Month: July 2018

One Little Word® 2018 – Practice – Update

The year is speeding away and I have not been doing so well with my word this time around. I’m both disappointed and not surprised. At the start of the year I had high hopes that this word was going to be the one that clicked, the one that I stuck to and made real changes in my everyday life.

I’ve just gone back and read my January post again, the words I took time to write at the beginning of this journey.

Let me celebrate what has worked. The yoga. I have been practicing for over a year now and love it still.

All the other things are still a work in progress. But that’s okay. What I need to do is accept what’s gone and move forward with the intention of trying to keep my word more active in my head for the rest of this year. There are a whole five months left that is plenty of time to work with this wonderful word.

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One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Layout Share – New Orleans Bound but First we Target

Another story from the USA trip 2017.

New Orleans Bound But First We Target

Not many words on this one –

Our first target stop. It was great to be back in this store!

What more can I say? We love a Target.

Bloom 2018 – Herby Sweets

Still honing my florist skills with yet more sweet williams. They are more or less finished now. But I’ve sown more seed ready for next year and hopefully the year after thats flowers.

I picked Oregano foliage and some Clematis to go along with the zingy pink and white sweet williams.

The more I try these ‘lop-sided’ style arrangements the more I think I like traditional shapes. Maybe it’s just my arrangements I’m not keen on because I certainly love looking at all those florist-y instagram folk I follow!

I’ll keep on practicing.

Photo a Day – Week Eighteen

Amazing sky to start the week.

Garden alterations are coming along.

Could we possibly get a Pear from this tree?

Sun lover.

I bought Gav this knot book after we stayed in a hotel that had a huge display of knots in a glass case and he couldn’t stop looking at them. Bad measuring for my latest hobby provided him with an endless supply of rope…..

Light and pretty flowers.

Filling in the final result of our World Cup wall chart.

And there we go.

The Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Anyone who has been here a while knows that we love a trip to London so when my colleagues bought me afternoon tea at Kew Gardens as my leaving present we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We wanted to visit in the summer to get the most from that world famous garden so went at the beginning of June. I’d been once before with my sister when my older niece turned sixteen…. she’s thirty two now! SO a revisit was almost like going for the first time.

We were not disappointed. In fact Gav was downright impressed. Here are a collection of photos from that afternoon.

The Palm House.

The rose garden was amazing. Here is Gav wandering onto one side of it. Above is Rosa ‘Lady Salisbury’.

Didn’t get the name of this one……. But is is so beautiful.

Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’. Love how it fades with age.

Rosa ‘Wisley 2008’.

And Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’.

We meandered over to have our afternoon tea in The Botanical restaurant. It was delicious.

And then a general mooch about. There is so much to see you can’t do it all in a day so we headed to what interested us most.

They have a vegetable garden and also a very clever and interesting area set out in plant families. The photo above is the Euphorbiaceae bed. Some families have surprising members and it was an enlightening walk.

Some of the flowers had there muslin bags over them I’m guessing to protect the fertalised flowers. Ingenious yet pretty and it make you realise how much planning and looking after these kinds of gardens need.

The Rose Arbour.

Tomatoes.

The we went to climb up to the treetop walkway. Another clever idea.

And the view from the top was great. You can see the newly restored and recently re-opened Temperate House.

And before we left for the day we stopped inside that glasshouse.

Absolutely amazing place and we will be back again I’m sure. So worth a visit.

Layout Share – First Waffles

Happy Monday! Back again with another scrapbook page telling a story of our travels last year.

First Waffles

A very simple story told on a pad of 3 x 4 paper from an Ali Edwards Story Kit™ 

It sets out who, where, when, why as easy jumping off points to get a story on paper. There wasn’t a lot to say about these photos but I wanted to document this so that pad felt like a great way to go.

All about the first time my niece used a waffle making machine! Yum.

Photo a Day – Week Seventeen

This week I thought I’d write more about the photos, those little details that I might not remember from just the image.

