Thursday Thunderstorms and Icecream

When I started blogging I really had no idea that it would become such a big part of my life. I look at everything differently now. I plan and form blog posts in my head, take photos thinking what my followers might like to see or be interested in. I had no idea it would be such a big part of my life and routine. But having said that I never wanted to feel pressurized into having to post or obliged to post regularly. If I missed a few days it shouldn't have mattered... not really... but it did. Not posting over the last few weeks has been tougher than I thought. Maybe a little too tough which is worrying. Perhaps I'll analyse all of this another time. 
For now I'll just enjoy getting back to blogging. 
(Flowers picked from my own garden... 
at last some of the hard work is paying off) 

I don't really know where I'll start because so much has happened over the last few weeks. It can be a little daunting thinking back... 
to know where to start, so I'll just start and see where it leads.
It'll probably be better writing small regular posts then getting carried away as can so easily happen. 

I've had visitor's from Australia... two lot's to be precise, which was wonderful. 
A little of Melbourne coming to call. 
Thankfully, the atrocious 'summer' weather improved for both visits.
(Here's a scene from my window this morning)

You may have heard from the media that we've had soaring temperatures... and that we're all virtually melting!
Well, let me tell you we've been fine up here in Scotland. 
In fact it's been just about perfect. 
In the mid 20's (70+ Fahrenheit) unlike further down South. 
I can't imagine what it must be like playing tennis in 41 degrees as Andy Murry did on the centre court of Wimbledon.

We had a fantastic thunderstorm last night.
Nothing like the storms we used to witness when we lived in Brunei, but nevertheless pretty spectacular.
There's been lot's of reports and guidelines advising how to stay cool and prevent overheating or dehydration. 
Here's Muffy's advice... 
I hope you're staying chilled and enjoying life this Thursday. 
Thanks for visiting and I hope we can chat again soon. 

Take a peek Tuesday

Everyone is talking about autumn here at the moment, even though we're still in the month of August. I suppose if you look at the temperature records we've been experiencing over the last month... post ex-hurricane 'Bertha' it's not surprising. 
If you stay out of the biting wind and the sun is shining, then it can still feel reasonably warm. 
It reminds us we are still supposed to be enjoying summer, even if it's the tail-end and
I'm hoping because the last month has been so cold, we will have an Indian summer.
Well there's nothing wrong with being hopeful is there?! 
In fact, I'm determined to stay positive until the snow arrives (apparently 'they' say it's going to be a hard winter) Argh... 
If you're a regular visitor here then you may remember my tractor ride with the local farmer whilst in the middle of cooking the Sunday lunch. 
Well the above and below photos show the results of expert ploughing! 

Now I must admit when I see these photos they do make me think of autumn but I NEED heat. Not for selfish purposes (although it would better not to look like a 'mummy' bound up with layer upon layer of fleece), no it's because I have more visitors arriving from Australia! What am I to do? 
They'll freeze even though they've come from an Aussie winter!!!
Does anyone know if/where I might be able to a buy tartan onesie? 
I can see teeth chattering and not in a nice nattering sort of way.
I'm cleaning fireplaces ready to penetrate their layers and warm their bones once they arrive. We might be okay in the house but how am I going to get them from A to B or to see the place? 
I'm obviously going to have to be creative! 
 A neighbour's cat coming through the field. 
Good job Mufftypup hasn't seen him!

With the Great British Bake Off now into it's fifth season it's inspiring me to bake once again. Both my sister and I are keen bakers and we constantly send each other photo's of our latest creations. Click here to see her latest collection.
I baked Chocolate and Orange cake last week and yesterday I used some over ripe bananas for a banana loaf. 
I've searched through my blog to find the post that will have this recipe, but I can't seem to find it. 
I'm sure I've posted it previously but it must be hiding.
It's a very simple recipe, so if anyone wants it just let me know and I'll send it through. 

I would post it here but I've got lots to get through today and the times marching on. 
I'm on the final prep for the visitors... but there's the fresh linen and towels to put out (no I'll not be making animals out of the towel like on the cruise ships, but they will be folded neatly onto the bed with the must have chocolates etc.
It's all to detract from the cold.

