Enjoying the last few days of Summer....

How do you hold back time? Does anyone know? 
No I didn't think so.
It's something that we've all wanted to do at some stage or other and yesterday was one of those days for me...It was the last day of summer :(
So I've decided to sit and reflect on what has been a wonderful few months of incredible weather for us here in Scotland. 

We couldn't have wished for a better introduction back into UK life, than to be able to experience all that a good British summer can give. 
I remember as a child growing up, when we would wake at first light and rush to meet up with friends, eager to spend the whole day outdoors. 
We'd only appear back home reluctanly for a much needed snack or sustenance of some sort, or when the light began to fade or worst of all when my name was called to come in because it was time for bed. The response would always be "ahhh....just five more minutes pleeeeeeeeeeeeeese?"
It's amazing what a beautiful summer day can do to promote a healthy appetite, as well as a healthy glow! 
I can remember summer started in May back then (although my Mother would always insist that we wore our vests quoting "Never cast a cloud until May's out". Meaning you couldn't possibly take off your vest until June began...no matter what, even if you were about to self-combust!  
Summer would carry on right through uninterrupted until September and sometimes even beyond if we were lucky to experience an 'Indian summer' as it would be called. 

But maybe I'm looking back with rose coloured glasses...because the reports I've heard about the summers over recent years have been mainly disappointing and sometimes just a complete washout! 
I'm so glad that this year wasn't https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1508618.gif
Here's a photo of our garden to prove that the sun did shine! 

(Nearly at the close of the day...the busy bee is still active...can you see him?)

But I can't say that about this year. Since we arrived back in the UK from Australia, we've enjoyed many unexpected glorious days. Enjoying sun filled warm temperatures and even been lucky enough to eat our meals outdoors too. 
This is exceptional and so unprecedented because the weather can be quite extraordinarily changeable and so unpredictable, as you will know if you live in here. 
That's why it can be our main topic of conversation. 

This weather is not what we expected but we have been so grateful and appreciated every moment. I've been getting familiar with my garden once again...meeting some new and old friends. Some of the plants I actually planted way back, but some are new additions that have been introduced in our absence. 

(I love to pick flowers from the garden and bring them indoors...
...it's like a snap shot of the month and what's in bloom) 

Sunshine, blue skies and shadows cast....
The garden has matured (haven't we all?) whilst I've been gallivanting about the globe, so there was a serious need for pruning. 
Like a scissor crazy over enthusiastic hair-dresser, I set to work. 
Edward Scissorhands has nothing on me! 

Who knew that the Lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) would take over the whole border plus some of the lawn! A charming little plant with frothy lime-green flowers but not something that you want in your lawn...well I don't anyway so snip snip snip! 

But do not fear...I noticed yesterday its re-sprouted. 
I think we might well have a battle on our hands here. 

One morning the heavy dew caught on a leaf which just stopped me in my tracks. 
But there's work to be done here...no rest for the wicked as my Grandmother would say...and I have to say I must be wicked! 
Really wicked!!!

(This photo reminded me of that old tv programme years ago...called 3,2,1 I think with the 'Dusty Bin')

We are also hacking cutting back huge hedges which is producing wonderful amount of kindling for our wood burner. 

I have to say that the Leylandii makes an excellent hedge creating a fantastic windbreak, privacy screen etc but beware if not looked after or cut regularly...then you're in for trouble. These quiet attractive hedges are on a mission...to reach Mars as soon as possible. Growing straight up at a rate of knots! 
Turn your back for a few months and whoosh...up they go!
We spent days precariously perched on ladders but thankfully my 6 foot son was on hand to help. (I'm vertically challenged shall we say, so this was a great help) 
I was delegated to be the safety anchor man...having confer bits land on me covering me like next years Christmas panto tree. 
Now we have a nice reasonably high hedge...just don't get the spirit level out or look too closely please.

And so as any gardener will tell you...you have to take time out to sit and appreciate the work you have just done and to make plans for future assignments. 
It's funny I always remember this bit! 
And so another good day comes to a close..."ahh beer o-clock" (as my hubby calls it) 

What is it about this family and fire?

