.

:: spent a little lazy time deeply engrossed in Nigel Slater's newest book Greenfeast: Spring, Summer 

:: turned an armful of rhubarb from my mum's neighbour's garden into a kind of compote/stewed fruit affair, to be stirred into plain yogurt. There was lots left that I chopped and froze in portions ready for winter crumbles, too.

:: faffed happily with another armful of free goodness, this time the most glorious pink hydrangeas from my parents' garden

:: took Bella to get her ears pierced

:: tried a new dog walk

:: been shocked, as I am every summer, at how early the blackberries are. (I don't know if they are early but I insist on thinking of them as an autumn fruit when they are very definitely a late summer thing really.)

:: ordered some linen fabric from the Seasalt sale. (Jo this is your fault.) I am already wondering if I've done the right thing, what with pattern matching, but I can always make cushion covers if I am too scared to make a dress or skirt.

:: made blackcurrant and liquorice ice cream (recipe from Simply Nigella). I'm waiting impatiently for it to set.

:: got out the paddling pool. Is there a greater pleasure than dipping your hot toes in the icy water? And suddenly the children seemed smaller again.

Ziggy does not know what to make of it. He is currently flopped out on the rug in the living room, sound asleep. He has no energy in this heat.

:: pottered around the garden at dusk, admiring the sunset and watering pots

It's very hot today, around 32°C. I thought about going to the beach but didn't have the energy to face the traffic so we've pottered here instead, all of us inside and outside and doing our own thing. The children have been in the paddling pool most of the day but have now come inside, Bella making friendship bracelets and Angus playing on the Xbox. We're at that lovely stage at the start of the school holidays where it stretches out ahead of us, gradually filling up with plans and arrangements, where six weeks feels like the longest time. Of course I know that it will go in a blink, it always us. We're starting to think about what we want to do, where we want to go. I've told the children to write summer holiday wish-lists mainly because I love to see what kinds of things they put on them. There is always something random that hadn't occurred to me.