Saturday, 5 September 2020

Sunny Summer Days


Summer is beginning to fade and although there may be some warm sunny days ahead, there is no doubt autumn is on it's way. It's a while since I've been in this space. This year, more than ever, I felt the need to fully embrace our summer break. The abrupt ending of school back in March, followed by the challenges of home learning, and a whole new way of going about our daily lives had left me more depleted than I realised. And yet, this situation has also made me appreciate (even more) the simple things in life which make me happy. Summer has been different in many ways and even though we haven't travelled very far this year, it still feels as though we've enjoyed a proper holiday.


The garden has been my sanctuary for much of this year and this last month, especially, it's been wonderful to see some results. The apple trees are growing fast and I'll soon need to re-pot them.


The carrots are extra tasty. (After a good wash, of course)


The tomatoes, which were planted a little later than usual, are just beginning to ripen now.


The sweet peas are coming to an end, but throughout the summer they have provided me with some delightful colour on the kitchen windowsill, filling the room with their delicate scent. 


The long sunny days have been blissfully unhurried.


In between the rainy days, the skies have been the bluest of blue with soft wispy clouds.


The little lemon trees are growing fast.


Much of the home grown beetroot has been eaten now, and the rest has been pickled ready to enjoy during the cooler months.


The sourdough starter was a non-starter for me, so I went back to baking bread the way I usually do, using the no-knead recipe. Much more simple and a lot less work : ) I'm glad I gave it a try, however.


Some trips out were more spontaneous than others.


At least I had a swimsuit packed for an unexpected evening dip.


No time to cook dinner, so it had to be a chip supper. A rare treat.


Lakes, rivers, or puddles. Always where there's water. And why I always carry a spare set of clothes.


An early start for a walk up Brock Crags, overlooking Brother's Water.


Looking up Threshthwaite Glen in the early morning sunshine.


Skipping down the fell.


A trip to the beach on this occasion.


Plenty of space to run.


A shaded walk beneath the trees.


Walking uphill again.


A perfect picnic spot looking towards the fells.


Back at the river again, fishing for minnows this time. It had been a few years since I last did this but I hadn't forgotten how.


Beautiful purple heather on Whinlatter


As far as the eye could see.


Looking over towards Skiddaw.


Gathering blackberries.


I've taken a photograph of this field most years. When it turns to gold, for me it indicates the arrival of late summer.


Another early start to climb Hartsop Dodd.


Looking towards Ullswater.


Gray Crag above Pasture Beck. Another beautiful picnic spot. And yes, it did involve a paddle : )


Caudale Moor. 


We collected lots of blackberries. Some are for spiced blackberry vodka, all the rest are in the freezer ready to make jam and compote. 


Hallin Fell. We set off very early for this one, which turned out to be unnecessary, although it did mean we got the summit to ourselves on what was the most beautiful morning. Ullswater looked like a millpond. Our last hurrah to the summer days before autumn term began. 


Lily in the distance.



School started back mid-week and I'm happy to say we're beginning to settle into a routine again. Some changes are taking a little bit of getting used to but I'm surprised at just how quickly we're adjusting.
The nights are beginning to draw in now and there's a chill in the early-rnorning air, but I'm hopeful we'll still enjoy some warm sunshine during these late summer days.

J. X

58 comments:

  1. Big wide skies and inspiring as ever. What's mixed in with the beetroot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beetroot is pickled in white wine vinegar with brown sugar, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cloves and bay leaves. X

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing your summer the views are idyllic, I'm always sad when it comes to an end. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Linda. I'm already missing the long hot days of summer. X

      Delete
  3. It all looks terribly therapeutic and I'm glad you've had some long sunny days. I don't think I've "done" summer well this year and I didn't realise that until I read your post. You certainly have. Take care. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a difficult time for many and summer has definitely felt different this year. X

      Delete
  4. Such beautiful photos. We've had some beautiful blue skies and changeable weather. You look yo have made the most of this strangest of summers. I'm pleased school is back now and you'll soon get used to the changes and the new normal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Eileen. I'm slowly getting used to the new routine. X

