In a panicky moment of sentimentality I saved this little flower that the littlest boy gave to me on the way to school on Thursday. It suddenly felt terribly important to hold on to it.
And whilst I almost can't stand the ending, I do so love the summer holidays, and the prevailing mood around here goes something like this.
At home, I've been pondering what to do with some of the produce from the garden and the allotment. Last year was such a wash-out, but this year everything is going swimmingly and there are gooseberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries and tayberries. I've been browsing Sarah Raven's "Food for Friends and Family" for summer recipes. I do love a cookery book that's divided into seasons.
The garlic's in, and hopefully this should last us a year.
There are flowers too. Something I love about summer is picking flowers for the house. I very rarely buy them, but to have them around the house is always lovely, especially when they have hardly any flower miles and no added chemicals.
It's been hot and dry here, as over most of the UK. Grass is brown and cows have slim pickings. When it's really roasting, the best solution is sometimes a little umbrella.
We spent the afternoon at "our" country park. I think this place is somewhere that will stay in the children's memories after they are grown. They love the trampolines, the assault course and the animals. Oh, and the acres of space. I love the walled garden with its fruit and vegetables, the flowers and the wonderful views.
This afternoon the bees and butterflies were out in force. There were literally dozens of bees on a bank of lavender in the big rockery which overlooks the river. Lavender is one of my very favourite plants. Such a beautiful scent and wonderful flowers, and it is an absolute favourite of bees. I have never seen so many bumble bees in one place as I did today.
Back at home I am looking forward to taking things just a little bit easier than recently. I'm looking at the shells we brought back from holiday and remembering the fun we had.
This one makes me think of chocolate.
And I'm going to be pottering a little more in the garden while the children are around. Enjoying this rose, Rose de Rescht, and the white petunias I planted in my hanging baskets instead of tumbling tomatoes this year.
I have plans for the next few weeks. Nothing ambitious, and not too many, but plans of outside adventures, picnics, water, scooting, walking, discovering, climbing, building and playing. There will be games, library books, delicious treats, cookery, growing and picking, swimming and making. And I can't wait. If I had a Superman costume, I'd look something like this.
Let the fun begin.