When the weather’s bordering on insanely hot, there’s no better way to spend a Monday than to pop round to a mate’s house for a good old gossip in the garden, idly rocking back and forth on a swing seat with an ice-cold drink in one hand and a plate full of mini-cakes in the other. Between the three of us we managed to cover almost every topic under the sun during the afternoon, with plenty of giggles along the way.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed, chilling out surrounded by flowers while watching the hilarious antics of her doves squabbling with the local pigeons over territory on the bird table and an adorable robin having a bath in the beautiful fairy water feature just a few feet away; no computers, no mobile phones, just good old fashioned, face-to-face, quality time spent with friends. Perfect…
I’m so lucky to have such great mates, especially ones who offer to spend their free time wandering around stunningly beautiful gardens with me. The sun was shining and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky when we arrived just after midday, so we spent the first couple of hours strolling through woodlands, occasionally resting on benches under massive trees overlooking the ponds and flower beds, before heading off to the tea room for refreshments. The obvious choice was cream teas, with slices of fresh strawberries, locally sourced jam and gigantic scones, topped off with pots of thick cream; delicious.
Feeling suitably stuffed we spent another two hours trying to walk off the calories while enjoying even more of the extensive gardens. Notable highlights included watching staff wearing waders get into one of the ponds to remove some of the blanket weed; which was quite the talking point with the other visitors we noticed. Dragonflies were out in force, creating a rather magical feel around the waters edge, while shoals of tiny fish delighted onlookers before disappearing beneath lily pads. What a lovely way to spend a Monday afternoon…
For the past fortnight I’ve been working 6 days a week, so the fact that this is a Bank Holiday weekend is very welcome indeed. It’s been busy in the office, and also exciting with the arrival of my brand new computer with shiny new keyboard and mouse along with two great big monitors, but nice surprises aside it’s actually a welcome relief to finally be able to spend a couple of days in my much-neglected garden.
In my absence, however, Mother Nature has decided to spoil me, and when I stepped outside this fine, sunny morning I was greeted by the sight of dozens of bright orange Californian poppies, stunning giant red ornamental poppies and delicate blue love-in-the-mist. It appears that many of last years plants have self-seeded, and the mixed wild-flower seeds I randomly scattered at the end of last summer are now flourishing.
The universe sometimes has unique ways of rewarding those who go the extra mile in order to improve their own circumstances, and while I’ve strived to undertake more responsibility in the workplace, despite also undergoing numerous medical tests for ongoing health issues, I’m now reaping a few of the benefits…
Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I moved into my own office and I’ve been busy settling into my new routine. It’s certainly a steep learning curve, and there’s plenty more things I’ll need to get to grips with in the next few months, but so far so good.
Obviously, when I’m not at meetings or dealing with enquiries I’m attempting to replicate Kew Gardens in a very limited space, much the the bemusement of visitors and colleagues alike. I’ve so far managed to fill the windowsills and have been moving stuff around to create some brand new areas where I can pop a bit of foliage and a few blooms to create a beautiful and positive working environment.
It may just be a ‘workplace’ but in my opinion, whenever it’s possible (and practical) it’s important to make the space your own, and my ‘own’ very much involves flowers.
Some mums have Mother’s Day on a Sunday, but this year I had my special day on a Tuesday. When your grown up daughters are very busy people, it’s really lovely that they still arrange to give you a treat even when they can’t manage it for the traditional weekend version.
They arrived with a beautiful bouquet full of pink, cream and white flowers, which was a lovely surprise. We ate iced lemon cake and french fancies (as you do), while discussing everything from holidays to politics, and generally putting the world to rights. The afternoon passed within the blink of an eye and sadly it was all too soon for them to return to their respective homes.
I actually prefer being a bit different, and I think that Mothering Tuesday is a fabulous idea, especially when you get to spend it with the people you love most in the world. I’m a very lucky mum indeed.
When you have a day off work, it’s really nice if you can spend your precious spare time with your mates. It’s even more fabulous if there’s copious amounts of lemonade, yummy cream cakes and delicious home-made scones involved; along with general chit-chat and some decent laughs thrown in for good measure.
As the weather was warm and sunny it meant we had the luxury of being outdoors in the garden all afternoon, which is always a welcome bonus. Pretty flowers, glorious sunshine, a hilarious pet rabbit, stunningly beautiful doves and great company is, in my opinion, the recipe for an absolutely perfect Thursday afternoon. I’m very lucky to have such lovely friends…