Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer is upon us - think tennis and strawberries, and rain...........................


Summer. It is supposed to be summer, and I am supposed to be outside glorying in the warmth. I am not. I am here. However, the summer gatherings go on, and the rain and howling winds may bend, batter and break my garden, but the plants will pick themselves up and grow on.

So will I.

There may be an abundance of roses in this post. They are all blooming at once. They also bear no relation to the words, so skip through them!


It never ceases to amaze me - the way nature can be beaten down, and yet it all grows back stronger. There are times when I eye the neighbour's petunia baskets with dread. I am babysitting them, and they have to survive the winds and lashing rain. So I zap out (metaphorically) and move them from shelter to shelter, depending on the direction of the wind.


I wanted to go off to M&S with my daughter this morning, but I am waiting for documents to arrive via email, for me to sign. The waiting game requires much patience.


So last week passed in a soggy flash. There were gym sessions, visits to the doctor, the watering of Jean's garden and the planting out of the cucumbers and gem squash at the allotment to see to between rain showers. Church, house group, a BBQ celebration with friends and the ripple blanket to finish. I am one and a half rows from the end. I like the wide stripes, but the colours were a mix of what was left here at home, and, while they look fine, they are not really what I intended to have in it. But it will be done today and then I can start on something else. Maybe a daisy one. Or a Granny stripe. We will see. If the weather stays bad, then something warm on my lap would be good. The evenings can be chilly.


It is SUMMER, for goodness' sake.


The BBQ yesterday was great. There were many many people there, and somehow, my friends and I - all 7 of us,  ended up in the garden under a gazebo which was struggling to be waterproof. (The others were all indoors.) It (the gazebo) was also struggling to stay on the ground. And we chatted and laughed and ate and drank and it was when I realised that the onset of hypothermia was imminent that I decided home would be a great idea. We are a tough lot up here in the middle of England, but there are limits! The poor lad doing the actual barbequing was drenched to the bone. He did an excellent and heroic job in very trying circumstances. He deserves a medal. 

It took a while to thaw.


Now, changing the subject, did you go out and see the super moon? We managed to see it last night, and while it was very round and bright, it looked nothing like some of the photos I have seen. Mind you, that could be because I only have a little point and shoot camera, and the zoom is OK, but not like other camera's ones. A white ball in the sky. Maybe people photoshop it. Hmm.


But I saw the super moon. Tick the box.


Moving on.....

The year Glynis turned 60, she made a list of 60 new things she wanted to do in that year. The more I thought about it (she did 73!), the more I thought what a great idea that was. As you get older, the number rises and you have to do more things, but then life sort of speeds up a great deal, and the years become mere days, and so I decided that it would be an excellent idea to do it every year.


I will be the 80 year old on roller skates - trying to get 80 new things done in a year.
I can just see it. 


I suggest you younger ones start when you can manage 30 or 40 things. 59 is looking quite a challenge, but challenges are excellent. One thing I have committed to doing, is to read and list 52 books. This is not new for me. I used to read hundreds of books each year, but now it is really complicated, so 52 is quite daunting.

 Step One: I have started going to the local library. Well. Things Have Changed. It is all about sliding bar codes under red scanner lines and swiping books and paying a slot machine if you are late, and getting till slips telling you when to return books. Till slips. They spout out of the machine. Then I lose them. This is why I am already acquainted with the slot machine section.


However, there are some excellent books. I have a book on Mindfulness, a biography of Bruce Springsteen and a teacher's memoir. And I am half way through Dr Ben Carson's book, America the Beautiful. That one I got from Amazon after listening to his speech on Facebook. A fascinating and inspirational man. Amazon gift vouchers are the best. Did I mention that a lovely young friend sent me a gift voucher, which boggled my mind, for my birthday? She did. And I was speechless. These sort of things do not happen in normal life. But, overwhelmed, I was and am so very thankful. More so that she is my friend than the fact that she sent the voucher! Oh, the delight.


And while we are on the subject of unexpected gifts, I received another mystery parcel - this one was from my Scottish blogging friend,  and in it, there was a lovely mug, a great shopping bag and this wonderful tea bag holder! Such a fabulous surprise! 

I am running out of superlatives, my friends, but it was a truly lovely gesture and both of these surprises kept me smiling for a very long time. 

Insert happy smiley face......

Back to that list. So I am in the process of listing 59 new(ish) things to do before May 2014. Some are relatively simple. Some more complicated. And I am only on #34 amassing the list so far. There are shows to see, exhibitions to wander through, towns to visit, restaurants to try. There is a Jamie Oliver one in a nearby town - that is on the list. There is a forest nearby with a treetop walk. I have never been there. I am going to attempt that one too. Free options are wonderful, and there are so many of them! I am also trying to grow melons this year. Another first. See? The list has easy things on too. If they are an epic fail, I will add something else to the list. Interesting things. I want to do a Coursera course as well. Oh, the Internet is such a wonderful thing!

Raindrop on a leaf. Like a diamond. 
The sharing, the opportunities to learn,. The friends we make, regardless of age. The virtual conferences to attend. The tennis to watch..................... TENNIS!! In 10 minutes, Roger appears on Centre Court, and I just remembered the rage we all felt last year when the BBC only seemed to broadcast British players on the outside courts when Roger, Nadal, etc were playing. It was ridiculous. I sincerely hope they do not do the same this year. Though maybe the Internet will oblige if they do. We will see.

So I will now download photos, and upload photos and press publish and away we will go.

I am sure there are still strawberries in the fridge.......................


Chris said...

So good to see a blog from you! I have missed your writing, dear one!

Vee said...

I have always thought it would be fun to try a new road every day of summer. We have so many roads and I imagine that you do, too. I know that I'd not run out and there are quite a number that I've never traveled. I had to pin that photo of the raindrop. Too pretty!

Anonymous said...

Do you know the names of those beautiful roses? G2b2

Cait O'Connor said...

What a lovely post, I enjoyed all your various subjects covered. And such beautiful roses! Mine are barely in bud here!

Crystal said...

Your roses are absolutely gorgeous! And the diamond waterdrop is also superb. So nice to read about your day and to watch the list of 59 develop :)

Linda said...

Linds, the roses are exquisite! I would dearly love roses, but I know the deer will eat them. I may try anyway. Perhaps I could start a list !!!!

Loved the visit.

Needled Mom said... was hard to read the post because I was so busy looking at those gorgeous roses!!!

I thought about you when I saw the tennis today. Oh dear!

I can't wait to see the afghan finished.

You are a tough crowd over there. We would have stressed if we saw a cloud in the sky for our BBQ!

Good luck keeping all of the pots alive and well.

Isabelle said...

Glad to see that the mug still had its handle attached when it arrived!