Sunday, 20 July 2014

And the winner is...

I am so busy this weekend...but I just had time to draw the winning name for the giveaway...in fact, Alice helped!! I fanned all the names out on scraps of paper and picked the one she put her paw on first (unscientific, perhaps...but as random as it gets, and also very cute!) I love this picture of her taken during a balmy evening last week, resting on her prized duck - if you look closely, you'll see that he's had to have 'open heart surgery' already...and no doubt one day soon he'll be ripped to shreds, but for now he's virtually intact.

Alright, suspense over...the prize goes to SHARON CALVERT ....Sharon, if you email me at the address shown on the blog here and let me know your address, I'll make sure I post your package to you asap! & thanks to EVERYONE who left beautiful comments on both posts..it's so lovely to know you're out there, it really is!

There's another giveaway currently over on my other blog, Sugar Moon Brownies ,with 2 wonderful prizes...so if you're not Sharon (or even if you are!) you can enter that too....

Thanks so much for taking part, and for reading. Hope you're having a fabulous weekend. xx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Beauty of Now...Part 2

So, this is the scene as I write this morning...
pouring rain...which is a great shame, as the past week has been filled with sunshine. I feel so sorry for all the revellers taking part in the annual Roald Dahl Festival in the town today...especially the schoolchildren, who have spent weeks making flags, costumes and banners for the big parade. But they'll have fun anyway...we're used to rain after all, and it's still very warm. And the garden is soaking up the precious drops and sighing with pleasure, I just know it is!

Talking of gardens, as you know I love to do...a few weeks ago we visited one of our favourites, Queen Mary's Rose Garden in Regent's Park, London...
 so many varieties..
filling the air with perfume and bees....absolutely glorious!
It's wonderful to see so many people of all ages & nationalities wandering through, just enjoying the sight and scent.
I love the entrance gate too...
so...royal! If you know the fabulous movie, 'The King's Speech' (& if by any chance you haven't seen it, you really should...it's moving, uplifting and very beautiful...I defy you not to cry just a little bit at the end!) then you may recognise the Italian Garden below...
Even though the film was shot at a very different time of year, you will probably recognise it as the path where Lionel & the Duke of York had a big argument!
Even though I wouldn't like our own garden to be so formal and regimented, I do admire these landscaped wonders...
You may remember that last year I took lots of pictures at the farm, in the wildflower field that my Dad sowed years ago. It was always his dream to have a meadow full of native British wildflowers...and now he does!
Mum and I took a walk up there at the peak of its beauty, along with the farm dogs, of course. Millie was rescued just under a year ago, from a horrible life as a breeding bitch in a puppy mill. She was frightened of everything and everyone. She cowered and shook and hid behind doors and couches, trying to make herself as invisible as possible. But little by little, with patience, routine, consistency, kindness and lots of love...this is her today...
Happy and carefree..just as a dog deserves! Isn't that a great picture?
and here...

you can see her smile! Remember little Cora? Well she was there too....
the wildflower meadow has too much long grass for her tiny little legs...so she had a special lift from Mum (her favourite person)...and here are those flowers...
the pale mauve spikes are wild orchids. You can imagine the butterflies and bees that proliferate here, too...so much, in fact, that a friend who owns a honey business has sited 6 of his hives here! This is the perfect spot for them as they also have a pond to drink from right outside their front door...
and it obviously suits them as we were just given our first precious glowing jars of unfiltered farm honey...
..a strangely touching moment.
Midsummer is just beautiful anywhere you are right now...my daily walk with Alice on the hill is flower-filled too...

and I also love the wild grasses that ripple on the breeze like a moving carpet...
Lots to explore on our walks...
 I have to keep a close eye on this grubby little fox terrier to make sure she doesn't disappear down the interesting holes!
 The tiny purple flowers above are those of the wild thyme that mass in cushions on the side of the hill...I crush some as I walk and the scent filters through the warm air and smells delicious...
 ..this little beetle obviously loves it too...
 and this is birds-foot trefoil...such a singing colour for a tiny flower...'come and get me, bees!'
 It's reputed that on a clear day you can see 7 counties from this hill...
 We head for cooler spots halfway through....so lush & green, gentler than the unshaded chalk land...
 Wild scabious lasts until well into the autumn...but, much as I love that season,I can't think of summer being over just yet!

And now, the giveaway that was promised in my last post. I haven't done one of these for a long time, and as it's also my 200th post this is a special celebration! Firstly, some of the most delicious chocolate I've tasted...
 made in Wales & bought in Wales, in Hay-on-Wye while we were at the festival. Next, some very pretty little cupcake wrappers and toppers...
 so sweet and summery, I love them and hope you will too...and finally...
 a delightful little transfer mug...it's not vintage, but it looks the part...lovely to drink from of course, but I also see it as a vase for a sweet nosegay of wildflowers to sit on a windowsill or bedside table...
So there you have it! A Mozart's Girl giveaway at last. And all you have to do to be entered into the draw is to leave me a comment on this post. I'll make the draw in 2 weeks time, on the 19th...and I'm happy to send the package anywhere in the world, so don't worry about that! Just be sure to check back, and enjoy your weekend!

With love x