Friday, 2 August 2013

Sometimes We Just Need to Chill


I've put a new header picture at the top of the blog.  Since I am settled in London for some stay-at-home writing projects, I thought I might as well post a more local picture. It shows neighbours at the annual party in our communal garden which took place during the "hot spell" we had recently.    For several years now, the party has involved various people running stalls - cakes, books, bric-a-brac and so on - to raise money to maintain the garden.

It had been getting harder and harder to find people to run the stalls, and last year, tempers frayed and people started storming out ... so this year we chilled.  There were a couple of gazebos and a couple of tables, and people brought food and drink - plus a donations pot - and music.   And friends, pets, children and barbecues.  No stalls. No fuss. .


We had great food from all over the world, my favourites being a Middle Eastern aubergine dish and some sweets from Brazil, which were like truffles but made of mashed fresh berries, and covered in chocolate. Plus a massive bowl of lovely and deceptively alcoholic Pimms that included several pounds of chopped fruit and cucumbers.

There was company and music,  drums, guitars, and one guy had a professional jazz band which played into the evening.  The weather was good otherwise it might have been a flop, but as it was, everyone agreed it was one of the nicest parties in recent years.  Sometimes it's good to let go...

I saw this sky recently.   I don't know what weather it means.  Do you?


62 comments:

  1. It's a mackerel sky...but no mares' tails.

    i did like the relaxed garden party...neighbourhoods used to have these in France.

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  2. Yes, I agree with the fly in the web - it is Cirrocumulus (above 18,000 feet) and known as a mackerel sky - the saying goes 'mackerel in the sky three days dry'. Your photo of it is lovely.
    The new header is just right for the balmy hot weather we are enjoying at the moment - a carefree, happy gathering.

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  3. That sounds as if it was a lovely relaxed gathering, Jenny. I'd forgotten the name of the sky, but thanks to Rosemary and the fly in the web, I remember the name of mackerel skies. We don't see them often in the Netherlands - maybe it's not often dry that long..haha! Anyway, lovely photos Jenny and I'm glad the annual party went so well this year. It must make it more inspiring to do the same again next year!

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  4. How very civilized!
    No idea what such clouds mean, unless a storm has just passed by.
    The picture itself is very good however.

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  5. It's a lovely sky; how nice it means more good weathr.

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  6. Glad it was successful Jenny. Sometimes simple, or maybe just change, can make all the difference huh? - Dave

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  7. Looks like a nice chilled-out garden party - no fuss, no muss, no bother.

    Gorgeous sky, no matter what it's called.

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  8. AH this sounds like what we call a pot luck dinner. They are the best!

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  9. So true that we need to take a step back sometimes. Clouds are always fascinating to me, no matter the weather. Great photos.

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  10. The lush green colors are what we think of when we hear "English garden." It looks beautiful! It sounds like the neigborhood party was a great success. Sometimes it's best to just get together and not over-think and over-plan everything.

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  11. Love the sky picture. I don't know what weather it foretells but I've heard that type of cloud formation referred to as a shepherd's sky.

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  12. How fun! We have a communal garden here too, but I've never heard of them hosting a garden party.

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  13. I've never heard of a mackerel sky but the photo is fantastic. Despite some frayed tempers, I think the idea of an annual party in a communal garden is a wonderful idea(I'm not sure how it would go over in my Texas neighborhood, however). The food that you described sounds good - - and so does the entertainment.
    Yes, sometimes it is indeed good to let go......

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  14. I would have loved to join the party, Jenny, it must have been great, and as you say, no fuss! Sometimes people forget that so often, simple is best.

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  15. Haha, Jon, having got to into your blog I am developing some hideous fantasy of your neighbours all partying at once ...:D
    Sprinkles, maybe you can suggest a party....though sounds as if you have enough to do
    Yes, sometimes the simple ways are the best, letting other people do their thing

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  16. Lovely, simple and friendly, I love this party, Jenny! We all are busy every day and it was a day to relax, eat delicious meal, listen to music.

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  17. What a lovely header photo - it sums up the recent weeks so beautifully.

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  18. What a sensible and relaxed way to raise funds, Jenny, and the food looks delicious. The jazz band would have been fun, too. We have neighbourhood parties once or twice a year, and it is always a big success.

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  19. Yes, I believe that sky does represent good weather.

    I am in awe over the communal garden and the way the neighbours gather together for an annual event. Unfortunately where I live neighbours hardly know each other.

