Saturday, 27 July 2013

Summer Lover

Bumblebee :)

Had a lovely day today. 

Went to see my summer lover.

Just can't resist those eyes...


You remember Dweezle, right? He's a whole year older now... and minus his cherries.

Had a riot after it got dark, playing with a red laser pen. He goes crazy for it, chasing the dot around the room.

I am so in love with him.

So, went down to the lake to see Sean and Jim. No piano in the field anymore, but Sean's bought a set of beehives. Got to peer inside and see where all the honey's made.

Also met their friend, hunky Hungarian, Charlie. He made a makeshift BBQ and rustled up some delicious chicken, then honey and pork sausage pittas.


He's currently living in a tent in Sean's garden, next to the bees.

But the highlight of the afternoon was going for a swim again. Can't believe it's almost been a year since we last did this! 

The water has gone right down in the hot weather, but after dinner the heavens opened and we had a full-blown thunder and lightning storm. Made me feel all kinda primal. I hadn't taken my cossie, so Sean lent me a Hob Goblin T-shirt and we headed right out to the centre of the lake. It was magical watching the terns flying overhead and dipping for fish. Also, being at eye-level with the water, seeing all the little droplets spiking up out of the water and hearing the sound it made, like a stereophonic rainstick.

Charlie cheated and rowed out to see us in the kayak, whilst Jim and I took our time swimming back, talking about foreign films. By the time we got to shore the rain was coming down so hard we could barely see, and the whole surface of the lake looked white like mist.

We sat and watched, supping wine and listening to jazz. 

Totally lovely day. Driving home was a little hairy, though. Ground mist everywhere and pebbles all over the road like the gritters had been past. Must have been quite a downpour.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Birthday Berries

On a country retreat at the moment, visiting family.

Started out by helping Mum de-stalk her red currants. Satisfyingly messy.


Then went for a lovely meal at The Red Lion in Crick. Pint (or two) of Speckled Hen and a platter of crab cakes. Beautiful hangin baskets.

Came home to find Prince Charming by the door. Tried kissing it, but, alas, my Prince(ess) was not forthcoming.

Presents this morning - huzah!

Happy Birthday Mum

Then off to visit Grandma & Grandpa in Market Harborough.

And a walk by the canal at Foxton Locks...

Spot the fishies?

The above was used to pull narrow boats, like the one below, up from the bottom canal to the one above. Sort of like a funicular railway.

Looking Down

Looking Up

Vagabond Cruises

Tribute to the horses that pulled the barges.

This last one is from Holmes Farm, near Lubenham.

We took a little drive out there. It's now a livery and fishing spot, but it's also where my mother grew up. The above out building is where my uncle (now Canon) Alan kept a pig farm. It was also a wash house for the Polish refugees who lived in converted out buildings on the farm after the Second World War.

My mother always remembers the little boy who shared his apple. Her father, my grandfather, used to distribute surplus crop as they had a big orchard. This child, who had absolutely nothing, shared his apple with her. 

Sadly, I never met my grandfather as he died in a farming accident when my mother was fifteen. They had to move after that. But it was interesting to see where she grew up, as I had never been there before.

We ended the day down our local pub with friends.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Beneath the Summer Sun

Wow, it's hot. 

Nothing for it in this weather than to photograph flowers in the garden...



A relation of Morning Glory?

Fancy Poppy

French Marigold


Oriental Lily
My love is like...

Passion Flowers

What a pretty garden.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

So Long Simon

Simon getting a hose-down after the ride.

Just back from seeing my big beastie boy. Went for a sojourn with Jenny, Di and Julia, up through Pope's Wood. 

It. Was. Blistering.

We're in the middle of the longest heatwave since 2006, and I am not coping well. Even when it's hot, it's usually nice and cool in the woods, but today it was like a sauna. From the top of the hill you can usually see all the way to Wales. Today, Wales had disappeared in a heat haze. I got back looking like a king prawn, Simon looked like a lasagne.

Check out that sweaty saddle back he's got!

I'm a little bit sad. Off to the country for a few weeks soon, so I won't see him for a while.

It was a really nice ride though, despite the heat. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Jonathan Livingston

Happy ending today.

After the hedgehog visitation, I opened the back door yesterday to find a seagull staring at me.

The strange little mite kept running up and down the garden, and in and out the house! He seemed to want to get onto the garage roof, and kept expressing this by flying into the greenhouse. Wore himself out.

Opened the door this morning and Jonathan Livingston was still there.

Popped to the shop and fed him sardines. 

He was soooo sweet and trusting after that. Came to stand next to me to tell me he wanted to go on the roof again. At which point, I pounced. 

He squealed as I put him in the box. 

I felt like the most awful human being in all the world. Not felt that guilty since I took Mao to get his balls chopped off.

Poor Jonathan. He threw up his sardines as we drove him to the docks. When we got there, we let him out. He wandered calmly up the dock, then part way back. There were loads of other young gulls on the water, but it was a little far down. He kept leaning over and looking down. 

Eventually, he spread his wings and flew to join them. We gave a little cheer, and watched as he washed the vomit off. All the others loved him. He must have smelled like a five star meal!

Think he got stuck in the garden because it's quite an enclosed area and he needed a run-up. So sad to see him go, but happy he was happy. Hope he has a long and happy life.

Sunday, 14 July 2013


Perfect sweet-toothed end to a perfect day yesterday. 

My lovely friends Cassie, Sean and li'le Ryanman came to visit for the weekend. Hadn't seen them in a year and a half. Was working up to a trip to London to check out their pad, but they beat me to it.

Cassie and I have been friends since uni, and her husband used to work with Brighton Phil, who I went around Australia with. When they got married, Phil was a witness and I was a bridesmaid. They're such a bunch of rockers. We wore red, with black nail varnish and black jewelry. Instead of a band, they hired a jukebox and filled it with heavy metal. Best. Wedding. Ever.


Little sad because, next month, our housemate from years back is getting married. I was hoping for a big reunion of the gang, but seems I'll be the only one free. Perhaps we'll do a London get together in the future.

We had a lovely day in the Forest of Dean. Went to Puzzlewood, which is an oldy worldy natural woodland maze. They've filmed Merlin and Doctor Who there.

A creepy, beautiful, magical place. Even though it was the hottest day of the year, it was lovely and cool in the mossy woods.

Came back to Gloucester, took a wander around the docks and had dinner at Pizza Express. 

Gloucester Docks

Random Tank
James Bond
It was sooo hot, we almost melted. 

Sad to see them go this morning. Ryan had a go on the piano before he left, and we reckon there's potential there. Hmm... a ginger piano player... reminds me of someone.