Monday, 5 August 2013

Summertime and the living is easy

The summer holidays start much earlier in Scotland and so now we are five weeks in we are well and truly settled into a relaxed rhythm. No early morning alarms, school uniform to find, packed lunches to make and homework to do.  No commute for me or juggling childcare and dog sitting - just time...lots of it.

We did start a 'To Do' list of things to achieve this summer, hobbies to try, things to create, household tasks to complete... But. the sunshine has reminded us to stop and take in the moment; we're enjoying just 'being'.

Finances and work commitments for L have meant a staycation for us and I thought that we would feel we had missed out somehow but we still feel properly on holiday and we've really re-appreciated our home and all that we have around us.

Here's some of the ways that we've enjoyed a stay-at-home summer so far:

Sleeping in...
and leaving the chores till later. It's lovely to be able to take a coffee back to bed and do some reading - 'in the daytime' instead of last thing at night when I'm too tired to take it in and end up re-reading the same lines over and over.

 old favourites and new places we've never visited before. Too many places to mention here but two of the highlights were The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh with the glasshouses full of lush plants and towering palms.  Best of all these giant lily pads:

The National Museum of Scotland, which is free to go in (hooray!), is an old favourite. It is so vast that despite lots of visits there is still so much we haven't seen. This time we went to the Ancient Egypt exhibition  with my mum and stepfather in tow so a family outing. Reading all the macabre details of mummification made me a bit queasy, though not so much that the window of Valerie's Patisserie wasn't tempting:

Valerie's Patisserie
Talking of temptations - nothing quite encapsulates the taste of summer as strawberries do. We've been strawberry picking several times this summer, made strawberry shortbreads, had with fresh cream and meringues, but no matter how you choose to enjoy them there's nothing sweeter than the stolen one sampled during picking!

the swallows in our barn. We've watched the swallows arrive at the start of summer and now their nest is full, overflowing in fact. I can hardly believe the size of the four slightly fluffy chicks.  The picture below was taken just before they ventured out onto the beam and dared each other to take flight.

There are so many young birds in the garden that we've been keeping a close eye on Fabbydoo.  Here she is sitting on her wall surveying her garden:

summer rain. Isn't the scent of rain on dry earth a wonderful thing?  I only discovered the other day that there is a word for this unique fragrance - 'petrichor'.  Apparently, this new word was coined in 1964 by two Australian researchers. I'm not sure I understand the science behind it but I can appreciate the effects. 

Through the window when the rain stopped
at the power of a thunderstorm and the expanse of a darkening sky or the promise of the faintest rainbow:

"People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering."     St Augustine



  1. Sounds like you guys are having a lovely Summer holiday so far

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Gina. Your blog has inspired me to investigate Pinterest some more with your fabulous boards. Helen

  2. Such a beautiful place that you call home! It's always nice to spend some time vacationing around your own corner of the world, isn't it? Yesterday we took four small children and our visiting brother-in-law to a local brewery and soaked in the sunshine. And I wondered why we never think to do that, when it's so close by. I'm with you on the stolen strawberries. Today I will pick blackberries, another local treat! Enjoy the rest of the summer.

    1. Blackberries are my absolute favourite and blackberry jam - yum - enjoy!
      You're right in how it's only when visitors come we think to explore the places close by. Helen

  3. What a brilliant post, I'm glad you're having such a lovely summer. You've inspired me to take more time to appreciate what is on my doorstep, something to think about!

    1. Thanks for stopping by via The Monday Club. I really enjoyed reading your post too.

  4. Beautiful pictures. We are preparing now for back to school. August 21st is the first day back. School supplies and bookbags were purchased this weekend.

    1. Ah yes the shopping for back to school - I'm building myself up to it! WE go back on the 19th (for me) and 20th for the girls. Enjoy the last two weeks. Helen

  5. Looks like you're having a great summer. As my two aren't in school yet, the only thing that's any different here is the weather - which is welcome, of course - but I'm still officially jealous!