Floral bounty from the allotment

I know there have been lots of posts about flowers recently, but it is summer!  Last weekend my aunt, uncle and cousin came down from Yorkshire to take part in a cycle race with Mr. Meg (who has blogged about it here).

My aunt is an amazing gardener and has a beautiful garden and a very productive allotment, although I think it suffered this year from the total and utter lack of any rain during the entire month of April.  However, lovely flowers abound still and she brought a gorgeous big bunch of them down with her:

 

Aren’t they stunning?  Thank you Philly!

A double lace effect

Sunday morning in Stow was warm and fitfully sunny, the perfect weather for meandering round the garden with cup of tea in hand.  I noticed while exploring that the spiders have found a kindred spirit in the lacecap hydrangea and shown their appreciation by adorning it with copious lace of their own…

The delicacy of the plant up close is really astonishing.

 

A late-summer walk

Although the title of this blog was intended to reflect that I like walking in the countryside, I haven’t done very much of it recently what with one thing and another.  This weekend we were in Stow-on-the-Wold and while we didn’t go for a very big walk, we did toddle around Maugersbury which is the little village just south of Stow, and took some photos in the sunshine.

This is a view from the lane, and here is another one:

There is not much to beat a sun-dappled path on a clear, breezy summer day…

Hydrangea heaven

I love hydrangeas so much that at this moment when they’re all flowering gloriously in everyone’s gardens except mine (because I don’t have a garden), they are the primary reason why I would like to buy a house with a garden, so I can grow them.

To stop me from skulking around with a pair of secateurs in the middle of the night nabbing them from the bushes dotted throughout the neighbourhood, I went and bought three glorious purply-blue flowers and promptly took about 100 photos of them.  Here are a few…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit as a seasonal indicator

Having grown up in the US with supermarkets as the only realistic choice of food shopping venue, I am fascinated by the greengrocers I encounter here in the UK.  They aren’t so prevalent in central London (and anyway I was at work the whole time) but here in Bristol I am lucky enough to live around the corner from one fantastic greengrocer, and work a stone’s throw away from another.

This is the shop around the corner from home, and it is a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.

The thing I love most, though, is watching the British fruit appear in the shops (they always put labels on to tell you where things are from) and noting the change in seasons.  A few weeks ago, as you may have seen from my sad cherry pie story, English cherries were calling to me irresistibly from their boxes.  Now they’re gone, replaced by cherries from Canada, but I’ll wait until next year to buy some.

Yesterday I saw another shift- the appearance of damsons, apples, and blackberries from the UK.

Late summer is upon us… it’s time for apple and blackberry crumble, and for making damson jam.

Saying that, damsons were actually the one fruit we had direct access to when I was growing up, because there was a damson tree in the garden.  My mum and my sister (with occasional help from me, but I wasn’t as much of a jam fanatic as they were) picked the fruit and boiled it up to make fantastic damson jam which is even now the preserve of choice for my sister, and high in the running (along with marmalade) for my mum.  If only she’d been able to grow seville oranges in the garden I think she would have had nothing left to wish for…

Happy feet

This isn’t a fashion blog, and oxfords are also now so ubiquitous that they are probably no longer the height of cool.  Which for me is irrelevant.

Having eyed up every pair I came across for quite some time, I finally bought some the other day, and my feet are happier than they’ve been in recent memory.  Positives for me are as follows: they are cute, a lovely colour (called ‘caramel’ on the box), and make me smile when I look at them.  Positives for my feet: they are not high heels, they are comfortable, and I can walk in them.  They might just be the holy grail of footwear.

My only difficulty now is that my feet are much cooler, sartorially speaking, than the rest of me, so I may have to seek new items of clothing so as not to let them down.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions on clothes to match them?

Bike v car

Mr Meg has recently started an entirely different sort of blog- this blog charts his progress in what I suspect may be an impossible challenge.  It so happened that we acquired a new car and his new bike on the same day, which inspired him to see if he could try and ‘outrun’ the car on his bike, mileage-wise.  I unfortunately didn’t help when I drove from Bristol to North Yorkshire within three days of the acquisition!  Oops!

The address of his blog is http://bikevcar.wordpress.com/.  He has recently been on a trip to Alpe d’Huez to follow the Tour de France.  I had to stay behind and work…. and was very jealous!

Beautiful scenery, delicious fresh baguettes (see backpack), excessive amounts of lycra… what more could you wish for? (Well, I could forego the lycra but everything else looks lovely.)