The story of no rain. We have been without rain here in Leeds for about three weeks. Amazingly it was 1976 when this last happened! Watering those plants has to be done.

The story of my dusty floor! But not really. This is the continuous story of how much this fella means to us, how we give him his kong full of treats if we leave him in the house and how he crosses his little paws and cocks his ears. Also of course that I put the big camera on the floor and set the timer to get this photo. Keep trying new things.

The story of my one little word. Practice. I have abandoned this for much of the year. It happens but I picked up the macro lens and tried to practice my skills with it in the bright sunshine.

The story of letting some things go. Sometimes I have a plan of things for us to do when she comes for tea. Most of the time these days she’s not interested and I need to go with that flow. Gav brought out his nano block shuttle model to build and it went down a treat with all of us that afternoon. So chill Mel and ride whatever wave comes along.

The story of a surprise harvest of potatoes. Gav always grows a few in bags for an earlier crop but we have been stricken with blight so didn’t expect many. It was a lovely sight as a good crop of golden spuds fell out of the bag.

The story of family. My great nieces first birthday party. A garden full of people I’ve known for many years and some I hardly know at all. The joy, the laughter.

The story of summer salads and new to us Orzo pasta. The Emma Bridgewater bowl and purple napkins. How I like to cook more in the summer time and eat outside.

And there we go.

The Breakfast Love Affair – Eggs Florentine

I began writing this post by looking back to see when I last waxed lyrical about breakfast. A year ago, in fact over a year ago! Let me allay your fears and say that we have indeed been eating breakfast but clearly I’ve felt they were to boring too write about!

When we were in London recently Gav had Eggs Florentine, as I recall on the two consecutive mornings. Last weekend he returned from the shop with a bag of spinach, a pack of muffins (the English kind) and a new jar of hollandaise and asked me to make it for breakfast the next day. How could I refuse?

In case you are unfamiliar with this version of breakfast/brunch it is a lightly toasted muffin topped with wilted spinach a poached egg and a dollop of hollandaise. Mmm….. And since I’ve got my poaching sorted, what with all the practicing I did for the asparagus,  I managed to pull of a lovely morning meal. Definitely one that we will be trying again and with all that spinach it must be good for you too.

The Click Tick List – Watch a Shakespeare Play at the Globe

At the beginning of April I wrote about hoping to cross four items of my list this year. I made profiteroles, that was one and now we can cross another off because Gav and I headed to the Globe Theatre when we were in London last month and watched As You Like It.

So what was it like watching a play in an open air reproduction theatre then? Magical. That’s what. It was helped considerably by the play itself which is one of Shakespeare’s more light hearted works and apparently a favourite with audiences of which we can concur.

Luckily for all those folk standing, it didn’t rain.

All I knew about this theatre was that is was supposed to be a replica of the original Globe from Shakespeares time. I should have done my research before going but instead I have just done it and must say it makes interesting reading.

Here is the story of how it came to be built and here is the main web site for the theatre.  (Click on that second link for some great video shots of the building).

Although Gav and I are fans of the theatre and getting out there to see things we don’t go as often as we should. But now I’ve been once to this great place I can us popping along to see something on every trip to London. I may even give the standing up a try!

Bloom 2018 – Sweet William and Anritrrhinum

Our ‘heatwave’ is continuing and I am trying to keep the annual flowers healthy and producing flowers without using too much water. There is a contradiction!

I must admit that I have left the sweet willams to fend for themselves, water wise and I can’t say they have fared badly. I think those wonderful plants as so well established, this being their third summer, that they are coping with whatever weather is given to them.

Speaking of weather I was thrilled to find that the antirrhinums planted in our little cutting beds had overwintered. Antirrhinums are classed as half-hardy annuals, they are not supposed to survive frost. But five or so plants came through all that snow and ice and began producing beautiful early flower spikes. I haven’t grown this variety this year and am regretting that now because they add such a rich depth of colour to the vase and the garden.

My favourite alchemilla mollis was added to this arrangement along with the two flowers. Simple yet lovely.