Summer is here!! I know this because there are plump and juicy little apricots in the grocers shop, with that beautiful rosy blush on them. It is little things like these (and donut peaches which I'm still on the lookout for this season) which bring a deep sense of delight and peace for me...these little fruits mean the weather is warm, its a succulent time of relaxed pleasure and exquisite flavours...its time to enjoy raspberries and strawberries at their best with heaps of glorious vanilla ice-cream - or better - with clotted cream, all piled generously on top of a freshly baked scone!
Mouth watering yet? Thought so!
Our little allotment patch in our tiny garden is beginning to show fruits of our labour, which began way back in January when there was snow on the ground and we eagerly looked through seed cataglogs deciding which tasty treats to try and grow this year.
We chose quite a few different things but planted only a few of each (due to space being small) and we are happily watching our crystal lemon cucumbers grow from struggling seedlings into strong little plants, alongside dwarf courgettes which are already showing off their trumpety yellow flowers. Runner beans are making an appearance amid the Love in a Mist, and the broad beans are full of flowers which we hope will make for a good crop!
There it is, our little patch behind the bench there - and already we have been enjoying the salad leaves and radish...oh my goodness, I've never eaten a radish like it!! Nothing like those watery and tasteless specimens in the supermarket - my goodness, these are crunchy and peppery and utterly delicious!!
Of course, this sudden spell of nice weather (after the appalling torrential downpours here) means we can eat outside!! Oh how I love eating outside!! There is something very relaxing about sitting and eating a meal to the sound of birds singing and the river gurgling away down the garden. It also means I can indulge myself with my napkin obsession (I seem to collect pretty packs of them when I'm out and about) and I love to bring out the brightest ones to enjoy! Does anyone else do this? Get excited about napkins I mean? I know, I'm probably ever so slightly mad for doing this, but putting pretty napkins in the basket for al-fresco dining just makes me so happy!
Anyway, that's enough waffling on about food and the like - I was really hoping to share some new crochet work with you today folks. Yes, the other evening I spent a couple of hours making a pot stand from one of my Japanese crochet books. I know a few of you have these books yourself, and will know that despite the instructions being in the Japanese language, the patterns with the crochet symbols are really quite easy to follow...sort of... :D
So I started...and a bit later on I realised my pot stand was getting a little bit TOO BIG.
Oh dear...I checked the pattern, and after a bit of investigation discovered that the Japanese hook number 4 is in fact a UK 2.5 (this took some trawling on the internet and a blessed discovery of a gorgeous blog called One Pink Plum which helped a lot)...and so, I had to undo the lot as it was starting to resemble a table cloth rather than a pot stand. I haven't had chance to redo it but now I have a bit of good Japanese hooky size info under my belt I am now ready to give it another whirl.
So I'm very sorry, but no crafty pics this week.
However, something else that has got me demented with excitement as you will perhaps know from last weeks post, is this camping lark.
Well, a pitch has been booked with some good friends from Devon in the heart of the Cotswolds!! WOooHooo!
We haven't actually bought our tent...yet...but we will! We have found it, its a beauty and we cannot wait to go and get it next week all being well. In the meantime to quench our appetite we have invested in a camping lantern, a good comfy blow up mattress and this:
...which is utter drool fodder it has to be said, and at this rate i'll be camping every week if the pictures are anything to go by!
Now, I have to say thank you to the ones of you who were most forthcoming with advice and stories of your own experiences - if anyone else would like to share any camping wisdom I would love, love, LOVE to hear from you!! I like that you all mostly think that camping in comfort and yes, even in luxury is necessary these days, and I have to confess to absolutely not being a Bear Grylls type of camper - no way. Its not me, I like to be warm, cosy, comfy and that's not a lot to ask. I want to roll off my humongous mattress from under my lovely duvet and eat a croissant of a morning with a pot of nice fresh coffee - I'm not going to be arguing with a camp fire and picking slugs out of my mess tin...hang on...mess tin? Oh my goodness, not on your nelly...we will be dining in style my friends, and somehow after a jaunt to John Lewis this week, this little lot came home with me:
I fell in love with it - there is something faintly retro and reminiscent of something we had like this in our childhood - can't quite think exactly what but it just screamed CAMPING at me, so I had to get it!!
There is now a small pile of Camping Stuff mounting up in the corner of our dining room. I get such a marvellous feeling each time I see it and to think that we will soon be road testing it on our first ever jaunt, which takes place mid July and I'm just hoping that the weather is kind to us, but this being England, who can possibly tell?!
Anyway - it's almost teatime in our little house! I had no idea of the time but the Small Person has just told me in no uncertain terms that she is beside herself with hunger, so I'm off to cook something that we can eat outdoors, listening to the birds and the gurgling river....
Have a gorgeous weekend!