Sunday, 29 June 2014

By sandy shores

 We have just returned from a wonderful week's family holiday in St Ives in Cornwall. We were lucky to also have the company of our son and daughter and their partners.

 For centuries the little town of St Ives was dominated by it's fishing industry, then came the tin miners who lived at the top of the town. Later came the artists, who were attracted by the clarity of the light, the fantastic coastal scenery and the inhabitants of the town. With the introduction of the railway in the 1870's the tourists soon followed and it has remained a popular destination.

The sun shone (for the majority of the week), as the waves rolled over the firm white sands. We had a wonderful relaxing time, having late breakfasts, enjoying Cornish pasties and cream teas and taking turns to cook the evening meals.

The younger members did go into the sea body-boarding and swimming. The temperature of the water was 14-16 C degrees. I preferred just to admire the water from afar!

As with all good holidays the week just flew by and many activities that we had planned didn't get done. I did manage however to meet up with fellow blogger Leanne from Todays stuff. We had a lovely coffee at Porthmeor beach cafe sitting in the sun looking out over the sands and towards the sea. It never feels as if you are meeting a stranger as you already have made friends and have many things in common. Thanks Leanne for choosing such a beautiful location to meet, it was so good to meet you and chat like old friends.

Leanne recently wrote about the view of the Godrevy lighthouse, which inspired Virginia Woolfe's novel      " To the Lighthouse."  We had distant views of the lighthouse from our bedroom window all week and the view of it was constantly changing with the differences in light and conditions. I am already missing this view of the sea!

This view of the lighthouse is taken closer, at Gwithian.

 The sea here contains so many shades of blue and these colours will remain in my head for a few weeks as we return back to work and home!

Needless to say I took many pictures, so these are just a few and I will be sharing some more in the coming weeks! Wishing you a good week.

Sarah x'

Friday, 20 June 2014

Back home

As mentioned the post before last, our daughter (H) has finished her 3 year degree at University and returned home, somehow those 3 years have flown by and it is good to have her home once more on a permanent basis again.

The first thing to do after unpacking the car and having a meal, was to go for a walk beside the sea.

 The moonlight shining on the water was quite magical!

The elderflower drizzle cake I made  to welcome her home was delicious and the elderflower ice-cream also I made was amazing - just what we have need to cool us down this week, with the warm weather we have been enjoying.

The garden is looking it's best at the moment too.

 You may have spotted Twinkle in the left hand corner above, watching a bee!

 I have some more competition with the camera too! H took the red scabious (knautia) above and also this fantastic picture of the frog!

Thank you so much for your recent comments, it was good to read about all the open air concerts you have planned too. Wishing you a fun weekend whatever you are doing!
 Sarah x

Monday, 16 June 2014

Behind the castle

If only we could bottle the fantastic sights, smells and sounds of  perfect summer days ! Yesterday was one of those days when we visited Sherborne Castle for a one day music festival called "Behind the Castle". The sun shone, the performers were fantastic and the scenery was amazing.  When we took some items back to the car before the final act we walked behind the other side of the castle and around this lovely garden and lake........

In the evening light the remains of the 12th century old Sherborne Castle across the other side of the lake added a magical touch.

  Throughout the day my eyes kept being drawn to the beautiful rolling English countryside all around us. We  were also lucky enough to spot a rare red kite gliding in the skies above us.

 And as evening started to fall the sun shone out behind the castle....

and listening to the Levellers was a perfect end to the day.

 It was the first time the festival had been held and we will be back again next year! There seems to be so many open air music festivals catering for different musical tastes held during the summer that you don't need to travel far too find one. We always enjoy watching Glastonbury on television and have always discovered new bands that have become some of our favourites. This year we will be looking out for the Cornish alternative rock band the Black Tambourines who were Runners up in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition.  My son discovered the band during a family holiday in Cornwall in 2010 and he released their music under the Art is Hard record label that is run by him and his friend. Are you visiting any concerts this summer? Are they popular in other countries too?

Wishing you a good week ahead.  
Sarah x

Monday, 9 June 2014

The scent of June

“There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair”  - Daphne Du Maurier

Rose Felicia
Welcome to our garden in June, it always my favourite month in the garden when there is an abundance of flowers and the air is full with the scent of perfume especially from the many roses. The quote by Daphne du Maurier appeals to me too especially as my hair is often unruly, although I have never previously associated it with a rose!

 Rose Fruhlings Gold
I always have to stop when I see a rose and give it a sniff!

Louise Odier rose

 It has also been a wet start to the month, but the rain drops do look beautiful!

Even a spider was enjoying the Nevada rose -we have many geraniums that are planted at the base of the roses, see posts from previous years here and here. The scent in our garden at this time of year is also provided by Philadelphus (mock orange) - we have two varieties the gold leaf Philadelphus Coronarius Aureus, which flowers slightly earlier and  is now just starting to go over.....

 and the more common variety Belle Etoile, which seems to have come into flower earlier than usual.

It is also good to bring in perfume into the house too.....

This weekend we have been out on our annual outing picking elderflowers to make cordial - the only problem is what to make with them! The recipes over at The Quince tree are so wonderful, ice-cream, ice lollies and elderflower drizzle cake - I  just want to make them all ! Our daughter is returning home at the end of the week after 3 years at University, so I will have to try and produce some of these delights to welcome her home! How is your garden growing?  Do you have any scent in your garden at the moment?

Picking elderflowers with glimpses of the sea!

While we wait a day for the elderflower cordial to be ready,we also had the first gooseberries from the garden, which I baked slowly in the oven and the elderflower blossom gave a wonderful subtle smell and taste.

 Thank you for all your lovely comments they do always brighten my day!
Sarah x

Following a tree June

As many will remember I have joined in with Lucy at Loose and leafy and many others and I am following the progress on the apple tree in my garden.....

Over the last month the leaves have become larger and denser and creating a deeper shade.

On first appearances the leaves look quite healthy

but closer inspection shows that there is some leaf curl and some of the leaves have been eaten. As I was writing this post, I looked for the causes on the internet and even though it was dusk I decided to go out and see whether I could identify the culprit - look what I found!

 Can you see the black caterpillar on the left - sorry the picture isn't very clear! I think it is possibly the tortrix moth has anyone come across this at all? This article from Which is useful to read if you are having similar problems.

 The article mentions that these caterpillars can affect fruit production so maybe this is the cause of the tree having no blossom or fruit this year. I took this image of fruit from our neighbours tree just to remind me what we are missing!

I couldn't resist taking an image of these cherries from their tree too!  How quickly the blossom at the beginning of April is transformed into this wonderful cherry crop, which is being enjoyed mainly by the birds!

Thank you Lucy for organising Following a tree!

Friday, 6 June 2014

The look out

Last week down by the sea we came across this fantastic carpet of sea thrift, what a sight to behold!

 Between Abbotsbury and Bridport the coast road has some spectacular views and it is hard to tear oneself away from the views of the sea, 

 but the views inland are equally enticing .......

At one point there is a hidden roof amongst the trees and it is somewhere I have been meaning to explore for sometime- maybe you would like to join in too?

A footpath uphill leads to a little dwelling standing on a bronze-age barrow. It is thought that it has been used as a coastguard station and a signal station. Now it stands empty and abandoned.

It has a commanding view over the whole of Lyme Bay from Portland to Start Point, as the green meadows roll down towards the sea....

 I hope you enjoyed the magnificent views too! Wishing you a relaxing weekend.

Sarah x


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