Mmmmmmmm, a bowl of steaming hot porridge with sultanas, chopped banana and a generous drizzle of golden syrup. That was my lunch today, I had such a terrific craving for it at lunch time and it was absolutely delicious, so cosy and warming, real comfort food on a cold, rainy day.
The light levels have been so, so low here this week, with heavy grey skies and intermittent rain. At the weekend our clocks went back an hour, so no more Summer Time and such an early close-of-the-curtains in the evening now too. Our lamps are working hard, both in the early morning and throughout the evening, and I have a makeover in mind for our old, plain cream Ikea job there. I'm thinking something decopatchy to match my dining table lampshade, but with extra crochet and button trim pizazz. I am also thinking about a stripy crochet wrap-around for the stick bit of the lamp, ha! It's gonna be a bit whacky! I can see it very clearly in my Minds Eye, so watch this space....
The blankets are working hard too, their workload goes hand in hand with the lamps. Which reminds me, I really must get round to finishing off the ripple. It just needs a bit of a border putting in place but I've been procrastinating over it and doing other things instead. It bothers me that it's over a year since I started it, and yet it hasn't had it's moment of ta-dah glory yet cos of the missing border thingy. So slack of me I know. Soon though.
One thing about this time of year that I really love is the way that the Little People come back to their indoor pursuits. The bad weather and dark evenings force them to play more indoors, and although this suits Little Lady very nicely, the boys struggle a little. But it's been a really nice thing about summer's end (for me anyway), and I've been encouraging all sorts of creative pursuits. Colouring books have come out, new sketch pads and pens have been purchased, spirograph has been given a whirl and recently the hama beads have been rediscovered. One very happy Mumma here, as I love to watch my Little Peeps busy with their creative fingers.
The Very Large Tub of Lego has been back in action too, much to Little B's delight. He's still a bit young to really build with the small lego, but he's not bothered so long as he can somehow be included. As you can see, he just tends to jig around on the periphery making lots of excited chatter, but it seems to keep him very happy. He is also very accomplished at Lego Demolition, and will dismantle a carefully built vehicle with alarming dexterity. All good fun.
Crochet is not in any way a seasonal pursuit for me as you well know, but I do really have a major crush with blanket making at this time of year. It just fits the Autumn season so perfectly, especially if there is a crackling fire nearby and a hot mug of tea to hand. I am still working slowly on my Granny Patchwork blanket, fitting a few squares in whenever I get chance. The funny thing is that I started this blanket as a way of de-stashing my Stylecraft leftovers, and of course the inevitbale has happened and I am running out of the stuff. Ahhh, shame, it looks like I shall have to restock in order to complete the de-stash project, does this count as a success or a failure?!
I am still wholeheartedly addicted to my monthly magazines, and have been enjoying the Autumn editions very much. Usually I find they get me down a little with all the brown and all the indoorsy stuff, but I am finding them inspiring and cosy this year. I particularly enjoyed Sarah Raven's write up about tulips in the November issue of Country Living...I am very inspired to try this exact planting scheme of hers in some big pots.
I've been thoroughly enjoying my little garden posies throughout October, such a sweet and colourful reminder of Summer. Sometimes I have them on the dining table, sometimes, beside my bed and sometimes (like now) in the bathroom. Wherever they end up, they bring so much joy to a room, even though the ink bottle is only small and the snips of flowers very modest.
This picture was taken a few weeks ago, the Prosecco cork a sweet reminder of a 4pm Friday celebration with friends when The Results were through. Very happy to report that Little Man passed the 11+ exam and will be heading to an extremely well respected boys grammar school next September. Happiness and utter relief all round. Silly 11+ system.
October often feels like a transitional month, with one light foot still in Summer camp, and one woolly-socked foot in Autumn camp. We did have a couple spells of bright sunny weather in October, although the memory of them is buried under the general damp mist and rain that hung around for much of the month. I stopped hanging out my laundry to dry in September when the window-fitting men dismantled my washing line, but my neighbours across the back street are still hanging theirs. The view of my elderly neighbours pyjamas and underpants is an oddly comforting sight, although I'm not sure I should really admit to that. A laundry-filed washing line just speaks of cosy domesticity, and I always delight in seeing it.
