Favourites - the week behind and the week ahead - another bank hol!

 It is nearly the bank holiday week-end! YAAAAAAAAAAAY! I have officially 'broken up from work' and I am brimming with self-congratulation. I am off until next Friday - so pretty much all of Whit Week! Caspar and Andy finish tomorrow and it is Andy's 40th Saturday - we have a really fun week-end planned so I am running my favourites post a little early. Tomorrow I am meeting Ely for coffee at a cool veggie café I have been meaning to try for ages. I am hoping to get there early for my second breakfast and to draft a Lesley Knope style binder to plan my week-end. Seriously, if England had a Kinkos I would do it (are there still as many Kinkos now in the US? In 1997-98 at TAMU people seemed to spend as much time in there making binders as they did in the library). I digress! I will be running around getting last minute shopping and supplies for the week-end tomorrow (balloons, banners, wrapping paper, favourite birthday breakfast treats)- as well as getting rid of furniture, cleaning for the week-end and trying to do a last minute body fix for the wedding reception we are attending on Friday. And oh! Buying the Bride and Groom's gift. And wrapping presents for Andy! And picking up his cupcakes! And buying dog food. I have several towns and many separate stores to visit. It is meant to be raining. I will need to do 2 hours of dog walking. And eat. And make smoothies. And get Caspar from school. And do the 'calls' list mounting up. I need a Lesley Knope Binder. Moving onto the week-end's favourites.  1. A good hair week - have you ever noticed that when you have a good hair week everything else falls into place? I tried a new conditioner with Moroccan Argan Oil (for a snip in TK Maxx - kind of like Target but not as good of course). Yup - like with many things, I am behind the times just cottoning on to this. But I am catching up fast! Despite the heat and wind it has kept my hair  soooo soft and shiny. It made me very happy, as the cheesy smile below testifies.
 No 2 has to be my long suffering hair-dresser and ultimate 'craic' partner Sue.  I don't know what it is the last couple of weeks but my brain has been in pieces. I have been getting dates and months mixed up, names, telling people at work to ring me if any issues (when I was walking into the room next door), finding my parents post on their mat and reading it as if at work, so on and so on. Anyway - I forgot my 3rd or 4th hair appointment with Sue in about 6 - 12 months. I felt beyond mortified. Sue was so lovely and forgiving  as usual - I can't thank her enough. I need more hours in the day to get organised. Or some sort of mega binder I chain to my neck. OR - has anyone heard of an app you can talk into and it puts things in your calendar or creates a to do list based on voice notes? I have searched Google play and searched on Google but haven't found anything. No 3 has ugly photos but bear with me - back-breaking gardening is my third favourite.  And I do mean back-breaking. This weather (20c plus) has been such an energiser that even after a day's work and walking the dog I am relishing getting into the garden and scraping up these weeds from our 'vegetable plot', composting it and planting a random assortment of veg, salad and herbs.
  These weeds have been so entrenched, and as you can see the earth is baked hard and dry. It has been painstaking work. To the experienced gardener there is probably an easier way of doing this but I have used this implement while bent double:
 I am about 2/3 of the way through and have planted parsley, basil, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, one beetroot, an American watercress and some rosemary. I know the rosemary will survive no matter what, but I have no idea about the others; hence only planting small quantities. I organically garden so it will be a case of composting, watering and seeing what survives and doesn't get eaten and what does. Things that don't survive the soil, weather or predators won't get grown next year. Oh, and I planted some red onions my Dad gave me. Apparently they were to eat but I didn't realise and planted them too.
 While gardening I keep Humph entertained with this old football. It is actually my fourth favourite too.  I don't have time to work out formally so I look for informal opportunities to get a bit of exercise. I've realised running around trying to get this ball from Humph's jaws is a GREAT work out, especially when I have to half squat and kind of scamper sideways to try and out-fox him. I also end up laughing a lot which also must be a good thing!
 Gardening and running around the garden playing a game I take far too seriously with the dog provides an excellent justification for a well deserved treat. We took the dog out (for the third time) - walking down the lane, over the fields (it was STUNNING!) - and over to the stony beach with this little bag of goodies. The cat (George) got excited when he saw the bag of crisps and knocked all of the pepper over. We left it and went out.
 We only shared one bottle - one of Andy's customers had brought him a few bottles of this Timothy Taylor's ale. It was nearly 8pm but still so warm, and we were the only people on this little stony patch of beach:

