Monday 29 July 2013


I sit outside under a bright blue sky with a mug of tea and look at the riot of colour 

that has taken over my garden.

This delicate poppy is growing amongst the lettuces, there technically it is a weed, but I can't possibly pull it up, so there it stays, and the bees are happy.

A single white scabious flower adds a dash of cool to a fiery hot mix of pinks, reds and oranges.

There is no planning involved, I fling things in with blissful ignorance, and am invariably surprised by the results. Who knew that fennel and sweet williams would go so well together...... or perhaps you think they don't...

The alstromerias grow taller and taller, some of them are as tall as me. 
I don't have a vase tall enough to display them in!

There is colour in the vegetable patch too, bright yellow pumpkin flowers and tiny bulbs of green pumpkins forming, I shall be watching avidly for them to start to turn orange.

I can't sit outside for long though, I will burn, I'm currently having a love/hate relationship with sunscreen..... The first brand I bought made my eyes and face swell up, not pretty, and quite painful... The next brand was better, no swelling, but a ugly blotchy rash.... I bought an organic brand which is more of a barrier cream, no swelling or rash, but I still burn a little with it... and I really really don't like the feeling of the cream as it doesn't really soak in to your skin...... I think what I need is a really big floppy hat (if anyone knows of a good one let me know.....). 

of course living in the north I don't normally worry about sun that often, we don't usually get much.....
 the last few weeks have been astonishing.........  

Today we have grey skies and the promise of rain, but I have a pile of  colour to play with; a stolen bag of scraps, with a quilt in their future, because it's always quilt weather, whatever the colour of the sky.

Monday 22 July 2013


I'm still walking in training for a half marathon in September.
I found this chair in hay meadow yesterday.
I resisted a sit down and kept walking.

Last week I ran away from visiting my in laws and went to Morecambe.
There was no sight of the sea, but there was a latte, and later some liberty fabric.

It's the first day of the holidays and so far I have spent 3 hours sorting out photographs on the laptop, - I found the cable to down the pictures from our weekend away, backing up, and generally getting distracted by last years garden photos.

The children have friends round and they are making cupcakes and covering them in smarties and hundreds and thousands.

I need to go out and buy netting, the black birds are eating all my raspberries.

Then we must make our annual holiday calendar, there is something about a large sheet of paper and some coloured pens that means planning the next 6 weeks is such fun.
What plans are you making?

Wednesday 10 July 2013

playing with kites and visiting wooly woods!

The National Trust have launched a new list of fifty things to do before you are 11 3/4  and many of the sites have activities on throughout the summer to help you fulfil some of the challenges on the list. We visited Sizergh Castle, where there was pond dipping and bug box building, den building and kite and badge making.
 Although this year both my children are older than this I firmly believe you are never too old to play with sticks and mud and kites.
As demonstrated by two parents both over 11 3/4  making a kite which they then played with very happily whilst the children waited to go and eat cake..........
 and whilst this post isn't an advert for the National Trust I must recommend a trip to Acorn Bank 
which is currently home to the most amazing wool art installation.


there are patterns to download so you can create your own wooly woods, or contribute to this one.

There were oh so many wonderful creatures and flowers,

 my children teased me that I had taken 6 million photos.

They were exaggerating, it was only 5 million.............

I couldn't decide which to post, I could choose them all.....

or even decide upon a favourite.

I may have to go back and take some more photographs just in case I missed anything.

then I'll decide which I like best!

Monday 8 July 2013

cranes and thoughts from a weekend.

important things I learnt this weekend;

when you plan a weekend away that involves a Very Long Drive it is best to carefully check the calender not just to see if the weekend is free, but to consider what is happening the week before.

otherwise your plan to set off at 3.30pm is thwarted by a school trip which doesn't return until 5pm.

never mind you console yourself, the delay will allow the traffic to clear around the big city where there are always delays.....

when you are just about to leave the house to collect child from trip, and the pizza is cooking in the oven and the car is packed, that is when you will get the text from school telling you the coach is delayed.

when you get the next text telling you the coach is delayed by 3 1/2 hours, this is when you are allowed to have a little wail of despair and put the kettle on. 

there will be time for a cup of tea after all.........

I never realized that late at night there is so very little traffic on the road.  

In fact at 2am I'd actually describe the M25 as deserted.......

and when you can't find the cable to download the photographs of the weekend, this is when you find a host of forgotten draft posts filled with pictures of random objects, including these origami cranes, and for future posts I have a golden sparkling tree for you, and parents playing with kites, and more wooly things in a wood than you could dream of in a million years......  Every cloud has a silver lining after all.

Thursday 4 July 2013

mud? rain? midges? I must be camping in an English summer......

I was going to write a post all about the arts festival.
Instead I went camping.....

Ever packed for a unplanned camping trip in 30 minutes? It's amazing what you can fling in a bag at speed. Including more medication to deliver to youngest child who had used up all his migraine medication whilst on a outward bounds camping school trip in the Lake District.
This is my tent, which thankfully was a spare staff one already put up when I arrived, late at night in the pouring rain, after driving 160 miles.

These are the children's tents. They smell like they are filled with damp 12 year old boys.
Which they were.......

And this was the view from my tent when I woke up.
It's beautiful.
But I preferred the view from my comfortable bed this morning.......