    Had to smile at your comment on my blog re staples.

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  20. Sometimes we just need to chill - your title says it all, Jenny. I know your garden needs money to keep it going, but it even more than that it needs people to love being in it - and this is a wonderful way to remind them of your precious green space.

    And the sky - I did A level geography, so probably knew 40 years ago. Now - I just find it lovely!

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  21. simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

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  22. It's beautiful and unusual sky...in Japan we sometimes see the similar clouds in autumn but more still. Sun rays in the garden look already of late summer.

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  23. Oh, to be in England
    Now that summer and picnics are there ...

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  24. How lucky to have musicians in the area! I like the “keep it simple” attitude that prevailed in this outdoor party. Sometimes we box ourselves into corners where all the fun is drained out. Looks like a great time was had by all, though, and that you got a nice new header as a result. The clouds over roofs photo is marvelous … I like how the sun got caught in the windowpane.

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  25. I don't know what the sky means but it sure is a fabulous picture.

    Easy does it, with the right attitude, always makes for a good time. It certainly looks like that is what you got.

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  26. wow...it is a very cool sky...so much to see in it...pretty cool on keeping it simple too...add in a little music like in your header...and that makes it about perfect just to sit and take it in...

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  27. We all have to take a break from time to time. I like London communities. Unlike in France, I know my neighbours. It is just nice. One of them has been living in the same house for 50 years. Summers in London are a great time to write too. Good luck with your projects!

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  28. Sometimes a break just helps you get down to what is important. Obviously, the group getting together is important. And the sky picture is beautiful!

    Cat

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  29. Sometimes we just have to step back, don't we? Things can grow out of control and overwhelm us. So i'm glad you had a fun time this year.

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  30. Lovely photos of a lovely time and yes sometimes we do need to just chill!
    Have a wonderful weekend Jenny.

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  31. Hello, Jenny! I feel worn out as hot spell and extremely hot spell have repeated alternately since June here in my part of the world. In the residential area where I live, there are several nice parks in each small neighborhood, which might be equivalent to your communal garden. Summer events have been held in the evening by the local community in summer to interact and to share the cool of evening, but as the volunteers have decreased, more simple gathering has come to be held, like “Cooling off together in the evening” where you bring yourself with some snacks and cans of beer or fresh beverage.

    We really need chills. Telling ghost stories is special summer event and children play the game of chicken like taking a loop course in the cemetery. I have told this, "Not ghosts but the sound of mosquitoes gives me chills."

    The last image is stunning. Mackerel clouds are typical in our autumn. It is said those clouds in the evening fortells the fine weather of the next day.

    Yoko

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  32. Yoko, was an interesting comment, it would be lovely to see a post about these gatherings and ghost stories one day. Here in England we save ghost stories for dark winter nights. I like the idea of summer ones better :)
    Rose, I hope your daughter's surgery goes well and I'll be keeping fingers crossed.

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  33. Looked to me like a really good way to spend a relaxing afternoon/evening.

    My Grandmother used to say "mackerel sky, mackerel sky, not long wet, not long dry." It was one of many weather saying which also included one I don't hear these days: "The weather will improve if there is a patch of blue large enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers."

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  34. What a great idea, a communal party to help maintain a garden.
    Oh those clouds!

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  35. Sounds like you really had an excellent and a most relaxing time.

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  36. Now that looks like my kind of party. It's so nice to step back once in a while and not be over-organised. The food sounds wonderful too.

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  37. I tried to comment to your blog yesterday, but my phone... (It was not user error I swear :) messed up and nothing got posted, so I gave up and went to sleep! In my defense, I did have a fever and was not on top of my game!
    I do love your blog and the photo just brings peace, I think you all did just fine without the stalls! I hope you have a wonderful week my friend!
    Tammy

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  38. Hi Jenny, I forgot to mention... do you realize that you are a no-reply blogger? I've tried emailing you several times, but... I can't :(
    Tammy xx

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  39. The header picture speaks for itself! I like this kind of party people or family bring food and enjoy themselves quite naturally,and music in a cozy setting outside.
    The picture with dark clouds against blue sky over picturesque red houses look somehow dramatic. By the way when I was netsurfing the clouds, I found this amazing cloud which could be mistaken for "unidentified flying object"

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  40. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.... and so green!!! Certainly it seems as if England is having a glorious summer filled with endless balmy days and hours of play. It is memory making for the children too. Christine

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  41. Sounds like a wonderful time. Perhaps letting the party just evolve, people relaxed and had a good time. Hopefully now, raising money to maintain the garden won't be such a chore, as people recall the fun to be had.
    I had forgotten mackerel skies, nice to read the folk lore that goes along with them.

