I’ve had to dig deep this week. It’s been a hard one. But it’s reminded me that I’ve got so so much to be thankful and that’s been a great comfort to remember. And it hasn’t been without its little joys. Such as:
1. Walking on sheep-nibbled grass. An absolute delight. The right balance of firmness and bounce, like an orthopedic mattress for the feet.
2. The absolute beauty of England in late spring. Early spring’s pretty much like winter. Cold, often raining, fairly commonly snowing, it’s not really ‘spring’ as many nations would know it. But late spring’s a different matter. When the birds get up at 4.30am to announce the beginning of the day. When the grass is positively glowing its bright, lush green. When the bracken is growing tall and the lambs are getting bigger. When the gardeners are beginning to see the fruits of earlier hard graft. When the countryside is alive with the sounds of the sheep and the cows and the cuckoos. When the clouds are fluffy and high up above, being rushed along their way by a gentle but persistent breeze. When it’s warm enough to sit out in the evenings…. which brings me to….
3. Barbecue time! We’ve had two this week and both were fabulous. What is it about eating food outside? And sausages are second to none when cooked fast and furious over stonking hot coals. Dollop on the ketchup and stuff into a bun. Serve with plenty of sides for a happy happy evening.
4. Getting away from it all…again… We really do have hermit-tendencies. But why clamour for a space on the stony Bowness shoreline with 79 other tourists when you could be in empty, silent open moorland? Actually I don’t wish to speak badly of Bowness and the beautiful Lake Windermere – both are lovely. But not on a Bank Holiday Sunday please and thankyou. We picked our lonely little spot high up away from the crowds and met noone but a farmer on a quad bike and a man taking in the view with his dog the whole day.
5. Avocado toast. I know, overdone. But still up there are the best brunch of all time. Add a squeeze of lemon and be generous with the salt and pepper.
6. Cutting the grass. Actually, not specifically the cutting of the grass, but the sense of satisfaction afterwards. Like cleaning. But with cutting the grass comes the additional bonus of that wonderfully evocative school-field smell of summer. I wonder if as children we were closer to the ground and therefore could smell it more. Or are children just more impressionable? Whatever it is, I just adore the smell, and if I close my eyes I can see the view of every last ragged border, every last house on the horizon from my primary school playing field.
7. Iced water. I’ve been drinking gallons of the stuff. I’m filling up the ice cube tray twice a day as each time I pour myself a pint of water I’m stuffing half a tray of ice in there. Another fave cooler of mine at the moment is a quartered lime mashed with the end of a rolling pin, topped with ginger beer and plenty more ice cubes. Drunk through two tiny straws. Don’t ask me why – it just tastes better from two little straws.
8. Afternoons in the garden doing nothing but snoozing and reading a good book. I’ve just finished The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, and half way through Laura Barnett’s The Versions Of Us, which is a beautifully written love story spanning decades. Light enough to be a proper page turner, but not trashy enough to make me feel I should be reading something ‘proper’. But what is that anyway?
9. No socks. Just a great feeling isn’t it?
So there we have it – a tricky week on many levels, but one where I’ve still managed to find the little and the lovely thanks to this spot and the ongoing encouragement of the fabulous Wonderful Wednesday Girls (sounds like an Enid Blyton series). For more of the wonderful, have a look at the beautiful blogs belonging to Sally, Michelle, Sarah, Kate, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma.