Chasing Summer

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Spending the summer on castle grounds would be the ultimate dream for anyone who ever fantasized about living in a fairytale. We’re still finding it difficult to slow down and ignore endless to-do lists, but we are trying to do a better job at enjoying the season. Every meal has al fresco potential, so I’m running around with linens and flower arrangements to make sure we eat, drink and be merry in the fresh air. Simple picnic style in the fields or on the terrace with a view fitting for royalty. The harvest from our first vegetable garden – courgette overload- is infusing my  life with culinary creativity. I’ve sliced it into ribbons, stuffed it and sautéed it, and still there is courgette.

There’s Thomas trying to figure out the best way to get in and out of a hammock and I’m finding that good books are all the more compelling if you read them with your feet in cool water, a glass of wine nearby. Chilled rosé, what else? I’ve taken to wearing a hat of finely woven straw and I’ve discovered that you can have great conversations with dragonflies and salamanders as they too take time out to chill around the water basin. To run errands it’s top down and wind in our hair. We hit the road beneath the sunshine in our old convertible instead of a more practical four-wheel drive. Finally, we’ve introduced the lost practice of stargazing before going to bed. After a long hot day’s work, we look up at the clear night sky and are reminded that we dwell in a grand and magnificent universe. By the time our heads hit the pillow, our daily worries (self-imposed deadlines especially) seem a lot less significant and the night is ours for dreaming.


  1. We had the same abundance of courgettes our first growing season in Ireland, Veronique. For weeks on end, the answer to the question ‘what’s for dinner?’ was ‘courgette surprise!’. I exhausted the BBC food website for recipes. I recommend the courgette & sweetcorn fritters. Mmm

  2. Zo mooi beeldend geschreven, ben ook eventje met mijn voeten in het water…

  3. The good thing about courgette too, is that you can bake lovely pies with it. Eating those on a kayak in the Tarn for lunch, how lovely!

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