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. 


  1. The colour of the hydrangeas from your parents' garden is so gorgeous! I am also now going to have to look up that ice-cream recipe. I love licorice! Meg:)

  2. Last day of little school for my littlest one today, so I am all contemplative and over-emotional. I'm out at a meeting all day tomorrow which is a shame, then a bit of work to do on Thurs and Fri, but hopefully plenty of time for doing all the things. I have a bit of a list on the go as well, although sadly for the biggest boy it seems to involve some study for him. How enchanting your summer photos are today. I particulary love the hydrangea close-up - that colour! and Bella looking lovely with her ears pierced - the earring looks lovely on her. I know what you mean about the blackberries. Every year as soon as I spot the first ones I shout, 'BLACKBERRIES! ALREADY!' Saw a red one yesterday. Have a lovely week, and a wonderful summer break. I gushed over our year 6 teacher today and pressed alcohol into his hand along with an even gushier card. I am going to have a sit down at the cool end of the room now. CJ xx

  3. A very hot week for us here, too, its peak being expected on Thursday when temperatures are forecast to get up to 38 or even 40+C here. I don't know yet whether I'll take a few extra hours off or brave the office (where we have no AC).
    O.K. has a shrub of pink hydrangeas next to the front door of his cottage, they are the most wonderful summer flowers, aren't they, even though they are very thirsty and require their owners to trudge back and forth with the watering can all the time.
    I love that blanket - beautfiul colours and great pattern.
    Enjoy your holidays!

  4. Oh, your blog is an oasis ! I loved the pic of the children in the paddling pool, bless them for not being too old to enjoy it. Thanks for the recommendation of that Nigel Slater book, looks a perfect companion to his Winter one.

    You really have the knack of showcasing lovely, real life " things ". Have a wonderful summer and I wish someone out there would look at your blog and give you a book deal !!!!!

  5. I love your blog! Full of optimism and energy, but relaxing at the same time. It's great that you are appreciated at school. That's down largely to your own positive approach to life - nobody appreciates a negative!
    Have a great summer, I hope all the wishes are grantable (is that a word?)

  6. Bella has very pretty ears ... they look lovely pierced. Gorgeous photos as usual, you always seem to get the perfect shot.

    That blanket is wonderful, I have never thought to go corner to corner, what a good idea!

  7. Hi there Gillian, I've been reading your blog for a couple years now but have never commented. You are my absolute fav and I so appreciate the inspiration you've brought to my life, craft or otherwise. Thank you for being you and have a great holiday with your family.

    1. Nicole, thank you so much for saying hello. I can't tell you how much that comment means. xx

  8. Lovely post, full of so much & already making the most of the glorious weather. The rug is gorgeous & I'm thinking of picking some rhubarb too, even though it is winter here. Not much but it will be nice with yoghurt as you say. Enjoy & take care.

  9. Looks like the essence of perfect summer days!

  10. I'm retired now from teaching but will never forget that wonderful feeling of the beginning of summer vacation. We had 10 weeks off and it really did seem it would last forever. It looks like you've made a good start of enjoying the "lazy, hazy days of summer." Bella's ears look beautiful.


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