I'm having a technology break for a week or two (partly because it is playing up changing the font size!!)
Better not sit in this chair too long though....
I may have to be cut free!
Stay warm, stay cool, stay calm and chill out when you can. x
One man went to mow...and then he stopped.
And by stopping, he created a wildflower meadow.
This whole terraced area is usually kept mown short all year.
But this year the two top terraces were left uncut.
Not only do they look beautiful but they are thick with bees, moths and other insects.
I once created a small bluebell wood by the same method - ie stopping the gardener from mowing under the trees. To everyone's amazement and delight up popped a great swathe of bluebells.
I felt like a magician!
..by the abundance and beauty of Jennie's garden..
and this evening by the second half of the first night of the Proms which I hope you can see here. The astonishing talent and dedication of the musicians in John Adams' Harmonium (reminds me of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana) is truly to be celebrated. Listen out for Wild Nights about 40 minutes in!
About 8 minutes in is an entertaining short review of the BBC's involvement in broadcasting the Proms (since 1927). We are so lucky.
Half an hour in the hammock in hot sunshine was an added bonus!
What inspired you today?
Some gentle gardening to keep the flowers coming..
Literally hundreds each year from a few small clumps of Papaver ruprifragum.
I have not been gentle with the alstroemeria! I have been trying to get rid of them for years because they run wildly through everything giving barely a flower. Until now. They must have got the message...lots of flowers this year.
Crocosmia 'Lucifer' is getting thuggish too.
Would you agree you can have too much of a good thing?
..about light. Over at Cornflower Books Karen is talking about writers with a light touch, and Lotta is talking about intense light here.
My favourite light in the garden is in late afternoon/early evening. When you turn the corner of the house to the front garden on a sunny day like yesterday, you are flooded with golden light. It makes me gasp every time! The very air is golden.
With the day's work usually done I can relax and savour the beauty of it all.
When do you relax? I am assuming you do relax?!
(If not, how can you fit in some time to relax today?)
I photographed this disconsolate looking baby swallow at 10.30 this morning. I am sure it is waiting for some sunshine to fly in.
At 9.05 this evening I peeped out of the bathroom window to see exactly the same scene. I can't be sure it is the same bird - five of them have just left their nest above the studio window. They are all looking a bit bedraggled. Sunshine tomorrow guys!
At 6.20am recently..
At 9.30 pm.
I'm always looking at lighting whether natural or electric or candlelight.
It is so important to me in a home. Pools of light, shafts of light, spotlighting, romantic candlight - they create atmosphere and warmth. Gail used the word 'cosy' about my style recently - a word I wouldn't have thought to use - but it made me look around and I realised that if I do get that effect it is by the use of lighting.
Do you create different effects with the lights you choose, and with controlling how much daylight gets into your rooms? And how much do you think it affects your mood and your wellbeing?
Since I decorated the bedroom I have been savouring the simplicity of it and apart from flowers by the bed, have added no paintings, patterns or decoration of any kind.
But I fell for this.
One is enough.
(Today was good barbecue-on=the-beach weather! See yesterday's post.)
..have the family midsummer barbecue on the beach? The forecast isn't good but it's not looking too bad...
They've been wrong before so you never know.
Finish cooking the food (can't believe Jamie says this takes only 15 minutes!).
Try to get the stain out of the jacket. Should have worn an apron.
Checklist - champagne, glasses, napkins, picnic quilts, umbrella, midge cream.
Look at the weather forecast for the ninth time.
Look up the glen. Uh-oh.
We ended up indoors with a log fire and pretty decorations (thanks Jennie) and had a lovely feast then donned wellies and sweaters for a walk on the beach.
Family, friends, food and wine, laughter and good conversation.
More BBC Four Japan Series programmes available on YouTube that is -
The Art of Japanese Life Nature
The Art of Japanese Life Cities
Handmade in Japan The Kimono
Handmade in Japan Mangei Pottery
Hokusai: Old Man Crazy To Paint
There are more but those are my favourites.
Thank you to Linda who found the quotation I liked so much from Jay Griffith's book Wild: An Elemental Journey -
We were not made for pavements and escalators but for thunder and mud.
More dramatic skies here too..
And more rain.
Here is a link to my favourite programme so far in the wonderful BBC Four Japan series.
Watch the artist about 30 minutes in - so exciting! And towards the end the typical apartments of young people - 'the real Japan is anything but zen' says presenter James Fox - make you understand more about Marie Kondo. What resonates with me particularly is architect Fujimori's statement that 'Humans need to be close to natural elements, like earth, water, plants.'
I wonder if any of you know who wrote the poem that includes these words We were not meant for escalators....we were meant for thunder...
I have googled it and searched my collection of Mary Oliver, but to no avail and I would love to find it again....
I kept pausing the programme last night to photograph the dramatic sky!
A group of us spent some time in Coronation Wood this morning, just pulling out ash and sycamore saplings, strimming the paths and trimming the boundary hedge.
It's a peaceful place to be. I missed photographing it at it's prettiest wild flower and bluebell time this year, but shades of green are tranquil and the seat under the spreading oak tree and the view out of the wood and up the Glen are lovely.
The village hotel, closed for eight years, is reopening next week. Can't wait to try it. It will be so good to have somewhere I can walk to and take visitors to.
Watch this space..
(For more about the Coronation Wood project click on the heading under the banner photograph.)
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)