What we did this summer...
I'm back! Seems like forever since the last time I logged in - I've really missed the dialogue with you all. It's been such a hectic few weeks, the final push to finish my next book, coupled with scary episode with Mountain Lion installation, when tech peeps warned all may be lost. I feel like there's been no head space for anything at all other than work and worry.
So today I'm going to post a photo essay of the good bits of the past three weeks, more than anything just to remind myself that there have been some lovely times too. Let's start with the cats as they're always a laugh a minute.
Yes, we have had some sun, albeit not in the doses we'd like, but as soon as it shines the cats are the first to be outside basking in it.
I've recently designed a set of baby beanbags to go in my next book, just like the ones we used to play with in gym when I was at school. When the polystyrene beans arrived the kitties thought they were the best toy ever. My beanbags are 5ins square, so if any of you need any filler, just let me know!
One of the nicest things this summer was having grand-daughters Isabella and Ava to stay with us in Wales - lots of good times here. The garden is usually full of colour at this time of year, but this year as it's been so wet, it's like a sea of green. However we did find some colourful flowers to press and put in their scrapbooks.
The other day Philip was joined in his breadmaking by two very enthusiastic helpers...
Amongst other things there's a log maze, outdoor snakes and ladders, draughts, connect 4, noughts and crosses and croquet as well as the conventional children's playground.
Next week I'll be in Dublin for three days, putting the finishing touches to our knitters' tour of Ireland. I know, hard life you're thinking. Really looking forward to soaking up this fabulous city - the music, the food, Bewleys, the Guinness brewery, the craic - I'm sure it'll be great, I'll keep you posted.
|Chaos in my office, won't show you the rest of it!|
|Arlo enjoying the sunshine|
|Arlo plants himself in his fave pot|
|Clean sheets freshly dried in the sun - just for me|
|Half-hearted fight over beanbag territory|
|Django settled in straight away once he'd sent Arlo packing|
|Girls sharing a joke in the garden|
|Django finds some shade in the den|
|Painting in the sun|
|Isabella painting on the terrace - me in my Crocs!|
|Always looking for ways to get the girls to eat more veggies|
We had a windy, overcast day on the beach, but no-one seemed to care, we were too busy building sandcastles, paddling and watching the windsurfer's kites.
Isabel and Stuart, the girls' other grandparents, arrived to collect them, but just before they left, we had some other visitors...
... much to everyone's delight a flock of mallards arrived in the garden to wave them off.
After they'd gone we decided to make a bonfire and burn all the brash we'd collected. Not allowed in some places for ecological reasons I know, but I think in the UK it's a matter of scale. Here farmers are not allowed to burn the stubble any longer, but we do still have bonfire night and it's still ok to have campfires and domestic bonfires. Sitting around a fire in the evenings with a can of beer after a day working in the garden is one of life's best pleasures and though I'm an ardent saver of the planet, I do hope our children's children will still be able to enjoy doing this. The smell of woodsmoke in the air, the odd bat swooping around, watching the sun go down outside - bliss.
Someone mentioned I don't seem to be dressed for this activity. All I can say is that I've never liked the Sunday best concept - I wear what I fancy when I get up in the morning and surprisingly it seems to be OK for most things.
Later I made a bechamel sauce, poured it over leftovers, put tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, balsamic and basil in the oven with it, and washed it down later with a bottle of white burgundy - no fuss supper after a fun day in the sun - mega yummy.
Back in York, the climbing French beans are growing apace and we had our first meal from them a couple of days ago - don't know why but food you've grown yourself always tastes better.
|The day lilies are looking good too!|
On our day with the girls last week, we all had a lovely time at Harlow Carr. The planting there is superb and there's lots of great stuff for kids too.
|Isabella on the log trail around the tree house|
|Django boning up on upcoming visit to Connemara|