Saturday, 27 July 2019

A Glimpse of Paradise

Whilst the rest of the UK has been basking in long hot sunshine, the weather here has been less predictable. Unlike last year, we have not had the cloudless blue skies and balmy sun-drenched days.

(Cephalaria Gigantea in the garden)

However, this week the temperature on the barometer rose and the sun shone in a sky free of clouds. The heat was intense, making energetic activities and even stitching impossible. A trip to the coast was called for.
We drove through the County Down countryside, the sunshine intensifying the vibrant colours of the scenery. It really was a beautiful afternoon.
Topping the brow of a hill, I felt a vague unease, as I noticed a thin grey line on the horizon. My heart began to sink as we got closer to the coast and the grey line of sea mist grew darker, spreading thickly inland and blotting out the lovely sunshine. I tried not to let my frustration show and suppressed thoughts of the other alternative way of spending the late afternoon, sitting relaxing in the garden with a cool G&T, 

enjoying the scent of the roses and the warmth of the sun on my skin. 

Trying to look on the positive, I thought of breathing in the sea air and the change of scenery, even though the dark cloud cast a gloomy shadowy across the surrounding fields and hedgerows.

Parking at the verge above the little bay, my attention was instantly drawn to the wildflowers scattering the verge around the fence-line

and I momentarily forgot the chill in the air as I captured the images for potential stitching projects. Thoughts of picking the flowers did not enter my head - they belong outside with the bees and butterflies.

We descended down to the bay and strolled slowly along the sand. I watched a heron standing close by in the shallow water’s edge and suddenly became aware of the light glinting off the sea. Looking up, I saw sunbeams filtering through the clouds and to my joy; the clouds began swiftly dispersing and fading away to nothing. 

The beach lit up in the delicious sunshine 

and the world was transformed again.

The bay was deserted apart from a woman walking her dog, although in the distance the sound of children playing amongst the rocks, mingled with the cries of sea birds and the thrum of a boats engine far out at sea. At the far end of the beach, we passed through the wooden kissing gate and along the narrow path leading up towards the wildflower meadows.

Near the top of the path, the shady scrub and small trees that bordered each side ended 

and we emerged into the bright sunlight. 

I gasped as I beheld the most glorious sight 

that made me feel as though I had walked straight into paradise.

An abundance of jewel coloured wildflowers scattered profusely across the meadows surrounded us as far as our eyes could see, 

stopping only where the horizon met the blue of the sea 

and the sky. 

It was truly one of the most beautiful sights

 I have ever had the privilege of seeing.

Swallows and swifts flew low overhead 

and feathery grasses brushed our legs

 as we made our way through the wildflowers, 

treading carefully for fear of trampling on precious orchids

 or the huge bumblebees that feasted on the clover at our feet.

There were wildflowers everywhere we turned

framing the horizons

from every aspect.

Birds Foot Trefoil, wild carrot, orchids, 

wild thyme, clover, 

scabious and poppies were just a few of the myriads of flowers in the meadows. 

As the sun sank lower in the sky, 

and we made our way reluctantly back to the car, a herd of bullocks moved towards us curiously,

 the swallows swooping low all around catching the flies

that rose from the disturbed grasses.

We left the meadows and walked back down the path through the scrub.

Walking back across the beach, a hawk flew up from the sand in front of us.

It was an enchanting place, that I was sorry to have to leave, but the meadows as they looked that evening will remain etched on my memory,

and of course, with lots of images to inspire several stitching pieces, I know I will be re-living my happy time amongst the wildflowers.


Wednesday, 17 July 2019


Summer is now well underway with time seeming to fly by faster than ever. Evie sits calmly on the bedroom windowsill in deep contemplation, watching lazily as I try to keep up with all my activities that leave me with little time for writing about them.

I promise myself that on the next rainy day, when it is too wet for gardening or allotmenting, that I will finish the posts I have started. News about the allotment and the garden; days out and about;

my latest stitching and creative projects,

 such as "The Conversation";

but then I get sidetracked with catching up with everything that has been put on hold while the sun shines and hey ho, before I have even finished, the weather has changed and the garden needs tidying again after the latest battering from the wind and rain and so it goes on...... 

Tomorrow is another day - 


Wednesday, 19 June 2019

An Evening Stroll

In contrast to last summer, the weather this month has been abysmal - predictable only in being wet. Sun hats gather dust and linen dresses hang forlornly in the wardrobe. The roses in the garden  bloom and then turn sad and sodden as a deluge of water descends suddenly out of the sky.

The sky above the valley was leaden grey, but peering out of the upstairs window, I saw sunlight on the horizon, spilling over the edge of the blanket of clouds. 

On a sudden whim, we left the valley behind and headed to the coast, for a walk along the disused ancient railway track that runs along the bay.

The lane was lush and green, 

with huge ferns, cow parsley

and dog roses on either side of the old track.

The sunlight touched the tops of the trees and parts of the lane were in shade, but the air was fresh with the salty scent of the sea.

Sea birds cries carried on a warm gentle breeze and there was the low drone of Bumble bees as they buzzed amongst the vetch and clover

and the wildflowers that brushed our ankles.

The tide was out

and a tangle of grasses sloped down towards the shore

from where there was a beautiful view of the Mourne Mountains.

At last a glimpse of summer, even if it was only for a short while!