Nature Notes #5

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5 things to do this week:

There are still so many butterflies around- make a note of those you see.

Enjoy the beautiful light in the evenings at the moment- that ‘golden hour’ seems to be at about 6pm onwards for me.

On a sunny day, take a picnic blanket, thermos of tea or coffee and some china mugs and sit somewhere outside, it’s so lovely enjoying an outside cuppa from a proper mug.

Plan a weekend in October to get outside and see somewhere new on a long walk.

Keep an eye on those leaves, are they just beginning to turn?

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Hatton House

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We spent last weekend in Cambridge for a wedding, and used the trip as the perfect opportunity to test out Airbnb. I’ve loved the idea of the site since I heard about it, but Chris wasn’t quite so keen. After scouring the site to try and find somewhere reasonably priced but not too far from the city, I stumbled across Hatton House B&B in Longstanton and placed a reservation. On arriving, I think we were both struck by the serenity of the house and it’s gardens- a beautiful yellow brick house surrounded by gardens and ponds, it was picture-postcard perfect.
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The whole house had an air of tranquility- fresh flowers, candles burning, clean white walls and light filled rooms (both our bedroom and bathroom had windows on both sides overlooking the gardens)- it was bliss and I just wish I’d had longer there to relax in that bath or lounge around longer reading in bed on a Sunday morning. The 8 free-range chickens clucking and scuttling around the grounds were just an added bonus.

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Highly recommended- Jayne was the perfect host and I can’t wait to head back there next time we head to the city. When we found out our room with a delicious breakfast was only £20 more than a night in a dorm room at one of the Cambridge colleges, it seemed even better value, and I can’t wait to book another break via Airbnb.

Nature Notes #4

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5 things to do this week:

Look up and see what you can spot- we saw bats near our house at the weekend.

Go for a walk while we still have this lovely weather here in the UK.

Take part in the Great British Beach Clean.

Look out for flocks of starlings gathering- I’ve been seeing bigger groups of them around and about, preparing for winter roosts.

Make time to listen to what’s around you. Today I heard a fluttering and it was a robin, really close by, having a bath in a stream and was more than happy to continue bathing with an audience.

Nature Notes #3

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5 things to do this week:

Go out for a walk at lunchtime one weekday and get some fresh air.

Make some sloe gin. I made mine last week using Aldi gin and this recipe.

Have a ‘digital detox’ one evening- turn off that phone, TV, iPad etc and do something different (listen to music, read a book, play a board game or look up something nature related you’ve always wondered the answer to).

Take time to notice little things around you- hearing singing birds on the way to work perhaps?

Count how many different autumn fruits you see this week (sloes, rosehips, hawthorns…).

Styling the Seasons- September

I love a good blogging project, so when I came across a gorgeously styled dinner table on Charlotte’s Instagram with the hashtag #stylingtheseasons I was intrigued.The project is a collaboration between Charlotte (of Lotts and Lots) and Katy from Apartment Apothecary and you can see their September efforts here and here.

The idea of taking a bit of time each month to really stop and appreciate the time of year and reflect it in your home really resonated with me as the year just passes so fast it’s difficult to find time to stop and appreciate it. I love the brightness of Charlotte’s dinner table- it makes me instantly happy to see all those colours, and as for Katy’s post, that String shelving has been firmly added to my dream home wishlist (see the whole of her beautiful study here– it’s perfection. I’m off to Winchester tomorrow and I think a trip to The Hambledon for one of those beautiful pastel vases may be in order).

What I’ve loved about this project is it shows how differently we all see the changing year. While others are clinging on to the last bursts of summer, for me this month has been about embracing the new season and enjoying the signs of autumn all around. I’ve been outside a lot this month, so it only makes sense for my September #stylingtheseasons to be all about bringing the outside in, and I’ve been gathering a few bits and bobs from out and about to gather together and style a space- using props on a coffee table, and then bringing them together on a tray on my dining table for something which is a lot more cat friendly.

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You can keep an eye out for other people’s #stylingtheseasons by keeping an eye out for the hashtag on social media, or use it to join in too.

Nature Notes #2

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5 things to do this week:

It’s September so enjoy eking out the last of summer.

Look out for protein rich bird food (nuts, fat balls) on offer to stock up for winter.

Try and find some hazel locally and look to see if the cob-nuts are falling already.

It’s plum season, so look out for local ones on sale and enjoy.

Keep an eye out for swallows lining up ready to migrate back to Africa.