Thursday, September 1, 2016

August - flower power

Crunchy Courgette Pickle 
Flowers at Kew 
Sunny walks in my lunch hour across Old Sarum airfield 
and the dulcet tones of the combine harvester - they're still at it now, even in the dark

Last month I mostly:-

- Stood over a steaming preserve pan in a very hot kitchen.
- Took advantage of the £16 train offer and spent 3 Saturdays on the trot in London.  Naughty.
- Found out that those little red levers really do stop trains!  Long story.
- Watched the Red Devils jump out of a plane on a lunch time stroll with my colleague across Old Sarum Airfield.
- Went to a beer festival and drove home - I am the master of self control.....
- Watched shooting stars.
- Finished watching all 6 series of Downton Abbey - back to back.  It has taken us 9 months since it finished last Christmas.  I am now bereft.....
- Bought a third standard lamp for the house.  I think I may be obsessed.

We bought the said standard lamp from a massive charity shop in Shaftesbury, one sunny Saturday.  

Love Shaftesbury - quiet, quaint.  Just nice.

We enjoyed our usual warm apple cake and clotted cream at the King Alfred Tearooms with our friend Emma

The view from near the Abbey

Shaftesbury Abbey

When we haven't been enjoying the peace at home -

we have been up the Big Smoke.

I was defeated you won the war....  
Waterloo, promise to love you for evermore, da dum da dum da dum

We shuffled around the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition at the Tate Modern.  It is 100 years since the first showing of her work in New York.  Lots of chin scratching, deep conversations and strange outfits to be seen and heard!  Just as interesting as the paintings.

The turbine hall

'Tree' made from parts of trees gathered from Al Weiwei's native China

We visited Kew Gardens.  I haven't been since I was a small child and lived in Richmond.  We had a most sumptuous lunch in the enormous and jaw dropping Orangery.  Sarah nabbed a table inside and texted me as I sat outside keeping a table!  She's learning.  There are over 300 acres at Kew and we only saw a tiny amount - my legs at the end of the day!!!  

The iconic Palm House at the UNESCO World Heritage site

Very hot and steamy

Banana anyone?

I felt I should be wearing a long Victorian gown as I swept up the staircase

Oh good, a bench

Henry Moore bronze sculpture - 'Reclining Mother & Child' 1975-1976

The treetop walkway - 18 metres above the ground.

'A Maximus Ad Minima' (From the greatest to the least) by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi 1998

I am sure Kew started my fascination and love for all things cacti.

I remember standing in this display when I was small.  Although my Mother has since said that she would never have let me do that!

You could make very large quiches in those lily pads

Nelumbo 'Charles Thomas'

The Great Broadwalk - the longest double herbaceous border in the country

And I didn't realise that we would get to look around a house too - very exciting.  Kew Palace, home of George III.  Some rooms were untouched and as they would have been 200 years ago.

Kew Palace

The Georgian Royal Kitchens (with staff in costume - nice touch I always think.....)

They dye the water with a harmless black substance in the Lily House, partly to cut down on algae and also to show off the plants.

The Lily House with black water

Esme and I had a lovely picnic in the New Forest one Friday.  Look at that cloudless blue sky!  That almost never happens.

Hale Purlieu

It's definitely feeling autumnal already.

Found this on the farm - no idea what it is

Very sadly, we lost Big Dog this month.  She has left a very big hole in our lives and walks are just not the same.  Luckily, there are lots of dogs in the village that we have been borrowing - much to their owner's delight.

This is Basil.  We have also walked Lottie and Twiggs

I love the echinacea in our garden

I'm off to find my soup book and get my winter clothes out.  Oh, how I've missed layering....

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