      Delete
  5. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my wander through your summer. What a beautiful selection of photos and as always very envious of your home area. Who needs to travel when there is so much beauty around. Glad that term has started well. Which reminds me time I went to collect some more blackberries. B x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Barbara. It really has felt like I've been on holiday this year. It's been wonderful to explore more of my local countryside. X

      Delete
  6. Nice to see you back. What a wonderful summer you've had building all those memories, plenty to look back on in the depths of winter when summer seems a long way away again. Wow, you're carrots have done well, lovely straight specimens, and home grown always taste so carroty compared to those you buy in the supermarket. Wonderful photos but the one looking towards Ullswater is a beauty. Hope school continues to go well for Lily, we're on a watchlist here as the virus is on the increase, not sure how it will affect schools if we have to go back into lockdown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Jo. It has been a summer of memories being made and revisiting the simple pleasures of childhood.
      Our last morning on Hallin Fell was idyllic. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. X

      Delete
  7. Great post with pictures to match, very joyful. I love all of your home made foodie ideas, methinks you should write a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. All food ideas have to be tasty but simple. I don't like to spend hours in the kitchen. X

      Delete
  8. Wow Jules what a beautiful collage of photos that you can look back on with pride. No crowds on the beaches where you visited. Fresh produce from garden who could ask for more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tania. I've enjoyed a lovely summer and have been fortunate to be able to avoid any crowded areas. X

      Delete
  9. A beautiful recap of your end of summer, Jules. You are some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen. Back to school, already! Hope the autumn days are as filled with special moments as your summer was. Enjoy each day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bless. I'm missing summer already, but looking forward to some crisp autumn days. X

      Delete
  10. Love the sunflowers and berries...wow! Gorgeous photos...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephenie. I couldn't imagine a summer without sunflowers. X

      Delete
  11. A lovely post with great photographs. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Beautiful views as always, Jules. I envy you this spectacular part of the country. Hope Lily is settling into school again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chris. It has been lovely to enjoy summer in this beautiful part of the country. Lily has settled back into school life really well. X

      Delete
  13. Homegrown carrots! Yum!

    Once I tried making sourdough starter and it didn’t work. I too like making no knead bread, but didn’t make bread for a while now.

    I’m sure Lily is happy to see her school friends again.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Jules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The carrots are really delicious, Nil. They have so much more flavour than the ones I usually buy from the supermarket.
      The sourdough just wasn't working for me. I'm trying to cut down on the amount of bread I eat anyway, so perhaps it's no bad thing :)

      Delete
  14. Some lovely memories of a very unusual but fulfilled summer. You have made the most of it and enjoyed some great days out, which is so nice to see. Here's hoping for a few more sun filled days before the season changes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lorraine. It has been so good to get out and explore once again. Summer feels to have gone by quickly this year but I'll have some lovely memories. X

      Delete
  15. You have had some wonderful days out. Your photos are amazing. All familiar places to me, you have been braver than me venturing into the Lakes, it has been too busy for me. I am looking forward to it being a bit quieter now so that we can venture out and enjoy some longer walks further afield. The blackberries aren't quite ready here yet that is a foraging walk for the coming week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have some lovely memories of my days out this year and it has been a wonderful opportunity to make the most of the local area. I hope that you feel more able to venture further afield now, as there are many areas of the Lakes that are not busy. X

      Delete
  16. I shall bookmark and save that post. It's given me a massive amount of pleasure and has taken me through so many memories.

    One of those was Brothers Water. It was not a place I visited very often although it has reminded me of two incidents: when I fell off Churchill when he tried to gallop down Helvellyn after we'd ridden over from Grasmere to Petterdale; and the following rhyme:
    He surely is an arrant ass
    Who tries to ride up Kirkstone Pass,
    Because, despite of all their talking,
    He'll pay to ride and end up walking.

