june


June ... is the month for roses, warm sun, tea in the garden and light evenings when it is hard to be early in bed.

From Something to Do, a Young Puffin Original edited by Septima and beautifully illustrated by Shirley Hughes, published in 1966, the year I was born, and the constant accompaniment to my childhood.

It's hard to believe that we are already nearing the end of the month. Despite all the rain and stormy weather, I'm pleased to say we have had roses and warm sun and the other things mentioned above, although perhaps less abundantly than we might have wished for. There certainly hasn't been any shortage of Something to Do:

Tea in the garden - and perhaps more importantly, cake - has featured very prominently, since June is the month when my best friend Anne opens her garden for Didsbury Open Gardens (as well as the NGS) and we serve tea and cake in vintage teacups and best pinnies. Fourteen large cakes had to be made and iced the week before, with one or two extras for 'testing', of course. It's always a lovely day, and fun to meet friends and old neighbours.

This weekend was a special anniversary and so we battled through the torrential rain for a three-night stay in beautiful Northumberland. The beaches, castles, gardens and gentle rolling countryside are so lovely, and we had the most gorgeous and elegant afternoon tea at the Earl Grey Tea House at Howick Hall as well as lots of rambles and pottering about, a wonderful few hours at Barter Books,  and lots of time scuffing about on beaches collecting limpet shells to string into a little whirly wreath.

Earlier in the month, of course, we were all treated to a couple of days holiday for the Golden Jubilee here in the UK, and we decided to pop up to the Lake District to see the Jubilee beacons being lit. After a lovely sunny afternoon drinking tea and reading the papers overlooking Coniston Water at the Jumping Jenny Tearooms at Brantwood, we climbed up Hampsfell near Cartmel and watched the sunset over the Lakeland Fells, followed by the lighting of the beacons. It was a truly magical experience to watch one pinprick of light after another gradually appear on the mountainous skyline until we were surrounded by a ring of tiny distant fires. It was just like Lord of the Rings. Then, suddenly, out of the cloud bank, the full moon rose majestically above the expanse of Morecambe Bay, creating a moonlit path across the water. Wonderful, except then we had to get back to the car down a rocky path with only our wind-up torch for company... a little bit of a Laurel and Hardy ending to a magical day, as is so often the case in our household I'm afraid!

So that was June. Hopefully there will be a bit more art in July.

10 comments:

marigold jam said...

It's been a strange month hasn't it? There have been sunny rimes but one is always aware that at any minute it might all change! Love the photo on your post. Tea shops there's a truly English idea eh? Everything always looks better over a cup of tea. Her's to July with sunshine and cakes!

marigold jam said...

I really must learn to proof read before pressing "publish your comment"! Sorry about the typos.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

I still have my 'Something To Do' book, I received it as a prize in primary school. It makes no mention of rain in June though!!
Your Lake District trip sounded magical. :)
Vivienne x

Sue said...

I still have my copy of Something To Do as well. I recognised the quotation straight away.I wrote about it on my blog a while ago and had a lot of 'I had that book!' comments. I don't know why but I am surprised to find you are younger than me! Not by much.

Those beacons must have been wonderful to watch. That's my favourite part of LOTR.

Lucille said...

Yes I was one of the me toos on Sue's blog and have often quoted from Something to Do. I had to get myself another copy from the wonderful Abebooks because I lent it to someone who evidently couldn't bear to give it back!

dreaminginstitches said...

Yep, I also still have my copy of Something To Do - very well thumbed. I think I actually had that kind of childhood - well pretty much, but despite my best efforts, neither of my girls have been at all interested in it, even though I've tried to give them a similar childhood. How times change.

Here's the question: Only an afternoon in Alnwick - do you go to the Alnwick Garden or Barter Books?

Sue said...

We didn't go to the Alnwick gardens as it was £12 each and I tend to prefer older more dilapidated gardens. It seemed quite a big-money sort of affair. Barter Books is great for a rainy day. You could do both in a day, I should think.

Gilly said...

Have you still got your "Something to do" book?? Lovely to hear you had a good time in Northumberland.

Jackie said...

Thank you Sue for your lovely words in this blog. I've caught up with one or two blog this afternoon ..my favourites..and they make me a bit embarrassed about my own . Yours is food for thought , beautifully written.

Jackie said...

PS I forgot to say we visited Barter books a few years ago after attending a wedding in Gateshead. The first reading had been the same words that appear across the aisles in the religion section there, quite coincidentally.' Arise my love my fair one' etc. from the Song of Solomon.