Monthly Archives: June 2013

june updates

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Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…. Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. –  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

No price is set on the lavish summer; June may be had by the poorest comer. – James Russell Lowell

In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.- Aldo Leopold

Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. – Henry James

We’re at the end of June now, one summer month gone past so quickly! Temperature’ still quite mild; around 15c with the rain and wind, up to 20c on a good sunny day. What have I been up to? After my in laws’ visit at the end of May, I had some friends over from abroad and then recently my hubby’s relatives popped by to see us as well. Summer time is when people get out and about more, it’s always a pleasure to meet up again with relatives and friends after being cooped up during the winter months. My hubby’s been redecorating our reception room, that’s now completed too after several weeks of hard work. I’ve been pottering about the garden of course, apart from the general garden maintenance, I’ve also been mowing the lawn a couple of rounds and painted our picnic table for the first time! My children have finished their school (for my eldest) and madrasa exams; I’m happy for their success, Alhamdulillah! They deserve the rewards for their hard work, you reap what you sow!

I also took my girls out for more educational and recreational outings, we normally join other home educated children here for such activities, like we did in our Victorian School visit. Now we can relax a bit, enjoying our garden (inhaling the roses’ perfume and listening to birds tweeting!) with our regular friends here during the sunny days and making the best of the weather! Time for celebrations, trips and fun-filled days, before we wind down for Ramadan (the Muslim fasting month) in a couple of weeks, followed by summer holidays and Eid (festival after completing our month’s fast) afterwards. I’m not quite certain yet whether I’ll be blogging away as usual, I might lessen my time online during this holy month. Right, enough of my chattering, here’s several pictures I’ve taken recently, have a lovely weekend!!!

the home schoolers trip to the sewerage

our regular climbing activity

I painted my garden furniture and mowed the lawn

the sparrow that sings all day in my apple tree

our first fruit harvest!

summer blooms

they add colour to the garden

flowers from my garden

freshness of childhood

walking in the summer rain

rose garden

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Of what use will be a dish of roses to thee?

Take a leaf from my rose-garden.

A flower endures but five or six days

But this rose-garden is always delightful.

Saadi Shirazi

my yellow rose garden, summer 2013

my yellow english roses, summer 2013

my english rose garden, summer 2013

my pink english roses, summer 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

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Hello there, this week I have decided to participate in the latest WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge : Curves. Mainly because I realised I have countless pictures on curves, especially from my trip to Andalusia in the southern tip of Spain several years ago. I visited the cities of Granada, Seville and Cordoba over 10 days, certainly the most enchanting region I have ever been to, I was transported well back in time! I’ve also included a few curve photos from my Paris visit and one from England too. Curves are popular designs in Islāmic Architecture, they can be pretty impressive. Anyway, enough said, I am going to allow the images in my gallery below do the talking. Au revoir till we meet again sometime soon, Inshallah! 🙂

life’s beauty

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Greetings to all! I need to be reminded of my additional floral display this summer (hence this entry), besides the existing garden blooms which you can find in last year’s spring and summer posts. I don’t consider myself a keen gardener, I actually inherited our lovely garden from the previous owner of my current house. But having said that, both hubby and I do enjoy gardening to a certain degree, we’ve added more flowering and fruit plants in the past 3 years. One of the reasons we can’t go all out with gardening is because we suffer from hay fever every year. Yes, this usually happens in the summer months when pollen count is high in the air. We just cannot stop the sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat that by the end of the day we’re just totally shattered! We do take medication but then suffer from side effects as well, so there’s no way out. Well, we can’t have it all our way, Alhamdulillah for all that is good! The weather’s been mainly dull, grey, wet and windy this past week, but there’s still beauty all around to admire and for that I’m truly grateful. This serves as another reminder for me, as I go about supporting a friend who is in need at the moment. Despite the difficulties and frustrations she’s going through, I try to point out her many blessings compared to women who are less fortunate than her. I remind her of all the beauty around her, including her own little garden plot which she has filled with beautiful flowers. I believe she’ll rise above all her problems; as long as she has faith, hope, courage, determination, love and support. Just like all these blooms below; which looked dull and lifeless before, now a beauty and a joy to behold. I’ll continue to be there for my friend (within my capacity), I believe this is what makes us real human beings; being there for one another especially in times of need. It’s not about who has the bigger house, or the highest qualifications, or the best paid job or spends longer time in worship. It’s about your heart, your intentions, your genuine feelings in wanting to see another human being smile, to see all her sad tears change into happy ones. This is what makes life worth living, the reason the world still goes round.

(my summer display)

my hanging basket

my little balcony display

another hanging basket

my yellow roses have climbed higher this summer!

my girls’ patio flowers

my pink roses have bloomed, the sun came out in the end!

My favourite video clip at the moment, which I discovered through another fellow blogger. Have a great weekend everyone!

summer flavours

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Hello all! I am enjoying early summer here, although officially it begins on the 21st of June. To be honest it feels more like spring still (which arrived rather late anyway), and there’s this wind that keeps giving us the chill, a cardigan or jumper must be at hand regardless of how sunny it may be. Nonetheless, my children have been camped in the garden (playing, eating and revising for exams) at the weekend whilst hubby dearest repainted the reception room. It’s the best time to catch up on DIY projects, as the days are rather long (dusk at about 9.30pm). I’ve been pottering about washing everything I can get hold off, my net curtains included. I’ve also been trying out a simple recipe by my favourite cook guru, Nigel Slater. Since I’m into chunky cookies at the moment (which are sold in abundance everywhere it seems), I was delighted to find them featured in his latest cook show. I thought I’d share it here with you, for those interested in the recipe please click here. Even though it was a quiet (family and friends’ visits over) weekend for my family, it was a fruitful one which we all enjoyed.

got all the ingredients together

mix butter and sugar

add eggs and vanilla flavouring

add dark melted choc

toast the hazelnuts then grind them coarsely

add hazelnuts

shape the dough into small balls

 

ready in 12 minutes!

serve with summer fruits

I am not a food blogger but from time to time I do not mind sharing some of the foods I have prepared. So here are several of our meals at the weekend, just simple dishes from both the East and the West, the running theme of my current life!!! 🙂

soldier toast for breakfast

fried rice for lunch

beef steak for dinner

trifle for dessert