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  42. The clouds looking amazing in the blue sky.
    Nice post.




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  43. Seeing your new header picture (beautiful!) brings back memories of my first time in London in April '97. I stayed for a month and could not get over the fact that everywhere I went there were parks and green areas. Where I live now is a quarter of an hour away from some of the more exuberant vegetation you can ever imagine and yet my telephone is 020! :-) That's one of the reasons why I love London and why I feel so lucky that my two children were born in a city that offers these opportunities.

    I, too, sometimes find The New Yorker too... I don't know the word... impenetrable? Yes, that'll do. I have been a regular reader for half a dozen years, although the first time I read it was courtesy of an American friend of a mine who travelled to Cuba in '93 or '94 and brought me a copy. Still, I can't do without the Shouts and Murmurs section and the cartoons. I know, it sounds so immature and juvenile but I like that kind of serious humour. There's a story by Woody Allen in the current issue. I can't wait to get home tonight, put my feet up, cup of coffee in hand and read it. Have a brilliant summer! And thanks for the photos.

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  44. You know - my husband and I were enjoying the clouds in our skies yesterday on a drive. They fascinate me - your closing cloud shot is amazing!!!!
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  45. I don't know about the sky but it sure looks pretty!

    Your gathering looks delightful -- you're right; sometimes letting go of the old and simplifying makes it all so much easier! The food sounds fabulous (although I can't quite get the hang of the Pimms with the fruit and cukes!) It's fun when neighbors get together like that. And what a beautiful setting. I hope that park is near your home so you can enjoy it often!

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  46. What a lovely garden, I'd love to be a member of one of these spots

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  47. I don't know what that sky means but it is extraordinary!
    Sometimes less is more. Don't they say that? :):)

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  48. WOW... that sky image is GORGEOUS! It makes me wish I knew more about weather and the sky... Must find out! It's good to just chill out and keep things simple, especially with parties and arrangements. VERY nice to meet you, Jenny. Thanks for visiting my blog. :o)

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  49. The photo in your header looks so peaceful. I'm happy you and the other gardeners found a way to celebrate without the fuss. Hope the rest of your summer is just as relaxed at that day.

    Darla

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  50. It's good that you have a neighbourhood party, even if the preparations were a little fractious! We don't know many of our neighbours, even after being in this house for over 4 years, so some sort of communal gathering would be fun.

    And now I can identify a three-days-dry mackerel-sky! It's a very pretty cloud formation.

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  51. Lovely sky...Just to let you know, my friend answered the question you posed when you last popped over to my blog...Re: our laws for accessibility--yes indeed there are laws but ignorance abounds and enforcement is not equal. From reading other disability blogs based in England, I can also say that your laws are very similar as are the problems with enforcement, part of the reason I am always asking if certain venues are wheelchair accessible is because most people do not think about this at all and should.

    Glad the neighbours were able to chill and have a nice time together.

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  52. Your garden looks gorgeous! :) And now I really, really want to track down a recipe for those berry sweets, they sound incredible.

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  53. the sky looks like it is having a party as well. Very nice garden gathering, no fuss- keeping it simple, best way to go especially in summertime when no body feels like cooking, I am sure!

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  54. The sky means "this will make a fiendish jigsaw puzzle!"

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  55. Looks nice. And I agree, it's often turns out best when one is not too over-ambitious about things!

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  56. Lovely sky--and party--and those TREES! Weeping Willows, I assume? Or another kind? Anyway, it is all beautiful and so serene-looking. Just beautiful.

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  57. What a beautiful communal garden Jenny - how marvelous it must be 'chilling' neath that wondrous tree. Love the sky pic too.
    Anna :o]

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  58. I clicked on the feed on my blog to your post mentioning Paris but then iyt said the page wasn't there. Anyway, this post is very interesting and as always, you have some lovely pictures. Please pass me a sausage roll! The sky in the last picture has made me nostalgic again.

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  59. What a beautiful new header photo. It perfectly encapsulates the rare but wonderful London summertime vibe when it's hot and sunny. I now have serious picnic envy!

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