    I could go on and on but I'll spare you more reminiscing and just repeat my thank yous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Graham. It's a beautiful area, so it can be easy for me to get carried away with the amount of photographs I take.
      I've not heard that rhyme before but I'll remember it now. X

      Delete
    2. I was thinking about the Lake District this morning because of something a friend said about Whinlatter and I came back and looked at your post again because I remembered that you had mentioned it. As I read my comment I realised that I'd made a minor error in the rhyme. The second line should have read "Who pays to ride up Kirkstone Pass". Silly me.

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Graham. One of the main indicators of how bad the weather is here during the winter months, is if Kirkstone Pass is closed to traffic but it's a very scenic drive on a clear day.

      Delete
  17. Hi Jules,
    I've been reading your blog for some time now but never have commented. I just want to let you know how much I enjoy reading about your adventures. The scenery in your part of the world is spectacular! What a wonderful way for Lily to grow up surrounded by such beauty. I live on a lake in Michigan and I enjoy the outdoors, too. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Ellen, and thank you for introducing yourself. It's lovely to hear from you. X

      Delete
  18. I guess school days will seem a little strange now after all this time but you have some great indoor and outdoor shots and fabulous views to look back on :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Eunice. Yes, it's taking some getting used to but I'm adjusting. It's all different yet familiar just now. X

      Delete
  19. So, so many gorgeous pictures, especially of the heather. What a great place to live. I'm jealous. Indiana is flat and uninteresting (to me), but it is a fairly safe, if boring, place to live, and family is here, so we won't be moving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like the heather too. It looks lovely on the fells at this time of year. X

      Delete
  20. The photos are wonderful Jules and what a fantastic use of time and memories you've made during these unusual circumstances. Part of me feels a little melancholy that our time together as a family and our leisurely way of life is coming to an end, but a bigger part of me is relieved that things are returning to normal and will hopefully remain that way.

    I need to take a walk down the lane at the van and see if there are any blackberries and I'm sure the elderberries will be ripening now as well. Hope all is well with everybody. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I will always have some fond memories of this summer, despite the challenges this year has dealt us. However, I am glad things are beginning to return to some sort of normal once again.
      I hope you manage a good haul of blackberries. I'm keeping my eyes out for the elderberries ripening. X

      Delete
  21. I always feel relaxed and happy when I read your posts, your positivity is a breath of fresh air in these Covid times.
    I have carrot and beetroot envy! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say exactly the same about your posts, Vix. Always colourful and positive. X

      Delete
  22. Your sunflowers are gorgeous! I'm happy to hear you have had a nice summer. England is just so lovely. A chip supper along with a glass of wine sounds just perfect to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julia. The chip supper was a rare treat after returning home from the lake a little later than expected. X

      Delete
  23. Beautiful photos! Next time it is a bit miserable outside, you'll have all those wonderful memories to look back to. Your carrots grew beautifully straight, you must have perfect carrot growing soil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christina. I filled my raised bed with some good topsoil, although it has still produced some interestingly shaped carrots. X

      Delete
  24. You really have had a nice summer as your photographs confirm, they are all wonderful.

    Enjoy your September.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All things considered, I have enjoyed a lovely summer. Thank you, Jan. X

      Delete
  25. Amazing scenes of UK beauty! You have captured them so well. I am very impressed with straight carrots - I have never grown a straight one yet. More digging and stone picking needed I think! Jo xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jo. I've got some good soil in the raised bed, but I've still pulled up some 'amusing' ones. They are good for the entertainment value and still taste just as good as the rest. X

      Delete
  26. Beautiful beautiful photos. I love the one of Lily 'skipping down the fell'. September is supposed to be good - I love an Indian summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Eloise. It's one of my favourites as well.
      The weather is looking promising for the next couple of weeks. A final blast of summer perhaps. X

      Delete
  27. My...you must be so fit after all those outings...your blackberries look really delicious. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about that, Jackie. But more importantly it does wonders for my mental wellbeing. X

      Delete