Is There Any More Tea In That Pot?

Everyday events in the life of a tea lover.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

"It's gonna be a beautiful day" ..........maybe! August 19th 2012

Supper with friends. 
Saturday 18th August.

It was a beautiful evening  (August 18th). Warm, balmy and with a glorious sunset. For the first time in a long while, we were all able to sit outside in the garden till it was approaching midnight. The stars were out in the inky sky. Candles on the patio table.  As our friends arrived they brought with them a variety of food. Having suggested they bring "Nibbles" or "Salad" and a "Savoury",  because we had also been shopping for the al fresco meal.

But our friends do not do things by halves!
So the "Salad" (pictured above) was a work of art in itself, not to mention the one who commandeered the oven and made cocktail blinis, with Crême Fraiche, and smoked salmon! Yum!
Alongside this was a beautifully presented tray of titbits, like olives and parma ham. Complete with cocktail sticks.
The "Savoury" came on a tray. Warm puff pastry rectangles fresh from the oven, filled with delicious bites  like asparagus in sauce, and roasted mushrooms. The list could go go, tomatoes stuffed with cream cheese, bramley apple and sausage pie, and freshly made, by my hubby, two baked farmhouse cider and strong cheese baguettes. Needless to say, the evening was pleasant to say the least!
Wine was consumed, and a fiercely competitive card game was undertaken by some of  the group, sitting in the back lounge with the patio door wide open.Those of us sitting outside at the patio table could hear the trio playing the game, as none of them wanted to lose! It became rather noisy!!
That is not to say that the "outsiders" were sedate!
A phone App was produced to show us the names of the starry constellations, and we marvelled at the Great Bear, (or Plough as I like to call it), which is easy to spot. Phone App pointing to sky, hey presto, the Great Bear appeared, along with a picture of a bear.........(which incidentally does not appear in the sky as well!  ;-))
But the funniest thing (which had us all roaring with laughter) was pronounced by the person holding said phone App in hand and telling the assembled company that the International Space Station was situated underneath the patio table!
A good time was had by all.!                    
Catching the light. Evening August 18th

Sweet peas from a friend

 The Making of the Cocktail Blinis.  
Morning August 19th 2012 
So, this morning, waking later than usual, there was already the promise of a beautiful day, and by and large, inspite of a couple of heavy showers, and a cloudy period, it has been lovely, with warm sunshine.    
Promise of a beautiful day.

Sunday August 19th 2012

Saturday, 11 August 2012

From the the sublime!!!

 Our cat, Tiger, has a favourite place to sit.......goodness knows why!
It is the old bird-table which was consigned to the end of the  garden by the 3 compost bins, affectionately known as the "Tardises" . I actually think they are more like  Daleks with the nozzles cut off!
If you are not a Dr Who fan, you won't have a clue what I'm talking about, but there again, you might not anyway......
Tiger somehow manages not only jump into it without it collapsing but he can turn round in it as well.
So, that being ridiculous, what is the sublime of today?

The 5,000m final with Mo Farah this evening...........!!  Like Wow, Wow, and Wow!!

 GO MO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Going for Gold, Got it!
Number 2!!!!!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Barbecue weather........ August 10th 2012.

View through the summer house window. 7.15pm.  
Evening in the summer house.   
After another beautiful day, his nibs and I are in the summer house enjoying the balmy evening, and the quiet calm. There is hardly a breath of wind. 
There are apples appearing on the tree once again, much smaller than last year, owing to the vagaries of our weather this time.
This afternoon, I watched a buzzard lazily circling over head, and then two seagulls began to call raucously and dive bomb him, but he was unperturbed and circled on his way. 
The 10th August always has poignant overtones for me, as I know in 4 weeks time there will be another 10th. September. The 6th anniversary of the death of our son Matthew, aged 30. So, it tugs at my heart strings, and as we inevitably go towards that date, it has its ups and  downs. 
My blog about Matt is found at 

We remember him, and the times he spent in this garden in earlier years.    
So, gardening has been a great solace and therapy for the last 6 years, and although I plant sun flowers to bloom in September, the slugs munched their way through most of them, but there are 3 still standing, with the large flower centres forming. Last year was an amazing one for my favourite blooms, it had been dry meaning there were fewer slugs!
Never mind, there may yet be one that will open in a few weeks!  
Ah well, time for a brew, as someone used to say.................................................  

Thursday, 9 August 2012

From beginning to end, a glorious day.Thursday 9th August.

 It began with bright sunshine, and a clear blue sky. As the morning unfolded I wished that I could capture it in words.
I love the way certain poets are able to encapsulate the essence of a snapshot in time.

How to describe the warmth, the overarching infinity overhead, or the riotous profusion of colours that meet the eye in the garden.

I absolutely love it.

Tiger began to seek the shade as midday approached, and the cool of the undergrowth.
He ignored the alarm calls of the mother blackbird who, seeing him, was definitely not very pleased! It disturbed her quest for snails and worms......  

