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Actual summer

This is a showy frothy petticoat of a dahlia which flowered exactly to the day as last year. At last it does feel like summer; at least a few days of sun in a row. I think the garden is just past the tipping point for being at it’s best. Last week pretty much everything was perfect.

Even though there are still a few dahlias that haven’t flowered yet and plenty of things on the way; lots of little orange tomatoes and huge green ones still to ripen. A few courgettes coming, runner beans and a lot of plums. No sign of an aubergine yet though.

This week was quite busy with two lots of visitors. I made a very nice seed cake for afternoon tea; nice to have an opportunity to get the teapot out, and M did some pizzas in the wood oven one evening. It’s so unusual for it to stay warm enough to eat outside in the evening. Near the coast there's usually some wind that gets up blowing cold sea air over everything.

Poor Ralph was very unhappy as he had to stay inside on vets' orders. He cut his paw (probably fighting) and had to have stitches so he’s not allowed to run and leap around which he will do outside catching flies and climbing the fence etc. He would definitely been excited by these lovely butterflies:

He has another appt this afternoon for a check up when I’m hoping I can persuade the vet to say he can go out. It’s especially difficult in the hot weather as we can’t let him in the kitchen with the doors open and I can’t bear his plaintive miaowing and scratching at the door. He is such a sociable cat and he doesn’t understand why we’ve suddenly shut him out. Poor Ralph!

This is a big week as it is M’s huge birthday on Wednesday. Not allowed a party but we have some friends coming for dinner so we’re able to celebrate albeit a bit more quietly than M would have liked.

All quiet on the painting front this weekend as we had a break from Cley. I have 3 paintings to take to Norwich this week for an exhibition called A Norfolk Summer. I’m looking forward to doing Cley again next weekend buoyed up by my sales at the last one. I’ve been doing lots of flowers from the garden:

The blue pot is from Richard's antique shop and is an old ginger jar. I went to see Richard as he has re-opened the shop and still has some of my paintings on display. I rarely leave empty handed as it is a treasure trove of things to paint. I've painted the old marmalade jar countless times:

I went for my cataract assessment and have an appt for my first (worst) one on 25th August so not too long a wait I’m pleased to say. Papworth have reduced my steroids at last so I’m now on my forever dose. Slightly alarming to read that 1 in 1000 lose their sight in the eye and 1 in 10,000 lose an eye! Best not to think about that and anyway I can’t carry on with such dreadful eyesight. I'm not really sure what the exact effect the steroids have that gives you cataracts; I'll have to ask the cataract doc.

We both have to self-isolate for a week before the op and for 2 weeks afterwards which is a bit of a pain but I'm sure we'll cope.

I’m being very nostalgic and sentimental with my choice of image this week; here are some of the Flower Fairies which I absolutely loved as a child:

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