I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth

We’d been planning to go out somewhere at the weekend, but the weather forecast was looking unhopeful, so we decided against it. I went out in the morning to do some gardening: I mowed the lawn and did a bit of weeding, and checked the seedlings. The tomatoes are now a bit over a foot tall and looking very happy, so I staked them. We have sixteen sweetcorn so far, of 36 sown (they’re old seeds so I wasn’t expecting them all to germinate, but these have come up so quickly I think they might), and several cauliflower. The Brussels sprouts aren’t doing so well, and neither are the broccoli. I blame Robin for accidentally putting a hot frying pan down on the seed packets, and me for leaving the seed packets on the dining table. We also have a courgette and some basil. The broad beans are doing nicely and so are the peas – as are the pea sticks, many of which have decided to root and sprout. I should have some rather twiggy buddleia plants to offer soon!

Just as I finished mowing the lawn the rain started to spot down, and by the time we’d eaten our lunch it was raining steadily. But Robin had looked at the satellite pictures on the weather forecast and discovered a spot on the east coast (around St Andrewsish) which promised to be, if not entirely clear, then at least not raining. So we drove to Tentsmuir, about an hour away.

Not only was it not raining there, it was bright and clear. We wandered around the sand dunes and the woodland in lovely warm sunshine. We saw some striking butterflies (some black and red, and some tiny bright orange ones with black spots), tadpoles, a deer, a raven, finches and sundry other small birds we didn’t recognise, and, in the sea, a pod of seals sporting among the waves. I could feel myself unwinding just gazing at the green ferns under the pines and the light filtering through the beech leaves, and listening to the calls of the birds. I remembered again that the area we live in is one of the most beautiful places on this earth, and was thankful.