The sounds of summer


It’s the dust in the air and the freedom everywhere
Been waitin’ all year, now it’s finally here


The lyrics of this Dierks Bentley song summarises perfectly the mood; school is out, the holidays are upon us, the weather has taken its cue since the thermometer has climbed several degrees and the sun has come out to play.


I am head over heels in love with summer right now. The sounds, the smells, the sights, and the many other iconic symbols of these warmer months take me back to my youth in the blink of an eye; I could be back at my childhood home on our farm, watching the combine churning past waiting for my father to bale the straw so that we could then jump them all day long on our ponies. Despite the fact we lived in England, I always remember my childhood summers  as long periods of sun and blue skies, and strangely I don’t remember it ever raining! Our summer holidays at home were the best holidays anyone could ever ask for, we never went away for it’s the busiest time of year for farmers; we didn’t need to though. I remember life being as perfect as it could be and that’s really all I want for my own children. If they can grow old with memories as sweet as mine then they’ll be recounting the same memories to their own children in the decades to come and that surely, is what summer is all about.


I also clearly remember shelling peas; we would sit for hours on the lawn outside the back door, my sister and I, performing this mundane task.


Undeniably the scent of summer has to come from Sweet Peas. Here they grow wild beside the road. My father grew them in abundance, in all colours; they are the most rewarding of plants, and the more we would cut them, the more they would grow. They are one of my favourite flowers for the house, a sweet smelling vase of tangled blooms on the kitchen table.

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Here in the Charente Maritime with our hot summers we can almost set our watches according to the position of shutters. At night they are tightly closed. In the mornings, shutters and windows are flung wide open to let in the cool fresh morning air. As midday approaches the windows remain open but their shutters are semi-closed, acting as a pair of sunglasses blocking out the heat and light, keeping the house cool. It is interesting to note the difference between the southern Europeans from their northern cousins in this respect too. The Southerners stick to the shutter routine religiously, having spent a lifetime in the heat. Northerners (including us Anglophiles) tend to keep our shutters open at strange times, allowing in a little heat I must admit, but more importantly it lets in the light! We have, on more than one occasion, been called les fous anglais, a good-natured joke that pokes fun at our misuse of shutters!



Sunflowers abound, their bright yellow petals piercing the view  for miles around, nodding their heads in the heat of the day as they turn to follow the sun from dawn ’til dusk.


No thoughts about summer would be complete without a little mention of the garden and plants; the oleander, whose looks bely its poisonous parts.


Lavender, ideally planted where one brushes past, so the scent wafts through the air and perhaps my favourite, hibiscus. There are, of course,  grapes ripening on the vines, along walls, in gardens and row upon row, acre upon acre in the fields.


I couldn’t forget the ever present hollyhocks; not only are they on every street corner and outside every house but they also grow prolifically in our own garden, punctuating the flower beds with their tall spires of flowers.



Open-top cars, modern and vintage. We spotted this beauty whilst walking the dogs the other day; unsurprisingly I had my camera with me and I snapped away. The owners were sitting in their garden sipping aperitifs, they came over to chat. This car had always been owned by their family, now it was a hobby, a toy to be played with on warm sunny days.


No summer would be complete without endless days on the beach, with the smell of suncream


and ice cream!


The sounds of summer; music and birds, the splashing of water from the pool and the sizzling of meat on the barbecue. Insects hard at work, the hum of the dragonfly

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and the buzzing of the bee, one of our main pollinators  just going about a days work

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and the hummingbird hawkmoth, a migrant from that vast heat-shimmering continent to the south over the sea.

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Summer reading is a must too, finding time to enjoy a little time with a magazine, outdoors in a shady spot


and that endless blue sky, a colour so rich and vibrant; if it were a painting one would think it unrealistic.


