Midsummer's Day

The summer solstice is here. From today the days will start getting shorter. The wheel turns again.
but do not despair, I have roses, cake and Shakespeare for you.

First a snippet from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats, spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In their freckles live our savours.
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I'll be gone;
My queen and all her elves come here anon!

Act II: Sc i

Next a cake. A birthday cake for my midsummer man, indeed 'A proper man, as one shall see in a summer’s day', so says Quince in Act I: Sc ii.

It is the same cake I made him last year. With different berries.

A merry Midsummer to you all.


  1. I'm one of those strange people who like it to get dark at night. So I have no argument with Midsummer.

  2. How can it be Midsummer. I haven't yet noticed that we have had a summer at all. Love Shakespeare - he has a quote for every season and every reason. I bet he wouldn't turn his nose up at that cake either.

  3. And a Merry Midsummer to you! Since it has rained continuously since 8am and the house is full of wet coats and trousers hanging in the vague hope of drying out for tomorrow I am having to rely on your post as a reminder of what summer may look like! xx

  4. Anonymous10:04 pm BST

    A happy midsummer to you, too!
    It was a lovely evening in Greece, indeed...
    Your roses are so beautiful!

  5. Still know that off by heart, having learned it ... horrors, over 40 years ago!

  6. http://shonkywonkybarnadventures.blogspot.com/12:01 am BST

    Happy Midsummer -how grim could it be? I felt cold today and lit the rayburn.Thanks for the Shakespeare and more than that, I loved and really needed your beautiful images on Pinterest. Feel a bit down today and you have uplifted me a lot. I am shocked that i have had the rayburn on today - midsummer madness - but it is always lovely to cook on wood - we have home made bread for tomorrow, ate rissotto tonight and have a pasta bake for the kid/ partner while i go to fat club weigh in tomorrow! Thanks for your lovely images
    j x

  7. Being in the Southern Hemisphere I'm delighted that our nights will be getting shorter. Winter is a killer here in NSW, give me a Scottish winter with a bit of central heating any day!
    Love your extracts from Shakespeare, I remember watching A Midsummer Night's Dream in The Orchard at Grantchester, near Cambridge with the fairies hiding in the trees - fantastic.
    Hope you do get a bit more summer,
    Sandra x

  8. Happy Midsummer to you too. The solstice does seem to have come around very quickly this year but I am also a strange person who likes the dark evenings as much as the sunny ones. However, I do need more summer sun before the darkness sets in. Hope the Mr had a great birthday, Ax

  9. Anonymous1:20 pm BST

    I hardly feel like you've had summer Sue. Hooray, we're on the downhill slide to sunshine. I'll try not to complain when we have a heatwave and temperatures in the high 30's for a week.
    Time to prune our roses, so I will continue to enjoy your beautiful floral photos. Thanks for taking the time to put them up.
    Coni Tan

  10. Oh my...... we are having the longest night and I am really waiting for the return of the Sun here in the south. I like the closeness of winter but I love the freedom of summer! It makes my day reading about your sunshine and strawberries though!

  11. And we've just had our shortest day, of course, being "down under". But being in the tropics, it isn't too bad: sunrise was at 6:39 and sunset was at 17:33. :-)

    Only about an hour different each way to our summer. We don't get the lovely long twilight in summer like you.

    Caz from Never Knew :)

  12. What a nice day to have a birthday on. The cake looks delicious! I like how you tied everything together - with the quote from Quince and so on.

    Your post set me off googling all over the place! I learnt 'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows' etc - the only thing I ever bothered to learn by heart because the teacher scared me. She never checked either but I'm glad I know it now. After checking to see if I was word perfect with that, I watched snippets of various actors doing their bit on YouTube - I enjoyed Helen Mirren and Diana Rigg as Helen and Hermia. I found a BBC version also with Helen Mirren - this time as Titania. As this also has someone I went to university with in it (in her youth)and then taught my daughter I have just bought it. So your midsummer post definitely caught my attention!

    But we definitely haven't had summer yet - it officially started yesterday and we have 3 full months of it to come. Not that you would know. It's bucketing with rain here and grey skies and clouds are everywhere. That's why it's cheering to look at cakes with yummy strawberries on.

  13. Faye, I'm glad you noticed that the quotation was by Quince. I did think it all tied together quite neatly.

    I've seen several productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream -mostly the RSC at Stratford. The most memorable was with Juliet Stephenson as Titania.

    It may be called Midsummer but it is really just beginning. And didn't we have a gorgeous spring?

  14. I agree with Coffee lady, I like the eves to be dark, I like all my fairy lights on see...

  15. Delicious looking cake, and gorgeous rose - what is it? I want one! Does it climb, does it smell? Oh and happy birthday to Mr Quince Tree.

  16. Anonymous5:56 pm BST

    Oops - last comment was under wrong name - my husband's, forgot to log him out and log myself in. Perhaps you can tinker with the name option. Sorry!

  17. Charlotte, I'm afriad I don't know the rose. It isn't from my garden. I found it in a hedge. It doesn't look like a climber and I didn't notice much of a smell. It's has small flower-about two inches across.

    Can't tinker with comments -the only thing I can do is delete them and I would never do that to you!


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