dimanche 8 mai 2011

The sunlight on the garden

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They say that nostalgia is no longer what it used to be but I've never found that to be the case. Waking up each morning and opening the curtains to discover the first rays of sunlight on the grass, watching the squirrels run across the branches of the oak tree outside the kitchen, seeing the hawthorn break or reading in the shadow of the apple tree in blossom, it felt as if I was discovering these places for the first time and had never experienced the spring before. Growing up, the landscape around me appeared tired and familiar and I took its beauty for granted; perhaps it's because of the miserable, wet spring of last year which robbed me of this magic or because I live in a city but I finally realised how much these places mean to me, that they awaken something deep inside that cannot be fully expressed. Some nights when I was awake, I would look down at the garden, silent in the moonlight and wish I could go outside to explore just like the character in Tom Midnight Garden, one of my favourite childhood books.

I returned to the Cromford Canal, the grandeur of Kedleston Hall and Lea Gardens with its stunning rhododendren whose rich colours suggest more Mexico than England and where I wandered further and further into woodland. Most wonderful of all though were the bluebell woods, a spot known only to a few where I've been going since my childhood. As a girl I gathered masses of dandelion clocks, blowing the seeds away into the breeze and I could follow in the traces of my own footsteps along the path into the woods with my eyes closed because I know it so well. Yet nothing really prepares you for the delicate perfume of those special flowers, impossible to describe or the sight of the blue carpet rolled out in front of you.


Dear readers, I'm so sorry for being away for so long and want to thank you all for the lovely comments and messages I've received. Somehow being back in Derbyshire made me want to go exploring, rather than sit in front of the computer so I hope you can forgive me. I'm also hopelessly out of touch with others blogs and have missed reading you so I'll be taking some time this week to catch up. Take care.

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Beneath the apple tree

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Oscar, enjoying the evening sun

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In the bluebell woods

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The wonderful flowers at Lea gardens

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In the grounds of Kedleston Hall

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Archery contest

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Kedleston Hall

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The hawthorn in bloom

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One of the nicest things was also having plenty of time for breakfast every day. Lecia posted this recipe for baked oatmeal on her beautiful blog (from Heidi Swanson's new book which I ordered yesterday). I used fresh blueberries and found it to be one of the most delicious and comforting breakfasts I've ever had.

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24 commentaires:

  1. A beautiful post! You made me feel nostalgic... I wish I could walk along the Cromford Canal like it did many times in the past. :-$

    Lovely clicks!



  2. Looks and sounds like a wonderful place to escape to. I'm dying to go to the country to enjoy this beautiful weather. Now that you're back we'll have to meet up sometime soon:)

  3. Such lovely pictures!!!
    Thanks for that!

  4. Ah yes, I remember blowing the dandelion seeds to the wind. I think all children love to do that. You're seeing everything with adult eyes now. We take so much for granted when we're young.
    A beautiful post and I'm always so envious of your beautiful way with words.

  5. Nice to take a break from it all in such a beautiful place, isn't it? Stay away from the computer as long as you can :)

  6. What lovely photographs, Emily. I'm sure Oscar, Mingus, & Jasper are happy for your attention!

  7. Gorgeous photos- It looks like you had a lovely break. Good to see you back in this space.

  8. @Rosa - I was sure that you must also know so many of these places and wished you could be there to enjoy the spring.
    @Christine - There's something about the good weather that makes us long to escape the bustle of the city. Hope you've found some good places to cycle in. Brandenburg must look amazing right now and yes, we simply have to find time to meet up very soon.
    @Kat - Oh thanks my lovely!
    @Barbara - It's so good to be able to appreciate those special moments and revist these places full of memories. Thanks so much for what you said about my writing, it's lovely to hear that.
    @Gracienne - I keep thinking about that photo on your blog on the sunlight on the water and how precious such moments are. I hope you also spend some time away from the computer to visit other lovely places.
    @Susan - Ah yes, they loved having me around, especially as my Mum can't look after them as she's just had a new hip and they have a late breakfast when my Dad feeds them. Jacob and Mungo weren't too keen on being photographed though unfortunately. It's great having the cats around in the garden in spring, I miss that. If only I could come and have tea with you and Julie.
    @Nicolette - Thanks dear friend. I feel so positive and relaxed at the moment so the holiday definitely did me good, plus there's so many nice things to do in Berlin right now.

  9. I believe nostalgia is alive and well. Lovely photographs, especially the dandelions and bluebell woods. It's good to see your writing and photographs here. Welcome home.

  10. Welcome back! Glad you had such a lovely break x

  11. lovely shots Vanessa, good to see you again, cheers from london

  12. Hello there! Nice to see you are back! I hope you had a wonderful time away- the pictures say you did!

  13. Oh, the light on these pictures is so beautiful! So delicate. I totally understand the need to get away from the screen a little, especially with all this nature around you...

  14. you don't need to apologise, all the exploring sounds wonderful :)

    looking at these photos of kitties and flowers makes me want to step away from my computer too. Isn't wonderful to breath in fresh air and play?

  15. oh and the bluebells remind me of 'bright star' :)

  16. The bluebell woods look so beautiful, and I enjoyed the photos of the furry friends. The archery contest photos stirred up some nostalgia for me. Lovely post.

  17. Emily, those cats stole my heart! I miss my own cat back in Greece.

    Good to have you back from your vacation!

  18. @Denise - Glad to know I'm not alone in loving nostalgia. It feels good to come back here after a break and I'm looking forward to your next post.
    @Sasa - Thanks dear friend!
    @Pity - Hope you also had a nice Easter. The weather in London must have been amazing too, or perhaps you were in Spain.
    @Pearl - Oh yes, I had such a nice time with no stress and plenty of time to do everything. Nice to return to Berlin in the springtime though.
    @Julie - Hey there, nice to hear from you! I just couldn't bring myself to have the patience to blog with a terribly slow connection when there was the temptation of the English countryside at its best. The light was truly amazing and when I arrived in the UK, I just couldn't believe hw lovely everywhere looked.
    @Hila - It's so nice to smell the flowers and see the sun every day. Thanks for making the connection between the bluebells and Bright Star. Despite my love of both things, I hadn't thought of that and now I'm keen to see the film again.
    @P.K - I know, isn't there something magical about archery? I can't say exactly what but I could stand and watch those contests all day.
    @Magda - The cats are really charming, although pretty naughty too. It's hard to leave them behind but it wouldn't really be fair to have one in Berlin as I'm out so often and away for quite a long time and I miss seeing the gang every day so know how you must feel. Thanks so much for your messages and take care!

  19. I love your archery contest photo! It reminds me I use to practice archery... I really loved it, and still like bows and targets as objects, because they have some obvious graphic qualities... Archery: a graphic designer's sport!

  20. I'm so glad you made the oatmeal! I make it once a week; we really love it.

    Your photos, as always, are a visual feast. xo

  21. Grrr, Blogger deleted my original comment above so I'm sorry about that but thanks to all for taking the time to read me!
    @Pia - I'd never considered archery in that respect before, how interesting. It looks like a tough sport and you need the right combination of skill and strength. I can imagine it would become addictive.
    @Lecia - Thanks to you for introducing me to this recipe, I made it often for my family and now for myself once a week. The other day Heidi's book arrived and I haven't stopped using it.

  22. Coucou Emily,

    Tes photos sont superbes. Tu me donnes envie d'en faire autant. Je crois que je vais publier quelques photos du jardin moi aussi ;-) Et puis ces myrtilles fraiches... mum !

  23. lovely shots Vanessa, good to see you again, cheers from london