Summer food, a treat well worth waiting for; watermelons and melons, our local ones are the famous Charentais variety from this region


and vine-ripened tomatoes, still warm from the sun; we grow them in huge quantities so we can feast on the glut and still have enough to make sauces and other dishes to freeze


Summer also means baby chicks, our Frizzle bantams are now six weeks old and our Silkie chicks, I apologise I’ve been a little rude and not introduced you to these yet, are now two weeks old, delightful little bundles of pure yellow fluff.



There are so many fabulous things about summer; breakfast outside on the terrace, kids camping in the garden, endless summer sports on the lawn and the beach, the Tour de France, and Wimbledon of course! The smell of rain on parched earth after a much needed storm. I could go on for hours, I’ve only just touched the tip of the iceberg,  but then I’d be keeping you from enjoying the very things I am writing about.

Just one final favourite though; those long summer evenings when the sun is still shining brightly at 9pm and it doesn’t get dark until after 10, when sun-warmed children fall  asleep on your lap about a darkening garden table lit by candles.

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It goes way too fast, it all disappears
And when it’s gone, we’ll still be here
Hangin’ ’round, missin’ the sounds of summer

I’m going to savour every minute of summer; I don’t want it to rush by in a flash, I want to slow everything down a little, go down a gear, and relax. When you’ve got a moment to spare, tell me what says ‘summer’ more than anything else to you?

P.S. this is a photo of the rear view of the car, it is a Ford T Model from the mid 1930’s. This photo is for Mary from Ohio, who was so interested, thank you x


120 thoughts on “The sounds of summer

    1. Oh thank you Anita, you need to come and visit France again, come and stay with us, it would be such fun to explore together and you could teach me a thing or two with your camera for you are an expert, and I could show you around, the perfect combination! Susan x

  1. I love this post. And the photos are making my heart ache because we just returned from three weeks in Theoule-sur-Mer. My sounds of summer from childhood are a mix of the subway, noisy cars, the ice cream truck’s tune at night–from my years spent in NYC. Then we moved to Long Island down the street from the bay. And things changed. The scents were the salty and briny sea as it wafted through the house during summer evenings without air conditioning. Lilacs in our backyard. And..the sound of the whistle of a passing train on the way to and from NYC to bring the travelers to Fire Island back and forth.
    The sounds of the summer in Theoule are the chants of the cicadas and frogs together at night while the water hits the rocks. It’s so soothing that it puts me to sleep.
    I love summer too!

    1. Hi Catherine, I hope you had the most wonderful time, I know how much you were looking forward to it. I love the sounds of the cicadas too, didn’t even think of those! There’s so much to love about summer. Will you be coming back again soon? Susan x

        1. Ha ha, you have rumbled me!!! Seriously, we have not had a drop of rain today, a mixture of sun and clouds but no rain, I know I’ve been outdoors all day at a tennis tournament in Saintes!

    1. Hi Varsha, the climate is really pleasant here, a nice dry heat but never too unbearably hot. Where are you? It sounds as if you must be somewhere hot and humid?? Susan x

      1. I’m in Mumbai, it is currently over 30 and near 100% humidity with endless rain. That is why I long for your beautiful looking summer days.

  2. You made my heart sing with this. That first photo, that blue sky, I was totally hooked, love it.

  3. I remember English summers that were once perfect too, sadly it doesn’t seem to happen anymore, or maybe I have just grown up, maybe my memories aren’t quite so true! I love living outdoors, whenever the English weather allows, that’s what I love most about summer. Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, I think maybe we tend to remember our childhoods through rose tinted glasses! Hope the summer improves in England and you get one like the oness we remembered! Susan x

  4. Another fabulous post, Susan,and fabulous photos – and may I say that my wife pointed something out that I have never really noticed before – you use only your photographs it seems. Kudos to you for not taking the easy way to pictorial glory!

