Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A taste of the beautiful British summer at home

Perf start to the day in the garden
It would appear that both summer and I paid a visit to Britain last weekend. Alas though, neither of us could stay long - I'm now back in Brussels and the weather in the UK has reverted to what it does best: rain.

But oh, what a delightfully summery weekend it was! We basked in the glorious sunshine, danced in the mild breeze (some of us more literally than others) and enjoyed uncharacteristically hot temperatures of around 25C. *gasp!*

It made me realise I'm a little sad to be missing the great British summer this year, but it was so nice to have a little taster last weekend. Whippy ice creams by the seaside, sunbathing in the garden, Wimbledon, Pimm's, long barbecues... It's the best, isn't it? However I'm sure there'll be lots of fun going on in Brussels too, and I'm looking forward to experiencing it.

In true British fashion, I jumped into summer mode at the mere sight of the sun last weekend - I imagine hope I'm not the only one who looked slightly lobsterified come Sunday evening! But with mild lobsterification come freckles and sun-kissed strands of hair round your face, and of those I am a big fan.

When the weather is playing nicely, it's just so wonderful to be outside, isn't it?! I pretty much spent the whole weekend soaking up the sunshine and chilling with the fam. It was not the most productive of weekends but hey, that's ok.

The main reason I was coming home was to go to McBusted (eeeeep! They were so good! I wrote about it here), but then it transpired the long lost big brother was going to come home for the weekend too, so the whole Hosie fam were all together for the first time since Christmas. I love it.

'Lush' is one of those overused adjectives these days, but I have to say, the Leicestershire countryside was looking just that. Let me show you a few snaps I took on a dog walk with the madre and sister and hopefully you'll see what I mean...

I'd rather like to live there

Tippy went for a dip
Beautiful, no? The colours just look so vibrant in the sunshine.

We're really good at selfies. Ahem.
I find the gorgeous weather can inspire me to be more active... To an extent, anyway. Once it gets too hot you have to just stop moving, right?

I spent the weekend taking the dogs on long walks, splashing around in the pool with the siblings (we are very lucky children) and messing around in the garden doing cartwheels and reading the weekend papers from cover to cover.

Some of us did more actual swimming than others...
A spot of rounders even occurred, but I left the batting to Shrimp - hand-eye-coordination has never been my forte, and the fam really do not need another reason to ridicule me.

Since I was last home, the daffodils in the garden have given way to roses, and they aren't half beautiful.

The lilac's a bloomin' too
D'you know what else is great about being home? The food. Of course. And food always tastes better outside, doesn't it?

The Shrimp and I took advantage of having a proper blender (the one in my Brussels house has broken *sob*) and ALL the fruit by whipping up breakfast smoothies. Naturally, we instagrammed them. Here we have:

A banana, raspberry and almond smoothie - simply blend 1 frozen banana (chop and freeze the night before), half a tin of tinned raspberries minus the syrup/juice, a large dollop of natural Greek yoghurt, 1 tsp ground almonds and some almond milk, then top with berries of your choice and ground almonds.

And here we have a peach, banana and raspberry smoothie: just blend 1 frozen banana, 1 frozen peach (chop and freeze the night before), half a tin of tinned raspberries and their juice, 1 generous dollop of natural Greek yoghurt... And you're good to go!

It's safe to say that on a sunny morning they are the perfect way to start the day.

I think the fam have now just accepted that I am incapable of doing or eating anything without photographing it. After all, if it's not on Instagram, did it even really exist? That's how life works these days, right?

People can judge all they like, but I just blimmin' love photos. They make me smile and bring back good memories. Yes, of food. And what?

So, naturally I whacked out the camera for our BBQ on Sunday. Oof! That was a good BBQ. It was my first of the year and I was rather looking forward to it. I even insisted on getting out the nice table and chairs. Yup, this was serious business.

Did anyone not have a BBQ last weekend? It was prime BBQ weather.

I'm not usually a huge meat-eater: it's expensive, I'm poor, and I'm not overly fussed about it. However, when confronted with the above delicious plateful, I couldn't help but have one of each please and thanks very much. Mmm *adopts manly voice* MEAT. PROTEIN.

*reverts to shrill girly voice*

And none for Gretchen Wieners*. Or Tippy.
Pudding was that oh-so-classic and unbeatable combo of strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

What a winner.

Eurostar may be horribly expensive unless booked way in advance, but it really is great. Being able to pop from Brussels to London in two hours is AMAZING. I know that going home all the time would make it jolly hard to get settled à Bruxelles, but let me tell you, that family weekend at home has done me a world of good (not to mention allowed me to replenish my tea and squash supplies!).

Family is the one, am I right? There's no place like home, and having a lovely home and lovelier family that are always there for you is not something to be taken for granted.

Hope y'all enjoyed the sunshine too! What did you get up to?

*That was a Mean Girls quote, but you knew that, right?


  1. This is going to be the most backhanded compliment ever, but you're sort of like a modern day Enid Blyton character. You're all 'jolly good' and lashings of ginger beer (or peanut butter smoothie) and even though your life is somewhat charmed it doesn't feel at all as though you're showing off, because it's obvious that you and your family work so hard. It's quite inspiring, really!

    1. Ha ha I totally take that as a compliment, thank you. Jolly pleased to be of inspiration :)

  2. I knew the countryside looked familiar! So glad you mentioned the county and stopped me pondering! x

    1. Oh are you a Leicestershire girl too, Chloe? X

    2. Yes and no! I grew up there, now live in Northamptonshire but the boyfriend is at Loughborough Uni so I'm there relatively often. Leicestershire countryside is by far one of my favourite places to be! x

  3. Haha I love the Enid Blyton comment! It's true! I am incredibly jealous of the pool though, my ambition is to have a pool when I'm older so I can swim all day every day (kind of... I'd probably get bored after a few days!) This has made me miss the British summer so much but I'm going home mid July so I guess I get to experience both! xxx
    Lucy from La Lingua Italy

    1. Yeah, we've been really lucky to grow up in our house. I'm sure you will one day, and enjoy the summer at home - seems like you get the best of both! x

  4. Beautiful pictures, I love your mug 'Eat cake for Breakfast' that's what really attracted me to read the post and then it just got better and better. X

    1. Thanks Sarah, that's so kind of you to say :) X

  5. Hello from Kyiv again!
    Rachel,I like so much your posts about time with family. I'm also that kind of girl, family one. So I do really understand your feelings about such events, food, beautiful nature in the countryside etc. Photos are sooo nice too, they reflect spring/summer mood perfectly.
    Tomorrow the whole my family (parents,me and my two younger sisters) will go to our country house and do the same things, I hope. How to manage to work on my diploma essay in such situation? This is a question :-) Have a nice Belgium weekend this time!

    1. Hi Kate!
      Thanks, I'm so glad you like my family posts and share my feelings. Hope you had a lovely time with your family! And it's almost impossible to do essay work in these situations if you ask me.. Good luck and thank you :) X


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