My title doesn’t refer to Jane Austen’s mother and sister, who lie in the churchyard at Chawton, Hampshire, but to my blog Pictures from Southsea.  Maintaining one blog is tricky enough, but two – that’s just silly!  So I’m moving my efforts back to my first blog, Have Bear Will Travel.  If you’d like to see more pictures of life in the south of England, with interludes from Germany, and musings on the generals whys and wherefores of life, please pop over there and have a look.  I’d love to read your comments!

We walked around the gardens of Blickling Hall in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago on a late spring day that was warm though not very sunny.  I love the lamp-like blossoms of the horse chestnuts in the second-last picture.  The close-up blossom is a grapefruit tree in the orangery.

I saw this sign in the window of a shop a week ago on a glorious sunny Friday afternoon. I can’t remember what this shop sold until it closed, but I liked the humour of this sign.

My post title, by the way, is a novel by Rosamund Lehmann. I have to confess that I haven’t read this one, but her pair of books Invitation to the Waltz and The Weather in the Streets would be on my desert-island list. Her depiction of a teenager who just doesn’t fit but wants to blaze in her orange dress at the ball rings true even eighty years later, and the sequel, where this girl is a grown woman who has an affair with the smooth-talking but ultimately weak man who she spoke to at that ball, is as shocking and real as if it were happening today.

Looking westwards from our kitchen balcony at a beautiful sunset this evening.

In the opposite direction, the sky is still blue, with wisps of grey-pink cloud.

And a few minutes later, the western sky is striped with an unbelievably glowing pink highlight.  I couldn’t capture it exactly on my camera, but I hope this gives an impression, at least.

I’m on holiday this week, and I’ve had time to do some serious making of things.  I’m pretty happy with the three-stranded pink necklace, and the knitting’s going well too.  Nigel Slater (in diary form, not alas in person) is on hand to lend moral support and some ideas for dinner.

I took these pictures two weeks ago in my parents’ garden.  Summer is such a wonderful surprise – you wait for months and then everything flowers all at once.  After so much grey, followed by a little tentative green and white, we’re surrounded by colours upon colours.  It was worth the wait, yet again.

I still have to upload my most recent pictures of sunny Britain from the camera into the computer, so I thought I’d have another flashback to this day last year – clearly also a good day for photographs.  I was making muffins from the German muffin book (a good way to learn a language – if you don’t understand properly, the cakes don’t work, so you try hard!) in our L-shaped white kitchen.  Not much preparation space, but we had some very nice meals and cakes there.  I’ve always had tiny kitchens until we moved into our current flat, and I think you just need to be (a) organized or (b) good at balancing things on other things.  I’m more of a (b) person myself.