It was one of those great spur of the moment ideas you never regret! Carpe Diem! Beer on the beach is therefore favourite no 5.

Sixth favourite is beach combing. I do this A LOT, and I mean I am always scouring the beach to see what has washed up or if there are pretty stones or shells. Or house is surrounded by stones I have collected over the years, covering up the grey stones that where there when we bought the house. I was so chuffed to find this big chunk of quartz. I put it in my bag and it sadly ended up in the used beer tankard and is now stained a beer colour. On another side note, I actually had a relative in the Victorian times whose profession was 'beach comber' - he was an eccentric drop out with a funny name I can't remember. He was probably disinherited. If my Great Great Grand-Father was disinherited for leaving the family firm to join the Merchant Navy I am sure he was for pursuing a career in shells and old beer bottles.
 Ok so after the beer stained quartz, we have No 7 -  my Mum's garden. She is spending 6-7 hours a day on it and it is looking really pretty. I snapped just a couple of areas at lunchtime today. I didn't include the veg plot - greenhouse area or woodland - I was drawn to the colours in this section - Copper Beech is one of my favourite trees:
 I could hang out in her garden all day if I had the time. She really didn't want me to take a photo of her in her gardening clothes.

This is the 'summer hut'. There is also a 'winter cabin' with a fire pit and reindeer skins - I love it in winter. I once slept in it in summer after quite an alcoholic BBQ with them. it seemed like a great idea at 11pm to sleep on the wooden slatted seats only covered by a reindeer skin (with Caspar in there too). This was until I felt sick at about 2am and hadn't access to a loo, as they had locked me out of the house. I was sick out of the window and had to fall asleep with my head propped onto the window sill. I then got woken up from 4am by the deafening sound of the birds. There were no curtains. I had no access to water. I haven't really drunk a lot since. My Mum made me about 7 bacon sandwiches and I slept on her sofa for three hours, felt fine and went home. Hey I am not going to try to pretend I am perfect here. I once was sick out of my parents' cabin window in the middle of the night because I drank too much when I was about 37. I digress.
 I got some more red onions and can't wait to try them.
 On the topic of food I am currently loving eating home made lamb mince burgers (favourite no 8) - local lamb of course. I really appreciate local butchers like this one, the quality is excellent. Cumbrian lamb has to be the best in the UK - you can tell they have been eating lush green grass in wonderful pastures. Yummo. I am a simple soul. Little things like this make me happy.

Favourite no 9 is the epic, amazing weather. About 20-22 degrees, not too hot, a  little breeze and stunning blue skies. It engenders what I refer to as the 'flat sands' - sands in the Bay opposite us to go from  being muddy, soft and watery (and treacherous) when the tide goes out, to being flat and hard. You can walk for miles out into the tidal bay and never, ever, see anyone. Possibly because people are scared of the tide or quick sand, possibly because people don't realise how epic and beautiful and wild it is.

Just walking out into total quiet and emptiness.

With this amazing view of our village when you look back to the shore! The white on the sand is dried salt - it becomes an almost lunar type landscape as it gets hotter. Humph goes wild chasing birds. No birds get caught. he even tried to race after 3 swans that were flying above him. He had 3 one hour plus walks today. He now looks kind of dead, asleep on the floor. I probably need to go to bed too (it is now 22:30). I want to try and squeeze in a few fave blogs before bed and some laundry so I will need to wrap this up. I hope I sleep with all of the things on my mind that I have to do tomorrow! I am hoping this book arrives in time for Andy's birthday tomorrow:
Caspar has been making a 'pyramid of greatness' mug (anyone who watched Parks and Rec will know what I am referring to hopefully!) in DT at school but is unsure if it will be ready - so this is Caspar's backup gift to him.

