August-in-a-blog-post …

… or something that attempts to sum up what’s happened in my month!

My August got overtaken with illness. Yup, it’s me that’s ill. It’s a long-term thing – been around for too long and not going away anytime in the near future. Some days are better than others and August has been a collection of mostly bad days. Life has been a struggle and finding the energy for the every-day essentials has been flakey, so my blog has sort of slipped …

I wanted to tell you because my blog and the blogging community I’ve found online has become very important to me. I love sharing my photos and life with whoever is reading these pages and getting to “meet” some of you fellow-bloggers and share my passions with you has been an amazing experience! Even though I have not been commenting on your blogs, I’ve been keeping in touch with what is going on in your lives, praying for you when you’ve had tough times and loving all the photos, recipes and fun! So I guess it’s my turn to ask for the prayers and/or thoughts. Not something that comes easily to me, but even though I don’t post as regularly as I want to, I’m not giving up!

Here are a few other things that happened in August …

I cooked a fish meal for the first time! I baked salmon in foil parcels with a sauce of chilli, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and lots of spring onion, red pepper and fresh coriander (cilantro). I served it with rice and green vegetables and it seemed to be a success! ๐Ÿ™‚

One of L’s cousins got married in a country manor house in Shropshire! The staircase used for the bride’s entrance was amazing! They handed out homemade dried-rose confetti and had a beautifully done afternoon tea for the first part of the reception! The couple was obviously happy, despite it pouring with rain most of the day and the bride’s vintage-style lace dress was pretty. There were some photos of L and I taken, but my father-in-law still has these! ๐Ÿ˜‰

My youngest sister had her 21st birthday!! Eeeek! Makes me feel old … ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had a lot of fun planning and creating a special gift for her. T has quite a number of pen-friends and writing letters and keeping in touch with them is important to her. I found a Jane Austen-style writing desk which I painted with her favourite flower – daisys! I also covered a box with old stamps from around the world (I love Ebay! ๐Ÿ˜› ) and filled it with notepaper and cards. My other two sisters had informed me that T was very set on having cards with 21 on them … so the card, some of the wrapping paper and a key-ring made sure she wouldn’t forget how old she was turning!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My sisters and I have had this tradition of giving each other number badges for big birthdays and this year I got to buy the badge – I’ve been assured it will be pinned on her bag for a while! ๐Ÿ™‚

Just this past week we had some good friends of ours round for supper. E and S got married just 7 months after L and I did and L and E had lived in the same houses for 6 years and have been in a prayer-triplet together with another guy for nearly as long … so yeah, they go way back. They have had us round for dinner twice and we really wanted to have them round to our house – once we could find a date that worked for both couples, that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I kind of went a bit over-board on the cooking front … not at all common forย  me ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like to cook something which is ready ahead of time and just needs putting in the oven, so I baked Chicken, Leek and Cider Pie. It comes from this amazing pie recipe book that my sisters gave me for my birthday last year. I decided to replace the whole chicken and homemade stock with chicken pieces and chicken stock cubes and made a classic mistake – the recipe called for a chicken weighing 1.5kg so, of course, I bought 1.5kg of thigh fillets … let’s just say that not counting in the weight difference for a whole chicken made a massive quantity of filling! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apart from that little slip-up, everyone seemed to enjoy the individual pies, sweet potato wedges and vegetables. For pudding we had lemon-curd biscuits, fresh fruit and homemade ice-cream. I’d been wanting to have a go at making my own ice-cream in ages and I found this recipe that just need me to whip up condensed milk, double cream and vanilla, then put it in the freezer and forget about it … until pudding time! ๐Ÿ™‚ So simple!

A few weeks ago L surprised me with this gorgeous bouquet of flowers – he knows how to make me smile! ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope to be writing again soon!

What has happened in your August?

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Summer!

I promise you I have not completely disappeared … I just took an unplanned break … doing some summer things …

… like sitting with my hubby drinking wine, chatting and enjoying the evening sun coming through our windows …

… witnessing glorious sunsets …

… eating lots of fresh asparagus (between you and me I think L might wake up one morning and find his wife has turned into a stalk of asparagus ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) …

… reading books on the Cathedral Green …

… attending the lovely wedding of lovely friends …

… and taking photos of fresh, juicy, bright red tomatoes! Not really a must-do summer activity, but come on, the colour has got to make you smile, right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are you doing with your summer?

Perfect afternoon!

The last two days we have been enjoying the nicest weather we’ve had since about May – blue skies, fluffy clouds, just the right strength of sun, cool breeze … perfect!

So L and I took advantage of it this afternoon and went walking!

We walked down through town to The Quay.

You can hire canoes to go up the river, or bikes to take on the tow-path … or you can walk up the paths, like we did. But first we stopped at a little place called The Jolly Roger’s Tea Room to but some scrummy ice creams which we munched on as we walked! ๐Ÿ™‚ I had maple, pecan and fudge in a waffle cone – you should try it sometime, it’s yummy! ๐Ÿ˜›

The river is beautiful, especially in this weather and I love having a piece of countryside so close to town!

