Monday 26 June 2023

Sunday lunch

There had been thoughts during the week of having a family picnic on the beach at the weekend but the weather was such that we knew the world and his wife would be planning much the same and that parking, unless we were up and about early, would be problematic. Instead we booked a table at Brasserie Blanc, with hotel parking (to pay for) and a view out to sea from the terrace. Sorted!
We studied the menu while the Boy tucked into his chips. There were tasty things on offer but, it's Sunday, hard for a Yorkshire woman to resist a Yorkshire pudding and roast beef! "That will be roast beef x 4," said the daughter. It was delicious!
Hot chocolate fondant with caramel sauce, salted caramel ice cream and a hazelnut tuile to follow. What's not to like! A number of people were eating inside to avoid the sun. I like the interior decor, especially the painted walls in the bar.
After our meal we drove to the river and hired a boat for an enjoyable bit of messing about. What a lovely day.

Saturday 24 June 2023

British Summer Time

By way of a change this year British Summer Time and summer weather coincide - it isn't always the case! We've got the Bournemouth boot - a car boot that is always at the ready for a trip to the beach; folding chairs, hamper, towels and cossies, suncream, spade and a beach game at which we are hopeless but which the five year old loves! We've been collecting him straight from school. He gets into the car in white shirt, grey pants and sturdy black shoes and gets out in green crocodile crocks and his swimming trunks ready to run straight into the sea. I have to be ready also so that I can sprint in after him. "Come on, Nana, swim!" I stand up to my waist in the water, waiting to acclimatize and shout for him to wait for me and swim no further out.
We 've had one good downpour of rain overnight, almost filling the new water butts. The garden has responded with lush growth and some of the gravel paths have almost disappeared under foliage. The soil has quickly returned to dust. I would really appreciate a regular pattern of overnight rain and sunny days!

Friday 16 June 2023


The heatwave continues, I've been swimming in the sea three times this week. I feel as though I am on my holidays and should soon be packing up and getting on a plane to return home. But no, all we have to do is pop in the car and be 'home' within nine minutes. What a treat! Meanwhile, plants in the garden are crying out for a good drenching. It is pleasant to be outside because so much of our space is shady, with overhanging trees, arches and pergola. I am spending all my time out of doors pootling about, no longer with any veg patch to claim my attention, only a few pots. The only veg I have harvested so far are mangetout and SOMETHING has eaten all the flowers from my climbing French beans! Why does paradise always seem to contain a bit of trouble?

Sunday 11 June 2023


We have had such a glorious spell of weather but with each sunny day the garden has started to look ever more forlorn. The soil is thin, with no depth and holds no moisture. We have resorted to putting a hosepipe from our bathroom window over the roof and into watering cans below. The plants seem happy enough to be drinking soapy water and we can enjoy our baths without feeling guilty. The downpipes on the house went staight into the drains, no water saved. Now we have, somewhat belatedly, fitted butts. Why I didn't do so in the winter I don't know. Anyway, they are now in place and today it has rained! We look to see how much rainwater has been collected. I've also bought a water bowl to sit in the sunken space that was once a pond, since filled in with bricks. We are not up to the task of reinstating a pond and the large trees above with their annual leaf fall also make it impractical. I'm pleased with this shallow bowl. It won't attract newts or frogs and so forth but I'm hoping the birds will like it and it is the easiest thing to maintain.

Sunday 4 June 2023

'And is there honey still for tea?'

The answer, Rupert, is very little in our house. While out walking we noticed a sign hanging from a gate in a nearby street saying that honey was for sale. I knocked on the door to buy a jar and had the pleasure of meeting the owners and being shown round their garden. The honey is golden and tastes delicious. I'm going to have to go back for some more!
The garden is crammed with growth and we are still clearing and cropping back. I'm trying to grow a few veg in pots while I wait and wait for an allotment to become available. My name is on the sixth page so it may never happen!