A List for Summer
Where I live, the months of Spring are enchanted. After the bleak greys of February, March bursts on the scene with more green than the liveliest imagination could conjure. And it seems to happen so suddenly - one night we close the door on a black and white world and awaken the next morning to all the magic of Spring, much like Dorothy opening the door of her fallen farmhouse to Oz.
In these iridescent months I am to be found in the garden, or the nursery, or driving between the two. I’m planting window boxes, moving old plants around, gently welcoming new ones. I hurry outside in the morning to water. I wander around in the evening and admire. I consider myself a gardener. But then comes the middle of June.
Where I live, the months of Summer are trying. Heat seems to fall down from the skies and rise up from the earth in equal measure. The air is irriguous; you feel as if you could gather a chunk of it up in your hands, form it into a ball and throw it against a pine tree where it would burst open in rainbows of water. When the white sun finally sinks into the ground it leaves behind a night so heat-exhausted it barely moves. We fall asleep to the macabre music of the cicadas, thankful for air-conditioning and iced tea.
In these sweltering months, I pray for rain to water my garden, or sweetly ask The Songwriter to do so. (Don’t you love that photograph of Eudora Welty attempting to water her Jackson, Mississippi garden in summer? Believe me, there’s no place hotter than Mississippi.) I sit by the window and nibble strawberries. I read fat books and watch old movies set in cold climates. I plan autumnal journeys. Occasionally, I peek out at my garden to make sure it isn’t bleaching in the heat. A gardener? Ummm, hardly.
We are smack in the middle of summer at present, and the weather is behaving accordingly. Edward’s walks are late in the day, and shorter. Some mornings he flatly refuses to go outside and no amount of coaxing will persuade him. But the days are not void of their pleasures. There’s cold watermelon, for instance. And espadrilles. Straw hats with wide brims. Flowers, so many flowers. Honeydew melons and peaches. Fresh corn. Good music. A whole batch of new programs on Masterpiece Theatre. Late afternoon naps on cool linen sheets. Life is good here in summer.
Here’s a summer list of good things!
I hope you enjoy it.
1. Wolf Hall Soundtrack
I have this CD on constant play this summer.
So atmospheric, it sounds like cool stone castle walls.
2. Seasalt Jute Bags
I have several of these kinds of bags.
For flowers and groceries, yarn and books.
These are especially charming, don’t you think?
3. George and Charlotte
I cannot help it.
I adore these two.
4. Mario Badescu Facial Spray
The best thing for my skin in the summer.
Rosewater, Herbs and Aloe.
5. Arcadia Britannica
Well, this made me grin.
It also made me want to don a green gown, place an extravagant crown on my head
and go dance around in the forest, but that’s another story.
6. Summer Pajamas
White cotton pajamas are simply a must for summer.
These are the ones I bought this year.
Love, love them.
7. Morris Wallpaper
William Morris is a favourite of mine and I am so in love with this new wallpaper.
I keep wandering through my house trying to find a place for it.
8. Little Pitchers
Being lucky enough to have neighbours who keep miniature goats,
I fell hard for these whimsical little pitchers.
Milk for tea or cream for strawberries.
Maple syrup for pancakes on Saturday morning.
Raspberry coulis for homemade ice cream.
These are perfect.
I am having so much fun on Instagram.
So many inspiring people to follow.
Check out Ros Byam Shaw.
Or Ben Pentreath.
And do come visit Edward and me! You’ll find oodles of photos of our travels, our garden, our cottage and the ever illustrious, ever mysterious, Apple. She detests having her photograph taken, but I catch her out occasionally. Like this photo above, when she was entirely focused on chipmunk watch.
Don't you love her extravagant ears?
Find us all on Instagram HERE
If you haven’t already booked your summer holiday,
may I suggest this one?
Yes, that's the sea outside your door.
This has been a momentous month here in the States.
Issues have been decided and for as many of us happy about things, there are those who are decidedly not. As I write this, South Carolina is debating whether or not to remove the Confederate flag from its State House, the arguments rising and falling with the emotions.
I read these words recently and think them most apropos for our country this summer.
They were written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s Home for Children in Calcutta.
It pays, I think, to hold them close.
"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."