Doubles Locks is a locally famous pub which is very popular as a walking and cycling destination. We sat under the magnificent cedar trees outside and enjoyed a chilled pint of beer/cider – ah!

There were lots of people there, enjoying the sun, the space and the good food and drink – it was nice and cheerful!

We had some fun messing around for a bit before starting off on the walk home …

We were quite tired by then and had sore feet by the time we got home again, but it was so worth it!! I haven’t enjoyed a Saturday afternoon so much in too long, and I got to spend it all with my lovely hubby! ๐Ÿ˜€

This evening

The last few days we have had beautiful weather! Blue skies, hot sun, light breeze! Lots of sun, but not too hot – just right! ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now the evening sun is pouring through my windows!

I love that our main kitchen/dining/living room faces west, and so catches lots of sunlight and golden shadows!

It even makes my crowded little tea shelf appear semi-attractive! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As those of you who have read my blog for long will know – I love taking photos of sunlight and shadow – even if that’s my dining room chair!! ๐Ÿ˜›

In this light my sun catcher comes into its own and looks beautiful!

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my beautiful flowers in the sunlight! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok, so maybe I’m a little obsessed with this whole sun-and-shadow-photo-thing … !

While blogging and doing craft, I’m enjoying a big old bowl of fresh salad …

… and a little glass of white wine! Mmm ๐Ÿ™‚

What are you doing this evening?!

Bluebell woods

Last weekend L and I were visiting his parents.

We had a lovely, relaxed weekend being looked after, fed delicious food, poured tasty wine and getting to go for some glorious drives and walks through some beautiful English countryside!

Sounds like a pretty good weekend to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday afternoon, when we had an unexpected burst of clear sky and sunshine, L, my Mum-in-law and myself went in search ofย  some bluebell woods …

… and we found them! So beautiful!!

After a few weeks of heavy rain, massive puddles on the pavements, grey views from the windows, wet socks after grocery shopping and that heavy feeling that comes with a constant half-light, it was so freeing to be out in the country, with blue, lightly cloudy skies, warm sunshine, fresh air, birds singing, grass and wildlife sounds all around.

Ahh …

A wood full of bluebells – for me, the photos say it all!

Contentment.

The Sunshine Award!

Two weeks ago I was nominated for the Sunshine Award!!

It’s amazing that I was nominated for an award and one which I would love my blog to be known for! A big thank you goes to Faith, at www.faithrises.com for this generous award! Do please go and check out this inspiring blog – daily encouragement through Bible verses and photos. You’ll love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

On the business side of things, the Sunshine Award comes with a few rules:

  • Include the awardโ€™s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

So about these 10 questions … what questions should I ask myself? What would people like to know about me? I’m fairly stumped and would like to be original if I can, so I’m going to bend the rules slightly …! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m going to tell you five things about myself and then I will answer the first five questions that you post as comments to this post!

Now come on, be good sports and ask some, ok?! ๐Ÿ˜›

  1. After the ceremony was over, I wore red Converses and rainbow coloured striped socks with my wedding dress.
  2. I’ve flown over 36 times in my short lifetime.
  3. I’ve been bitten by a poisonous spider.
  4. I fancied my husband for over four years before he asked me out.
  5. I couldn’t walk after spending an almost two whole days on a trampoline, after never using one before.

Right, so here I’ve given you five fun facts about myself – you lot ask me the next five!!

Now I need to nominate 10-12 fabulous bloggers to receive the Sunshine Award from me! I find this part extra-difficult, as I never want to leave anyone out, but here goes (I’m not promising to reach the full number! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) …

  1. www.bigeejit.blogspot.co.uk
  2. www.happinessstanlives.wordpress.com
  3. www.confessionsofacornfedgirl.blogspot.co.uk
  4. www.lovingsimplemoments.wordpress.com
  5. www.resolved2worship.xanga.com
  6. www.jelillie.wordpress.com
  7. www.yesiwantcake.com
  8. www.twominutesofgrace.wordpress.com
  9. www.badpuppetproductionz.com

There you have it! I think these blogs give sunshine for many different reasons – go and find out for yourself!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, I had some fun!

This morning when I left home for an appointment, it was pouring with rain … within seconds my waterproof coat was dripping through the inner sleeve onto my sweater – so much for being waterproof.

It stopped raining as I neared the last 10 minutes of my walk but then, while crossing a busy road, I noticed that an obliging seagull had pooped liberally on my jeans and shoe. Fantastic.

Two hand washing sessions, antibacterial handwash applications and an hour later, things began to look up.

My best buddy R and I went to the beach, where the sky was blue and the sun was shinning!

Despite the lack of rain and the warmth of the sun, it was still very windy on the seafront, so both of us look very windswept … hmm, I also look a little crazy …

I love the sea!

I love pebbles, sunlight and shadows!

More than that, I love fun adventures with R! ๐Ÿ˜€