Remember ...

If not now, when?

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Joy Bringers

Hello, maties!
It's getting gorgeous again.  There are a few duller days queued up for us over the next 10 days, but it's otherwise going to be gorgeous.  Just plain gorgeous.

Which is good, because I am soooo busy doing stuff out in the garden.

What I've been wearing

Gardening clothes pics are best avoided.  But when not working in the garden I'm adjusting my dress for the warming weather.  I'm transitioning from jeans to cropped jeans.  Again.

Adding a pretty rosy vest from Dotty P's to my Peacocks cropped jeans.  And I stopped there.
I added no jewellery, I don't think florals need any more sprucing up, do you?

Perfect for the day.  The rose print brings a smile to my face.

And it's always wise to think about a transitioning cardi for later too, so I teamed the vest with this grey Woolovers cashmere merino as the leaves in the print are ... grey.  Hmmnn, grey leaves?  Green leaves, yes.  Brown leaves, a la Mammas and the Papas, yes.  But grey?

Where I've been taken out

And I took this outfit out on a "date" with The Photographer.  To buy a wooden panel for the pergola.  More on my pergola project further down.  The cardi was needed; these DIY stores can be quite chilly.  B&Q (equivalent to Home Depot) was our store of choice. 
I'm spending rather a lot of time there at the moment.  Yes, The Photographer has taken me "out" twice in one week!
Whilst there, my eye drifted from wooden panels to bargain blue hydrangeas.  Reduced from £12 to £2.  I bought two, which I've repotted and will show a pic of ... if they survive my repotting!

What I've been rustling up

We've been doing some al fresco dining.  Guernsey crab brings me joy.  Here, I made some crab and chilli cakes and served it with salad, some left over potato salad and an apple, celery and walnut salad, which I adore.  It oozes summer.
Just chop the three named ingredients, mix with a little mayo and lemon juice and seasoning.  And there you have it - delish!  It's so quick to rustle up a batch and it keeps for several days in the fridge.

The following day I served left over crab cakes cold, topped with a prawn marie rose, some more of that apple salad, tomato and onion salad, avocado and local new potatoes (from across the road, about 50 food yards!).  A knob of Guernsey butter for the potatoes and chopped coriander for the prawn & crab and this summer salad was good to go.

Normally I make the marie rose with tabasco but this time I instead used a little finely chopped green chilli pepper, which I added to mayo, tomato ketchup, lime juice and seasoning.  How I adore this zingy sauce,  gorgeous in its retro-ness.

What projects I've been working on

These past few days we've been working on rejuvenating the pergola area, which had got rather messy.  Bedraggled.  Tired.  It's a big job, so today was no exception.

We placed in situ the new wood panel for the back of the pergola , ready to paint.  Colour probably decided now, but never say never with Indecisive Pout.

I've been stringing up the ever-growing wisteria and grape vine, which forms a canopy shade from the sun.  I'll post pics when its finished.  

This project is bringing me joy.  It's a labour of love, as the pergola is our al fresco dining spot of choice in the warmer months.  Which I think we are entering.  Yippeeee!

I wore beige shorts (sorry, legs not yet blog-ready-brown so not shown!).
A black modal t shirt, M&S Limited Collection. And Birkies. And blue gardening gloves, if you're interested. 

What tricks I've been playing

I put into action the old "I'm not wearing makeup and haven't done anything other than drag a comb through my hair but can you tell?" trick - big brimmed hat and huge sunglasses.  Hope it's worked.

What's making my heart sing

I've started making an early start with my walks.  Ticks a box for the day and it's done before it gets too hot.

Of course, a good breakfast in the work-in-progress pergola starts the day off well.  Scrambled eggs with a little grated cheese and some wholemeal toast.

And any meal served on my Emma Bloomsbury Straw waxed tablecloth is going to be a happy affair.  I bought this waxed fabric 30 years ago and I am still as much in love with its pattern as I was the day I first saw it in the Laura Ashley shop.  This fabric makes my heart sing.  Every time I see it.  Without fail.
I have a few yards of fabric which I have plans for.  More on that another time.

Do you have a print, fabric or colour that makes your world that little bit more cheerful?

And talking of making my heart sing, this has been making my heart sing for even longer

It gives me great joy to bring to you today Mr Colin Blunstone*. 
Perfect tone and range.  Perfect understanding of the song.  Perfect arrangement of Denny Laine's 60s song.  
This song has brought joy to my world for 40+ years.  Every. Time. I. Hear. It.

A la perchoine.

Colin (Zombies) toured the States and Canada earlier this year and will be touring the UK later in 2017.  The Photographer would be wise to take note of this information.


  1. Beautiful top! I always love floral prints...

    Summer is the right season for projects in the garden. Your pergola is the ideal place for dinners in the open air!

    1. Thanks, Dan, florals are a quick way to dress.
      I'm sure you have gorgeous pergolas and al fresco style in Italy. Maybe one day you might do a post in your favourite ...?

  2. Funnily enough my garden plastic table cloth brings me joy. It's got drawings of Italian food and menus. I just find it says what we use it for, Al fresco relaxing dining with friends.

    1. Lovely, Anna, just what it says on the tin! Thanks for sharing. Now that we've revealed our pattern secrets, I wonder how many other tablecloth crushes are out there ...

  3. Outfits are cute, food looks heavenly. Also now fancying scrambled eggs on toast! Nice to see you Mary, hope you're well. x Jacqui

    1. Thanks, Jacqui, glad you liked my offerings. All well here, beautifully hot. All looks good in your world, all champagne and strawberries!

  4. I remember the Laura Ashley pattern! Been a huge fan for years! And two Hydrangeas for how much? I never find bargains like that. The hat really looks good on you Mary. You must wear it more! xx

    1. Oh Laurie, we can form a fan club! Does it have the same effect on you?
      A lot of my garden plants are b and q bargain basement finds over the years. Right time, right place.
      Thanks for your comment on the hat. I rarely wear them as living on an island it's sunny but there's usually a breeze around to send the thing flying. But it's been so calm these past few weeks so I've been making the most of my sunhats!

  5. Love your hat! Thanks for sharing at the Fab Friday linkup!


    1. Thanks and welcome to my blog, Christine. Needing sunhats, loving summer!