Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A List For Summer

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.
Find it HERE

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?
Find them HERE

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. 
So refreshing.
Find it HERE

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.
Find it HERE

6. Summer Pajamas
White cotton pajamas are simply a must for summer.
These are the ones I bought this year.
Love, love them.
Find them HERE

  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.
Find it HERE

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.
Find them HERE

9. Instagram
I am having so much fun on Instagram.  
So many inspiring people to follow.
Check out Ros Byam Shaw.
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

10. Holidays
If you haven’t already booked your summer holiday, 
may I suggest this one?
Yes, that's the sea outside your door.
Find it HERE

And finally, 
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."



  1. Well, you actually made a southern summer sound good. Hot hot hot here too. Love those bags too. I could be a bag hoarder - just love them.

  2. Oh, that photo of Eudora reminds me of my grandmother & my mother in the garden when I was young, with a garden hose exactly like that. It's a wonderful representation of our HOT summers for sure. I actually feel better without knowing all the news on a daily basis. Most of it is so hideous and/or so stupid it's not worth watching. I don't know what to do about the confederate flag. It flys here as well. This is a wonderful post and describes Houston's summer perfectly. xx's

  3. Love your list for summer and I hope you find a place in your home for the William Morris wallpaper. We are busy gardening this summer. Check out my roses on Instagram.

  4. Lovely post, Pamela. I likes all of it. That Mother Teresa quote is one of my favorites. An I got a chance to watch some of the episodes of Wolf Hall on a plane recently. I read the first book and liked it. Think the actors are super for the series.

  5. Oops! that was I liked all of it, not likes. Really, I can speak English.

  6. Beautiful post, as usual. I look forward to your blog for sustenance. I love the Mother Teresa quote. My favorite is "Why can't everyone just get along?
    " Ha.

  7. Thanks for the tips! I am so looking forward to spending my vacation in London. I hope there are affordable Apartments London for my friends' and mine.

  8. Thank you for the glorious summer suggestions Pamela - and for that marvellous Mother Teresa quote.

  9. Pamela you have cooled the air today and warmed my heart!!
    The Arts by Karena

  10. thanks for sharing your favorites!

  11. The Mother Teresa quote is the most perfect expression of how to live in perfection that I've ever heard. Thank you for sharing it........... as well as 'irriguous'. That one sent me running to the dictionary!

  12. this post is exquisite. from the first sentence to the last.
    thank you.
    it's a summer gift. xo
    didn't know that about adorable apple! now i know why there're so few pictures of her! will treasure them all the more. xoxo

  13. 'The Font' would add the orange Martini served in the Mandarin Oriental in Buckhead while waiting for the London flight to go.

    Talking of holidays , have you see this website ?

  14. Yes, it's even hot in Maine. You are wise to time your dog walks for the cool hours. I love that vacation house with the sea outside the door.

  15. A lovely post for this lazy southern summer afternoon. Thank you for sharing the Mother Teresa quotation. The battle over the Confederate Flag will always be an emotional one. I, too, believe moving it a museum is long overdue. Hopefully hearts will be searched and good decisions will be made. We should hear soon. Have a wonderful and relaxing afternoon.

  16. I'd forgotten how much I loved the soundtrack when I watched Wolf Hall earlier this year - I must return to it:)

  17. A brilliant post filled with tons of goodies, Pamela, thank you!
    Am elated to start following you & Edward on ig so I will not miss ANY adventures,
    here or abroad ;>) My very best wishes for a stupendous summer for you & yours.
    "Woof Woof" to Edward & Apple ........

  18. Lots of lovely things to check out Pamela.
    It's hard to think of Spring let alone Summer at the moment with pouring rain outside.
    I think I'll click on the soundtrack to Wolf Hall first.
    Music is just what's needed this arvo.
    Thanks Pamela
    Anita xx

  19. Your list is perfection. So many good ideas. A great beginning to my Sunday morning. I will be ordering that soundtrack to Wolf Hall!
    xx Sunday

  20. Thank you for this lovely post. It's hot here, too. You triggered a memory of the time the apartment air conditioning failed, and we dragged ourselves through broiling city streets to an air-conditioned theatre that was showing Dr. Zhivago. Aahh, the snowdrifts.

  21. This entire post is wonderful and inspiring especially to those of us in the south. I have reread that quote at the end several times and it speaks to me every time. Thank you.


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