    1. Hi Phil, thank you, so glad both you and your wife enjoyed it. Yes I made a decision right at the start of my blogging life to only ever use my own photos, or those of my family, I have stuck to this religiously as it is part of the whole story, part of this online diary which is a mixture of pictures and words. Susan x

  5. It truly looks idyllic there! My memories of summer always includes the lush abundance of fresh tomatoes and just-picked corn, warm, ripe melons, and chasing fireflies in the evening. Lilacs and roses cut for vases and eating outside. Riding bicycles and eating popsicles. Now summer is still the appreciation of the fruits and vegs (I am making blueberry puff pastry pies for dessert tonight!), the beach, and the breeze late in the afternoon. Summer is great!

    1. Hi Nancy, I just sat and ate a homemade Popsicle, made by Hetty and Gigi in the Zoku maker, remember those! They. Just discovered the Zoku in the pantry and now they are making them every day!!! Takes me back to some great Florida

  6. Isn’t summer grand? We had a lovely meal chez friends yesterday, and we all ended with our feet in the pool, the children stripped to their skivvies and IN the pool. Despite the heat–or thanks to it–we lingered on and on…..a simple summer picnic turned into a 7-hour gabfest nobody wanted to end.

    1. Isn’t that just the very best thing about summer, it’s too hot to do anything too quickly. Meals take on a long life that last, as yours did, all day. I never want it to end! Susan x

      1. A pool can make so much difference, can’t it? I have always been an avid swimmer and have always wanted to live in a home with a pool, but it seems to make little sense here, where outdoor pools are only usable about half the year at most. (And we favor open-water swimming during that period.) Maybe I should look into how much it would cost to heat an outdoor pool to a comfortable temperature year round here….Thinking out loud, Leslie

        1. There are many solar options you can consider, Leslie – we have a couple of plastic sheets of panel-tubing (in its simplest description) that came as a kit for $200 or so. They are very effective, but they only really heat the pool to 34˚ or so when it’s hot enough to want to swim anyway. They won’t do much probably for your milder months of summer although f you’re happy with 26˚ then they might well do the trick. However, the important thing to remember when considering solar heating is to make the pool the right size so heating it is not just feasibly economical but also possible in the first place.

          Also, if the pool is too small for swimming properly in, you can just put a swim-pump at one end to provide a current to swim against and you have a complete, warm, manageable system for two people. I know when we were in Florida we looked at these ‘current’ pumps and there are many options in the USA – something called FastLane caught our eye especially. You can even put these small systems indoors and enjoy year-round swimming.

        2. A pool does make a huge difference, we heat ours with solar panels, it brings the heating up a good 8 or 9 degrees Celsius and changes the pool from something one jumps into to cool down briefly to somewhere we spend as much time as possible and the children spend most of the day!

      2. Actually, we installed a heater when we put in the pool and never used it. We ended up taking it out. We had a cover put on for security, and that heats the pool more than enough. Granted, we rarely have frost around here. In principle, we could swim all year, though we are not that devoted to swimming.

        1. I know it a little but not well. It’s funny I know further south, and further north! Being married to someone who has always lived his entire life on the coast, we tend to stick to coastal areas, so much of slightly further inland France remains unknown to me. I shall have to change that! X

    1. Thank you. Have spent a lot of time down in Basque Country, we used to live down there, I love the deep blood red of the shutters down there and the style of the buildings. Have a great Sunday, Susan x

  7. I am saving this post to read again during the Winter in Ohio.
    Will cheer me up. Thank you
    Any idea how old that car is ? Model ?

