this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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Rain, rain go away…

Although there has been a fair bit of rain, with the occasional accompanying thunder and lightening, I refuse to accept that summer is over quite yet. We’ve only had about three weeks of sunshine and heat!

So, in an act of defiance I have been busy eating last night’s pasta as today’s cold pasta salad lunch with a purposeful addition of cool cucumber and cheering cherry tomatoes! What better accompaniment than a recent thirst-quenching pin!

Pasta salad

Here’s another leftovers makeover

I’m glad to see some blue skies and fluffy clouds now. A bit of rain does the garden good. The yellow-brown grass is happily reviving a little. Unusual climactic activities are doing unsettling things however here and here. And in the event that you encounter the latter, further advice can be found here.

Have a happy Tuesday evening! I hope you find some space to enjoy a bit of slow time 😉


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Distraction and procrastination

Anyone else find that summer is a difficult season during which to concentrate? There is so much life happening around, that I often forget what I was in the middle of. (Not that I am complaining – don’t get me wrong. After half a year of languishing in winter, I would not dare complain! )

Yesterday evening, I was trying to concentrate and get some tasks sorted:

I must say it was more than difficult. The sun was shining, the sky was beautiful and blue. I just wanted to be outside. Besides, there was a cat prowling about the garden as intrigued as I was, by a bird that was making a racket. It was a blackbird that I caught sight of for a while as it perched on a low roof, but could now no longer see. It was relentlessly “becoming more excited” (scroll to the end of the linked page and you’ll see what I mean).

Such a drama unfolded before me, it was hilarious. The cat was prowling about the garden with great poise as though it was on an undercover mission. Suddenly, a thud against the back fence startled me from my thoughts. There had been a failed attempt to grab the offending creature – which incidentally did not stop calling. The cat swiftly flattened itself against the ground darting its head from side to side as though pretending that it never lost its dignity. It settled and flexed as though unsure as to whether or not pouncing again was a good idea.  Eventually, having held several different stances and come to no clear decision, it opted for the classic decoy tactic, darted at speed across the garden and leapt over the fence into next door’s.

Oh and it re-emerged not long after, prowling about again, lifting its paws stealthily with each stride in the parched grass. Hunter-like. As the bird continued to call unperturbed.

Until some children burst out of a neighbouring house into the garden screaming, pursued by a grinning grandfather wielding a water pistol.

I ask you, how is one possibly to get any work done in such an environment? And how can such a small creature as a blackbird, produce such a resonant sound?

Here’s something calming in case you need it. A great familiar soundtrack for summer… happy weekend! 


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Summer is here people! :)

image

If only we’d known there would be a summer at all this year, while we were stuck in the doldrums of the long winter 😉

The Great British Summer has arrived! Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Enjoy it while it lasts!

I wonder how many roundabouts will have sunbathers on them this weekend. How many sausages will be incinerated? All the supermarkets will be out of instant barbecue trays for sure (I haven’t actually noticed that many on sale yet this year). Lucky I’ve still got a couple from an end of soggy summer sale from last year or whenever 😉

Have a lovely weekend everyone. Enjoy your holiday US readers! We don’t need a holiday here, it’s like Christmas has come early but without the cold! Time to put the lemonade on ice 😀


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How can I not smile, when there’s not a cloud in the blue sky? The butterflies are fluttering about in a mesmerising mating dance. A gentle breeze sways branches that were just dead and bare only a few weeks ago and are now decked with colour. There are two things that make my City irresistibly beautiful: clean, unstomped snow… and glorious sunshine. It may have been a long winter this year, but after the cold, dark days where you just want to hide under your duvet for months the sun brings a burst of energy, and if you just let go a little.. you could go a bit hyper. Better not then.

I have to say that although the UK is officially in Northern Europe according to the UN, we do have a relatively mild climate. Our winter days are tortuously short and often bitterly cold, but our summer days are beautifully long and can be wonderfully balmy. I live for those long summer nights, when you can still see a hazy blue in the sky at 9pm and sleeping feels like a waste of time.

