It would be so easy to make this blog into a moan about the constant incessant rain we've had this summer. I didn't know at first whether it is particularly awful or whether its just because we now grow vegetables and try to live seasonally that we notice every change. I now know this summer is somewhat freakish, although it has been interesting trying to live closer to the soil, so to speak.
Some of the crops we grew easily last year, like beetroot and courgettes, have been somewhat of a washout and have suffered from a major influx of slugs and snails. Seeds have germinated for other crops, but then they just don't grow particularly large as they need warmth and sunshine to produce at their best. Our little apple tree which produced three apples in its first year has only produced one apple this year - it has been widely reported that apple and pear crops are significantly down on the average this year. It all feels lacklustre and as if the vegetables were waiting for a summer that will never come.
Due to the awful weather we have spent a lot more time than usual in the house and sorting through boxes of things. I've even put aside a cupboard for my sewing things.
Our study is now painted in french turquoise, resplendent with floor to ceiling bookshelves and waiting for us to find a lovely wing arm chair and small desk.
We have also fitted our new front door, with a beautiful one made by my brother and fitted by him and my brother in law.
When we venture into the garden in moments of rare sunshine or dryness, we watch sparrows dance across the lawn, dipping onto the long grass occasionally and making a racket. It is so lovely to see them again in bigger numbers, I remember seeing them all the time when I was a child but numbers had dropped massively over the years. In the garden at Hazel Cottage this year we often get four or five of them at a time, chirping and sitting on the fence.
Amongst all the rain, it really does make you appreciate when the sun shines or when you see a rainbow...