    1. Hi Mary, I think I would like to put summer in a bottle and keep it all for the winter months! I don’t know the model, all I know is it is a Ford and I did ask them how old it was, it was the owners son who was driving it, he thought it was from the 1930’s but was not sure. Susan x

  8. Loved your post. I did comment as well. Do you know any more about the car, big discussion here as to model, age etc. Thank you. Mary from Ohio

    Sent from MaryD’s iPad mini


    1. Hi Mary, I do have some other photos so I shall look at the back and see if I can see a model. The owner’s son perhaps knew less than his father would, he did say it had always been in his family. My husband has looked it up on the Internet and says it is a mid 1930’s Model T Ford. Hope this helps a little! Susan x

      1. Hi Mary, I do have some other photos so I shall look at the back and see if I can see a model. The owner’s son perhaps knew less than his father would, he did say it had always been in his family. My husband has looked it up on the Internet and says it is a mid 1930’s Model T Ford. Hope this helps a little! Susan xHi Mary, I do have some other photos so I shall look at the back and see if I can see a model. The owner’s son perhaps knew less than his father would, he did say it had always been in his family. My husband has looked it up on the Internet and says it is a mid 1930’s Model T Ford. Hope this helps a little! Susan x

        Thank you so much Susan, Grandparents, Fathers,
        young Sons, and friends all in on the discussion. Your
        response is much appreciated.

        1. Hi Mary, I looked at the rear of the car, but it said nothing, so I couldn’t find out any more. I cannot find a way of adding the photo to a comment, so I am going to add it to the bottom of the blog for you. If you go back and look at the post, you will see the rear photo of the car! Hope you and your family enjoy it! Susan x

  9. Watching Wimbledon, cheering on Andy as I am sure you must be as I know from your blog you are a big tennis playing family – the tension!!!

    1. Hi Erin, yes we were cheering, in fact screaming, so happy, it was a great match. Also loved that Heather Watson won the mixed doubles, a great day for British tennis! Susan x

  10. Fabulous summer photos, Susan. Your macros are especially wonderful. I have so many similar memories of past summers. My sister and I used to sit on our back door step, shelling peas for ll we were worth, and eating a few in the process. We didn’t live on a farm, but there were wheat fields just over the back from us, and we watched the harvesting and picked poppies which grew along the edge of the fields. Our neighbour used to let us hold their little chicks too. Your post has brought back so many wonderful memories which I’d almost forgotten. 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks so much Sylvia, it must be a British thing, sitting on a back step shelling peas, I really can remember it like it was yesterday. There were so so many, as my Mother would freeze a lot too. I only grow them now for fun and because the children love to sit and shell them, they volunteer, they love it so much and of course eating them raw along the way too. Some things never change! So many memories, it’s rather fun to look back, and did you remember rain, or like my memory was it always sunny!? Susan x

  11. For me it’s the sound of screaming swifts zooming about in the sky, watching them and the bats in the twilight. The swallows and their conversational buzzing on the wires. I love butterflies, dragonflies and all the big flies that peak in July.

    BTW, the pink roadside peas are not normally sweet peas. Mostly they are the closely related Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea Lathyrus latifolius. I’ve never heard of Sweet Peas naturalising but they might.

    1. Hi Susan, that is exactly what my husband said, the sound of the swifts, in fact I even scribbled it down in my notes and then forgot to add it! We used to have swallows nesting in our stables in the UK, every year they would come back, I loved watching them and their chicks. Thank you so much for the info about the Everlasting peas. I have now googled these. This is what I love about blogging, I always learn something new. I remember when we first saw them, I was incredulous that sweet peas could grow in the wild here, as I thought they were always annuals. But I assumed it was a Charente Maritime thing, something to do with the climate and didn’t think anymore about it. Now I know differently for which I am most grateful, so thank you again. Susan x

  12. Hi Susan. Firstly, I’m sorry I suggested a post about the chicks in my last comment!! I hadn’t yet read this one – behind as usual!! I too remember my childhood summers being warm and sunny and can’t remember rain spoiling things! Maybe as children we just delete those memories! How sensible. But I do think the weather has changed over more recent times. Two summers ago, I remember it was glorious, what a summer should be – lots of warm sunshine and none of the wretched wind we seem to have all the time no, just soft summer days. I recall spending so much more time out of doors. I remember it because it was so rare!! Sadly this year has given us a wet June, but hoping for a warmer July/August. At least Murray has just won Wimbledon!! We watched it with friends and had a lengthy afternoon tea, complete with strawberries and cream! Enjoy your week and I’ll be keeping up with your posts via my mobile phone whilst in France!

