Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Early awakening

My lady guardian and I awoke early this morning; snuggled in our bed, listening to the dawn chorus. At first, a darkened sky with a single chirrup  building to a crescendo as the fingers of light spread across the sky to an all encompassing blaze of sunshine. From the comfort of  our mattress, the pigeons cooed atop the roof and the apple tree, laden with fruit, came in to view, the sun dappling it's leaves. A lazy, hazy start to the day with a refreshing coolness. After performing ones ablutions, I partook of an early light breakfast whilst my lady guardian prepared the first cup of English tea, to be partaken from the comfort of ones bed whilst contemplating the day ahead, the soft golden light illuminating our thoughts and plans. Dew drenched spiders webs glisten in the early sunlight, the light breeze gently stirring the leaves like a gentle caress. The stillness of this hour, before all around us stir, is a bewitching time. The calm before the storm, one of my lady guardian's favourite times; the joy of an early summers morn cannot be underestimated for bathing in the early morning glow of sunshine sets one up for the day.

Monday, 29 August 2016

August Bank Holiday

Hello again, dear friends. We are so fortunate, are we not, to enjoy a late summer Bank Holiday and, more importantly, one that has been full of glorious sunshine. Add to this the joy of my male guardian not being at his professional toil for the day; why, I do believe, the planets have aligned! What a day it has been; from rising when one wakes, to pottering in the estate gardens, picking our plums for jam and generally doing as one pleases, without an eye to the clock. Sheer bliss. In between the pottering has been a lunch al fresco and many a pot of fine English tea to sustain us. My lady guardian has taken time, inbetween, to add the odd row or two to a knitted garment, whilst my male guardian has perused the periodicals. 'Tis a peaceful scene; thankfully, my male guardian is not a gentleman who feels the need to quote from the articles within the periodicals and can be guaranteed to enjoy them calmly whilst enjoying the sanctuary garden. 

A small batch of plum jam has been added to the bounty that is being stored within the larder; a deep jewelled colour to delight the eye and titilate the senses. At the end of the day, we will retire to the cool of our little home, protected from the heat with half drawn drapes and blinds, so refreshing after a day spent on the estate. A restful evening will be had for a busy schedule is planned for the morrow.
We do so hope that you too have enjoyed this splendid August Bank Holiday.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Betwixt and between

Oh my, my, how time does fly. It feels all betwixt and between seasons at the moment; warm and sunny, overcast and humid or with a little nip in the air on our early mornings with a fine mist drifting across the fields and caressing the tree trunks. Why, one can barely decide what one's day will bring. Our farming friends are also betwixt and between with some previously golden fields now a rich and succulent chocolate brown of ploughed furrows, straight and perfectly formed. 

My lady guardian has now completed a woolen garment for my male guardian to keep him warm in his travels through the cooler months; a vision of blues, greys, heathers and teals - most becoming My male guardian has long suffered the tedious garment problem for the tall and slim gentleman about town, arms too short and body too wide. At last a bespoke garment, knit to his specifications. How he will glory in warm wrists and waist, as many a tall, slim gentleman will envy.

Today saw a journey to the local wool merchant to purchase some quality wool to complete a garment started by my lady guardian's dear late mother. It is part completed and required further supplies to enable the project to move forward. Much to her delight, the wool merchant in question was able to supply a perfect solution. Such helpful people. My lady guardian has long been taught by her mother and older sisters that a quality merchant is worth their weight in wool and should be sought at all costs, as well as the best quality one can buy. This maxim dear friends, has proved invaluable. Whilst a late starter to the craft, my lady guardian enjoys nought more on an Autumn/winter evening, when my male guardian is away at professional toil, than to relax to the soothing rhythm of the needles, a little light classical music gently playing. If 'tis a cold winter's  evening, then the crackle of the fire will accompany us. That said, we are currently oft found, in the warm weather, sat upon a garden bench taking the air whilst my lady guardian divides her time between chores, gardening and the odd row or two of stitches between times. Simple pleasures.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Apple harvest and more

Dear souls, the apple harvest is imminent and it looks to be a bumper year. My dear guardian's are prepared and have a number of sidelines that look to be "fruitful" in their return. Some of the crop, however, will be harvested for the pleasure of eating juicy, sweet, stripey apples that are really quite delicious, on their own or as an accompaniment to a fine local cheese. Some will be stored in a cool place to use in the kitchen as required and others given to relatives and friends as requested. The plums also are also looking rather fine; my lady guardian, whilst not too concerned with jam, is somewhat partial to well made plum jam therefore a small batch will be made to enjoy as our weather turns t'ward autumn, or indeed winter. There is nought more rewarding than enjoying the fruits of ones own labour with fruit and vegetables from ones small estate. 

The weather forecasts proved correct and the latter half of the week, and early weekend, saw downpours enough to thoroughly water our small parched estate gardens and gladden the heart of many a local gardener. The water butts are once more brimming, much to the satisfaction of our  lady guardian. 

The evenings are drawing evermore inwards and darker evenings are once more upon us. It would be dishonest of me if I did not admit, dear reader, to being fond of a warm, comfortable lap on which to ensconce myself as the light fades. My dear guardian's are most accommodating; we all enjoy that time at the end of the evening when we are all safely gathered in from our various duties and can enjoy a little time together before we retire for the day, to repeat it all again on the morrow. The rythm of life at its finest. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Brown and parched....

