🌱 Cracking almonds can be a fun and even mindful activity (once you get the hang of it and only when using the right tools; our original nutcracker broke after just a few tries…)

First time making jam from grapes from our garden. Found an interesting recipe with rosemary, laurel, lemon and a tiny bit of cinnamon. Can’t wait to taste it!

🌱 Harvest time! A modest but first ever batch of black grapes, a plentiful harvest of almonds and the first batch of Braeburn apples.

“If you have a garden in your library, we will want for nothing.”

— Marcus Tullius Cicero 💬

🎥 Lightyear (2022) ★★ & Luck (2022) ★★½.

Knowing ‘Lightyear’ was Andy’s favourite movie back in 1995 sort of ruined Toy Story for me.

‘Luck’ felt like a low budget indie animation film. Actually liked the androgynous creature called ‘Jeff the Unicorn’, but don’t ask why.

Monthly gathering of family socks…

Went to a contemporary art exhibition inside a local garden center!

🌱 Just enough for one jar of delicious plum jam!

🥾 Short photowalk in the nearby park.

📚 My oldest daughter and I are starting a new experiment: reading the same book together, chapter by chapter. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle was recommended to her by friends, and I already wanted to read it for a long time. Off we go.

🎥 Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) ★★★★

🌱Tulips in the garden of our old house (2006, one of the first photos taken with my old Nikon dslr) & Oleander in our present garden (2022, one of the first photos taken with my new Sony mirrorless)

I love new technology and gadgets, but pride myself on being pretty conservative regarding upgrading my photo camera. Left my trusty old Nikon dslr with prime lens from 2006 (!), right my new and amazingly versatile mirrorless Sony (for now with the OK-but-not-great kit lens).

🎵 Great album, great backstory:

In the 1970s, Jamaica, and in particular its reggae musicians, developed a love affair with Japanese motor bikes. Honda bikes were eulogised in Big Youth’s ‘S90 Skank’ […] whilst their rival was lauded on Shorty The President’s ‘Yamaha Skank’

It was pretty crowded along the track of the first stage of La Vuelta in Utrecht, a team time trial. After the Giro in 2010 and the Tour in 2015, Utrecht became the first city ever to host all three Grand Tours! 🚴‍♂️

🌱 Just a few more weeks to go…

🌱 Made a delicious pasta dish tonight, with a creamy sauce with homegrown sage, parmesan and lemon. Loosely based on the Ottolenghi recipe in Plenty More.

🎥 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service ★★½

Started reading: Raising Good Children by Thomas Lickona 📚

🌱 Last year we finally could harvest some plums, after waiting in vain for about 5 years. I remember almost cutting the whole tree because we thought it would never bear any fruit. I’m glad I didn’t: this year, even the other (grafted) stem joined the club!

🎵 This song by the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one of the best and most intense examples of Qawwali / Sufi devotional music.

🎵 The Amsterdam based Radio Garden project keeps getting better and better! From time to time, I like to stroll the globe in search of otherworldly tunes and these new curated playlists are of great help!

“Photo

While watching a timelapse of the recent blooming of an Amorphophallus Titanum in Leiden, I read about the bizarre ‘behaviour’ of the tip of the world’s largest flower:

“During bloom, the tip of the spadix is roughly human body temperature, which helps the perfume volatilize.”

📺 Ms. Marvel (2022) ★★½

A Marvel series that checks all the storytelling boxes. Colourful and vivid, but also completely couloured inside the lines.

🌱 Unfortunately our hedgehog house isn’t in use this season, despite plenty of hedgehog activity in our garden. (Probably it’s just too hot during the summer?) But today I discovered that a brave bumblebee queen decided to use it instead and start a new colony in there! 🐝