    1. Ha ha Marian, I wouldn’t worry, I can hardly keep up myself! Maybe we delete things and maybe the summers were much better, because I do remember the lawn being brown from lack of rain, it just always seemed to be beautiful. June wasn’t the best month here either, not bad but not great, July has got off to a fantastic start, so fingers crossed we both have a good summer! We watched Wimbledon too, very exciting, rather pleased for Heather Watson too, winning the mixed doubles, as two of our children were also born in Guernsey. Have a fabulous time in France, I really hope it is a wonderful break. Susan x

  13. In case you did not see my reply will post here as well.
    Thank you so much Susan, Grandparents, Fathers,
    young Sons, and friends all in on the discussion. Your
    response is very much appreciated.
    Mary from Ohio \0/

  14. I so love your photos – thank you! My summer childhood memories are also of endless hot days, which is odd as I grew up in Dunedin, fairly far down south in New Zealand. Famous for many things and a heartstrings place for me, but not well known for glorious weather! Just watching the Euro 16 final whilst eating breakfast and with the heat pump on! Now hang on while I go back and look longingly at those shutters…….

    1. Hi Alison, so maybe we all view our childhoods through rose tinted glasses!!! Also watching the Euro finals as I reply to comments, the British commentary is saying what a boring game it is! Much excitement here in France, locals walking through the village all afternoon with the French flag painted on their faces. I wonder if anyone will score or if it will go to a penalty shoot out? Exciting, Susan x

  15. A great post, and you had me hooked from the first photo of the red flower through that amazingly blue sky. My favorite summer musings are boat rides on Lake Tahoe, day or night (watching fireworks over the water), and swimming laps in a pool (not on that lake!). Thanks for encouraging us to reflect.

    1. Hi Judy, thank you, the sky was the bluest possible blue yesterday and with the geraniums in the garden I just couldn’t resist snapping away! Your summers sound perfect too, I think it does us all good to think back and remember the good times and then to remember how lucky we are. I know I feel truly blessed. Susan x

  16. I remember many a happy summer’s day around Lake Taupo when I was younger although we never had any tiny little chicks as you always seem to do, they look like perfect little bundles of joy! Have they been named yet?

    1. Hi Lily, summer memories are indeed the best. Chicks in the spring/summer seems to be coming something of a tradition! We haven’t named them yet because we don’t know if they are male or female! We have that excitement still to come! Susan x

  17. Now being used to shutters and growing up in Africa where I love lots of light,our shutters have not been closed once since we moved here a year ago. Different cultures.

    1. Hi Nadia, I hate shutting out the light, I simply cannot live in the dark. We have one bedroom upstairs, Gigi’s which does get very hot as the afternoon sun pours straight in and continues until sundown and every now and then I will pull hers half closed for a few hours in the later afternoon and it does help. But otherwise, no we never shut ours. Neighbour’s truly laugh at us, as they close their’s and here we are with shutters and windows wide open. I would rather be a little hot with lots of natural light than cool in the darkness! Susan x

  18. Hi Susan. These photos are great and really uplifting! I especially like your hummingbird hawk moth (I think),not seen any yet this year. So glad the sun is shining – happy, happy days 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda, insects abound here, I love hummingbird moths, actually all insects quite fascinate me, the way they go about their daily work. The weather is stunning, let’s hope it is here to stay now. Watching Euro 16 as I write this, we need a goal desperately now! Susan x

        1. Yes you have a point! It was really disappointing, I felt as if I could feel the whole village sigh with sadness, there was so much expectation. Now Wimbledon is over too, so yes back to the Tour de France, but we have the Olympics to look forward to now! Susan xx

  19. The brightly painted shutters of Europe have always been one of my favorite things, it brings so much personality to each house. You all seem to be having a lovely summer!

