Jaqui's Daily Blog

This Totally Glorious Summer

<p><span style="font-size: 18px;">Despite a few grumbles I have heard of late from people who have been feeling an unseasonal chill in the air, I remain constant in my opinion that this has been a Totally Glorious Summer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">I measure this by the sheer number of wonderful meals &ndash; picnics, lunches, tea parties, dinners &ndash; that we have enjoyed in our back garden over the past few months. I couldn&rsquo;t tell you how many there have been as I have completely lost count, the whole summer being wrapped up in a haze of gastronomic memories.&nbsp; As one who is (as regular readers know only too well) Always Thinking of My Stomach, it is noticeable that eating in the Great Outdoors is good for the digestion. I do not have any scientific proof of this, you understand, but I believe it to be so.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">Many of these meals were just Mr B and I sitting companionably over our dinner and debating such important issues as whose sunflower was the tallest (mine) and whose was first to flower (Mr B&rsquo;s).&nbsp; Occasionally, especially over the last week, Mr B needs to be convinced that it will remain warm enough into the evening for us to sit outside. I am the Sunny Optimist in our family, while Mr B is (he frequently tells me) a Realist.&nbsp; A Realist with a Hint of the Pessimist, I would say but Mr B responds, quite reasonably, that at least he can more or less guarantee that he won&rsquo;t be disappointed if, for example, the sun goes in, the skies cloud over and we have to decamp into the living room and finish our coq au vin at the dining room table.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">Here&rsquo;s how the conversation goes:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&ldquo;Eating out today?&rdquo; I carol merrily. It is what was categorised, in those far-off Latin lessons, as a question expecting the answer &ldquo;yes&rdquo;. &nbsp;This can be verified quite easily by the fact that, even as I pose the question, I am already carrying knives, forks and wine glasses outside. Mr B puts on his Doubtful Face and suggests I take a look at the trees at the bottom of the garden which are swaying in a stiff breeze. &nbsp;I consider my possible responses which are (i) I am sure it is a warm breeze; (ii) we will be sheltered from it, warm or otherwise, on our patio; or (iii) if it isn&rsquo;t as warm as I might hope then we can always put our jumpers on if we really need to. &nbsp;I then carry on laying the table outside and Mr B shrugs his shoulders in a brave, Nobody Ever Listens To Me fashion. We eat outside. It gets a bit breezy. We fetch our jumpers and brave it out until, by mutual and unspoken consent, we move inside to choose a DVD which we both fancy watching. &ldquo;Shame we have to go inside,&rdquo; I say, &ldquo;But otherwise we won&rsquo;t have time to watch the film before the news comes on...&rdquo; &ldquo;Plus we will freeze to death,&rdquo; mutters Mr B, determined to have the Last Word. I let him have it. The Last Word, that is. What did you think I meant?</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">Among my favourite meals in the garden was the Get Together with my sister and brothers, sipping Prosecco in the sunshine and enjoying childhood memories and Afternoon Tea. &nbsp;There have also been a couple of truly memorable Sunday Roast Dinners, one on the last day of the Little Welsh Boys&rsquo; Worthing Holiday before their parents bore them homewards, the other as a reward for our Son in Law and his friend for clearing a path through the &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; in our loft.&nbsp; (&ldquo;They are really looking forward to a racist dinner,&rdquo; the Middle of the Darling Daughters texted me. Don&rsquo;t you just love predictive text?)</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">The birds, like me, are enjoying their meals out in the back garden.&nbsp; Mr B says that they are eating us out of house and home, given the number of times I have to refill the feeders, replace the mealworm-filled coconut shells and check out the state of the suet balls. I am glad, indeed, that I don&rsquo;t have to hover about on fast-fluttering wings trying to grab a few seeds from a feeder before my fellow sparrows push me out of the way or hang upside down from a coconut shell in order to satisfy my stomach. I would do it, if I had to, in the interests of my stomach but it wouldn't be a Pretty Sight.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">I am not a weather forecaster but I have a feeling that we haven&rsquo;t seen the last of this Glorious Summer of 2014. Apart from anything else, my sunflowers haven't burst into flower yet.&nbsp;Keep the faith! I say, Pollyanna that I am.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 18px;">Mr B has gone upstairs. I think he might be looking for a jumper...</span></p>

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Latest comments

15.10 | 11:13

I don't remember seeing this first time round.... but thank you for sharing with me. You write beautifully, and brought a tear to my eyes. Lots of love xx

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10.10 | 21:37

Jaqui I think your grandchildren are very lucky. You have spurred me on to write a letter to Amelia who like Hazel is away from home for the first time. 💕

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03.07 | 22:43

Wouldn't have missed it for the world. xx

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12.06 | 02:31

I love that you talk to your plants ... I used to on my allotment ... seemed perfectly rational !

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