Sunday, 31 August 2014

This week

This has been the final week of the summer holidays, and I have tried to dispel the yearly sense of gloom by trying to make the most of it. My youngest and I will be back to school and work next week, and in a couple of weeks or so my two older ones will be heading off to the first and final years of university. I have always found this to be a bittersweet time of year, as I mourn the passing of summer, but absolutely adore early autumn with its ripeness and abundance. So, despite the rain and having a bad back this week, I have managed to cross a few things off my seasonal 'to do' list.

1) I have been picking small bunches of flowers from my garden, as well as sweet peas which are still going strong, and roses which are in their second flush.

2) Windfalls from our little apple tree have started to litter the lawn, and I have used them to make Norwegian Apple cake from Mia's excellent recipe. Served with creme fraiche, it was delicious, and my good friend Jane and I enjoyed a slice with a cup of tea when we had one of our creative get-togethers.

 3) Inspired by another blogger, Sue at The Quince Tree, I made Damson Gin. I have been talking about making sloe/blackberry/damson gin for years, and am very pleased with myself, now that I've finally got around to it. The damsons came from the local farm shop.

I love the fact that in just three days in it's already gone a lovely rich colour.

4) With the rest of the damsons I made damson ice cream which was yummy, and very pink.

5) I am working madly on a granny square blanket that I'm making for my son when he starts university. Not long to go now, and it's not as far along as I'd hoped. Oh well, he won't need it yet as it's not too chilly.

6) Despite the rain I've been popping out in the garden to pick blackberries and raspberries which are ripening fast now. The raspberries also seem to be having a second flush, as I already picked lots back in June.

7) The roses and peonies which, like the lavender, I dried in the airing cupboard, make very pretty pot-pourri. The colours do fade quite quickly, and I add a few drops of essential oil, but they are a lovely reminder of summer.

I love the intense colour and crinkliness (if that's a word) of these dried roses.

8) This morning (Sunday) is wonderfully warm and sunshiney after all that rain, so I've taken time to sit on my favourite bench in the garden with a cup of tea. Despite the garden being a bit untidy in that end-of-summer way, I'm concentrating on how good it feels to be almost in September - bring it on!


  1. I also get that end of summer feeling, we jokingly call it PHD at home, post holiday depression! You seem to be dealing with your summer time blues with some lovely crafting and cooking. Sadly we also all go back to work, college and school this week - hey ho!

    1. That's a good name for it! Yes, I decided to pack as much as possible to make the most of every last minute :). As usual, once we're all back again we'll be thinking it's not so bad - I think it's all in the anticipation x

  2. I think it's been a very good year for sweet peas, they're still growing and flowering like mad in my garden.
    The damson ice cream is a real surprise I would never have thought that would be so pink considering the colour of damsons. Looks very good though as does your apple cake.

    1. Thank you :) That colour was vivid, but the taste of the damsons were delicious - rich and plummy. They're a bit labour-intensive because of the stones, but well worth it. I'll definitely make the apple cake again - it didn't last long! x


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