A couple of weeks ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning convinced I had missed the elderflower season this year. I dashed out as soon as I was up, sure that I would have missed the best of the crop! I find time every year to make elderflower cordial, even the summer when Joe was born (full heartfelt story here).
A busy couple of weeks had meant that the elderflowers had to wait this year, but luckily opposite our house is the perfect lane for picking them. It’s quite shaded by lots of other trees, so a week or so behind the main season, and I was so happy to find that there were hundreds still in bloom, calming the elderflower anxiety (first world drama crisis, ahem).
It was also the perfect opportunity to try out my new to me Bobbin bike (committed eBay searching does pay off eventually!) and so I combined a cycle ride with elderflower collecting. The bike’s lovely wicker basket was the perfect thing for collecting and transporting the flowers safely home. Even if my family all laughed at me for being a massive blogger/IG cliche!
I hadn’t ridden a bike for over ten years and had forgotten how much fun it is; just complete exhilerating freedom, cycling down a country lane in the sunshine…it was a complete rediscovered childhood pleasure, just blissful. As Mia accurately summed up the moment, ‘oh Mummy, I didn’t know you could ride a bike…now we can cycle to the cafe together!’ She has only just learned to ride her bike after a long-standing lack of cycling confidence and some previous nasty falls. So we cycled along, collecting elderflowers like something from an Enid Blyton novel, wishing that every day could be like this. But if it was we would end up with a large amount of elderflower cordial and really achey legs!
Long summer afternoons, warm rosy faces and sticky ice cream hands are surely the essence of the summer holidays. The weather has been crazily unpredictable so far this summer, so as soon as the sun comes out, we’ve made sure to go outside and just enjoy it. Mia and Joe both love fruit picking and our Siblings Project portraits from June were also taken at a fruit farm! We have moved on from strawberry to cherry season, and they both love this annual tradition of climbing the cherry trees and finding the beautiful sweet cherries to pick.
I remember the first summer we took Joe cherry picking, when he was only around one, and he just ate the cherries whole, stone and all, until we realised what he was doing! I have to admit that there was still a small amount of cherry ‘sampling’ going on this time, but no stones this year, and I had come prepared with baby wipes!
They both became quite competitive with their cherry picking, and so their baskets soon filled up. Mia definitely had the height advantage and so I secretly helped Joe out a little by topping up his basket with a few cherries from mine.
The pick your own farm has a wonderful farm shop attached, which in the summertime has the best homemade ice cream and sorbets. As a reward for their hard work cherry picking, Mia and Joe got to choose a scoop of their favourite flavour. It took them forever to decide, but eventually Mia chose rhubarb and custard (and so did I!) and Joe went against his usual ‘bunilla’ (vanilla) and chose chocolate.
Just happy simple times with these two, enjoying the outdoors and making the most of the sunshine. They both went home happily covered in layers of cherry juice, ice cream drips and leaves.
I have also been joining in with the Siblings Project on Instagram at @siblings_project . Come and take a look if you’ve not joined in already!