For many, our summer has been a celebration of sunshine, the harvest golden, ripe and safely gathered in. However the words of Blake do mock us in reference to our green and pleasant land for, dear reader, it has to be said we are more "brown and parched" than "green and pleasant". A little short sharp downpour finally ensued over parts of our rural county last evening but not nearly enough to create the lush and verdant picture we are so used to. Never fear, my dears, for English weather is a law unto its self and the three day forecast is looking somewhat damp, to say the least, with warnings of sharp blustery showers. Time will tell dear souls but memories of '76 abound and we wait with bated breath, for changeable is a word perhaps closely associated with English weather and for which we are famous. As my guardian writes, the sound of farm machinery abounds, why the farmer across the lane has commenced preparation for the next phase for the hundred acre field, a sure sign of advancing seasons.

Yesterday evening, my lady guardian and I were fortunate to espy a green woodpecker upon the garden path enjoying a light snack of ants; such beautiful plumage, such an enchanting call. We do so admire the local wildlife.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Balmy days

Dear friends, we have enjoyed another glorious weekend of sunshine much to my male guardian's delight for he was free from his professional toil for two whole days along with my lady guardian. Oh how delightful to glory in time that is ones own with one's family. We have enjoyed al fresco meals,  peaceful contemplation, and glorious sunshine to gladden the heart. Both my guardian's look hale and hearty, why my male guardian is nut brown in colour. How he does love the summer season, one which my lady guardian endures. However, it is good for the harvest which around us has been completed, with the last bales gathered in this very afternoon. Alas, what has been good for the harvest has turned the lawns brown in places for there has been little rain; our rural county does also turn this particular shade of parched grass.  The new yew hedge is being nurtured through this time for it would easily perish. As the evening cooled my guardian's spent time watering and tending, whilst I ensured that the correct procedures were followed. We have spent a delightful few hours since in repose upon the sofa, enjoying each other's company before we begin the new week. How I do enjoy out time spent thus, for we are family. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Harvest time

Oh my, harvest has begun, how very exciting. I do so love the regularity and rhythm that harvest time brings to the calendar. Fields of golden crops cut and turned to ensure a dry crop and then the most delightful of sounds, the thump, thump of the baler spewing forth perfectly formed bales. In these times of technology harvest time is a little easier than it was but, my dears, still a very busy time for our farming community. Late into the night they work with their tractors, lights ablaze to gather the  crop in before rain ruins it, for a wet crop will rot in storage. The smell upon the air is sweet and comely; why my dear late brother used to relish laying amongst the crops for this heady of smells, returning for supper redolent of the smell of harvest time. One can hear and see where the tractors are before they arrive on the horizon for the sound of machinery and a rising cloud of crop dust trailing them. Oh how my lady guardian and I do relish the sights and sounds of this calendar staple. Our farming community is the very backbone of England, feeding us with crops, milk, meat, eggs and more as well as caring for this green and plentiful land. We salute and thank you for your hard work and care of our glorious countryside, mud, muck and all.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


My lady guardian and I have spent a productive time this very day. The windows are once again thrown wide, laundry flutters in the breeze and cupboards are stripped of there contents; lashings of hot soapy water and good old elbow grease have been employed. We have had the annual spring clean and are now undertaking the summer "refresh". Dear souls, I do believe if I lay still I may well find myself well and truly "done". I have no doubt that my lady guardian will undertake an Autumn appraisal before the winter onslaught. Whilst I am a firm believer in a tidy home, dear friends, I do believe one should rest in between endeavours but no, my lady guardian has that look in her eye and nought shall remain unturned, scrubbed or cleansed. I confess I seek refuge in my dear late brothers sanctuary in the garden at times like these; a cool, green, snug den under the yew hedge, bliss my dears, bliss. Until of course one hears the faint sounds of supper being prepared. Meal times must, my dears, be strictly adhered to.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

British weather.....

It has to be said that the good old British weather is complex and, to outsiders, really quite hard to understand. My dear lady guardian however loves the variable nature of it, come rain or shine. We are thankful for the recent rain to water the parched gardens, in particular the new hedge, which has undergone a small growth spurt. So very exciting, my dears. My guardian's have been in correspondence with the antipodean branch of the family who are experiencing a cold snap; why they have had a fire lit of late, it transpires. Really quite hard to believe for those of us less well travelled, for the Australia's are oft portrayed as a such a hot country. I fear a little too hot for oneself I do believe.

The harvest fields grow more golden by the day; such a glorious sight to behold on a summers day, miles of waving crops like a golden sea upon the land. The small orchard is aglow with the rosy hue of apples peeking forth from their green finery, and what are crop we do anticipate to take us through autumn to winter. The periodicals that my guardian's do so enjoy turn their thoughts to Autumn, indeed the nights have already begun that slow drawing in. Our British seasons are such a delight, are they not. Summer has produced plentiful supplies of vegetables all prepared and preserved by my lady guardian for the seasons ahead. Such a satisfying task that gives one a warm glow. My lady guardian is very fond of the Scandinavian hygge, enjoying the simple pleasures, good food and company, cosied up by the fire in winter and candlelight. We endeavour to take a leaf out of our Scandinavian friends book and practice what they preach, learning to live with what our seasons throw at us. Oh England, my lionheart; how we do love thee.