Here's a shot of a shed that was demolished and burnt in the old ruined barn, which we now call 'the folly'
There will possibly be a future post about this but for now I'm just remembering back once again to a fantastic Bonfire night party that we held here years ago. 
The children were quite small but with the bonfire contained within these walls there was less worry. It was perfect and I remember everyone having a great time. 
Red sparks floating up into the star filled sky and later we had a few fireworks and cooked jacket potatoes in the ashes...plus popcorn! 
A huge hit :D
The ashes were still glowing the next morning.

We have lots of ideas on what we should do with 'the folly' but it's very early days yet. I think it might call for an architect view to help us decide. I can see nothing past an art studio/gallery! 
What do you think? 
Granny flat, separate student apartment, holiday home?
Dog kennel?
I don't think so I hear 'McMuffy' say...Kennel? What's one of those? 

We've had some wonderful walks McMuffy and I, through the country-side, woods and along the river. I had forgotten just how beautiful the British countryside can be. 
There's always something to catch your eye and I know that I'm going to enjoy seeing all the different seasons putting on their show. 

Where we are located there's a huge expanse of sky that is just perfect for cloud spotting and sunsets. 
I just love space! 

We also met some of the neighbours. 
Once again some old and some new. 
And some surprises too. 
I remember having a deer come right into the garden when we were last here, right up to the door almost. I don't know which one of us was more surprised to see the other. 
I'm hoping that we may be as lucky in the future. There's something special about having wildlife come to call. 
I also remember one night taking a last peek out of the window to have a huge, what I thought was a ginger tom cat stop and look back at me. 
I thought wow that big boy needs to be put on a diet, but then a few days later upon speaking to someone, it was explained that it was probably a 'wild cat' and that I'd been very lucky to spot him. He was lurking around our wood shed. 

(photo courtesy of Google Images...click for more pics)

Apologies for this photo I know it's a little blurred but you have to be quick to capture these things sometimes...maybe next time I'll have more warning or hopefully she'll be a regular visitor and there won't be any urgency in capturing the shot. 

Hey, now does anyone remember these beauties...or should that say 'booties'?
The 70's Moon Boots! 
We found them in the loft. They've probably been home for any number of wee beasties over the years by the look of them. 
Sadly they are no more...it took a lot to say goodbye to them, but then they probably wouldn't have lasted even having a foot put in them...even if you wanted to (yuk) They would have probably disintegrated within seconds. 

Here's something else that is no more...the little wendy, summer or cubby house.
My son took great delight in demolishing this. 
But I had mixed feelings...there had been lots of play times, happy memories and it had even been home for our two rabbits. I was contemplating it becoming our chook (hen) house but decided it wasn't in the best of health, so off it went to the folly for cremation.  
There might well be a future post about this too.

I hope you are noticing all the sunshine radiating from these photos.
Okay, I just wanted to point it out in case you'd missed it. 
And look at that blue sky!

This photo is taken from the side of the folly. 
I love those huge nails and wonder if they could talk what tales they'd tell.  

Remember I'd mentioned in my Simple Woman's Daybook entry the butterfly that refuses to leave the house...well look...
He just loves to hang out and spend time with me.

It's most bizarre to have a flutterby butterfly suddenly appear and fly around the room. 
He appears almost every evening now when I'm cooking...I think he feels so much at home he's invited to dinner too.  

Ahh...summer comes to a close but all the wonderful memory will linger. 
What's this I see....
The first signs of autumn?
It's arrival brings a new look to the Scottish countryside, with reds, golds and browns replacing the greens of summer. I don't really mind because the palette is pleasing and they'll be lots more beautiful things to appreciate. 
Yes, I suppose even the rain but let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for an 'Indian Summer' first. 

But just in case it doesn't come...I'm organising my cosy things...I haven't quite got the 'Onesie' yet...I wouldn't wish that sight on anyone, but who knows I always say 'never say never'. If that North wind doth blow too hard, I might just indulge! 
Don't worry there won't be any photographic evidence. I'm not that cruel. ;D

Is there any particular time or event you wish you could stop time for?
I'd love to know.
Hopefully you're enjoying a super sun-filled Sunday.
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