Got to go get some bye-byes so just one last note - I hope everyone has a fun bank holiday / Memorial Day week-end planned - I would love to hear what y'all have planned so please leave me a comment! Anyone else needing to project manage their week-end?! Happy near week-end everyone - we are nearly there! Joanne x

Liking up with Erika and Narci for Friday Favourites:


I once drank wine straight from the bottle in a small public park while my husband and son were fishing on the dock. The wine was a last-minute purchase when I realized it was late enough to drink, and I didn't have a corkscrew or a glass so I had to just push the cork in and drink from the bottle. It was way classy, particularly as I had my infant son on the blanket next to me. It was fun, though, and a good memory. (Mostly because that infant son and the fact that I was his sole source of food at the time kept me from drinking too much and regretting it.)

Happy holiday weekend! This is a three-day weekend for us, too (Memorial Day in the U.S.), but it's supposed to pour rain here all three days. Boo.
Ascott said…
I can’t wait to read your weekend/ week holiday wrap up! Sounds like a fun weekend! Don’t stress too much and enjoy the process. Your forgetfulness sounds like pregnancy! Is it possible? The impromptu beach photo is frame-worthy and made me jealous that I don’t live there.
Happy birthday to your hubby!
Europafox said…
I LOVE that story! I was right there with you - would have done the same! Have a great weekend despitw the weather! :)
Europafox said…
Thanks Amy! It is certainly possible and I woyld love it to be - will find out next week! Thanks for the birthday greetings for A, just hoping the weather is ok! Got about 1/3 jobs in, so hoping to cram the run around stuff in now so can wrap, blow balloons etc later and have a relax ! 😁 Have a fab weekend!
That book sounds awesome. I love that guy. He is too funny. You did have a great hair week!! I wish I could say the same thing, but it has rained too much this week. Yay for a long weekend. I always love a good beer on the beach! Have a wonderful long weekend!
Europafox said…
Thanks Danielle, have fun too on your camping trip! P.s all about the good hair and good beer :)
Britt Hensley said…
Love, love catching up on all your favorites! Your pup is beautiful! What kind of spaniel is Humph {great name}?! Your instastories have been some of my favorites too. I have to make a trip to the UK soon because it’s my dream!!
Europafox said…
Humph is an English Springer, 'working' type, i.e gundog pedigree, so v athletic!! Woukd love it if you came to the UK, you'd have to visit us! Loved your on the road instastories this morniing, that singing cracked me up! Have you rented a house in Hilton Head? It looks beautiful so far, can't wait to see more 😁
Enjoy your time off work! It sounds like you have so much going on. I totally understand needing the Leslie binder!
Your garden is coming along so nicely. Your mom's garden is definitely inspiring! The story about sleeping in the shed was priceless. We've all been there.
Shannon said…
I have heard so many great things about Moroccan oil for hair- your hair looks so silky and soft!!! I'll need to check that out at my local beauty supply store. Also, your garden and your mum's garden are impressive! I would love to plant a ton of veggies like you and especially herbs. I'm afraid the Texas heat would get to them but it would be so nice to just walk out to my backyard and pick off what I need for a salad or another dish! - Shannon :)
Europafox said…
Thanks for the support for my gardening efforts Kristen - I hope I get there in the end! Glad to hear as well I am not the only one who does silly things on occasion! :))
Europafox said…
I definitely need to get planting soon - we are becoming super dry and dusty here too... I remember that Texas heat so I know what you mean - it was 26 here yesterday and I was struggling - Texas is in a league of it's own in summer! :) Well, it's in a league of it's own anyway - LOVE the place, as you know :)

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