I don't know about you, but I can feel a distinct tingling in my feet (no, it is not tinea). A little bit of post holiday wanderlust has me pinning images of far flung corners of the world and dreaming of what adventures lay at the end of a cobblestone street or the foot of a mountain path. It also got me to thinking - what do you look for in a holiday destination? What features do you plan your travels around? Superb shopping? Beautiful beaches? Cool clubs? Being 29 going on 70, my list includes green spaces and good food and what a treat if they can be enjoyed at the same time! Here is a little bit of travel inspiration that combines the two beautifully...
As I write, the sun is slowly rising. It has been so long since I have sat still to watch a full sunrise and it is truly a beautiful sight to behold. My favourite way to watch it out here is in the winter. Padding through the quiet house, careful not to wake anyone. Pouring myself a cup of something warm, stoking the fire and pulling a quilt over my knees as I curl up by the window. I watch as the sky turns from star-studded ink to violet, pale orange to soft (sometimes bright) pink. The fog rolls in over the frosty paddocks as the first light breaches those familiar hills across the valley and I watch for our resident fox, sauntering home after a night of doing what foxes do. As the light spills across the land, sometimes I will walk outside, feeling the bitter chill under my bare feet as the lightest shadow of warmth grazes my cheek. These are the times I feel most alive, as though I am the only person on earth, that the sun rises just for me and in that small moment I am not afraid of the terrible loneliness of that scenario.
Late last year I wrote that I felt it was time for a change, that it might be time to leave this little cottage, that I was almost ready for those things. I'm still not ready but we are leaving, just not on our own terms and it is breaking my heart. I know it is just a house and we will make a home of wherever we might soon rest our heads. Every time I look at the roses, returning for another flourishing bloom, I remind myself that they were never mine to begin with, that I will wave goodbye to them too when we drive out the gate one final time. I remind myself that a new home means a new garden (hopefully) and even though I will no longer have the beauty and solitude of this beloved valley, I will always have a handful of earth to sow some seeds and a window to sit by and knit these words together. And that is not nothing.
From where I sit right now, the sun will rise over those hills another 25 times and I will turn my face to feel the warmth of every last one.
For the longest time I didn't have much love for this rose bush. The little flowers too fragile to bring into the house, their petals usually fluttering in a heap as I cut the stem. Now though, I am learning to appreciate it just as it is. I've given up visiting on it for cut flowers and am loathe to give it a summer pruning, preferring to let it grow and creep around the garden bed, getting lush and lovely, cosying up with the calendula. A nice reminder that a little freedom, a little wildness, can be a beautiful thing.
A little look beyond my own garden gate to see what is blooming further afield...
I never want the flower crown trend to end! This tutorial is straightforward and stunning. (via Helarious)
Wedding floral trends for 2015. (via Floret)
A delicious garden-to-plate salad. (via From The Kitchen)
Hunting for wild garlic, described most beautifully. Hint: listen to the music as you read. (via Soul Food)
I am quite intrigued with this idea of sowing seeds based on the phases of the moon. (via The Diggers Club)
...then you've come to the right place!
Welcome to happy hour. It's Friday, it's been a long week and the weekend is so close you can taste it. But what does a weekend taste like? Well, right now the sun is shining and here in Australia we're looking at three glorious days off so how about bright, fruity and just a little bit boozy? If you're a northern reader still battling through the chill of winter, fear not! A bit of tinned pineapple from the supermarket in lieu of the fresh stuff and you're well on your way to a tropical paradise in your very own kitchen.
Fun fact: the piña colada is the official drink of Puerto Rico and legend has it that a famous Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Cofresí, was the creator of the tropical tipple. Being a drink of pirates, I'm sure they won't mind if I commit a bit of a crime here, namely the inclusion of pineapple flesh (colada means strained) instead of juice. Thanks Roberto!
Ingredients (makes two glasses+)
3 cups freshly cut pineapple
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup white rum (optional)
Handful of ice
1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix until frothy.
2. Avast, me hearties! Drink, be merry and have a wonderful weekend!