Sunday, 20 June 2010

First Fruits

I have one and a half pounds of strawberries in the fridge now, and yesterday we had our first baby courgettes, yum!
Nearly the entire vegetable garden is now draped in nets, to protect the raspberries and strawberries against the birds and to protect the raised bed against cat attack grrrr!

Look at the size of the potatoes! They are like little trees LOL. The broad beans are in flower now and the peas too, so I confidently expect more crops to follow in the next few weeks. The tomatoes and chillies are doing pretty well, too.

Even the flowerbed has some colour in it now, although it's a long way from what I want it to look like. I'll be planting some new plants, bulbs and seeds in the autumn.

I've actually taken an afternoon off from gardening and am doing some knitting today

These socks are knitted in beautiful madelinetosh merino sock yarn, which I received in a birthday swap last year, in a colour called logwood. It is a semisolid in shades of lavender, lilac and dark blue, which reminds me of lavender flowers. The pattern is Evelyn Clark's Raindrop Lace Socks. I'm determined to finish the first sock before doing anything else.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Last week I was working in Northern Italy. On Thursday evening the team and I visited Milan for the evening. We took the Metro from the outskirts of Milan and got off at Il Duomo (the Cathedral). It was very hot (by UK standards), about 28C, but the train was air conditioned which was a welcome relief.

Il Duomo was an impressive sight; I thought it looked like lace made of stone:

All the little spires are tall columns each of which have a statue on, and the walls are covered with carvings and statues.

We went to have dinner in a nearby restaurant (I had a courgette flower risotto! and salmon with cannellini beans) and when we came out it was dark. Il Duomo looked just as impressive.

We walked across the square and got ice cream for dessert. It was still really hot at about 10pm.
This is La Scala:
The opera must have just finished, as there were lots of people in smart clothes and posh frocks coming out.

This mosaic was in a huge shopping gallery. Apparently if a woman places her heel in the hole and turns around three times then it will help fertility. Some young women were trying it out as we walked past.

I had a lovely evening, and the next day we finished our work and flew home. I was exhausted and so glad to be home again. The garden was flourishing!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Summer In a Bottle

As I was driving home from work in the last week I saw that the elderflowers were starting to blossom. The scent of elderflower for me is like the scent of summer, and every year for the last few years we have gone out picking bags of elderflowers in the hedgerows and made wine from them. This summer we plan to do the same.
Last year's wine is now drinking well, and when the cork comes out and I smell the fragrant mix of elderflowers and lemon, it is like the essence of summer captured in a bottle of wine.

Here's to summer!