To get away from ‘makeover madness’ for a while we skived off for the day – bored with talking about paint colours, furniture deliveries and where to put what – a day out in the peace and tranquility of Rutland Water Bird Reserve sounded just the ticket. Unfortunately there weren’t many birds to be found, or they were too far away to see – so we had to make do with walks through woodland and by the large stretches of water, and watching the butterflies and bees enjoying the wild flowers. After a couple of hours we retreated to The Finch a pub nearby serving delicious meals in lovely surroundings – Tiger Prawns in Chilli Sauce and Sea Trout with Asparagus – a fine end to a sneaky day off.
Trying to make the most of summer days before autumn sets in and being outdoors in the warmth becomes a distant memory – I savour each precious moment. Seeing the fruits get riper by the day, apples and damsons and soon blackberries to be gathered as autumn approaches and the daylight hours get shorter – has a year ever flown by as fast as this one?
Trying to keep pace with the bountiful harvests and how to use up all the runner beans from just six plants – so prolific. Stewing and freezing tomatoes to be made into sauces later in the year – cucumber and onion pickle to be made, lovely with cheese – courgettes frozen in chunks to be turned into soup when it gets colder – the freezer almost full to bursting point already. So much to be done indoors laying down preserves, which generations of men and women have done before me – at this time of year it is the way of things.
And when the cupboards are full of jams, jellies, pickles and chutneys I can relax a little and turn to other pursuits which have been patiently waiting since last winter. Paint brushes cleaned, ready and waiting in the hope of painting a masterpiece (I can but dream) - knitting needles retrieved from the depths of my work bag, a new needle point cushion and coloured wools in readiness and lists of books to be purchased for those winter afternoons reading by the fire – maybe winter doesn’t sound so bad after all.
‘Til next time – savour every moment of summer whilst it lasts – it will be over before you know it.