In our normally temperate climate I never thought that I would be putting an electric fan – an electric fan, indeed! – as the leading photo on a blog post, but here is the most useful piece of electrical equipment we have in our house today! We haven’t used this fan for several years, but it came out today, and is busy cooling our sitting room as we speak. Thank you to whoever designed the first electric fan, what a brilliant idea it was!
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Another scorchingly hot day and we’ve been reliably informed that parts of the UK were officially hotter today than Rome, Barcelona and even Athens, at 30C. And it’s set to be even hotter tomorrow. Thank goodness we don’t have to go to work, or have any appointments, so we can stay at home and do our best to keep cool. We Brits aren’t used to heat, but it’s so lovely not to have grey skies.
We enjoyed breakfast in the garden again this morning, our elder son joined us for that. Again, I felt I was providing something akin to a hotel breakfast as we all had something different. First, bowls of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, grapes, bananas and a sliver of stem ginger on top). Then for son grilled bacon & tomatoes on toast with a fried egg; husband had porridge (oatmeal); and I had bran flakes mixed with a little Jordan’s Raspberry Crunchy, on top of which I added raisins and sultanas.
The only thing missing from the table on this photo is husband’s porridge. Not a brilliant photo as the sun was filtering through the branches of the tree, so I either focus for shade or for bright light.
Son then went home to get on with work (our sons are self-employed and both work from home), I cleared the table and filled the dishwasher and made the bed.
Mid morning and time for a glass of elderflower cordial topped up with sparkling Badoit mineral water and a slice of lemon, this is a lovely drink on a hot day.
I do like some flowers even on the garden table and the blue and ‘gold’ mug goes well with the blue floral embroidery on this little cloth.
For lunch I made smoked salmon and cream cheese ‘finger’ sandwiches, just one round each, crusts removed of course. And after that, a slice of ginger cake (a commercially produced one by McVitie, a lovely sticky cake.) To make this more a dessert, I served it with raspberries and a little single cream and a sprinkling of icing sugar. The raspberries were lovely with the ginger cake which was deliciously soft, the cream having soaked into it.
I have to say that the smoked salmon was something of a disappointment. It wasn’t top grade smoked salmon even though it was from Waitrose. If you’re going to have something like smoked salmon I do think it pays to buy the best quality you can afford (or justify!) This one simply tasted too salty, it didn’t have that lovely rich smoky flavour that smoked salmon should have. I added a sprinkling of fresh lemon juice and a good grinding of black pepper before I made the sandwiches, too, but as I say, it was bland and salty (if something can be both of those things!) and a disappointment. I served them with just a few crisps.
As the afternoon wore on it became too hot to sit outside, even under the walnut tree. I decamped to the summerhouse with a cup of Earl Grey – husband found it too hot either in the garden or the summerhouse, so remained indoors.
The little butter biscuits are from Lidl’s and are lovely and light, almost little wafer biscuits and ideal with a cup of Earl Grey. It really is a lovely blend of tea, such a thirst-quencher.
And then it became too hot in the summerhouse, with the sun now lower in the sky and directly facing the little building. I closed the summerhouse up and came indoors. And I’ve heard on the Weather forecast, that it’s going to remain hot until at least Wednesday.
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For all those who love to see horse racing combined wonderful fashions (and some not quite so wonderful) it’s Royal Ascot tomorrow, starting on television at 1.30 pm. ITV now shows racing on television but I think Channel 4 made a better fist of it, but I hope to be able to virtually attend this royal meeting.
I don’t know whether the Queen will be there on Wednesday (the royal meeting is from Tuesday until – and including – Saturday) because it’s the State Opening of Parliament, which was postponed from last week. I don’t expect Her Majesty can do as quick a clothes change as once she might’ve done, out of her ceremonial robes and Imperial State crown and into her race-going outfit and binoculars! But we shall see! She might just make it, if she has a good dresser and a helicopter to whisk her away from the Houses of Parliament to Windsor Castle in time for the carriage drive down the course!
Until next time.