June and July, cobbled together as it has been so hectic. When I decided to begin these monthly posts again, I hadn't factored in the ridiculously busy time that was coming so June came and went without a moment of pause. Project bathroom began, and has almost finished - I am looking forward to sharing it with you soon! Though I am not entirely sure how I am going to photograph it yet because it's an awkward room...
We have also been doing the rounds with college open days, University open days, transition days and all the usual end of term shenanigans on top of it. Thank goodness for a break, summer here we come. Cue the rain. So here are just a few of the lovely things that came out of the chaos.
Dahlias, they're back. I love them. I took a few out to the shed with my coffee this morning, and the camera of course. A perfect way to spend a little time on a rainy morning if you ask me.
Wild flowers are abundant too and I found a whole new field full of them. I only went once, but spent a couple of hours there with my camera enjoying the last light of the day. As always, I have no idea what I am going to do with the photos. Well I do have a plan for a few of them but it may come to nothing so that's all I am saying for now...
In the meantime, here are just a couple of the photos I took, I was lucky with a hazy low light as some strange low misty clouds came over while I was there. The result is a little bit of wild flower magic, don't you agree?
Over the past year, I have inadvertently created a video project while walking Maud, my enthusiastic dalmatian. I posted it to Instagram TV (a first for me, I don't really get the need for IGTV, that's what YouTube is for, right...?) mainly because it was too long for my gallery.
I adore dog walks. We go in all weathers throughout the year and I can't recommend a daily dose of outside strongly enough. For someone like me, who is 80% solar powered (the rest is caffeine and sugar), the difference it makes to my mood is clear.
If you missed it and would like to watch my walking with Maud video, you can find it here. It's nonsense really, but this is part of my daily life so I guess I want to keep a note of it somewhere.
And while we are on the subject of the great outdoors, let me show you this beautiful book given to me by by Sian Tucker, owner of Fforest, a 200 acre farm with plenty of holiday accommodation close to Cardigan in Wales.
I have known Sian online for years now - I had to search through my archives a little to locate the post I wrote in 2015 on Fforest General Stores (always worth a browse by the way!) and now it's back here where it should be. I am still uploading older posts from my previous website, when I moved everything to this site my blog posts wouldn't come along, so it's a one by one process to upload them again...
Anyway, I digress.
Sian's book is a creative guide to spending time outdoors. From foraging for elderflower to make cordial, to beach combing or stone stacking. By way of enjoying and feeding the birds or making your own herbal healing balm or seasonal wreath, to one of my favourite pastimes (I direct you back to the video of walking with Maud) of forest bathing.
Sian guides the reader through simple techniques to both observe and enjoy so many aspects of the outdoors, in all seasons. The book is filled with beautiful photography by Finn Beales (I have followed his work on Instagram for years, he is very clever).
I find Sian's writing comfortingly familiar, I also live between country and coast and enjoy some of the many ideas covered in this book. Sian shares her knowledge generously, including folklore and fact alongside inspiration and encouragement. This is a wonderful guide whether you already enjoy the outdoors, or are looking for ways to be more involved with your local landscape.
And if nothing else, the page on beachcombing encouraged me to spend a very happy half hour simply arranging the spoils of our own visits to the beach. Because it is absolutely impossible to come home from any beach with empty pockets. And those stripy pebbles, well, most of them are from the beach at Penbryn which is a stones throw from Fforest itself.
As I mentioned above, much of the past few months has been taken up with renovating the bathroom. I will share a post on it soon - once I have finished decorating - but for now I just want to show you these beautifully packaged soaps. They were a gift from Emily, owner of Aerende, for our new bathroom.
I first met Emily at Elmley last year, you can read a little more about Aerende's ethos here, in short they aim to sell homewares made by those who face social challenges. I had previously bought soap from the shop, so this was a lovely gesture, and the scent of Denu in particular is just delicious. You can find the soaps here, with thanks to Emily for the gift, straight into the new bathroom they go...
And as a final note, I found this beautiful pink cup recently (I have a thing for handmade ceramic cups, can't help myself, especially when there's a bit of pink involved). Anyway, long story short, I got chatting with the makers Barton Croft, and they have offered me a discount code to share with you.
If you would like to browse Barton Croft's beautiful collection you can do so here, and the code 'JULIA' will give you 10% off at the checkout. How lovely is that?
Now I am not promising my post for August will be on time either since it is the summer holidays, whatever your plans, have a good one!
P.S. I took this photo in June and have used it on the front page of my website, so I think it's only right that this beautiful rose has a place in this post also. Her name is Wildeve, isn't she wonderful?