Category: summer

 

Summer holidays: Pine cones, roses, lazy days, lemon sherberts, tottering piles of books, picnics, Victoria sponge cake, tartan rugs, muddy wellingtons,  damp anoraks, salads, less but more, pots of tea, lashings of ginger beer, board games, walking, running, caring, but not caring, watching, listening, breathing. All summed up in this tiny cottage in Scotland that says come to me with it’s open arms of nostalgia and the warm embrace of simpler times.

 

(All pics House and Garden and Pinterest)

This is the joy of summer.

Laters, Kate x

Continue reading

Waterworks x

 

For the last week, autumn decided to roll into London instead of July: Grey, swollen clouds, heavy rain, a significant drop in temperature and most surprisingly, strong, bough wrenching winds.  They say Thursday will mark the change back to summer again. I hope so.  I would like some more summertime in the garden, particularly now we have a water feature.

 

 

(All pics Pinterest and Outdoorliving)

 

This is ours, hidden in the lavender.  We wanted moving water to cool the air on really hot days. And it helps that the birds are delighted with our choice, particularly Mr Robin.

 

Fingers crossed the sun will be back at the end of this week.

Laters, Kate x

Summer Sizzling x

 

 

Rumour has it London will be hotter than Barcelona next week with temperatures tipping over thirty. Hard to believe as I look out on a grey, soggy back garden. I had the notion I wasn’t going to buy any summer clothes this year, famous last thoughts, because then I trawled through H&M Conscious collection and fell in love.

 

(All pics H&M and Pinterest)

Come to Mama…

 

Laters, Kate x

The dress x

 

According to one blog post, the voluminous dress is the new quarantine.  And who am I to disagree? So far, my basic wardrobe has consisted of cropped trousers and long buttoned shirts, double layered when the temperature dipped, as loose coats over t-shirts when the sun shined.  But temperatures due to hit 27 degrees this week, I think it’s time to transition to dresses.  My favourite summer dress is a dark green, cotton vintage dress made with a deep v in a batik print.  I love it.  I love the colour, the ease and the print.  In fact, I would like more of the same, but I can’t find and….so I’ve been trawling patterns on the web to come up with something similar.

 

 

And I’ve found three, and two of them, including the one above, need no pattern at all…and this one even comes with pockets!

 

 

This pattern comes This Little Miggy, a fab website with great ideas and a wonderful vibe, I would recommend a virtual tour.  The instructions are brilliant; clear, precise and everything you could need.

 

 

 

If you feel comfortable sewing, you may want to move onto this pattern from So Sew Easy – or rather, instructions, because again, this is simple, only measurements,  no-pattern sewing.

 

(All pics Pinterest, This Little Miggy, so sew easy, oliverands)

 

A finally, if you want to tackle a simple pattern to add sleeves, there’s this beauty from OliverandS

High summer dressing sorted.

 

Laters, Kate x

The Pull x

 

The one thing I’ve been grateful for every day of this lockdown has been the weather. Nine times out of ten the sky has been a forget-me-not blue, possibly bluer, with each passing day as the urban pollution has cleared.  It’s had an effect, not only on all our moods, but also on  the garden that has now burst into acid green, waving fronds and baby buds.  It feels we are in early summer rather than spring and I can’t imagine the same time with grey skies and pouring rain. As yet, I haven’t dared swap over my summer wardrobe, not wishing to give this gift life the kiss of death, but I have moved back to transition dressing – the same basics but with lighter layers, one step away from high summer cotton dresses. The last thing I’ve wanted to do in lockdown is buy clothes.  But the truth is, if we want there to be a recovery, spending needs to happen, and not just at Amazon. With this in mind, all these pics all come from Massimo Dutti, offering the sort of pieces that stand the test of time: strong, classic and well made;  if there are any holes in your wardrobe, here’s where to look to fill them..

 

(All pics Massimo Dutti and Pinterest)

And regarding prices? think Zara rather than Chanel. Just saying.

Laters, Kate x

 

Oh The Joys… x

 

 

This post has been pulled from the archives and edited from Summer holidays for Coronavirus especially for Abbi and Laura and all those working from home with young children. Just know, I know that you’re amazing.

