Saturday, 4 June 2016

Five on Friday

Hello, thank you so much for dropping in, for your time, your patience and your kind comments.  The sun has been shining on me all week, in Somerset and in Shropshire, and I have been enjoying the great outdoors so today I thought I would join Five On Friday and show you five pictures taken outdoors this week.
This was the view from our tent, looking across the Somerset Levels to Glastonbury Tor.  I took this one on a warm evening as the rays of the setting sun were turning the clouds pink.  I couldn't think of anywhere I would rather be at that moment.

Next to our tent was a paddock full of sunny buttercups and three resident alpacas.  I am immensely fond of alpacas and I enjoyed their company very much, even at 11pm when they noisily chased each other round the field at high speed, squealing with excitement. 

More cloudwatching.  We awoke on Wednesday to leaden skies but the sun really did try to break through
I have been a fan of the Wessex writer Thomas Hardy since I studied his work at school and 2nd June was his birthday so on Thursday I sat in the garden for an hour and read some of his nature-themed poetry.  Around me, the birds were singing and butterflies were fluttering by.  It felt just right.

As we sat in the summerhouse yesterday enjoying a cup of tea, a pesky and persistent wasp kept flying in and we kept shooing her out.  When the Best Beloved moved my chair outside, her small, rather beautiful nest dropped onto the patio.  No wonder she was so persistent.  Well, fascinating and beautiful as it is, it really couldn't stay - you know what happens when you build without planning permission!
A spell with Mother Nature always restores my equilibrium.  This year I am participating in The Wildlife Trusts' 30 Days Wild, trying to engage with nature and do something wild every day during the month of June.  It's going to be challenging but I am determined to make the time.
Thank you to Amy at Love Made My Home for organising Five On Friday, if you have time, please hop over there and see what everyone else has been up to this week.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Thursday, 2 June 2016


Oh May, you have been and gone and we barely spoke!  For many years our relationship was difficult thanks to your henchmen, Revision and Exams, whose menacing behaviour caused anxiety, fear, stress and panic, firstly for me, then for the Best Beloved, then for our children.  Over the last few years they have backed off (although The Mathematician is stoically enduring them still) and your burgeoning, blowsy beauty, with its promise of summer, has been revealed to me.
This year I was really looking forward to seeing you.  My expectations were high: on the last evening of April I drove 150 miles home from the South East into the most spectacular sunset, the sky striped with layers of orange from peach to umber, grey from thunder to dove, purple from amethyst to lilac.  "Look at the sky!"  I kept saying to the Best Beloved; "Look at the road!" he kept saying to me.  I was full of wonder, and full of excitement about the month ahead, imagining walks through swathes of bluebells and wild garlic in the woods, cycling along sunny lanes lined with Queen Anne's Lace, gentle evenings spent sitting in the garden listening to the swifts screaming as they wheeled overhead. 
Alas, 'twas not to be.  May, you brought with you extended working hours and so every day I have put my head down and got on with the job: up in the morning, cooking and laundry, off to work in the afternoon and home in time to eat, wash up, collapse on the sofa and watch television with the Best Beloved for an hour before staggering up to bed.  Please don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the extra money, really, really grateful, but I would have liked to spend a little time with you.  Of course, there was a little fun: our annual Eurovision party was sparkletastic -
The table centrepiece was my Swedish Kosta Boda bowl, filled with appropriate, shiny decorations.
The food was fab: Swedish meatballs (obviously!) -

a creamy potato and asparagus salad -

Skagenrora, a prawn salad, served with lettuce on rye bread - 

Gravadlax, served on crispbread with whipped cream cheese with black pepper and some pickled cucumber salad on the side - 

I haven't seen any bluebells, any wild garlic or any swifts.  I saw may blossom on the tree outside my bedroom window, and it's scent knocked me out every time I stepped out of the back door, but, May, I didn't see you blossom...
...until the last four days of the month, when the Best Beloved and I packed our camping gear into the car and went off to Somerset BY OURSELVES!  And, May, there you were in all your voluptuous beauty.  You were dressed in sunshine, your golden light revealing lanes lined with frothy clouds of delicate Queen Anne's Lace, fields of buttercups, hawthorn hedges with creamy blossoms beginning to blush at their own wantonness, trees in full leaf, the new, soft, sappy growth yellow-green against its darker, stronger kin.  I didn't see swifts but you showed me swallows instead, swooping and dipping low across the fields to gather up insects
Thank you Somerset, and Thank you May.  I hope we can spend more time together next year.

See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x