    1. Hi Helen, I too am in love with shutters, I love all the colours even though as an English family we don’t use them quite as we should! So far a lovely summer, thank you and I hope you are having a wonderful one too. Susan x

  20. So beautifully written. You described summer perfectly. I am so glad you are finally warming up! Funny your summer is just beginning and schools start back up here in four weeks!

    1. Thanks Kim, as you can probably tell I am a complete summer fan!!! Yes summer is just beginning, school doesn’t start again until September, two months of holidays for the children and so far the weather is looking good! Hope. You are having a good summer too, and not too much humidity! Susan x

  21. What a lovely post. Like you, I remember the summer months being free and heavenly. I hope my own children feel the same way as they recall their free days and the days spent outside. I’ve always considered autumn my favorite season, but this summer has been sensational.

    1. Hi Paulita, thank you. I feel just the same as you, wishing my children build happy summer memories, it’s such a wonderful time of year. So glad you are having such a good summer, Susan x

  22. Thank you for posting the second photo.
    Discussion continued here with that photo. May go on
    half the night.
    Have a lovely week and thank you again for indulging us.

    1. Thank you Mary, so glad to have obliged and so glad to have started such a great discussion, but what may I ask is causing so much discussion in particular? I am quite intrigued. If you need to know anything in particular I will take the dogs on the same walk again and go and knock on the door and go and ask them! Susan x

      1. Men and their cars Susan. Cars they have
        had, how this one compares to old cars they
        have know, why the spare tire is hanging on
        the door. On and on, the children are
        fascinated too, this car is so different from
        what they know. They are getting quite an
        education. Thank you so much for the post
        and all your comments back and forth.
        You are most kind to take such an interest.
        Sending lovely thoughts to you, and a cup of tea if I could..
        Mary in Ohio

        1. Mary, you have set me in a mission now. My favourite of all old French cars is the classic Citreon 2CV, now that summer is here I see so many more of them, the roofs down and out for a spin, I shall take some photos next time I see one and send them over to you for further discussion! Susan x

          1. Susan and Mary, As it was for many, the Citroen 2CV was the hallmark of my student years (in France and French-speaking Switzerland). I never owned one, but I sure had a lot of rides in them. When did Citroen stop making them?

          2. Leslie and Mary, I believe they stopped making them in 1990, so really not so long ago. In the early 1990’s I bought one, we travelled from Paris to the South of France and back again many times in it. I drove it everywhere, she was the typical tan colour, rather an ugly shade I thought, but she ran like a dream always. The saddest thing is Roddy and I then left France and I gave the car away, I didn’t even sell it, I simply gave it to a friend I had met along the way! Now it would be worth thousands and hard to come by. I am searching for another one! Xx

      2. Thank you Susan that would be grand. I am sure the
        Citroen 2CV pictures would produce another great
        discussion. Fun to have a topic of discussion that spans
        all ages. You are so very thoughtful. We will happily
        await your sighting and photos.
        Mary \0/. That’s a hug.

        1. Hi Mary, you are so welcome, I just love conversations, debates, even friendly arguments that involve all the generations as you say. I will do my best! Susan xx

  23. More than anything else to me, summer means being outside or bringing the outdoors in with doors and windows wide open on all but the hottest days. And being outside means, at its best, being in or on (or at least near) the water: nearby rivers and lakes in the evenings and on weekends, and a week at a remote lake at the foot of alpine mountains for a week at the end of summer. Always with our dogs and when we are lucky, with our adult children. The summer you describe sounds perfect to me…and you describe it so beautifully. You have created (and I know worked hard for) a lovely life. And your children (and chicks) are glorious! Thank you for another peak post, Leslie

    1. Hi Leslie, Thanks so much. We have to be near water too, sadly not actually on it, but close. That is why we chose where we did, we had to be within 20 minutes of the coast. Like you I love the sound of water, I find it so peaceful. Even our small pond we built in the garden with the old stone has become a magnet, it draws everyone, just to stand and watch the frogs, the fish, the newts, the pond life in general. Summer does mean being outdoors, every meal possible we like to eat outdoors. Enjoy your summer, by the way did you look into the Wavewalk kayaks? Susan x

  24. Bees busy barely hanging on the lavender blooms, counting how many figs on my 3 yr old plant and harvesting basil. This is summer to me.

