Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer on the wing . . .

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The month of July is starting now to slip off the calendar . . . it hangs tenuously only by a thread, which at the end of the morrow will be severed and no more, as the farmer looks upon his ripening corn with concern and weighs out his chances of a good harvest.  I think this year he is in luck as we have had a warm and dry month, and all looks well . . .  but I am not a farmer methinks and so I do not see as a farmer does . . .

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The school holidays began last week, which seems overly late to me . . .  with summer halfway done and July having been so beautiful, I do so hope that there is still some lovely seaside weather left for the holiday makers and their families who flock to our shores wanting to enjoy sand in their shoes and sea breezes on their faces . . .

The verges of the woods and meadows are laced and embroidered now with lovely rosebay willowherb . . . as is our back garden where it prances midst the clover and buttercups in our wildflower bed . . .

 Kerria Japonica . . .  or Travellers Joy garland the hedges . . .  such pretty little dancers with their golden hues and heads . . . bouncing in the sunlight . . .

The banks of stream and river are alive with purple wands of loosestrife and meadow rue . . . so pretty and dainty in their summer's best . . .

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 In the garden the first of the Chrysanthemums jostle for our attention with the last of the Delphiniums in the crowded borders where lemon and cherry blushed spikes of the gladiola and thrusting themselves up between the tangles masses of gaillardias, coreopsis, gypsophila, clarkia and . . .  the humble marigold . . .

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The roses begin to look a bit weary now . . . and our days are filled with dead heading . . .  coaxing them back to life despite the sweltering heat of the past few weeks . . .  oh there are a few which still put on a show, but for the most part the rest appear to be taking a well earned rest and respite . . .  

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The days are becoming noticeably shorter now as we begin to go to bed in the dusk instead of full sunlight and I know with the coming days we will move closer and closer to the summer's ending.  I am not ready to give it all up just yet however, for each day still brings  something new to the table  . . .  some fresh loveliness to be admired and some new joy to be experienced.

"If it were always summertime
how weary we should grow . . . 
of the changeless weather
and the sun's unfading glow!
If there were always roses
blooming down the garden ways . . . 
they would not call forth from the heart
such words of joy and praise.
It is the expectation
of the sunshine and the flowers . . . 
that makes us welcome with delight
the summer's golden hours . . . 
The waiting in the winter
and the hoping in the Spring,
it's twice as sweet because we know
that time is on the wing . . . "
~Patience Strong  

I was thrilled beyond measure yesterday to learn that I was the winner of the Tuscany Now competition, prize being a weekend get-away in the beautiful city of Florence, in their beautiful 15th century farmhouse Il Monte.  All I have to do now is come up with the airfare to Florence!  I couldn't have done it without everyone's help however and so I am remaining positive that I will find a way to get there.  I know no further details about dates, transport etc, but I do know I will also receive a complimentary cooking class from the Chef Anna Bini!  That should be exciting.  I promise to take lots and lots of photographs!  Dreams are coming true!

I spent all, and I do mean ALL of yesterday scanning artwork and uploading it to the server for the Licensing Company who have taken me on, only to find out that for some reason my scanner isn't scanning it at 300dpi.  It's a really expensive printer/scanner and I, for the life of me cannot figure out how to do it the way they want it.   It's becoming a bit frustrating, especially when I spent so much time yesterday and am still only half done.   I have an Epson 7525 printer.  I need help!

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In the spirit of all things Italian and much to Todd's chagrin, I cooked a tasty pasta dish yesterday, to celebrate my win you know.   Baked Spaghetti.   This version is slightly different than any others I have seen.  I thought it was quite, quite good . . .  and the alfredo sauce on the spaghetti was to die for all on it's own.  (If I keep this up I may need a crane and hoist to get me to Tuscany, lol

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Have a fabulous Wednesday!  We are off to the theatre tonight with friends!  I am really looking forward to it, although for the life of me, I cannot remember what it is we are seeing!

Happy Day!



  1. You won!! Dreams come tree, see. :) Congratulations, Marie!

  2. I am so excited that you won Marie,,,and I am sure you will find a cheap flight somehow or other. Do you know if there is a set date you have to go ? It might be cheaper if you cango outwith teh school holidays. I just loved Florence when Mary and I were there...just wish I could come with you....Poor old Todd havinng to eat Pasta !! you are a cruel woman LOL Enjoy your theatre visit tonight, I am almost as bad as you I can never remember what I am going to see !!! My sister Margaret was taken into hospital yesterday she was very very tired and confused I thought the end was near with heart failure, but thankfully...I is a bad chest infection, they think. I am going away in to Bath after 10 to visit as she is still in the assesment ward and there is no visting times as such. If possible can you sned a wee prayer up for her and Mitch he husband who is so tired and weary...Enjoy another lovely day not quite so hot first thing but will soon heat up again no doubt !! xx

  3. I'm so happy you won!This is a wonderful place and the farmhouse- very picturesque.Congratulations!

  4. Thank you so much Val and Helen!

    Sybil, I am so sorry to read of your sister Margaret! We will most definitely keep her (and you and Mitch) in our deepest heartfelt prayers and submit their names to our Temple for prayer there. Please keep me updated! xxoo

  5. It looks beautiful.
    Bravo.You will love every moment♥

  6. MOnique, I am so thrilled to have won and am looking forward to every moment of it indeed!

  7. Congratulations on winning the contest. How wonderful to have that trip to look forward to. Sorry I cannot help you on the images though. I'd think there must be some place in the settings to change it. Hope you can manage the changes needed for your work. Technology can be frustrating at times.

  8. Thanks Pam! I have figured out how to change it into a tiff, but not yet how to scan at 300dpi. It was very easy to do that on my old printer!

  9. CONGRATULATIONS !!! So pleased for you Marie, you so deserve it. Have a great night tonight. Much love xxx

  10. Thank you Kate! I am still pinching myself! xx

  11. Congratulations! What a spectacular prize! So happy for you! =) Those flowers are simply gorgeous. I am sorry to see July almost over...and summer soon drawing to a close. But I do love autumn and all of its splendor. =)
    Blessings and Sunshine, Valerie

  12. Congratulazioni a voi! You so deserve to stay in that wonderful villa in Tuscany! Enjoy every moment! And a cooking class to boot! So happy for you Marie! This was a very enjoyable post. Thanks!

  13. CONGRATULATIONS! What a wonderful adventure awaits you!

    Sharon in Alabama

  14. Thank you Valerie! I love the autumn too! It's my favourite season, although the color change is not so dramatic over here, I still love the change and the sunny days and cooler nights! xx

    Thanks Valerie H! I wish you could come with me! What a blast we would have! xx

    Thank you so much Sharon! I will bring you all with me via my camera! xx

  15. I do hate to see summer end too. It has been a little bit cooler here and we have had some good rain which we need.
    I loved all the gorgeous pictures of the flowers.
    I am so excited about you winning the trip. I was praying that you would. What a wonderful moment that will be.
    I hope you can get the scanner to work. I have trouble with my printer all the time.
    Blessings to you dear friend and hugs too.

  16. Thanks LeAnn! I am so grateful to you all for helping to make my dream come true! I may seem quite competent when it comes to technology, but really I am not! xxoo


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