Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Old Hop Kiln

We have been on holiday in Herefordshire, which is fairly far south west in England. It calls itself the Midlands, but it's not really very mid. Anyway, it was all lovely. Our 300-year-old cottage had been converted from a hop kiln - I think the round bit was the actual kiln, but it's now the kitchen (downstairs) and a bathroom (upstairs). Neither must have been particularly easy to equip, being round, but both were done very nicely.

There are various other converted farm buildings, all also very old, and pretty views.

Here is Mr L taking the air.

The only trouble about the air was that it was extremely hot. Britain's been experiencing a prolonged heat wave, with the longest drought since records began. Here in Scotland it's been hot though not unbearably so, but also very dry. For the first time that I can remember, our lawn crunches when we walk on it. Not good. We don't have a sprinkler because we don't usually need one. 

However, old buildings have thick walls and so, luckily, our cottage was quite cool inside. It was (to my mind) very prettily furnished in blues and white.

There's much more to say but there are things to do... .

Saturday, July 07, 2018


It was my birthday the other day, and I was lucky enough to get all these books. I had mentioned that I wanted them, and am very much looking forward to reading them. Life isn't going to be long enough to read all the interesting books that people will keep writing. 

On the day, the Edinburgh family came with me to Jupiter Artland, a sort of country park with art works, which we all enjoyed.

There are six "weeping girls", which are very effective but rather sad.

Can you see this one leaning on a tree?

This teapot was more cheerful.

I'm not so sure about this huge composite orchid. Do you see Biggest Granddaughter standing at the foot of it? That's how enormous it is.

And there were various landforms,

which were fun to run up and down.

 Later, Grandson drew all the sculptures.

And in the evening, Mr L and I went to Opera North's production of "Kiss Me Kate", which was very jolly indeed. 

And when we walked down to the bus stop at 10.30 pm, Edinburgh still looked like this. 

It was a very good day. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Happy 4th of July

It's been sandpit weather for... ages, really. Or at least it feels like it. I'm having to water the garden, which is relatively unusual. Here in Edinburgh, it's been bearable most of the time, though we've been getting up near 30 degrees some days, which is 86 - though it's not actually got to 30 most of the time, more like 25-27, hot enough for us. We often have a nice breeze. We walked into town today, eastwards into the sun, which was a bit tiring, but in the shade, it's fine. In London, however, it's been really hot.

I'm missing this little person. Look at her, early yesterday morning. How nice to be so cheery first thing. We commissioned the rug she's standing on at a craft fair more than 30 years ago. I really like it - we chose the colours - but when we moved to our current house 29 years ago, there somehow wasn't anywhere for it, so it remained rolled up in the eaves till Daughter 2 rescued it for Littlest Granddaughter's bedroom. I wonder if those rug makers are still making rugs. They would be surprised, I imagine, to see it still in use - or to be accurate, again in use.

I'm also missing the other little person but I'm not allowed to show her, so you'll have to imagine the photo I'm looking at. She's got blondish hair and big blue eyes, though I think they might be changing to a hazely colour.

Happy Independence Day tomorrow, America. Light some fireworks to celebrate my 68th birthday.