Tuesday 22 June 2021


Lately, I feel as though I've lost my blogging voice. Misplaced, rather than lost, perhaps. Then again, day to day life has become hectic once more and, I suppose, I lose track of time, then I can't seem to find the words to pick up where I left off. Therefore, I'm going to use the advice of another blogger and let my photographs (hopefully) lead the way.

Much the same as last year, we've been spending a lot of time in the garden and I'm chuffed to bits at how it has changed in such a short space of time. Earlier in the month, the pea shoots which  Lily brought home from school were already growing quickly, as were the runner beans and the wildflowers. She even won another packet of seeds in a school competition, so we have since sown those as well. We are receiving a lot more feathered visitors this summer, including a friendly little robin who pops in regularly to sit on the swing and then onto the rotary drier. I put food out each morning while Mog is upstairs fast asleep.

Last week we enjoyed a walk from the village of Patterdale up over Arnison Crag, Birks and then on to Saint Sunday Crag. It was a beautiful day and not too warm - perfect for being up on the fells, especially as it was lovely and quiet there. There may have been some protestation from Lily, as the walk, although straightforward, was a little steep in parts, but she was perfectly happy once we'd  reached the summit. It must have slipped my mind as to quite how high we would be climbing :)   

The next day, a far more gentle walk along the lane and through the fields meant we could collect some elderflowers for making cordial. It's a favourite of mine and so simple to make, although it continues to frustrate me as to how the best flower heads are always just out of reach. Never the less, we collected enough to make the cordial, which was ready to drink the following afternoon. It tastes delicious, and this year, as well as bottling some of the cordial, I have also frozen some in ice cubes trays, so it will be more convenient to store and make it easier to use just the right amount for each drink. The link to the recipe is here.

Back into the garden. As you can see, many of the wildflowers have grown rapidly since the first photograph, which was taken two weeks ago, and just as we had hoped, there is a constant buzz from the bees as they go about their business. We've also got some peapods now, the cornflowers are just about ready to open  and, more importantly...

I can pick fresh strawberries to eat with my yoghurt 🍓🍓🍓

J. X

Wednesday 9 June 2021

And Then the Sun Came Out

A little later than usual, courtesy of a mainly overcast May, but the lanes and pathways are overflowing with Cow Parsley, Clover and Buttercups and, for the time being at least, it looks like the sunny weather is here to stay. And, better still, it coincided with my week off work. I had a lovely week and it was just what I needed, especially after feeling under the weather beforehand. Time spent relaxing at home, as well as days out, making the most of the warm weather. I really feel as though I've been away on holiday.

Our first day out included a walk up Blea Rigg from Grasmere. A few weeks back you might remember Lily and I walked up to Easedale Tarn then on up to Tarn Crag. This walk followed the same path to begin with but ascended the opposite side of the tarn to the fell beyond. It was a beautiful, hot day and Lily had fun cooling off in the tarn on our way back to the village, where, of course, we treated ourselves to another ice cream. I also treated myself to some new biscuit cutters from the Herdy shop. Because who wouldn't want a biscuit in the shape of a sheep. 🐑 

The following day we enjoyed a slightly later start and went for a walk through the woods. The light is beautiful in there now, when the sunlight filters thorough the leaves, and there is still a strong smell of Wild Garlic in the air even though the flowers are just beginning to fade. In the evening we went to the the beach and enjoyed a chippy tea. 

Mid-week, we set off early again to find ourselves a deserted spot by the lake for some paddle boarding. Even as the morning went on, it remained fairly quiet, which was a pleasant surprise after everything I had read about the Lakes being inundated with visitors. Perhaps it was, but just not where we were. And now that the water has had the chance to 'warm up' a little, we enjoyed a quick swim, something we have missed doing regularly during the last year. I think we will be swimming at the lake for much of the summer now, though I'm not yet brave enough try it at any other time of year.

Once again, we are participating in 30 Days Wild. Every June we are encouraged to participate in random acts of wildness throughout the month. This year we have planted wildflower seeds in the garden instead of vegetables, and it's wonderful to see how quickly they have grown. I can't wait to see them all in flower. One of the suggestions in the challenge is to visit a local nature reserve, which was where we spent a lovely morning watching the dragonflies and damselflies by the pond. Disappointingly, we didn't find any lizards on this occasion but I was more than happy not to encounter any adders, which have apparently been spotted there recently. 

Our last day out of the week was a walk up to Glenridding Dodd, then on up to Sheffield Pike. Two small fells on the western shores of Ullswater. These can be climbed from Glenridding itself but we took a lesser known route up through the trees which opened up to reveal some beautiful views of the lake below. 

This week has seen us return to work and school and I'm beginning to get my voice back - at last. Much to my relief but not necessarily everyone else's :) In the garden the strawberries are beginning to ripen and in the lanes the elderflower are almost ready for gathering. Summer is on it's way and I can't wait. 

J. X