Simple Holiday Activity 1: Holiday hooky in the window seat. I love window seats and would install them at every window at home if I could. They are somehow just the perfect places to read, to sew, to write, to dream and of course to crochet. Why sitting in a window seat should make a difference to the feel of these various activities I know not but I find it to be so. Partly it's just that the light of course is good in a window seat, which is why the colours are a bit over-exposed in my hooky pic below. This is the beginnings of my mother's birthday present. Don't worry, she doesn't read this so I am not letting any cats out of bags! As you can see, it's another flowery cushion, or will be, but not so much a rosy one this time; more a dahlia or chrysanthemum one with tawny golds, burnt oranges, deep reds and plum colours. Very appropriate for a September birthday when dahlias and chrysanthemums are out and dotting the garden with their big, velvety, pom-pom heads. I am finding the flower cushion much easier the second time around, even (dare I say it?), the counting! So here's hoping it will be finished in time, without too much frogging!
Simple Holiday Activity 2: Making lunch out of the simplest things - a brown paper bag of ripe cherries and some homemade bread. Yes, I do make my own bread even on holiday. A small secret about Mrs T - she cannot stay in hotels for more than a very few days at a time because she gets withdrawal symptoms if she doesn't have a kitchen to potter and make things in. So self-catering cottages have always been her preference for holidays. Of course this does mean one has to travel, if not with the kitchen sink, something not far off it, as not all self-catering holiday cottages are equipped with kitchens for serious cooking, but over the years I've got it down to a fine art and a minimal "batterie de cuisine" so to speak, that, with a bit of ingenuity, copes with most scenarios. At the very least a baby pepper grinder, my trusty cup measures (that have had the handles soldered back on more times than I care to remember), one of my own sharp knives and one of my own wooden spoons (because you never know what flavours alien wooden spoons have absorbed) will do. The rest can be improvised!
Simple Holiday Activity 3: Walking for miles among the fields and flower-filled hedgerows that lie between here and the sea. which, on a clear day, you can see as you crest the rise; along paths and over ancient stone stiles that have been here for centuries; surprised at every turn by the wildflowers that have grown in these undisturbed hedgerows since time immemorial and whose curious, tactile names roll on the tongue like smooth, misshapen pebbles and read like some ancient English roll-call from the Domesday Book - Campion, Ragged Robin, Vetch, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Pimpernel, Cat's Ear, Stitchwort, Knapweed, Viper's Bugloss and Yarrow; encountering hidden springs that feed little gurgling brooks tumbling through secret, fern-filled tunnels where the light is green. So much rain this summer has made the ground soft and very muddy in places but it has also kept everything green and vividly, excitedly alive when sometimes the English countryside by now can feel a little tired and in need of refreshment for the last haul of August until the blessed cool and dew of earlier September nights and mist-filled mornings.
Simple Holiday Activity 4: Reading a novel - "Summer At Fairacre" by Miss Read - an old favourite that I've read lots of times but still love - curled up in the window seat (again!) with a cup of tea
Of course one could spend days like this - give or take a few details - at home - the question is, "Why doesn't one?"
Haven't figured out the answer to that yet!