Simple pleasures for May

cow parsley

1 Take a walk outside.

public bridleway Slamseys Farm, Great Notley


In May, the English countryside is at its best. Everywhere is lush and verdant so that looking across the fields it seems that every shade of green is featured. Cow parsley fills the verges, the birds are singing and some days the sun shines too.

2 Smell the blossom.

apple blossom

The crab apple tree is so smothered in blossom that it looks like a bride on her wedding day but my favourite blossom in the garden is this pink blossom on the apple tree.

3 Visit the seaside.

Slamseys Rose Gin

The seaside out of season is a very different place to the seaside in the middle of summer being less crowded and quieter. And colder. This week, we dragged an Australian teenager to the Essex seaside at Mersea Island and I fear she was less than impressed. The tide was out so the view from the beach hut was of grassy sand, an expanse of mud leading to the water and a decommissioned power station and a wind farm across the estuary. Not quite Forty Baskets Beach. But we still dug holes and made sand castles on the beach, ate fish & chips and took home a pint of the tastiest prawns for supper.

Please excuse the product placement. We took the opportunity to take some photos of Beth’s gin and seem to have taken none of the sea.

4 Make

washing line bowl
Photograph courtesy of Elizabeth at

Make a basket like Elizabeth’s beautiful washing line baskets. At last I’ve found a way of using up all those pesky scraps of fabric that are stuffed into bags. I hoped that one day I’d find a use for the little fabric cords I made last year and finally I’ve found it by using Elizabeth’s technique to make a miniature basket.

miniature basket made with fabric cords

Naturally, the tiny basket is of little more use than the bare cords but I tell myself, it’s all about the process, rather than the finished object. Next on the list is a full sized version using washing line.

5 Spend time with family and friends.

Because, honestly, isn’t that the best pleasure in life?



35 thoughts on “Simple pleasures for May

  1. You guys know how to live. Even on the beach!
    After this week’s rain we’ve suddenly woken up to a carpet of green. Most of it weeds though, I have to say..

  2. The lush green countryside looks so pretty. Your baskets are adorable, I used to have a kitchen rug made from rolled up scrabs of material. Thank you for this lovely post.

  3. Your simple pleasures for May sound very good. Love your first pic so much – so evocative. Glad you’re enjoying dabbling in basket-making – what an ingenious use for your homemade fabric cord. Have a lovely weekend Anne! E x

  4. What a lovely, calm post Anne. Your countryside is just so pretty. Postcard stuff! Any trip to the beach is good in my book. I really love those baskets, very clever. Wishing you a lovely weekend. x

  5. What a beautiful, happy post. I love how green everything looks and the blossoms are gorgeous. That basket really caught my eye & I know what you mean about it being about the process rather than the finished project but surely you can find some use for that little basket. It’s too cute to not display.

  6. Your first photo brought a tear to my eyes, a rush of homesickness Anne. Cow parsley, such a delightful plant. In fact I have bought a packet of seeds and plan to plant/scatter them. Come to think of it I’d better find out when…perhaps it’s Autumn in which case I’d better get a move on! Thanks for this lovely post.

  7. Lovely post Anne, theres no better way to spend time than with family and friends, you did make me smile as I scrolled down my reader to see Gin with the bucket and spade, well we would certainly be doing that here!!

        1. I think it might have been cow parsley – just done a quick internet search. However, it does taste like elderflower….

  8. Such lovely greenery and colours! That beach photo is very amusing – when I look at the sand it looks quite pebbly unlike the beaches I know and love in Australia, but I do find that British seaside towns have a lot of charm.

  9. Gorgeous photos, and I can well imagine that your guest was less than enthused by our British beaches! 😀

  10. I have some Cow Parsley growing in seed trays in my greenhouse – it’s ammi majus (Queen Anne’s Lace) which is as close to cow parsley as I can get here but I think it’s very similar. Can’t wait to have it growing down the side of the Nuttery….I can pretend I’m in England!

  11. Beautiful. I hope to see the gorgeous English countryside one day in all its glory- it’s on my bucket list for sure (along with proper fish & chips, obviously). Enjoy the simple pleasures this month Anne. Seems like you’ve already found it. xo

  12. visit the beach and have a G&T – sounds good to me 🙂
    thank you for all your lush emerald spring countryside pics! it is nearing winter here – bare trees, some autumn leaves still remaining. your first two pictures are heavenly.

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