Monday 29 July 2019

Lazy Hazy Days

Hello Friends!

Glorious Summer has arrived! Much of the United Kingdom has basked in, or suffered {depending on your view} a heatwave of record proportions. Here in the west, the high, often stifling temperatures have been tempered by the soft Summer breezes that billow in from the ocean that surrounds the land I call home.

Warm days, often accompanied by warm nights, have kept us happy for days, and the odd sudden and sharp Summer downpours have been greeted as they cool us down and refresh the land.

I have been busy in work, so I have not been out and about enjoying the languid days as much as the people I serve in the information centre and shop, but I am happy meeting and greeting, and doing what I can to ensure others enjoy their visit to my home.

The garden pots have needed regular watering. As much as possible I use grey water.  The lawn is more yellow now than green, and I do not water it, but grass is tenacious and it will recover once the heatwave passes, as it surely will.  Laundry dries quickly, and bedding is strewn on airers in the garden to freshen and puff up in the bleaching sunlight and fresh breezes that blow. Those same breezes make the Verbena Bonariensis and Wind Anemones sway and dance delightfully, bringing soft rhythm and colour to the borders as the earlier blooming flowers fade and turn to next year's seed.

Yesterday was the birthday anniversary of Beatrix Potter, a particular heroine of mine. To me, she is so much more than the authoress of Peter Rabbit and other children's books, the tales of which many of us grew up with. She was a born countrywoman, with an unsurpassed natural love of the land, the countryside and it's ways; she was an illustrator whose work leaves me in awe; above all, she understood the importance of land management and her bequest to the National Trust left a legacy from which strong foundations were built, making the National Trust the respected organisation it is today.  Her legacy was so important to the Trust that they have named their  Central Offices in Swindon Heelis {her married surname} in honour of her.  

A few years ago I painted this little water colour, copied from one of her own, in her honour.

A parish fundraiser caught my eye, so off I went for a Strawberry Cream Tea treat. I arrived in good time for I wished to beat the crowds that would later pour in.   It was a delightful afternoon, and a perfectly lovely spot to sit and enjoy some refreshment.

On my way home, I stopped a while amongst the old and ancient stones that mark the silent resting places of the sleeping people of the parish gone long before, and glancing through the shady trees I saw the old part of the new cemetery and the former Cathedral caretaker's house, Sunny Bank.

The sudden Summer burst of colour in the garden is slowly winding down, but here's some of what is still doing well in my cottage garden.

The blackberry vines are in full flower and already many sprigs of berries are formed, so if we have a good and heavy rainfall soon then the crop should be a bumper one this Autumn.

On Thursday next the calendar turns to August 1st ~ how, my friends, has this come around so quickly? Soon we will be hurtling into Autumn, my most favourite season of them all.  Fruits to be foraged and harvested, Winter stores to prepare and put up!  A busy time in the kitchen coming soon.

Until next time
Deborah xoxo

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Meanwhile, A Trip to the Tip!

Hello Friends!

Goodness, it's been three weeks, most of which have been utterly glorious Summery weather, since I last wrote. If we have had the odd rainy day then it's gone mostly unnoticed, blanketed by blue skies and warm sunshine, and lazy ocean breezes billowing gently across sun baked hay meadows and ripening corn fields.

Welcome to my new followers! Thank you, and I am thrilled you now follow my ramblings.

I have a little news to share!  I started a new job on July 1st, and this is the reason why I haven't written an entry here for a short while.  I applied and interviewed in June, and shortly after was told I was the successful candidate! Yay Me!!!  It's part time, and that suits me well right now. It's taking a little getting used to, but I do love it.  My official title is Retail Assistant, but it also involves giving out a lot of information on the area to tourists and visitors who are looking for things to do, places to visit, and general things that all tourists need help with. I love helping people, and I simply love it!  Oh, it's with the National Trust, by the way. Many of you will know I am a huge fan of the National Trust, and I know many of you share my passion, so I am doubly happy to have got this job.  I am so grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to work for them.

So, today is a day off and when my lovely neighbour asked if I would like to go to the "tip" with her, I jumped at the chance.  Those of you who know me well know that I can get a little excited over a trip to the tip {officially, it's the Civic Amenity and Recycling Centre} as it brings back such happy memories of going there with my Dad when we had rubbish to take for recycling, and we would always route around to see if there was someone else's unwanted treasure that we could use. I've always been a recycler long before it was fashionable, you see.  Off we went to take away her garden waste, and I could not resist taking photos of all the flowers growing around the centre, they are such a haven for wildlife!  Here are a few.

There was a huge bank of Convolvulus and the pristine white flowers were simply gigantic! It has many names, including bindweed and morning glory, but is generally considered the bane of gardeners and farmers alike as it chokes out everything in its creeping path.  Did you know there are over 1,650 species of Convolvulus?  Neither did I.  I think it is a very beautiful plant.

A hedge full of all sorts of wild flowers, and some that may have seeded from the nearby composting centre

I love umbelliferous plants of any kind. Their flower and seed heads make my heart go pitter patter and the birds will feed happily for many weeks to come.

Teasels in a tiny patch by some giant concrete monoliths. Loved by goldfinches particularly, and also by me to put in dried arrangements for Autumn decorating.

I think this one is having a 1980's style aerobic workout!

Another umbel gone to seed

Such a pretty colour on the sorrel plant. As a child, I would pull all the seeds off in my hand and scatter them like confetti as I walked the country byways with my Nanna. Little did I know my sweet game was spreading the seeds far and wide!

Buddleias abounded everywhere! Butterflies will be in abundance when the sun comes out, for sure.

One of the fun things is finding new treasures from the discarded items others have brought to recycle, and today I found these two, tiny cut glass bowls. I think they may be salt cellars, but whatever they are, they are pretty, vintage pieces that I am happy to give a new home.

Uh oh! As we approach the junction back on to the main road, we suddenly discover we will be stuck behind a tractor pulling a trailer full of hay bales. The joys of Summer in the country!

Soon enough, though, he turns into the farm lane and once again we are on our way!

So, I hope you enjoyed your little trip to the tip!  I am gathering material for more gardening entries, but you will have to bear with me as I adjust to working and I settle down into my new routine.

Until next time
Deborah xo