McDonalds litter notice - love where you live

I can hardly believe that it’s already May. Today, the sun is shining. I’m looking forward to summer, although I know I’m getting ahead of myself. But I reserve the right to treat any sunshine as a sliver of summer. So today is summer. It’s pretty much as summery as it gets here anyway. I have a wedding to attend this Bank Holiday weekend. I hope that the sun saves enough energy to shine through for the happy couple.

Have any of you had the first BBQ or picnic of the year yet? I really feel like dining al fresco… I hope you get a share of the sunshine this weekend, even if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s quickly approaching winter…


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Strange goings on… an update

Apologies for the delay in getting to the bottom of something I meant to investigate a little while ago – I’m flummoxed. Well, it was actually less than a month ago but perhaps memories of mosquitoes and warm weather have tricked my brain into thinking I spotted the strange flying thing sometime in the summer.

Regrettably I have not discovered yet, what the creature is that I photographed, so as promised I am supplying a clearer image – anyone out there recognise this and can enlighten me?

What On Earth?

I’ve made too many clicks on thumbnails of insects only to bombard myself with large detailed photographs of too-much-larger-than-life creepy crawlies that do not match up. Sorry to do this to you (kind of) 😛 I was compelled to share the WOW moment with you – doesn’t this look like an insect in fancy dress?


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Monday blues and the British weather…

It is truly autumn here in London, although some would call it winter. Even though the sun really worked hard all day Friday and the skies were a beautiful gorgeous blue, it was cold.

Monday Blues

There was real drama in the colours and the clouds were truly amazing. But it was cold. In fact, it was chilly indoors. Not just out.

Monday Blues

I was thinking about my blog and some line about the weather was about to enter my head. I was wondering how often this happens to people who are not British. On our beautiful isles, the weather plays such an important role that we watch it with huge interest. We devote very artfully crafted pieces of journalism to describing the minute changes in temperature, movements of air pressure, currents of warm or cold air travelling over our little island from neighbouring land masses. Weather forecasters are household names. No one has forgotten the legendary Michael Fish have they?

From one day to the next, the weather can change drastically, affecting everyone’s mood and influencing simple decisions. My colleagues will watch the clouds as lunchtime approaches and decide whether or not to dive out early to buy food before a downpour is unleashed. While I, on the other hand, prefer to bring my lunch so I do not have to worry. The quality of the light coming through the windows changes dramatically with the weather. A peek of sunshine and the whole place feels brighter, lighter, happier… grey clouds make you feel more tired, more gloomy, lethargic. Rain makes you wish you never got out of bed in the morning at all.

Otis redding – sittin on the dock of the bay (link via Soundcloud) 

Well. It’s Monday again. After the wettest summer for a century or so apparently, in spite of the beautiful Olympic and Paralympic sunshine (lest we forget) it’s now crisp and cold. Some days we have had the beautiful sunny skies that we enjoyed this weekend, but mostly it’s been wet and miserable. I’m officially in denial and playing a different soundtrack to nature. Also, work’s been a bit weird lately. “Looks like nothing’s gonna change…” so I’m thinking of making some changes myself  – instead of stressing, I’m chillin’ today…

Does the weather have as great an influence on your part of the world? Does it affect your mood as much as it can mine I wonder?


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Rain, rain go away…

I’m sitting at a window, looking out at a blue sky with puffy clouds in it. For two days running, the weather forecast for London has been somewhat incorrect. The heavy rains they threatened yesterday did not materialise. Thankfully. There was a bit of drizzle. That’s all. Today, there were supposed to be white clouds with some sunny spells…it’s mostly been nice bright blue skies decorated with puffy clouds and sunshine.

Am I complaining? No. In some parts of the country, there has been enough surface water for some to take to jet-skiing. Not good. Summer is definitely over. For now. The sunshine does not bring warmth, and we’ve had chilly winds all week. Monday was absolutely freezing. The rain was like ice. Sort of.

Ode To Summer

So I just wanted to brighten things up a bit. Thoughts of summer are definitely in order. Just reminiscing about some of the colours of sunshine. And I’m hoping some of you who read this from up north are ok, in the midst of all the devastating flooding 😦