Tuesday, 30 June 2015

So long, June

It's gone from being unseasonably cold and wet to scorchingly hot and sunny. Suddenly the strawberries are ripening, the beans are climbing and the dahlias are bursting forth from the soil.

As well as rainy-day activities (salt dough making, button sorting - why are little ones so into buttons?) we've managed lots of trips to the park with Joe's friends and even an excursion to a farm. Cue lots of muzzle-stroking and inquisitive questions about the habits of pigs and sheep.

We've been on so many evening walks in the locality, heading out into the open country and spotting butterflies and flowers (and the occasional train).

Golden Hour - when we've been out in it - has been lovely. Soft light and warm air.

We're fortunate to have quite a diverse range of countryside in these parts: moors and sheep-grazed uplands, deciduous woodlands, rolling fields and valleys. Much of it tells a story; sometimes you see evidence of the old milling industries. Sometimes you come across the ghost of an orchard or farmhouse.

Joe loves being outdoors and the long days and warmth mean we're often walking or out the back playing, pottering or eating. 

In other news, we should be exchanging contracts on the house this week. Or early next week. I'm already doing the important stuff (choosing a colour to paint the front door). I'm currently wavering between a damson purple or a deep, inky blue with the slightest hint of teal. Decisions, decisions.

I'm still not eating sugar despite my 28 day plan being well and truly behind me. I just don't seem to want to eat it. Ditto the starchy stuff like pasta and potatoes. Maybe it's the heat. I managed to lose 8lbs though and am hoping to lose a little bit more. My clothes feel like they fit again. Hooray!

The drawing and painting venture has taken off in a slightly alarming way. Not that I'm complaining, but I didn't expect things to get so busy so quickly. More on that in my next post.

I've also been feeling sad at times. This time last year we all thought my mum's treatment would be successful and life would return to normal; we had lots of plans for when she got better. I miss her a lot.

We are coping with things as a family though. And there are plenty of events to look forward to. Two 'big' birthdays in the next couple of weeks, for starters. And I've promised to bake for the first one. I'm thinking butterfly cakes with lemon curd and buttercream. That's summery, isn't it? I fully intend to eat cake at these parties. I'm following the 80/20 rule.

June was a month of ups and downs, emotionally, practically, even weather-wise. But I'm so relieved that the house purchase is going ahead. The kitchen extension is fine despite the lack of planning permission; we've been assured (by a professional) that it's well-built and has been there for 30 years so there's no danger of it having to be taken down. No need for retrospective planning permission either. 

It'll be lovely to have our own place again and to be able to make it an actual home.

And tomorrow's July. It seems to have come around very quickly, somehow. Although I'm very much an autumn and winter lover, I'm looking forward to a few months of warmth and sunshine. Vitamin D is a wonderful thing.

Who knows, we may even get to the seaside before the school holidays are upon us. Salty air and rockpools and sand beneath our feet... I think we may need to make a plan.

Wishing you a wonderful July.


  1. I hope that all goes well with the house!!! Looks as though you had a great June and sounds as though July will be even better to come with the new house progressing well! xx

  2. Great post, beautiful photos Sarah.

  3. I'm glad you've had such a nice June. It must be great to have the weather heating up. I hope it stays that way for you. Here, it could stand to cool down a little. I hope the monsoon starts up soon. I love seeing the flowers where you are, it's so lush at this time of year. I wish you all the best with the new house, it sounds like things are moving along. Take care and enjoy the rest of your week, Sarah.

  4. What a lovely post, summer is glorious isn't it. And how exciting about the house, I'm so glad it's all coming together. Sorry you've been feeling a little sad, it's completely understandable. Well done on not eating sugar. I always reach a point where I don't really want to eat it again, I feel so much better without it. I shall look forward to hearing how your drawing is taking off. Busy and exciting times! CJ xx

  5. I'm glad things are going ahead with your house purchase. A house we bought many years ago didn't have planning permission for the kitchen extension but everything was ok. I think deep, inky blue with the slightest hint of teal sounds great for the front door. A very important decision. We're tentatively thinking of a new house and I've already decided what colour I want the front door to be. Enjoy the big birthdays and cake! Your photos are really great.

  6. Fingers crossed for the house plans and enjoy your family time, lovely set of photos..
    Amanda xx

  7. I've just given up sugar for the second time, in fact I intend to start a four week fresh made soups and smoothies, plant foods only diet come Saturday. I need to lose a lot of weight though, that will only be the start of it.

    This post looks as packed with summer as your life sounds to be with stuff just now. I do hope all goes well with the house and can't wait to hear more about the painting.

  8. Exciting news about the house. Now comes the fun bit of choosing colours and making a home. I'm sure you will turn it into a lovely home. I look forward to hearing more and maybe seeing photos. Well done on the no sugar diet - not sure I could do that!

  9. Fingers crossed all goes well (it will, it will) in these last stages of the new house purchase. Love the sound of those front door colours. Good to hear you'll be munching the odd cake at the parties. I mean, life without cake.........!

  10. How exciting that you're so close to getting the house sorted! I love the sound of both of those front door colours. We're currently renting and our PVC white door is one of the things I hate about the house. Like you I'm a lover of autumn and winter but I have to say the sunshine this week has been lovely - a nice change.

  11. Lovely photos, especially of your little boy with his panda. Best of luck with the house purchase - I hope it all goes through smoothly and you can get on and paint the door. Both colours sound very fine. Looking forward and making plans for summer treats sounds the perfect antidote to sadness (although that is completely understandable). Sending good wishes to you from the south-east coast.

  12. It looks beautiful up in the blustery North and your photos I'm sure do it full justice. Joe looks as if he's a good fun companion. I understand your sadness about your mum. Good luck with exchanging contracts on the house, it is a stressful time but hopefully it will soon be behind you and you can get on with painting the front door once you've completed the purchase and have had that seaside holiday. Sarah (another one!).

  13. Beautiful post. Hope things go well with the house - your colour choices sound wonderful!

  14. How very full of summer. I sympathise with the sadness amidst the joy of summer. I found myself topping and tailing gooseberries and being blindsided by the memory of sitting on a bench with my mother in the sun sharing the task and talking about nothing much. She died eighteen months ago now. I tell myself that living well without her is both what she would want me to do and a tribute to how well she taught me to be in the now. Good luck with your house move. That is an exciting thing to do!

  15. What a full time. I'm so pleased your drawing has taken off! Hope the house is progressing well too. I hope your sadness has lessened a little...it's only natural you'll miss your Mum. Hope you've enjoyed the summer this week. It seems to be over here - we've got rain and fog!!! Xx


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