I've said it before but I'm not ready for summer to give way to autumn just yet, and this is from a girl who loves autumn! The summer's been great, well the weather could have been a little better couldn't it, but I'm sure we always think that - but it seems over all to quickly this year. And it's this feeling which prompted my #SummerWas linky.
Back in July I shared my Summer Bucket List and I thought I'd share now how I got on.
I didn't get to make ice cream and I'm not sure why not. We had lots of strawberries and raspberries from the allotment and quite a few of them never made it home! On the plus side though I have managed to eat lots of ice cream, so I don't feel like I've missed out.
So did I get to sunbathe in the garden? I think I probably did. We had the sun loungers out for a large part of August, well until the rain came along. And I definitely used those, so while I wasn't out there in my bikini I think it's safe to say I got some sunbathing in!
The next on the list was to spend evenings in the garden and there's a resounding yes to this. It was nice to sit out there as the solar lights popped on talking to each other instead of sitting on the sofa watching the TV.
I also planned to be on time more and I think I managed that, well apart from not making it to Kingston in time to cheer MOH on as he cycled past in the Ride 100. But I'm putting that down to the Sunday timetable throwing a spanner in the works rather than my actions...
We didn't manage the next two either - drink cocktails and host a BBQ and wine-tasting - and when I wrote this list, I thought they'd be dead certs! We did have many barbecues but the one we planned to host was scuppered by the weather and was replaced by a very warming Tuscan Beef stew. I surely must have drunk cocktails at some point this summer... Surely... What a one to miss!
Wearing Flip-Flops was also a surety, I've lived in them this summer and am only just moving back into slippers. When it gets colder I'll be in my winter slippers but hopefully not for a while yet.
This year has been another year where we haven't picnic-ed in Greenwich Park, we really need to get our act together on this next year. I did get to go to a picnic at the Tower Hotel so I did squeeze a picnic in. This weekend we've been at OnBlackheath both days and have had great fun. While there was the Manics and Elbow on Saturday - the former of which are definitely in my "Bangy And Shouty" category, it wasn't too bad. Sunday was more of my day with Madness and with some Chris Holland who had Roland Gift singing with him. More my era if truth be told.
I preferred Sunday's line-up to Saturdays. But that could just be my age and not wanting to miss bopping around to Madness.
I did manage to read more books and magazines, I find that I go through phases of reading a lot and then not so much. I read so many books that I even wrote about them.
In Norfolk I walked on the beach at Titchwell, so that's another tick. Actually it's a very big tick as it's a huge and gorgeous beach and somewhere I'll be going again. But ssshhh don't tell too many people as it was pretty empty too! I hoped to be able to visit Lavender Fields while I was in Norfolk too, but didn't manage too. In fact the closest I came to it was driving past Norfolk Lavender on the way to mum and dads!
I'm giving myself half for PYO though. While I didn't manage to get to any PYO places I did quite literally pick my own both at home, on the allotment and at my dads. There's been beans, more beans, tomatoes, squash and courgettes as well as the strawberries and raspberries I mentioned before. Already there's been quite a haul so perhaps I'll upgrade my half to a full tick!
And it also means that I've eaten home-grown tomatoes and there's still plenty more to eat too. I'll switch to making pasta sauce for the freezer soon and probably some chutneys. But not just yet.
I didn't manage o eat watermelon in the sun though. I've had watermelon in the fridge and eaten it, but it didn't quite coincide with the warmest weather. And that quite frankly was bad planning on my part, but there's only so much watermelon even I can eat before getting fed up of it.
And while we're talking food it's a tick for visiting Farmer's Markets too with visits to our local market here in Blackheath and into some proper Farmer's shops when we were in Norfolk.
Jury Service was well and truly done. That's where I got a lot of reading done so it was good for that. The other thing it was good for was discovering the Tibetan Peace Garden at the Imperial War Museum and for being close enough to visit the Red Cross Garden.
The big question though is did we manage to use the BBQ more than the oven? I think we did and it was great, not only because I got to delegate the actual cooking (but not the prepping) to MOH but we also tried cooking a lot more than we usually would on it too. Cauliflower smeared with butter, seasoning and parmesan wrapped in foil was a big hit. I think even my local butcher suspected I was up to something as almost everything I bought would be prefixed with the question "can I barbecue this?"
So that leaves Blogstock and Blackberry-ing. Blogstock was on one of the coldest Saturday's of the summer, and probably the truest indication that autumn was almost here.
While the tents looked pretty with their fairy lights I was glad that we weren't camping and were in the comfy and warm hotel down the road. I picked up lots of tips there and while I've still to look back at my notes and make an action list, one is already forming in my head.
On our walk to Blogstock we walked past hedges of sloes or damsons and I was very tempted to forage some. I'd even gone prepared with tubs (I've no idea why either) but as it turned out it was dark each time we left the site and neither of us fancied carrying them around the whole day, so we didn't but now I wished we had.
We spotted plenty of blackberries in Norfolk as we cycled past and I made a mental note of how far away from home they were so we could return with the well travelled tubs, but on closer inspection the Norfolk blackberries weren't quite ready for picking. I haven't picked any yet but have my eye on some down on the Thames Path.
Well looking back over my summer bucket list, I've done loads and ticked off more than I thought I would. It's been a useful exercise to look back at the summer, it's been a busy one. I may not have got to do everything I hoped but I know one thing - this summer I've had a blast!
And maybe, just maybe it's helping me transition to autumn. What's not to like about a season that delivers pumpkins?!
How was your summer? What was your stand out moment?