High summer, which here in England means temperatures of about 20 Celsius if we're lucky. Not for us the certainty of being able to eat outdoors when we feel like it and the assurance that plans for days out can be kept to.
Which is why it's been a wonderful surprise to have visitors, one from Canada and three from Seattle from across the pond....and to be able to do things we normally can't.
I love being outdoors on an English summer evening. To be able to drink chilled glasses of prosecco while feeling the softness of the grass underneath my feet. To have friends and rellies around for supper and eat under the early evening sun
and sit outside into the long evening until darkness falls at way past 10pm...
even though it was a bit nippy by then...and even Liz from Toronto was feeling the chill.
Last Thursday the Americans arrived and were here for the 4th July too...
which we didn't celebrate with fireworks. We don't do fireworks ever here . Living in a thatched cottage, being clumsy, and setting off fireworks would be too risky. Instead we chose the safer option, which cousin Melinda and Aunt Avril wanted to do, was to go and see the Leicester of Richard III. Greg decided on a game of golf.
But we did have nine for supper around the kitchen table - all family, laughing , drinking, eating and talking,....and oh how we talked .
When they left on Saturday lunchtime, and my darling daughter headed back down south,the house suddenly seemed very quiet, especially after such a very busy week.
A feeling of tiredness washed over me, and I decided that I would embrace the quietness and solitude.
I would do what my mum is always telling me to do...stop and smell the roses.
I haven't got any roses left in my garden but I did find time to sit in the garden , smelling the herbs and flowers
My faithful furry faced friend decided to follow suit...
and that , by and large was Saturday. Apart from cooking , washing and ironing and going to the allotment, I did nothing.
Sunday was even more restful... I really did stop . I read, and listened to Radio 4. I caught up with the Archers, and a wonderful documentary about the musician Jeff Buckley's visit to London twenty years ago . Do listen, it's available until this Sunday to listen again to.
And then in the afternoon, Boo and I settled on the sofa for a ringside seat watching the men's final at Wimbledon.
Bliss, even though I felt exhausted afterwards. It's tiring watching tennis.....
One thing I will never tire of though, is listening to Jeff Buckley's music.Today's track is one of my favourite tracks of his - it's called "Everybody here wants you".The beat, the voice, the emotion, and the passion still get me every time I hear it.....
Listen, love it and press repeat.....