I'm linking up for the first time with Our World Tuesday
Our World Tuesday Graphic
Have a wonderful week peeps and I'll try to catch up with you as and when I can. 
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Happy Blue Monday...Bee Mats and Tractor rides

So the weekends done and dusted...I blinked and it was gone.
Although it was full on, I did manage to squeeze a few new activities in. 
Some that even surprised me!
The sun came out to play along with a very keen wind, but that didn't stop us getting out into the garden. There's lots to get on with so time is of the essence.
I've had plans for a wild flower section in my garden since we returned to the house, especially after hearing that bees are in serious decline.
Apparently 50% have been lost through disease, loss of habitat and intensive farming. Planting wild flowers makes a big difference to bee survival. So I wanted to do my bit.
I bought a bee mat on one of my Garden Centre visits, so it was time for action.
 The site for the wild flowers is right at the edge of the garden under the silver birch trees. The BeeMat is a 200cm x 50cm ready seeded, biodegradable mat that contains annual, biannial and perennial species of wild flowers that are a great source of nature and pollen for bees including: Common Knapweed, Greater Knapweed, Golden Rod, Vipers Bugloss.
As you can see I've picked a sunny sheltered spot as instructed. 
Cultivated the ground and removed the weeds (well sort of)
I layed the mat over a level smooth bed of soil and covered the fleece with sand and compost. I then watered it and now I wait! 
I'll certainly let you see how it progresses...hopefully we'll have a beautiful wild flower area buzzing with activity soon.
 
Talking of activity...you are never going to guess what happened to me whilst I was in the middle of cooking our Sunday Roast!
As is my want...I am constantly looking for photographic potential even when I'm not aware that's what I'm doing. So when I caught sight of my local farmer busy ploughing a nearby field, I grabbed my camera to capture a shot. 
Unfortunately Sunday wasn't as sunny as Saturday as you can see by the heavy sky in the photo below. 
I missed a fantastic photo only a few weeks ago, whilst out walking with Muffy. The sun was shining onto the blades of the plough, the excitable seagulls were squawking whilst taking flight until the tractor passed and the soil looked like treacle it was so dark and rich. 
Why did I miss the photo do I hear you ask?...because I'd left my camera at home...which is like loosing a limb, especially when you see a shot that you know would be special. 
Anyway...here's the shot I did get (very disappointing but you have to move on)

I had asked the farmer if I could take his photo before I started snapping and initially he just sat there but then I explained that I wanted to shoot him working, so off he went. 
(Just a little note here...he was wearing blue but you can't tell from this shot...and why am I telling you this? I'm linking up with Blue Monday that's why...hence the blue bee mat above hehe)
Anyway, back to my story if you haven't nodded off or have a more pressing engagement to attend...
As he came nearer to me precariously perched upon the bank of the lane trying to avert the barb wired fence he shouted "would you like to have a ride" 
(cough...cough...okay I'm editing here because I know that that sentence could have lots of connotations...but we'll move on quickly...)
So how could I refuse...off went my apron into the hedgerow (don't forget I was in the middle of cooking) and over the gate post I vaulted! Well maybe not quite a vault but I was impressed because it's been many years since I did that. I was giggling to myself thinking the boys were in the house watching their football team (in a crucial match) and would be oblivious to what I was up to. I also laughed when I looked down and realised I was still wearing my slippers! 
I had to take a photo as evidence to prove that I was indeed ploughing a field in the middle of mixing the yorkshire puds! They'd never believe me!

I was able to ask the farmer lots of questions...about the area and why/how he does what he does...which was like starring in my own 'Country File' programme. 
After as I ran back up my driveway I heard the roar of the crowd...well my two boys shouting at an obvious goal in their teams favour. It can be quite deafening if you're in the house, so I waited until full-time to ask them what they thought I'd been doing and that they'd NEVER guess and imagine their shock when I pointed to the field and said I'd been ploughing and showed them my backed of photographic evidence! 
The farmer says he'll let me have a go with his Combine Harvester when the time comes...so we set up a sign language for a cuppa if he was working near again. 
I did mention that I'm waiting for the lambs to arrive in the back field, but I'm not sure about his answer...his accent is extremely broad for a newie like me to follow. 
So we'll have to wait and see. 

Happy Blue Monday to you all...
If you would like to see more Blue Monday links, then nip over to Sally by clicking here
Have fun! 
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xoxo