At last, we have a British Summer, a proper British Summer, with warm weather and strawberries. I went off strawberries a few years back, because the supermarket ones just didn’t taste like strawberries should. But I have been buying locally grown strawberries, that are deep red, fragrant, juicy, odd shapes and sizes, and just gorgeous. Jasper likes them too and I pick out the biggest one for him. He prefers jammy doughnuts, but a little restraint now and then…

Jasper also likes the warm weather, but suffers terribly with fly bites. He has a paralysed tail (one of the lasting side effects of Cauda Equina Syndrome), so his fly swat is no more and the flies make a meal of him. I’ve tried numerous insect repellents over the years, but have to be careful as he has a sensitive skin and most of them make him itch. He spends most of the afternoon in the field shelter, trying to avoid the flies and takes to his stable after dinner, but then enjoys quality time in the back garden late on. Last night was just lovely – the weather was comfortably warm and still, and the aroma from next door’s climbing roses was just wonderful. I stood in the garden, listening to Jasper eating for England, whilst breathing in the rose fragranced air. Lovely! To think that this time last year the garden and paddock were stood in inches of water from the torrential rain.

I managed to spend an hour on the bathroom today; it’s still a bombsite, but I’ll get there eventually. Work is still busy and I’m a big believer in making hay whilst the sun shines, so my own painting jobs have to take a back seat.

On a more gossipy note, there have been paintbrushes at dawn with the two British chalk paint brands that I frequently mention on this blog. Autentico had their Facebook page removed because it was alleged that they were infringing upon Annie Sloan’s trademark ‘CHALK PAINT’. From what I gather, the trademark is registered in the United States, but isn’t registered here, so Autentico were a tad miffed at the unceremonious ousting. Allegations of intimidation have been made and it’s all looking a bit messy (in a shabby chic sort of way of course). Lawyers have been instructed, so fear not, it should all be sorted out in the next 5 years or so:-)

I’m off to talk business with the CEO, who is glaring at me from the stable, wanting his evening stroll in the garden and a super sized strawberry.