Our walk to school has become a leafy affair, and on dry days we delight in much kicking and shuffling through piles of fallen leaves. I often think that when you are a parent of small children, it's quite wonderful to suddenly find you can legitimately do all these things again...running and jumping through leaves, splashing in puddles, singing as you walk, balancing along low walls. Little B has re-introduced this simple, physical fun back into my daily life which I am rather grateful for.
We are so, so lucky living here in that we have a really beautiful piece of woodland just a stones throw from the town centre. It's owned and managed by the Woodland Trust and offers a really wonderful reflection of the seasons. I think my favourite time to walk here is in May when the wild garlic is in full bloom, but October comes a close second. Many of the trees here are beech trees, and their coppery golden leaves at this time of year are beautiful.
We walked in the woods a few Sundays ago, a lovely family walk on a sunny morning. Little B absolutely loved it, striding out in his new wellies, enjoying the outdoors and his favourite pursuit of poking a stick into muddy puddles. I took some lovely photographs on this day, I'll share them with you sometime soon before the memory is lost.
I am declaring October to be the official Month of Cheese. Since returning from France, I've had a renewed love of cheese and have been eating it often at lunch time with a bit of crusty bread and butter. I am back with the English cheeses though (on the left is Five Counties, on the right is Wensleydale with apricots), but I think I need to be more adventurous with my Cheese Appreciation lunches. Tomorrow I am going to go and search out some gooey French cheese to remind me of my week away.
Been trying to counterbalance the Month of Cheese with some healthy snacking, especially as my jeans are only just do-uppable at the moment. I do need to shed a bit of excess weight that has accumulated during the course of this year, but darn it, it is baking season now (as well as the cheese thingy) so not sure if I am capable of any dieting malarkey till nearer springtime.
October has also brought about my seasonal candle obsession too, like the lamps and the blankets it's a natural reaction to the lowering light levels at this time of year. I love candles, they never fail to make me feel all sort of cosy and mmmmmmmmm.
Autumn love extends to my faithful hot water bottle, brought out of it's summer sleep sometime last month and now pressed into nightly service down by my feet. I cannot bare to have cold feet in bed, they keep me awake and make me fidget, but I don't like to be too overly hot in bed either (electric blankets are not for me). I love my hot water bottle ritual. Yeah, it's the cosy-mmmmm thing for sure.
....I wish I was showing you a picturesque pile of pumpkins on an organic farm or something, but have to admit that this is just the local supermarket. Still glorious though, aren't they?
J actually took it upon himself to purchase the pumpkin a few days in advance of halloween, and he chose a very sweet little specimen for us. He said he picked it cos of the shape and smooth skin (good, good) but the diminutive size of it seemed to have escaped him. I had a little laugh when he got it out of the bag, he was a tad offended I think. But still, we had a family pow-wow over the design, and I set to work.......
....very pleased. Scary but fun. I am not one of those Mums who can leave it to the offspring I am afraid. I did allow them to carry out a little bit of scraping-out (and in Little B's case, some experimental tasting of the seeds), but the carving fun was mine-all-mine.
Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo spooky! We had a fun but rather wet trick-or-treat outing around our neighbourhood last night, but it was really good. We taught Little B to say "Hap-py Hall-weeeeeen!" and he delighted all the houses we visited. Sweet, sweet boy (he was dressed as a skeleton this year), he is impossibly cute.
So that's October then, all done and dusted and behind us for another year. I'm hoping that November will be a gentle month of homely pursuits as my nesting instinct has finally kicked in (a little late this year, it's usually a September thing for me). So I shall be donning my apron and getting down to some serious housekeeping during these next few weeks. I expect that I will feel a pressing need to tell you all about it. Bet you can't wait.