Up at 5.30 this morning and got a couple of hours gardening in before the heat of the day arrived. The dawn chorus was deafening and it was cool and breezy – due to be another scorcher today. At the bottom of the lane, the cows have been moved into a different meadow and I thought it was about time I stitched one, since they are a daily part of our landscape. Our local breed is the Normande, which produces low-fat, high-protein milk, most of which goes for Camembert production. They are sweet-natured beasts, always curious about the dog, and look very cute with their spotty coats and panda eyes – the coat provides perfect camouflage in the dappled shade of the Norman apple orchards. Today’s threads are lilac/yellow variegated cotton perlé no 5; white coton à broder; six-strand embroidery threads in shades of buff, brown and black; and sewing cottons in cream and shades of brown. The stitches are Hungarian braided chain for the heart, split stitch for the blackwork, straight stitch for the ears and French knots for the eyes.