Location:United Kingdom

An avid tea-drinker who likes nutmeg in her coffee and warm lavender-scented quilts. She knits, crochets and partakes in random acts of craftiness (and kindness). She likes obscure works of literature, philosophy and the idea that her mind exists separately from her body. She enjoys moving furniture around, literary criticism and baking bread. She writes haiku about nettles, would like to swim with seals and become completely self-sufficient. She writes as if her life depends on it, listens to beautiful music, and loves her darling husband Mr. VP.

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Wednesday 27 May 2015

The May in May

True to its name, the May is out in abundance both in the countryside and at the bottom of our garden. Each time we open the back door, our noses are met with the powdery, sweet smell of the early May blossom, before it starts to take on that slightly foetid odour that attracts the flies to it.  Whilst different to the apple, plum and sloe blossom of April, this blossom is totally unique and yet no less splendid as it fills roadsides and hedgerows up and down this green and pleasant land of ours.

Even though we had a slightly reluctant walker with us, we had such a nice potter through the countryside.  You might be able to tell that I’m so happy that the light, bright, spring greens are back again.  No more – for a few months at least – will we see the dull, drab greens of autumn and winter.  These bright greens are everywhere, from stinging nettles to ramsons to the Queen Anne’s lace and even on the pines and larches whose new needles are vivid and soft.  We paused to admire the red campion outshining its green and white neighbours, enjoyed the pungent tang of the ramsons on the air (yes, that sea of white is all garlic!) and stopped to gaze at the vast expanse of the Tyne river.  It really was a splendid day to get out of the house and enjoy the gloriousness of spring.

Thursday 30 April 2015

Sunset Through the Trees

This day marks a whole year that we have lived back in Northumberland and without a doubt, it has been the most amazing, overwhelming, stressful and surprising year of our lives. Between the house renovations (argh!), moving 250 miles north, moving family members almost as far, falling back in love with the county and (Mr VP) rediscovering a work-life balance it has been a whirlwind. I cannot believe it has been a whole year, but here we are. Now the weather is better again, and we have lighter evenings, we have been definitely enjoying and making the most of every single evening in this wonderful county.  Of course, an evening as magical as this wouldn’t be complete without a bit of music.

April: Short but Sweet

April has been one of my favourite months in a long while.  Maybe because this month the weather has been glorious, the flowers have blossomed and the greenery has taken on a fresh new-life green hue that I’ve missed.  It is the month that I’ve revelled in sunshine on my skin and the return of a whole swathe of wildlife to our shores.  Unfortunately, the month has also gone quicker than I think I can remember any month going ever, even when I was working 40-hour weeks or revising for exams!  I would like to press pause and just savour these last moments of April before May’s arrival, when it undoubtedly takes on a more summery hue.

Friday 17 April 2015

Alone Amongst the Blossoms

I mentioned the other day that Spring! had sprung in a most spectacular fashion and I was definitely not wrong!  We might not have had the temperatures that the south have been enjoying, but we have been revelling in the strengthening sun and the blue skies that we have been gifted of late and it has been glorious.

Seeing the hedgerows green up and change from silvery-brown and dark green to bright green again never fails to fill my heart with gratitude for the return of the sun.  Hearing the birds busily rushing to and fro, always with a song, is such a welcome thing and makes a change from the lone robin song of winter.

Every living thing in the woods is waking up from a slumber, brought around from their nap by the sunlight.  Ah, dappled sunlight!  I’ve missed you too.

Some trees were clinging on to the last of their old leaves despite them having a brand new layer of green.

There is something magical about walking alone amongst the anemonies.  I have such happy memories of visiting Southrey woods in Lincolnshire and snapping some wonderful pictures of them.  I love how they carpet a whole woodland floor in such profusion so as to cover completely all of last year’s leaflitter and debris.

Perhaps my favourite view of all?  A literal tunnel of blackthorn blossom, banked high on either side.  Pretty amazing, eh?  I snapped an identical photo whilst waiting for Mr VP to have his interview at around this time last year and I must say, it brought back all of those memories of hope and excitement (and nerves!).  Who knew where we’d be this time last year?

I don’t think I could ever get enough of the blossom.  I think I have fallen in love with spring, utterly and completely.

I found a secret short-cut and followed my adventurer’s spirit, which found me in amongst a dappled bank of trees overlooking the river below.  I was surprised that I didn’t come across more people on my walk as the weather was so lovely, but in other ways I’m glad that I had it all to myself for a couple of hours.

I saw my first bee-mimicking fly (Bombylius major) of the year!  Can you spot him?

Nope, that blue-and-frothy-white combination will never grow old :)

Monday 6 April 2015

Easter Sunday: Morning, Noon and Night

I hope that you all had a lovely Easter!  We had a quiet one, but have loved the four-day weekend that it entails.  On Easter Sunday itself, despite the weather predictions being dire, we awoke to the most lovely cloudless, sunny spring day.  We opted to go for an early walk as we were awake pretty early anyway and we were almost entirely alone for our walk.  We saw ducks on the lake, exotic varieties and mallards, as well as cormorants and a duck I’ve yet to identify which had a long ‘mane’ of feathers on its head.  We saw pussy willow catkins blossoming, coltsfoot opening their pretty faces to the sun and we revelled in the blackthorn and hawthorn blossoms.  The sun was really, really warm and by the time we got back to the car it was 14ºC!

We came home and I got to work making a Sunday lunch for ourselves and Mum – I made a roast chicken with all the trimmings, and a large lemon meringue pie for dessert.  All of it was absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself (even though I had real issues with the pastry this time, despite blind baking?!  I suspect it was an oven temperature thing).

By the time we’d rested from our large lunch, the temperature was 19ºC (!) and still glorious, so we hopped into the car and went to the beach for a walk to make the most of the day (and to walk off some of the calories!).  It was fairly busy on the beach but the cool air and the soft sand was just what we needed.  Once we had got back, I took my camera into the garden and enjoyed capturing the huge mass of blossoms on our ornamental cherry tree (Prunus incisa. ‘Kojo No-Mai’).  I went through the VP archives and noticed that we planted that tree 9 years ago in August and it has gone from about 30cm in height to now being about 1.7 metres tall!  I didn’t realise it would grow to be such a lovely tree-like shrub.  It is absolutely beautiful and has rekindled my desire to get back into the garden and get it into shape after four years of relative neglect.

Friday 20 March 2015

VP Photo Challenge: Day 7. Wood

Wednesday 18 March 2015

VP Photo Challenge: Day 5. Shadows

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