Slept late this morning, despite the silent, distant lightening storm that went on all night. We rose to find the sun up and a pale blue sky. A little cooler this morning but still a beautiful spring day with mist trapped in the fields by the tree layer and dew on every blade of grass. Down in the ‘Japanese garden’ (apologies to my Japanese friends), our green acer is in bloom, with its palmate leaves dotted with burgundy bracts and tiny white flowers. This tree is the rootstock of a purple acer we once grew in a pot in our back garden in London. While we were in France, our cat-sitter forgot to water it and it died, but this sprang up from the roots and we transplanted it into the lower orchard, where is proceeded to thrive. Now about 12ft high, it provides my husband with shade for his deckchair all summer. Today’s threads are pale blue variegated Anchor cotton perlé no 5, green DMC retors d’Alsace no 12, burgundy six-strand Indian rayon, sewn with two strands, and cream Cartier-Bresson Brilliante d’Algers six-strand cotton, sewn with two strands. The stitches are coral stitch for the heart, stem stitch for the stems, buttonhole stitch with fly stitch infill for the leaf, straight stitch for the bracts and straight stitch with detached chain for the flowers. The third pic is the view from our bedroom window.