Anne of the Green Gables one day said, “I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” My favourite story. I can’t remember what made her say that in the story. But for me, the super long day light is the best of all. It seems to make people a lot happier. Just counting the times we got invited for food: there were two Italian feasts and a very British BBQ. I wish it was always June too!
It was Summer Solstice on Saturday the 21! What did you do? Can you believe it, the days are getting shorter already! And before you notice, it’ll be winter again! Solstice means “sun stands still” in Latin. I love it. And in Chinese, summer solstice means something like “summer to the full”. How about in your language?
The first half of the year has passed (!). How is the keeping of my New Year Resolution, which is reading two books a month? Well, I spent the first four months finished reading Les Miserables. Then Pride and Prejudice in Chinese, Pride and Prejudice in English (yes I’m counting them as two books!), a Chinese novel I’ll translate as The Withering Blooms in All The Dreams for now, and The Cicada of the Eighth Day. I’m reading The Legends of Japan at the moment. That’s six in total. OK, so one book a month. Not too bad.
I did a pre-wedding shoot for two friends in Jesmond Dene in June, a huge park in the middle of Newcastle. There were valleys, woods, a river, grassy field and many bridges there. The couple shared their lovely proposal story with me as well. More photos and story to come.
The most memorable thing at work this month is probably the telephone interview I did. Me! The most insignificant me was asked to interview someone important in China on the phone! My team leader, the manager and everyone were very supportive. I survived the interview and learnt a lot about IP addresses, domain names and things… But I’m happy I didn’t run away.
We had a day trip to Alnmouth. The plan of the day trip was to go to Alnwick Gardens and Barter’s Bookshop but we couldn’t make it thanks to very infrequent trains and buses that were not on time at all. So we got stuck in Alnmouth. But Alnmouth is a darling place. We got our engagement photos taken here. The poppies along the coast were flaming as they did every June. We happened to land in Alnmouth Arts Festival that weekend.
It was a shame we couldn’t go to Alnwick. But I enjoyed Alnmouth Arts Festival very much. More photos and story about that day trip to come.
We started to attend a finance course. Don’t worry we haven’t got into any financial trouble. We just want to know more about money. Money is like every other tool in life (dress making for example). It’s useful to know how to manage it and use it wisely. I’m interested and I want to know more about it. It’s also very exciting to keep a couple of hours a week to sit down and be a student again. One of the exercises was to write down your goals long term and short term. I have so many items in that list! The money management system is interesting and the course is making me a little more hopeful too. If someone can take his girlfriend to New York by organising his Mars bar eating habit, maybe we can have a new kitchen one day too.
A nice discovery of the month was an Indian hand printing fabric stand we came across at Tynemouth Market. We both loved the fabric straightaway and were glued to the floor until we spent all our money for the Market on two sheets. Although the seller specifically said the ones we bought were OK to wash in the machine, I was still very relieved to see the patterns were still there after they came out.
Can you believe it’s hand printed? It’s so neat! But if you look closely, you can tell where the block starts and ends.
We harvested our first strawberry. It was so sweet. Definitely sweeter and juicer than shop ones. One day I was cutting runners off according to gardening magazine’s instruction. A slug jumped on my finger. Slugs are my biggest enemy. They make me recoil. (I turn the page really quickly if there’s a picture of them in magazines…) So I shot really high in the sky and landed on my toe really hard… one day I’ll understand why God created the slug species…
I sowed some seeds at the end of June. I know mid summer is not a usual time for sowing seeds. But I didn’t feel like sowing seed this spring. It was so cold! It was a bad excuse, just showed that I was not a very serious gardener… but anyway I sowed two types of spinach seeds, some foxgloves and some wallflowers. The flower seeds were both free from Garden Illustrated magazines. I love the old fashioned drawings on the seed envelops.
And the nice thing about sowing in mid summer? They germinated in one week (except the foxgloves)! I’m looking forward to a lot of spinach soup. Can you make wallflower soup?
Sweet peas. Does anyone think they’re a bit slow this year?
My beautiful Alnwick Rose. Does anyone know why the flowers bend at the neck?
More roses. I’ll move them this winter to somewhere I can get to more easily. At the moment, the prickly thorns are stopping me weeding behind.
It looks like the blueberry is going to give us a nice surprise too.
My last Saturday in June was mostly spent in potting 48 lavenders plugs… all 48 of them!! More about that to come!