    1. Oh yes these are all the things of summer, I love watching the bees, they are hard at work and adore the lavender here too and also the hibiscus. Our fig tree is enormous and come the end of August we will be overrun with fruit, but our basil is pathetic! It just does not grow well here, we have tried every year but never successfully. It is either too hot, or the snails eat every leaf. I shall buy some more and try keeping it somewhere totally different as I do love fresh basil to go with all of our tomatoes! You have inspired me, I will succeed, somehow!!! Susan x

  25. Nice post. You have captured the essence of what summer is for me: that sense of timelessness, of being lost in the moment watching clouds or bees or blooms. Always wondered what those humming-bugs were – we have them here in the Haute Savoie too!

    1. Hi Mel, totally agree, just the sense of timelessness, it’s a very rare commodity around here for me, but when it happens I savour every minute. With five children, summer holidays, sailing and tennis there seems to be too little time, but I am determined to somehow make time, to enjoy the very essence of summer, the most simple things. Susan x

  26. Spring is my favorite season, all the new growth, leaf buds on the trees, pink blossom making everywhere look pretty and fresh. Summer is wishing for clear blue skies, the smell from the fields when the farmers have cut he hay, I wish hay stacks were propped up in the fields like I remember from my childhood days, instead we now see huge round bales, Then the picnics by a stream, family visiting, friends popping in to say hello, and ending up squeezing in at the end if the table to share our meal. afternoon naps in the shade, children laughing running about catching butterflies . Oh so many more things, I think you and your followers have already said. Lovely post, I so loved the picture of your young one shelling peas, I used to eat more than ended up in the bowl. Happy times.

    1. Hi Barbara, I love spring because it is always so full of hope, but this spring never quite managed to fulfil itself as you know, the weather was far from perfect! Summer though is shaping up nicely, the sunflowers are in bloom everywhere. Isn’t it funny how we used to all shell peas, this is the reason I grow some, not many but just enough so the children can sit and shell them, because it’s just one of those childhood things to do! And yes we all eat them before they make it to the saucepan! I hate the giant round bales, the small rectangle ones were those of my childhood, our bailer would spew them out in sixes, 3 on the bottom and 3 on the top. We would then jump them on our ponies, the only rule being if we knocked one over we had to get off and pick it up! Hope you are enjoying your summer and let me know if you get any nibbles on your house and come property hunting in this direction. Susan x

  27. Ah, the halcyon days of summer, eh? For me summer moments have to include everything about London’s green spaces – the parks and commons, coming to life with pink flesh, shirtsleeves, skinny summer dresses and all that goes with it; good food, cold drinks, cricket bats, frisbees, lakes and ducks, kites, a lonely soul with a guitar, somnolence under hats and shade from newspapers, the trill of an ice-cream van and the screech of children on some mission. In my youth there was also always someone trying to cook food, despite the “No Fires” signs. Typically they used to be intrepid Australians, back in the day, but now the would-be arsonists all seem to be from the Middle East or Romania. There is nothing quite so funny as watching an owner trying to control the reaction of a large german shepherd to the drifting smell of garlic chicken on a portable barbecue.

