I know we’re past the solstice and it’s due to rain here through Monday, but there have been some things recently that have just sung to me of summer, including the blackberries, which are doing very well this year. Around here we won’t have fruit for another few weeks, but our mediocre summer weather hasn’t appeared to have hurt them at all.
In any case, below are five bits of summer.
First of all, the other day there were dragonflies in the garden. I’d seen them all over the village and the neighbouring village, but not in the garden. They flitted around, past the jasmine and the rose, skimming the red poppies and cornflowers. I cannot describe how happy this made me. I recall lightening bugs during the summer when growing up on the East Coast of the US, but dragonflies were more rare. I feel so lucky they’ve been hanging round here.
Second, my son made his own version of Brooklyn’s former wonder-ice cream-palace Ample Hills’ Ooey-Gooey Buttercake (heavy duty vanilla ice cream with pieces of butter cake). It was stupendous. Glorious. Wunderbar. It tasted really good. I hope he does it again. If you never had the chance to visit Ample Hills it was probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had. When we visited New York, we’d go by every evening. My fave flavour was Peanut Butter Takes the Cup, but then I am very partial to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. (Sadly, the place under the original owners went bust. The company was purchased but I don’t know what it’s like any more.)
Third, among all the flowers in the garden I’m most wowed by the idea that this summer I may actually have managed to grow a tuberose. I’ve been trying for years. It’s small (see pic) – I’ll post a picture if and when it decides to bloom.
Fourth, iced tea from Sara’s bakery. I only taste this, as I usually get a chai latte (even when the weather was briefly very hot) but I get it for my son. Sometimes watermelon flavoured, once passionfruit. They make tea and add good quality syrup. It sings of summer. My mother used to make iced tea all through the warm weather. So, this reminds me of her and I can keep saying to my son, “your granny loved iced tea”. Something else he can know about her (she died long before he was a whisper in my ear).
Finally, fifth, a book for young adults I picked up from my son’s room when I was between things and waiting for a delivery. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This turned out to be so utterly beautiful I tried to draw out the reading. A coming of age story. The writing is glorious. I’ve read other things meant for my son (The Century Quartet, The Hunger Games, various Michael Morpugos) and been very pleased I agreed when he insisted so we could discuss things. A coming of age story is perfect for summertime.
Finally, not among the five, the dog posed beautifully so he is included in the post. He did this himself – I didn’t help at all.
So, how about you? Anything from summer (well, winter down under) that’s really had an impact?
LOVED Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Before I read it myself I gave it to a buddy to read while on a bit of a break away from Sydney with his Mum. Cut to hilarity on his return when we discovered what the story was about.
OOOHHH! Your PUP! So regal.
Do you have a birdbath in your garden? The dragonflies love them.
I’m excited for summer to return to Sydney.
oh, i’m so pleased regarding Dante & Aristotle. I thought it was brilliant. No birdbath — just idiotic wood pigeons. Hate pigeons. Hope your summer is pleasant (ours has been crap).
Yeah, I think our winter has been lovelier than your summer. We are currently sitting at around 25C during the days and it’s perfect dog walking weather. August winds have started to blow through though and they have a cold bite. We’ll be having a short cool period, if things run to normal speed, before we really get full blown spring next month.
Oh, your tuberose! I’ve never had success at growing those either. It looks great!
well, fingers crossed it actually blooms. i think i planted a total of 10 and only one came up.
Love the photo of your doggo! He’s so precious. I have a friend who, as a hobby, takes close up photos of dragon flies, damsel flies, wasps, etc. in his backyard, which is near a small pond. They are gorgeous. I agree that they’re a beautiful sign of summer. I never realized they come in so many neon colors. Now that the Olympics are done with (another Summer thing), I can get back to reading novels, another summer pleasure. So it’s off to the library for me today.
That is just too wonderful — the photographing of dragon flies. Yes, that neon: I’ve found that if i stand stock still i can see whether it’s one with blue, green or purple. A true gift from mother nature.
The MAGNIFICENCE of your very good boy, thanks for the photo! And of the possible tuberose bloom as well, I am very impressed! Dragonflies were a rarity in my neighborhood and I was always so happy to see them — a bit sad I missed the fireflies this year, they weren’t out yet when I left and we don’t have them here. I’m not much of an ice cream fan (heresy I know) but my favorite/only flavor is Moose Tracks, or whatever the equivalent is from the brand/store on offer, which has peanut butter cups in it along with swirls of dark chocolate fudge. Yummmm.
Yup, I am still deeply impressed he got himself into that position himself. Oh, lord, me, peanut butter cups. You can get them here. I’m not supposed to eat peanut butter but every once in a while it’s necessary to have some Reese’s. Oh, what a great name: Moose Tracks. Reminds me of decades ago at summer camp someone used to draw peace signs in the top of the peanut butter in newly opened jars. American Chicken footprints they got called.
Moose Tracks (the ice cream lol) is most everywhere here now, and I’m thrilled about it, finally an ice cream flavor I like! The kids and I have always laughed about the side-eye PB gets on, say, Great British Bake-off; it’s so ubiquitous here we forget. Trader Joe’s has miniature peanut butter cups that I adore. Love American Chicken footprints!
what lovely Summer gifts, Cinnamon! That ice cream sound divine!!!
Our Summer has been weird – rainy at night, then extremely hot (almost like we’re in the tropics). It has resulted in spectacular growth. My tithonia are 6ft tall! Lots of Monarchs this year but all the hummers have vanished (they were here on the trapline but I’ve not seen ‘my’ hummers for a few weeks. hmmm…)
Hoping August is enjoyable for everyone!!!
oh! meant to say – could doggo be any more adorable? I. Think. Not. Is that his binky? TGirl doesn’t have a binky, alas. She’s not that kind of dog, alas. And dangit.
Indeed, the ice cream was a serious treat. Speaking of weird birdness, over the past two days we’ve had two huge Canada geese flyovers, going west. Not my fave birds, but quite impressive. Joe doesn’t have blankets — just lots of old towels — because he eats blankets, but not towels. Go figure.
What a great post. I love your dog!
Five things for me this summer:
1) Camping by the ocean and sleeping to the sound of the waves
2) My new garden box filled with tomatoes, peppers, basil, scallions, lettuce, nasturtiums
3) Calamari and beer on the deck at our favorite restaurant
4) Long walks every day
5) Non-stop guests all through July until today. I’m a little tired, but it was so much fun!
And 6) fragrance fun: rediscovering Jean Nate splash, also wearing AG Le Chevrefeuille, Carthusia Mediterraneo, Chanel 5 L’eau, Parle Moi de Parfum Milky Musk 39.
I live in Jean Nate splash, come the hot months! It’s great apres-shower (especially in the lady pitty bits). No5 l’Eau is also a goodie for Summer, when regular No5 will tear you apart!
What a great list! The only edibles i have growing are strawberries and no joy there yet. A staple for me this summer has been AG Ninfeo Mio.
My favourite is the photo of the dog. I’m excited about possibly getting a new puppy this winter, we’ve been waiting for a couple of years for life to settle down. The blackberries are rupening here too, ate a few handfuls off the bushes near the road while walking the dog.
Thanks, Tara. Are you thinking ‘another’ dog to add to pack? Will be doing blackberry jam once things start to ripen properly. The bushes are everywhere here.