Friday, 22 June 2012

Some summer days are sunny

In between  the rainy days,  we have had one or two days with glimpses of sunshine.  I managed to gather some more Elderflowers on my last sunny walk and make a further batch of Elderflower Cordial.

It's such a wonderful drink, perfect as a squash with water, or as a Presse with sparkling water.  And it's a great mixer for a summer cocktail or refreshing spritzer with white wine.  There are still a few Elderflowers about, so if you get the chance gather about 30 flower heads, and mix with lemons and a sugar based syrup.  You will not regret it.

Elderflowers and lemons

Beautiful wild roses

Lovely scents

Some of the elderflowers are fading

Getting foraging now!

Preparing Cordial

You will need the zest of the lemons

And the juice

Leave to steep for over 24 hours.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Urban Jungle

I know this phrase is usually used to describe the horror of some inner city living, but I thought it applied here too.

The woodpecker you can see in my neighbour's tree had just chased off a parakeet.  A spectacular and vivid battle.  NO BIRD WAS HURT!

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Garden of Reason - Ham House

The weather over the Jubilee and following Half Term has been changeable to say the least!  The thought of going to central London, with the combination of huge crowds and dreadful weather did not  appeal, so this break my little girl and I have stayed with local activities.  We have had a play date at home, we have been to a Pottery Cafe to do some painting, and we visited Ham House.

Our local National Trust property is Ham House, and at present it is hosting a modern art garden based exhibition: The Garden of Reason.

We chose an afternoon when the weather was not quite so bad, and popped along, we decided to visit the garden and miss the house (we have visited it many times before).

We loved the art installations, particularly the  interactive ones.  We'll be returning again before the exhibition  closes.  If you live in London or Surrey, or are visiting for a few days, do make your way to Ham and visit the house, it's wonderful,  the gardens are superb.  You could combine it with a lunch at Petersham Nurseries, a walk in Richmond Park and maybe even take in a Polo match at Ham Polo Club.

Ham House (with some modern art)

Ham always seems so rural with so many horses and riders

A place of contemplation?

I'm never sure about modern sculpture

But this we loved

Look through the lens and it turns everything upsidedown

The Compass is marvellous

Climb one of the ladders and what do you see?

The House

And the Garden from a different perspective

I loved this old and new

And these are such great fun

Just Fab!

My daughter loved this, there is a recorded conversation
coming from various speakers

And even after the exhibition is finished there are
fantastic herbs

And the Kitchen garden

Looks delicious and enticing

When my sons were little we used to have fun playing in
these "little houses" - perfect for hide and seek

Now there some interactive descriptions for this part
of the garden, The Wilderness

We are going to bring my husband to turn the handle for us
next time!

When I write about Ham, and post photos, I am always reminded  how fortunate I am  to live in such a pretty and green part of London.  I hope you get a chance to visit sometime, and do get in touch if you do.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jubilee Picnic

We were blessed with good weather on Friday.  I spent the day at school helping to set up the Jubilee Picnic.

It was a great success, the girls all really enjoyed themselves.  I wish I could include photos of them,  but I can show you the field as we set it up.

I hope everyone has had a lovely day, and wasn't the finale at the flotilla with the choir and orchestra, in the pouring rain, absolutely fabulous?

Tables set and decorated for the whole school

It was quite blustery!

Wonderful raffle prizes

Cupcakes on cake stands

The school caterers provided a wonderful lunch

A festive day

Fantastic vegetables and lovely retro pineapple and cheese!

The parents contributed lots of amazing Jubilee cupcakes