    1. Hi Simon, Having worked in London, Knightsbridge, for seven years, I can totally relate to everything you are saying, Hyde Park used to be my lunch time haunt in the summer, a sandwich, a cold drink, and then making the most of the sun on the lawns there. I absolutely love London parks in the summer, but then I just love summer anywhere! Susan x

  28. Summer….long day, late breakfast and long lunchtime in a shaddy place with cool Rose, a
    nap…at best by an open window listening to (perhaps) raindrops

    1. Definitely a late breakfast and for me definitely breakfast outside, there is something quite decadent about breakfast outdoors in my opinion! Everything outdoors, slow lazy living, this is the essence of summer, I agree. Susan x

  29. I have wished for those same memories for my son. Still, the smell of freshly-cut hay, county fairs, a dip in the lake on a hot summer day…some of those seem to be so hard to recapture except as special trips, events. What I can give my son have only been experiences to try and recreate my treasured childhood summer memories. I appreciate that for your children it is their way of life.

    1. Hi Cyndi, but how fantastic that you are making such a huge effort to give your son so many memories and because you have gone to so much trouble and they are special days out the memories will be all the sweeter. I say well done to you, he is one lucky boy. Susan x

  30. Aah, summer! I love everything about it. I often shiver in fall and winter even though I have learned to dress correctly! Loved your post. Stopping in the moment and enjoying the present…that is one of the best things that blogging helps me do. At the moment I’m sitting in a local quaint little coffee shop (all by myself 😊) and enjoying a perfect moment of summer, and reading blogs. Thank you for the lovely post. Wishing you and your family the most perfect summer!

    1. You often shiver in fall and winter because I would imagine it is pretty cold in Finland even if you are dressed correctly! It sounds as if you are spending the perfect morning, some peace in a coffee shop and reading. I hope you too have a wonderful summer, enjoy the long long hours of daylight and the summer days as I am sure you will. Susan x

  31. Oh what Great Summer memories. I grew up on a farm and the entire family worked together. I say “they were the good old days”. I love being outside enjoying nature. I spend more time outside than inside. It does get very hot and humid here in North Carolina. Today the heat index was 102 degrees.
    I would really love to visit France one time but it is not in my budget. I am a French decent (Parrish). I love the Frenchy look in my house or what I think is Frenchy. (French Country)
    Thanks so much for posting beautiful pictures of your every day life.

    1. Hi Nancy, memories of summer, aren’t they just the best! Even if we do only remember the good times. I truly understand what it’s like with you in the summer, we lived in Florida for four years, summers were brutal. I love the lack of humidity here, it certainly makes it a lot easier to be outside all of the time. Even if you can’t visit France, it’s fun to be an armchair traveller, all the pleasure without any of the hassles! Enjoy your summer days. Susan x

  32. hi Susan, I so enjoyed my summer stroll with your descriptions as my guide; I can feel the air and smell the fragrances through your words – right down to your childhood with ponies in England! thank you x

    1. So happy you came along too, I wish it had been in person, I have a feeling we would have much to talk about! Let me know if you ever come to France! Today I am adding a short video in my blog post, I hope it plays and you are able to walk a little more with me! Susan x

      1. I wanted to do the walk….in the sunshine along the stone walls, but I think the signal is too poor where we are, so it would not play 😦 I will try again on another day. Yes, I very much wish to visit France again in this life time; I had the most wonderful experience there as a 23 year old, working for a Champenoise producer in the north east, in an area called Aisne (between Champagne and Paris). Need I add that it was also a storybook romance ❤

        1. Someone else who has a poor internet signal. Ours comes and goes! I deliberately made it very short and I thought if it loads easily for me with our lousy service here then it should be fine for everyone else!!! Your experience sounds incredible, I had something of a similar adventure from Paris to Nice and back again in a Citreon 2CV, again romance involved!!!

  33. My favorite things…
    Definitely jumping ponies until dark
    The smell of the dust in the paddocks
    Fruit off of the trees
    Light until 10 pm
    Being free
    No schedules- none
    My brother and I, on the farm, in our own little world, all determined by us…. But only during the summer

    Thank you for so wonderfully conjuring up the strong childhood memories.
    All of your favorites are also mine
    Summer- perfectly, the best

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