  1. You’re watching a film, OK it’s Disney..but actually you’re involved in the story (sad but true)..at the crucial scene (long-lost Anastasia being re-introduced to her frail Grandmother..a real tear jerker. Promise)…there’s always a ‘Mum, mum, I need to tell you something RIGHT NOW.’  Without fail.  Truth be told, happens in all programmes..sport – just as they come to the finishing line, the news..the weather! They announce the weather you’ve waited 30 minutes to hear so you can plan the next day – picnic? no picnic? ….’Mum, MUM!…’
  2. This also relates to map-reading or any activity that requires your immediate attention…..major road junction and need to hear the sat nav? or need to talk to husband because not trusting the stat nav?… ‘Mum, MUM, MUUUUM!’…
  3. The phone..Mum talking on phone means I must talk to her extra loudly SO SHE CAN HEAR ME.
  4. ‘Please guys I need 30 minutes undisturbed’ equals at least six interruptions.  Because each one was only a small one…because they didn’t want to interrupt you…
  5. The call of ‘Mum, MUM!’ from another floor followed by silence…that chick-like cry translates to ‘Drop-everything-you’re-doing-even-if-it’s-saving-the-world-because-I-need-you-to-do-something-really-insignificant-because-if-it-was-important-I- would-actually-bother-to-come-and-find-you’.
  6. The other much heard cry: ‘Mum-MUM-I-need-a-wee NOW!’…guaranteed on a motorway but the worst time so far…Eight hours into a drive on Greek roads at 37 degrees of heat, crawling along on single track, snaking, moutainous road with a stream of lorries which we’d slowly and painfully over-taken without being killed.  We pulled over and had to watch as each and everyone passed us again..I cried. And Charlie was given an empty bottle for the rest of the journey..
  7. The ground-hog-day morning call of ‘Please can everyone have their shoes on and teeth brushed and everything ready so we can go as soon as I’ve finished this’.  You finish tidying the house, sorting the washing, putting the washing machine on, cleaning the fridge (delete/add as appropriate)..and nothing’s happened.  And now you’ll be late…
  8. You’re always late.
  9. The ground-hog-moment of reminding them to say please and thank you on loop throughout the day.  Like hitting you’re head against a permanent wall.  You can remember the date of your birthdays but this is too hard?? It’s the mum equivalent of chinese water torture. Results in No.15.
  10. I say ‘Please can you turn your ipod down’ and I get ‘Well that’s it..I’m just going to throw it in the bin and then you’ll be sorry’.  Like doh? Results in no.15.
  11. The more bored they get, the less I want to do with them, the less they are capable of doing except whining at me for being bored…and then I spout all the cliches: ‘In my day…’
  12. Then you book them on a camp or tennis club..and it’s ‘We don’t want to go because we want to stay with you..’ Why???
  13. The longer you take to cook their breakfast/lunch/supper the less it will be appreciated.  And cooking three meals a day stinks. Results in no.15…for me..
  14. So you have a picnic and where ever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’ll be handed all the rubbish as if you’re one giant dustbin.  Even if you’re driving.  Or getting ready to pilot a rocket to the moon..silently, the used lolly wrapper/empty drink carton, sandwich foil are passed over to you… Do I have ‘I am really a bin’ written in permanent ink on my forehead?  Results in no.15..
  15. I tell them a certain behaviour will result in a consequence.  They never believe I’ll carry it through.  But I do every time..and they’re still shocked.  Like??
  16. Because of no.15 the consequence usually means we don’t do something nice that gets us out of the house.…which means no.11 kicks in…and I’m bored too.
  17. Asking something to be done requires the order in triplicate.  And then no.15 kicks in, followed by no.16.  And then no.18
  18. The longer the school holidays last, the more I find my brain shrinks (see no.1)
  19. And then they’ll disappear and play beautifully together..
  20. Except the more fun they have…. the greater the mess…
  21. Till it reaches a tipping point of hysterical proportions and you say ‘This will all end in tears’.  And it does…
  22. 5 weeks down, three more to go

Yeah. Um. Well. Yep. When actually will it end? This is life now. gulp.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

 

Laters, Kate x

Somewhere Summer..

 

The first snow drops, hints of blue, lighter mornings, the subtle suggestions of a season on the turn.  I was reading yesterday that I would not be able to claim the emerging spring as a fact because there is no such thing as proof, no matter how much we look for it.  Because proof can only exist when there is no doubt, and there is always doubt. Which I rather love, because it means the world is a chaotic, insane place, no matter how much we try to control it.  It also means there’s no proof for my claim that there’s a zeitgeist on the air for summer clothes, but I can still put a finger up to the wind and feel it: Unstructured, loose, layered with soft, softened cotton and colours that carry age, a step away from dynamic and full blooded. A nod to ancient cultures, simplicity of form but attention to proportion and complimentary dimension.


(All pics Pinterest)

Bring it on.

Laters, Kate x

Midsummer x

 

Midsummer’s day on Friday and the weather finely got the message, though looking out of the window now, the air is thick enough to slice and grey storm clouds are gathering.  Which probably explains the English fascination with tents and gazebos: a place to escape from life and rain, somewhere full of hope and nostalgia that remains a little bit of summer no matter what.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

These are all from the Raj Tent Club – the creme de la creme of canopies, but I’ve always had the urge to create my own…

 

Laters, Kate x

Silver Lining x

 

I remember at Christmas being drawn to coloured fairy lights over the classic, style leading, Scandi simplistic white and that pull to colour is still strong:  In the opening episode of Tales of the City on Netflix, there’s an outdoor party in San Fransisco festooned with every kind of light, shape, size and colour and it was an eclectic, mad, happy joy to see.  When the weather is grey, the politics greyer and the country feels like it’s going to the dogs, we need colour….and the bigger, the brighter, the more ebullient, the better.

(All pics Pinterest)

Simple pleasures.

Laters, Kate x