I know you'll probably be wanting me to cut to the chase. so without further ado: the winner of my little giveaway (as pulled from a hat by Joe) is Elaine, who blogs over at The Craft Shed. Congratulations to you. Please drop me an email Elaine, and we'll take it from there.
There will be other giveaways coming up as I already have some new ideas for drawing and painting projects. But for now, here's a roundup of our midsummer goings-on. Firstly: the weather. Oh dear. Monty Don was waxing lyrical about midsummer on Friday evening, telling us to just get out there and make the most of all that light. Get out there we did. It rained. It was gloomy. In fact, the first thing that came to mind on closing the garden gate was that it felt much more like the end of summer. Blustery, damp and none too warm.
Still, I harvested the gooseberries from a surprisingly prolific few stems growing out of a wall by the river. I go each June. Stewed with a couple of Bramleys then frozen, they'll make a nice filling for a crumble later in the year.
Everything's very pink and lilac and white at the moment. Dog roses, the remains of the cow parsley, red campion, and whatever these (above) are called. They're growing all along the railway line and I feel I should know what they are, but don't.
Joe's definitely hit the Terrible Twos. He alternates between being the sweetest little boy you could wish to meet (and cuddle) and a child possessed. He's three at the end of August. I hope the Jekyll and Hyde thing disappears soon.
Luckily, the storms never last very long and I always stand my ground. More often than not it's a struggle to keep a straight face. If he flies into a rage because something refuses to balance in mid air there really isn't much I can do. I can cheer him up or read to him or demand an apology but I cannot change the laws of physics. Nor can I influence the CBeebies programming schedule.
Sorry if you've seen too much of the peonies already (on Instagram). They've been spectacular; a bunch bought tightly in bud from the 'reduced' section of the supermarket has burst into huge, showy blooms. Each bud has opened at a slightly different time so they're still going strong and making the dining table a thing of beauty.
The healthy eating plan continues. I complete my four weeks on Sunday. I did fall off the wagon slightly last week though. My cravings became quite insistent - not for cake or chocolate, but for Greek yogurt of all things. So I bought some. I admire vegans completely but three weeks of dairy-free was enough for me. Other than that, I'm sticking to the plan. Although the strange combinations of food groups has left me feeling pretty irritated.
So for this final week I'm still avoiding all the stuff I'm supposed to. I'm just adjusting things to suit me a bit better. I've been eating a lot of fruit, which is perfect for this time of year as the strawberries are at their best. So are cherries. And I've been enjoying peaches, watermelon and raspberries too.
Thank you for all your lovely comments on my previous post, and apologies if I initially gave the impression that the blog wasn't going to continue. That wasn't my intention at all. I will be prioritising things a little more but that doesn't affect Mitenska.
Finally, I'm pleased to share that I'm the new Preschool Editor for Tend Magazine. I was asked whether I'd be interested in writing for them and of course, I jumped at the chance. It's slightly daunting when I look at how beautiful and well-written it is but I'm excited to become part of the team and to write for a publication which ties in so well with my own values and passions. My first articles will appear in the Spring 2016 issue and I'm already thinking up lots of ideas. Could this be an excuse to procure another new notebook?
Have a lovely week, and let's all hope the sun comes out soon!