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