We woke up early this morning. Very early. Four thirty three to be precise. The birds were singing and husband made us a cup of tea. We sat in bed listening to the dawn chorus until gulls decided they’d had enough of the sweet chirruping and started their raucous screeching. But that is to be expected if you live close to the sea! Songbirds are no match for seagulls!
By six o’clock the sky was blue and we were showered and dressed. It was lovely being up before the world and his wife; as I’ve said before, there is nothing like the early morning light in spring and summer. I made the bed and then made breakfast.
Had it been a little later in the morning, we might’ve had breakfast outside but the sunlight hadn’t yet made its way around to where we sit close to the summerhouse, so we had breakfast in the kitchen: fruit juice (apple for husband, clementine for me); fruit (melon, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry and banana, with a few slivers of stem ginger on top); egg & toast for husband and a warm brioche with blackcurrant jam for me; and tea. A nice easy breakfast.
My plan was to do gardening, but it became too hot rather quickly, so instead I decided to take things relatively easy. I went through the house, simply tidying up, straightening the sofa cushions, putting away shoes, taking out the old newspapers to the re-cycling boxes, changing the water in the flower vases, and hanging out bed linen to line-dry – it had been washed late yesterday evening. I didn’t do any actual cleaning today, but it’s surprising how things can become slightly messy looking if you don’t keep on top of putting things away, and so this was just half an hour of tidying up today. Then I read the paper, with coffee to drink, in the summerhouse.
Eventually, it was time to pop a chicken in the oven to roast and, while it was roasting, I prepared some vegetables – just a few small new potates (halved), a large carrot, cut up; a couple of small parsnips, a couple of shallots, and four radishes. As *white turnips are no longer available and as large radishes are very similar in taste, I decided to roast them with the other veg and they were delicious! I par-boil the potatoes just for 5 minutes, drain them, add the rest of the prepared vegetable to the saucepan, add a splash of rapeseed oil and salt and pepper, and then pop them onto a roasting tin and cook them for 1/2 hr in a hot oven just before serving. I also made gravy and sage & onion stuffing to go with the roast chicken, over which I sprinkled dried oregano, and this made a nice easy lunch.[*When I enquired, a few weeks about white turnips in the supermarket – as none were on display – I was told it wasn’t now the season for root vegetables, but this seemed strange when parsnips and carrots were in plentiful supply!]
I served some slices of roast chicken with some stuffing and a little gravy, putting the rest of the gravy into the gravy boat, and popped all the veg into a small tureen, and sprinkled over chopped parsley and mint. (We had a dessert, which I’ve not photographed: some Eton mess ice cream with fresh strawberries, which we had in the summerhouse.)
After I’d cleared up the kitchen we spent the rest of the afternoon in the summerhouse. Indeed, having got up so very early we were both flagging and so we swapped the two chairs in the summerhouse for the steamer chairs in which we could lie back and snooze.
Later, husband decamped to the garage to some work he was doing there, and I made myself a cup of Earl Grey …
It’s a bit of a squash, having the steamer chairs in the summerhouse, but we used to do this before we had our ‘new’ chairs (they’re hardly new now, they’re four years old) but when it’s hot it’s nice to be able to lie down and snooze.
I took this photo, above, in summerhouse in 2011, and it shows the old cushions on the steamer chairs (they were from the previous recliner chairs and they were really falling apart, hence the new cushions on the steamer chairs, plain green piped in cream.) The board had a selection of postcards which were free with a magazine, and this was before the tea trolley was pressed into service to be a stand for a small TV set.
The walnut tree’s leaves are now well out, it that makes sense, but that lovely pinky colour doesn’t last long, I try and make the most of them before the leaves turn to a normal leaf-green. They also have a lovely aromatic scent.
I don’t know what happened to the rain we were ‘promised’ but it’s been a glorious day here and I hope that the holidaymakers who have, no doubt, flocked to our part of the country have had a wonderful time. We have had a very peaceful day doing not very much, but it has been so enjoyable – even bringing in the dry laundry from the line and smelling its freshness has been a joy, not to mention waking to birdsong and even coming in out of the garden to the coolness of the sitting room. Wherever you are, I hope you have had a good day.
Until next time.