Tuesday, 24 August 2021


Hello! I hope you are well and enjoying the holidays. I'd say enjoying the weather, but if you're in the UK then you'll know that this August's weather has been typically unreliable - more grey days than sunny ones, and certainly not warm enough for beach days or sea swimming, But, we have been out and about and making the most of our local area. 

A few highlights from the second and third weeks of the school holidays:

Watching the hedgerows inch towards early autumn.The blackberries are later this year than last but they are coming.

Walking through our local countryside with family.

A sunny, happy afternoon on Southsea Pier with my sisters and their children. 

Give the kids some silly rides, a few goes on the 2p machines and some churros and they are very happy indeed. As am I.

A glorious weekend  staying with friends in East Sussex. We sat in their garden, chatted, drank tea, ate barbecue and drank Pimms. We also watched Banger Racing - a first for me - and generally laughed a lot and felt that it was good to get away, if only for a weekend, especially when the sun shone. 

There was a beautifully sunny walk around Bosham with the dog, children, my sister and cups of tea as we went.

For me, school holidays mean time to do all the things I never have a moment to do during term time, so I dragged all my houseplants outside and re-potted and split them. The pizza bench made a good potting table.

This is the result - lots of new plants for my classroom in September.

We had a lovely day out to Hinton Ampner last week. It was a grey day but the flowers provided lots of colour and everyone had a really nice time.

I love nothing more than a wander around a National Trust place, especially the smaller ones, and this was lovely. The kids all really enjoyed exploring the house and gardens. It was very relaxed.

Even on the greyest day with the flattest light, the dahlias were stunning. 

So much garden inspiration. Along with the agapanthus and white hydrangeas, I know what I would like in our garden.

There have been quiet home days too. I managed to injure my back a week ago and, while it is slowly improving, I am not very patient. I am an impatient patient. The combination of pain and frustration makes me grumpy and there is so much I want to do this holiday that does not include a bad back. The bathroom is currently covered in splodges of pink paint from tester pots but there is no way I can paint it in my current state....oh well, first world problems. We are all fine really. The kids have been absolutely brilliant, picking things up for me, helping me get dressed (socks are an issue) doing chores and errands and generally just being helpful. And my parents have been wonderful as always, helping with jobs and walking the dog. 

I have one more week of the holidays left. I have two more days out planned, two coffee dates with friends and one haircut and colour, plus lots of cooking. I am cramming it in (as much as the back will allow.....).


Thank you for your pot roast tips and suggestions! I think that, next time, I will add the vegetables later and reduce the amount of liquid. My friend suggested leaving out the potatoes and cooking them separately. That way, if the onions, carrots etc got to mush then it's no problem.


  1. We were also inspired by the sight of Erigeron scrambling everywhere at a NT property we visited. I bought three small pots and it is brilliant. Flowers constantly, spreads like crazy and is easy to pot up and pass on. I’ve even used self set bits in a hanging basket as it trails really nicely. It’s easy to look after too … when it gets a bit straggly or tatty just chop it off and before you know it greens up and starts all over again πŸ˜ƒ

  2. I've enjoyed your photos and post I hope you get well soon.

  3. Sorry to hear your back is giving you pain. Get well soon! I have scoliosis and know how much back pain can take off you in terms of energy and good mood.
    I love the pictures of the National Trust place, great garden and house!
    Blackberries here have already been ready to eat a week or two ago. They (along with walnuts and chestnuts on the trees) are early and very abundant this year, which makes me believe we're in for a long, cold winter.
    But first, let's enjoy whatever late summer days we get!

  4. We visited Hinton Ampner on Monday and, although it looked dodgy in the morning (the last time we went we got soaked!) it did clear up. We had lots of fun playing with the fish who were super friendly and a good old run around in the fresh air. What are those lovely little flowers on the steps? I love them and would like some in the garden to fill up the cracks in our paving. There was a very tempting looking loganberry/tayberry in the walled garden right next to a big sign that said ‘don’t eat’!. Someone asked on our team WhatsApp group about what time we start next week which brought me firmly back to earth. Note to self-leave phone at home!

  5. Take care with your back, train those belly muscles. They make a frame to hold that back in place. NT, there was I time I was a member going to all. So much inspiration for your garden. Pity I love in a zone 7/8. My Erigerons drowned in the abundant rain of this year. My chickens molt.Means they are making a warm eiderdown for an early winter. When I saw my little pincushions on legs the only thought I had was;"noooooooo, too early. I am so not ready for cold". Thanks for the lovely post and pictures.

  6. I enjoyed your photos and your post! Too bad about your back - just when you are ready for fun. Hope it improves quickly so it doesn't spoil the rest of your holiday.

  7. I love the colours you have found despite the less-than-glorious weather we've been having! Like you, I love a NT garden, they are so stunning and we are really lucky to have so many. I hope you are well and ready for your new adventures in teaching very soon.

  8. Oh I do Love dalias!! 😍 I wish we have parks and gardens like that here in Argentina! I mean near my houseπŸ˜„
    Sorry about your back, I hope you get well soonπŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

  9. Visiting from Ohio in the US...such lovely pictures, I'm completely jealous! On my wish list to visit the UK someday...I have a feeling, if I do visit, I may never come back home! I'm looking forward to reading your older posts, Mary

  10. Those Dahlias! Look after yourself, I used to get a bad back when I was teaching but not anymore! Jo xx

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