Sunday, 26 June 2011


After weeks of rain, having to remember to take a coat with you and to resist cracking out the summer sandals even if looks a little hopeful in the morning, Summer happened today. Even if it was just for one day, it was a winner. England at its - rolling, breezy, overblown rosy, oak trees in a meadow - best.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Yesterday, when it was still Autumn and mainly foggy, we headed down to Brighton to stay with dear old friends. After a walk in a wonderful walled garden and the ever so lucky purchase of 4 Danish kitchen chairs, we baked peach crumble, played Agricola til midnight (who knew farming could be so addictive?) and then dashed out for 2 hours of early morning karaoke and tequila based cocktails. Obviously.

In all our busyness we completely forgot to eat the peachy deliciousness until this morning. It was the perfect breakfast.

Then today was just so beautiful and my parents' garden was only 55 minutes away and I found myself beetling through the blissful Sussex countryside to spend the afternoon at home.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

(Mainly) Rain

What is going on with the weather? (I probably don't want to know the real answer but it's summer in April and autumn in June these days.)

We hibernated. Tea has been drunk in gallons; 44 hours of sleep have been snored (between 2 of us!); our new bath has been soaked in; Turkish treasure has been tidied; and an old copy of Heidi has been read. Now that's what I call a rainy weekend.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A sighing dragon

It's time to go back to Cappadocia...

We tripped our way back to our little studio at the end of our first evening in Uchisar: umbrellas up, anorak hoods crackling around our ears and torrential rain springing back up at us from the cobbled path.  We were trying to stay jolly so we lit a fire and all the candles and brightly talked about how we might actually prefer taking photographs of cloudy skies. Who needs peerless blue, we kept saying. 

Finally, exhausted from our two flights, we collapsed into bed. We were woken early by the oddest sound. For all the world, it sounded as though as a dragon was sighing outside our window...

and, well he might sigh... it was incredibly, undeniably foggy.

You see, we had come to Cappadocia, land of the fairy chimney, to fly in a hot air balloon at dawn. Mum had dreamt of it for years and here we were. Just 24 hours away from our own dawn departure.

As our day of rock churches and exceedingly long descriptions of the intricacies of dove cotes unfolded, the clouds broke a little and we began to hope. By dusk, the moon was smiling, nearly full and totally cloud free. We went to sleep whispering prayers to the weather gods.

And then it happened. We woke at 3am and the stars were still sparkling. Not. A. Cloud. In. The. Sky.

If you haven't been in a balloon, I urge you to gather your pennies, don an unflattering number of layers of clothing, grab your camera and float...

Then, when you feel as though you've held your breath for 90 minutes, said WOW so many times and each time known it wasn't doing the thing justice, see if your pilot can spot - 100s of feet below - a wildflower meadow, complete with a herd of sheep.

See if he can land your dragon on a six foot square trailer...

and then, in a field of pink campions with your favourite Mummy, when you think you might just pop with the joy of it all, they'll hand you a glass of cherry juice and champagne.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

One wedding and a hangover

A spectacular wedding in the Great Conservatory at Syon Park on the most beautiful of English days was followed by a hangover/lost day. What could be more traditional?

NB. EVERYONE should have curry as the wedding breakfast.

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