 I worked on in the early morning pruning shrubs and dead heading the roses to make way for new growth. By lunchtime it was too hot to continue. Later in the afternoon a twittering small group of long-tailed tits descended into the rowan tree which hangs over our boundary from next  door.
Hubby was umpiring a cricket tournament for 8-9year olds and arrived home at 5.30pm having, for once, a game that was uninterrupted by rain!
At the Olympics we gained two more Gold medals, and there were thousands in Hyde Park to watch the long distance swim event taking place in the Serpentine. London itself has looked very impressive during the games, showing what an iconic city it is in reality. 
Later this evening  Usain Bolt won his second Gold, proving just how fast he is........
And there was a new World record in the 800m from Rudisha, the Kenyan, beautifully executed, making it seem effortless.      
 Of course if you are not a sports fan, the all embracing tv coverage will leave you wanting to leave the country!
So, finally, with a lovely glow, the day faded and hopefully the promise of a another beginning tomorrow.    

Tiger lying in the shade

7.00pm. A refraction of light from the sun. 

End of a glorious day. 10.00pm 


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

August has arrived.......

August is treating us to a burst of summer, for the time being.  And it was good to be able to enjoy some sunshine for awhile. 
I am maxed out on the Olympics! It was so stressful watching the Triathlon yesterday, I forgot to have my lunch!! 
It has also made me very proud to be British, and our small island has done extraordinarily well with 22 Gold medals to date.   
  So, here I sit with the patio door wide open, listening to the sounds of distant traffic, and children's voices in a nearby garden. Our road has been blissfully quiet since the school opposite finished for the summer break. Tiger is sitting on the bottom lawn with his ears pricked up and alert, stalking a frog in the undergrowth! Leastways I think it's a frog...... there is going to be a beautiful sunset. And best of all, I am going to be a granny again next February.........a new brother or sister to our grandson.         

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Evening light. 8th August. 8.00pm 21C
Evening sun shining through the fuschia hedge.
August 8th 2012

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Going for Gold! 2012 and fish n' chips........!

The Industrial Revolution set of the
Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony.
Up till yesterday, Friday 3rd August, I had made no mention of the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Neither had I commented on the Olympic Torch Relay. I had not, at the outset, been particularly interested in any of it.........but having had an emotional Saturday afternoon a few weeks back watching the torch pass through the Valley where I was born and by the end of the actual street, I was hooked!  I watched that particular torch relay live on-line, speaking to my two cousins who were in the my old town centre with the huge crowds, by mobile phone.  And another old friend who was at the bottom of my street was filming as it passed by.
I rang him on his mobile to find out where he was standing, before the torch arrived. 
"How did you know it was on it's way?" he said. 
"Well I'm tracking it on-line" I replied, and it's not long left Burnley, on it's way over to you." 

It was as though I was actually on the coach with the camera, looking out at all the people at the sides of the roads. The previous day there had been flooding in that area, due to heavy continuous torrential rain. In some places they were still mopping up.   
Later that evening he sent me his footage of the relay passing our old streets. Amazing. 
( I have another blog about our childhood in those streets in the 1950's.  )
The Olympic ceremony itself was as spectacular as it was bizarre and whimsical. Of course the pièce de résistance had to be the Queen receiving Daniel Craig (as James Bond) at Buckingham Palace, and then in the following footage, apparently parachuting alongside him into the Olympic Stadium in order to open the Games!! What an incredible coup for Danny Boyle. I loved "Mr Bean" aka Rowan Atkinson, with the London Symphony orchestra. Unfortunately there is so much copyright on the films that it is incredibly difficult to find any to upload to a blog, which hasn't rights reserved. The same with photos. Understandable I suppose. I did find one! At the head of this piece.  
So, I have been hooked ever since, watching the swimming, the cycling, gymnastics, and Well Done Team GB!!! Such enthusiasm and dedication, in all the athletes who are taking part, is a joy to see.  (with the exception of those badminton players who were disqualified).
Early yesterday morning we went off up to the Wirral, a peninsula of land, sandwiched between the  two rivers of the Mersey and Dee. Spending the day with an old friend.
We had a tour of her surrounding area, eventually arriving on the side of the coast facing Wales, across the water. There is a man made lake at one point, which you can walk around by means of a causeway, which is a narrow path built up on rocks and stone. At various points, the wash from the variety of boats using the lake flows across the path. Due to the inordinately soggy summer, there is far more water in the enclosed basin. I took off my shoes and enjoyed the sensation of a good old fashioned "paddle". So I walked the rest of the way barefoot. I love the wide open skies and sense of timeless space.  And sea air gives you an appetite!!                                  
Wide skies and reflections
Looking across the Dee estuary to Wales. 

The causeway

His nibs and me!
At the end of our walk we finished the afternoon off by eating the most tasty fish n' chips,and mushy peas(!),  sitting by the sea wall overlooking the marsh land. I bemoaned the lack of my camera and binoculars, but the pictures taken with my mobile phone aren't bad! I could hear the curlews calling and the peep peep peeping of the oyster-catchers.  A heron was stalking his fish, standing in a channel which ran through the marsh to the river. A flock of starlings noisily wheeled through the air, coming to rest on the roof of a nearby  building, jostling each other for position! They amuse me.  And it was good to see so many, as they are a breed, now, that is in decline.
We drove home as the full moon was in the sky, a real "harvest moon" . And after a journey of an hour and 45 minutes, it was time for supper and sleep. End of a lovely day,