Thursday, 29 September 2011

Now you see me...

... now you don't!

Dear readers,
With work gobbling up every minute of my time, I probably seem rather like this rather splendid Mr Piggy to you, playing hide and seek, but mostly hiding my tired trotters on my way to my next assignment. After recently having come back from a trip to Sweden, I am on my way elsewhere again tomorrow... Where? Well, I shall bring my camera and most likely share a few snaps on my return... Want to join me playing hide and seek, but feel you need a clue? I shall give you three: Delight-ful, Delight-full, where East meets West...

Meanwhile, I will recycle a photo from one of my autumnal scenes in the garden last year, where, in fact, yet a few clues about my whereabouts for the coming week can be found... Now, whom of my readers are natural born detectives, I wonder...

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, 
in what must be the most stunning of 
summery October beginnings!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Castle Combe revisited...

Tired of old stone houses and windows yet?

Well, then this is not a blog post for you, unless...

... I can distract you with the thought of tea and scones
in these lovely tea rooms in a private home in Castle Combe?

Ooups, terribly sorry, more old stone houses and flower-clad windows to put up with...

Are you squealing for mercy yet? No? Well then, here's another one...

This last row of houses are by a small stream (hence the bulrush in the foreground) and were the background for some scenes in the film Doctor Dolittle. For the cineasts among you, if you happen to watch Steven Spielberg's new film War Horse (intended to release in the US in Dec 2011, in the UK in Jan 2012), you may recognize some of the houses in this post, as Castle Combe was the key location when the film was shot last year.

Now, enough namedropping... 

Thank you SO much for your kind response to my outdoor decorating attempts in my last blog entry. Swamped by work at the moment, my decorating frenzies will have to be put on hold for a while, but I hope these floral facades can offer some inspiration instead. Personally, I dream of one day "dressing" the front of my house in a flower "gown" similar to the Old Rectory Tea Rooms here - now there is some curb appeal if ever I saw some!

Wishing you a magical week, 
whether shimmering with stardust or just your glowing selves!

More images from Castle Combe in earlier blog posts here and here.

Friday, 9 September 2011

This year I'm saying it with...pears.

Autumn is here. The rain and the winds do not just whisper their seasonal message, they howl it across the fields, even though the temperature does its best to defy the September powers. Working from home, I find myself reaching for a thicker jumper or a blanket for my feet. But that is just our old stone house and my autumnal mind playing tricks on me... As I go to pick the boys up from school, I sweat buckets under too many layers (no, it's not my age!) and raise an eyebrow when I discover that the thermometer says 19 degrees...! 

But I am not fooled that easily. It is September and it is autumn. And so it was that today, in between several different work urgencies (all doing their best to out-howl each other and the weather screamers), I just had to greet autumn.


With any potential Scandinavian minimalist heritage thrown out the window, I looked around to see how I could welcome the new season into our garden along the lines of "More is More"... Last year I did it with apples, this year the bowl of pears from a kind neighbour was emptied into one of my beloved wooden trays...

... the grey day called out for some cosy candles...

A courgette from the garden, having met the same rejected fate as the peas 
in an earlier blog post, was invited to spread a little light and love...
(Last year's play with courgettes can be found here.)

Some new plants, replacing the brown, dry, sad contents 
of the pots that used to boast colourful summer plants...
Decorative cabbage - a clear favourite this time of the year, and, incidentally, 
the only type of cabbage that you will ever catch me trying to befriend...

Forever recycling twigs here and there...

... and for those of you who may have been holding your breath, wondering about the pea heart cliff hanger... What could have happened to it? Is it still "alive"? Well, a little dryer, a little shrunk, but there they are, the green little fellows, for a wee while longer."It is hip to be square"... 

After having carved a heart shape in the courgette, I found myself left with - surprise, surprise - a heart-shaped green heart. We could not let a splendid opportunity to spread some more green love go to waste, now could we?! Looking around, my eyes fell on a plain pot that seemed to request a little pimping...

If these walnuts ever wanted to appear at a costume party dressed as lime, 
I have no doubt they would bring home the "Best Look-Alike Award" of the evening. 
What do you think?

Another lovely plant to brighten the darker days is this one, whose English name I am not familiar with, but whose Swedish name I think is so fabulous: Love herb. Is not the name itself reason enough to want to surround oneself with a whole field of them?!

Thank you, 
dear new readers and old, 
anonymous readers and known, 
for your kind words and inspiring comments. 
I bow humbly and save all your words in special mental drawer, 
one that I can pull out on an unusually cloudy day 
and just drink all the goodness of your words, again and again. 
Thank you.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Flower-picking fun...

Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I go for walks around where we live... We are surrounded by beauty and I never seem to tire of the scenery. Just the other week, we went for a walk to Castle Combe, one of our  postcard-pretty neighbouring villages. On the way, in another village, we walked past this house, where I think the lovely cream-coloured Bath stone marries so well with the Wisteria, and the two laurel trees, and the lavender, and... The old windows have also been beautifully framed in a matching cream colour, which I think fits this type of house so well.

Close to the house in the first photo are also older stone houses and gates that whisper "Open me, go on, come and explore what lies beyond"... Mmm, tempting, very tempting!

Now, I may not be a friend of thistles. They are, admittedly, not the friendliest of plants. But the flower must be given some credit for trying to make up for the rest of its anti-social, spikey character. Look at her little face, just wanting to belong in the Pretty Petal Club, reaching high, high up as if to try to detach herself from the thorny message below...

Oh, yes, even cows here know how to add to the scenery, showing off their shiny black coats, bending down to find the juiciest spot of grass in a perfectly synchronised manner, as symmetrical to the image as if  rehearsed in advance. Now that is what I call arty animals!

As we were walking past an old mill house, the wind also decided to take part in the motif-making. Just a  little puff, just enough to send these towels gently blowing to the side and tempt my lens to a summery shot. Thank you wind, spot on!

Oh, and the result of this walk? A well-deserved ice-cream at our destination, the gorgeous village of Castle Combe (more photos to come), and a bunch of what felt like perhaps the last summer flowers... picked by the side of the road and shown a new home in an old glass jar (courtesy of my father's appetite for pickled peppers), embellished by a pink ribbon and an antique Turkish coin made into a pendant (not by me).

This bunch of flowers I dedicate to all of you who take the time to 
stop by The Swenglish Home on your stroll around blog land. 
You make my day!